Colorado Nonprofit Association

Training: Elevating the Conversation Around DEI


If Lloyd Lewis had stayed the course that he thought his career was going to take – that of a C-level financial analyst for the likes of Smith Barney and IBM – he would have quite a different story to tell. But when his son Kennedy was born with Down syndrome, everything changed. From that moment on, Lloyd has devoted his life to radically changing and elevating the conversation around the INCLUSION of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 2005, Lloyd has become an uncompromising advocate for people with IDD.

Lloyd is president and CEO of arc Thrift Stores, one of Colorado’s largest nonprofit organizations. By focusing on employment, healthcare, and housing, Lloyd has turned arc into one of the state’s largest employers of people with IDD and has issued a challenge to business leaders everywhere to change how we approach and truly embody inclusion in this country.

In this webinar, Lloyd will share his story, outline what other nonprofit organizations need to know about creating a truly inclusive culture, and provide helpful tips on how to take DEI to the next level.

Recorded 8/29/23.


Lloyd Lewis, CEO of Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado 

Lloyd Lewis is the CEO of the Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado, one of Colorado’s largest social enterprises. Arc Thrift is also one of Colorado’s largest nonprofits, employers of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), recyclers, and relief organizations. Under Lewis’ tenure, Arc Thrift has funded over $250 million to nonprofit causes and charities since 2005.

Since taking on the leadership role at Arc Thrift Stores, Lewis has become a passionate and uncompromising advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With 80% of people in the U.S. with disabilities being unemployed, a champion was indeed called for. Focusing on healthcare, housing, voting rights, and employment, Lewis is most definitely that champion and is on a crusade to promote a new way to think about inclusion and diversity.

When and where he can, Lewis takes a stand and has issued a challenge to all CEOs and business leaders to follow his lead and change how we approach and truly embody inclusion in this country.
Lewis was a nominee for CEO of the Year by ColoradoBiz magazine in 2020 and named one of Denver’s Most Admired CEOs in 2021 by the Denver Business Journal. He is also the recipient of a Civil Rights Award and received the World Citizenship Award in 2022 from the International Civitans, an honor that has included such noted past winners as England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Eunice Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics.
Lewis’s career in disabilities and employment has also been recognized in the Congressional Record by U.S. House of Representatives Jason Crow and Diana DeGette.
Lewis has an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Before coming to Arc Thrift Stores, Lewis was a municipal investment banker with Smith Barney, a senior financial analyst with IBM, a director of finance for a publicly traded medical equipment company, and a CFO for a high-tech start-up company that was ultimately sold to Micron. Lewis is a board member of the Colorado Business Roundtable and chairs its community committee.
Lewis lives in Englewood Colorado with his wife Claire who is a substitute teacher. He has four grown and two younger children, including a 19-year-old son with Down syndrome.
Lewis is a nationally recognized expert in IDD employment and speaks nationally to corporations about the positive contributions of employees with IDD. He will be speaking at the opening plenary session at the Arc of United States convention in November 2022.
Arc Thrift has a long and established partnership with BOK.  BOK helped Arc Thrift navigate the Great Recession with an $8 million bond issue, and then the pandemic with a $14 million LOC followed by a $9 million PPP loan – and led the successful PPP loan forgiveness application. BOK continues to manage Arc Thrift’s operating cash balances.