Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hick’s misstep @ OED

Several months into his term as governor, John Hickenlooper has been universally praised, it seems, for his focus on business and economic development. But one business-related issue continued to crop up in conversations I've had with business leaders: Where's his new economic development chief?

Very few people I know had met Dwayne Romero or had any personal interaction the newly appointed director of Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Including employees in OEDIT.

News of Romero's departure didn't come as a surprise. But Gov. Hickenlooper's comments were. As reported in the Denver Business Journal, the governor credited Romero with "kick-starting our statewide Bottom-up Economic Development Plan and moving Colorado toward the path of economic revival. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade is stronger and more customer-focused because of Dwayne's leadership."


Both of Gov. Ritter's OED chiefs, Don Elliman and especially Don Marostica, seemed far more customer-focused than was Romero, regardless of his short tenure, if visibility and interaction among business leaders is a measure. Truth be told, Mr. Hickenlooper has been acting OED director six months or so into his first term.

The governor's choice to replace Romero is Ken Lund, formerly managing partner at Denver law firm Holme Roberts & Owen. Lund moves over from his role as chief legal counsel in the governor's administration.

Lund's choice may again raise eyebrows. One could reasonably expect the leader of Colorado's economic development efforts to share deep, experiential ties to entrepreneurs and business executives, similar to those of the governor or others who've dealt full-time with launching, managing and growing a business in Colorado. Lund's law background simply won't impress everyone despite the governor's strong endorsement of his business credentials.

But Lund should be effective in his new role. He's managed a large business here, in Colorado, and has also been very involved in business and economic development as the governor suggests. He's backed efforts to push into promising emerging markets like new energy. He's been active in helping the state secure high-profile events. And his deep connections to Denver's business elite should translate well into the advocacy role that businesses expect from this important position.

Or at least that's my guess.

After an initial misstep, Gov. Hickenlooper seems to have gotten OEDIT right the second time around.

{pagebreak:Page 1}

Edit Module
Bart Taylor

Bart Taylor is the publisher of ColoradoBiz magazine. E-mail him at btaylor@cobizmag.com.

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Do we need a new word for entrepreneur?

Has the word entrepreneur become too trendy as to have lost its meaning? I’m hearing it and the word entrepreneurship being used in so many conversations incorrectly. I’m critical of the use of the word "entrepreneur"...are you?

Hot tips for emerging company boards

Emerging companies comprise a significant portion of Colorado businesses. Venture capitalists, angel investors and founders make up the shareholders and the boards of directors of many of these companies. I spoke recently to Fran Wheeler, a partner in the Business Department of the Colorado Office...

Three great tips to accelerate success

Although leaders frequently engage me to help them find a shortcut of some sort—to more effective leadership, to a better strategy, to a more highly functioning team—we rarely find a solution that involves little work. Shortcuts to wealth are generally illegal. Shortcuts to leadership are typicall...
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: