Posted: May 02, 2011
Boulder’s new biz guy
Boulder Economic Development Council names executive directorBy Michelle Davenport
The Boulder Chamber selected its new director for the Boulder Economic Council, but he is not new to local business. Clif Harald, a 30-year native of Boulder, was named the BEC executive director.
Harald said he has three main goals he hopes to accomplish: maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of the program, add and foster new and existing partnerships, and attract entrepreneurs from around the world.
"By partnerships, I mean with CU, the city, the federal labs in the region, individual businesses and groups of businesses, like the Outdoor Industries Association," Harald said. "There are very strategic partnerships that (BEC research and marketing director) Jennifer Pinsonneault and (former BEC executive director) Frances Draper have created over the years that I think are vital to the success of this program and to move Boulder's economic prosperity."
Harald attended the University of Colorado at Boulder as an undergraduate and went to the University of Washington for urban planning. He has spent most of his career working in community, economic and work-force development.
He has worked for the Broomfield Economic Development Corp., the Longmont Economic Council and the Boulder Chamber. Before applying for the BEC executive director position, Harald worked for Sun Microsystems as a public affairs manager doing work at the state capitol, schools and technology grants.
He believes the pairing of working in the public and private sector has helped form valuable professional relationships. The purpose of the economic development council is business outreach and retaining Boulder businesses to help them grow and face challenges, said Susan Graf, CEO and president of the Boulder Chamber.
"If we have inquiries of businesses that are interested in being in Boulder or if there is a particular company that we think would be a good fit for Boulder, they will try and get them to make the decision to move here," Graf said.
Boulder is unique in its economic development process because Boulder does not have a lot of areas it is still trying to develop, Graf said.
"Our focus is really more on the entrepreneurial side and helping those businesses to grow and be successful and keeping them in the community," she said. "It's not a traditional economic development role, and Boulder is a community that values economic sustainability and environmental and social sustainability."
ColoradoBiz intern Michelle Davenport is a journalism student at the University of Colorado.