City of Loveland Announces New Economic Development Director

City of Loveland Announces New Economic Development Director

One of Northern Colorado’s most respected and experienced economic development professionals will take the post of Economic Development Director for the City of Loveland.

Kelly Peters-Jones, whose record includes high-level economic development positions in the region’s local government and private nonprofit sectors, emerged from a field of five finalists for the job. City Manager Steve Adams announced her appointment today.

Following a national search, yielding a strong field of five candidates who interviewed for the position, Adams said his choice was clear.

“Kelly stood out among that group with her breadth and range of experience,” Adams said.

“Kelly is also deeply rooted in our community, and throughout our discussions I felt a strong sense of commitment to Loveland’s economic vitality. I have great faith in her ability, intelligence and instincts, and I can’t think of a better way to begin the new year than by adding her to our team.”

Peters-Jones will assume her new post Jan. 9, earning an annual salary of $126,000.

“I am so honored by this opportunity, and feel a deep sense of pride in accepting it,” Peters-Jones said.

“This feels like ‘coming home’ for me. I have had the privilege to work within this community for almost 20 years and am grateful to have a head start with many businesses, staff and community leaders whom I call friends.”

Peters-Jones is currently the executive director of the Warehouse Business Accelerator, a non-profit support organization for second-stage startup businesses in Loveland, and also serves as Director of the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC). Her prior experience includes positions as:

• Vice President of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp.
• Director of Corporate Solutions at Front Range Community College.
• Chief Operating Officer at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere.
• Policy and Project Manager for the City of Fort Collins.

Peters-Jones holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University, and is certified in Economic Development Finance. She is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

SBDC Network announces new director of East Colorado SBDC and UNC Biz Hub in Greeley

The Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network today announced that Lisa Hudson has been selected as the new director of the East Colorado SBDC in Greeley. She will be responsible for helping existing and new businesses grow through her leadership of the center and UNC Biz Hub.

“Lisa is a true SBDC success story. She came to us as a student intern and had such a passion to help small businesses; she decided to stay with the SBDC. Since then, she has been promoted through the ranks from intern to consultant, to associate center director,” said Kelly Manning director of the SBDC Network and deputy director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). “She brings passion, dedication and experience in helping our small businesses in East Colorado. We are proud and thrilled for Lisa.”

Hudson joined the East Colorado SBDC in 2010 as a marketing specialist and business consultant, responsible for promotions and communications as well as guiding local companies through the startup and growth phases. Starting in 2012, she was promoted to associate director and assisted with budgeting, fundraising, sponsor relationship building, staff education, staff meetings, attending all state director meetings, and the annual ASBDC Conference.

“With about 600 clients during her career as a certified small business consultant and over 3200 hours consulting with small businesses, Lisa has developed great relationships and successful businesses within the East Colorado SBDC area,” Manning said. “She connects with the people that live and thrive in this region and has helped her community develop and grow.”

Hudson is the only certified GrowthWheel consultant in the state of Colorado. She is bilingual and provides consulting in Spanish and English. She was the chair of the SBDC Network marketing committee that created the branding for the network as a whole and has played an active role in the technology committee for the upcoming new T designation.

Hudson grew up in rural Colorado in the home of an entrepreneur. She graduated in 2010 from the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Spanish.

“I have always had a passion for small businesses and I am looking forward to continuing on this path of helping my community in my new role,” Hudson said.

Hudson is replacing Richard “Dick” Pickett who is retiring after almost 9 years as the executive director of the center.

The East Colorado SBDC office spans over 13 counties and has 29 satellite offices. The office specializes in oil and gas, health and wellness, and agriculture. The center was designated as a Technology Smart Zone specializing in agriculture technology. For more information about the East Colorado SBDC, visit


Three Thornton employees receive designation of Certified Economic Developer

Three city of Thornton employees recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). Thornton Assistant Economic Development Director Adam Krueger, Retail Administrator Julie Jacoby, and Local Business Administrator Robin Martinez passed the rigorous and comprehensive exam, which has three parts and spans two days. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in key areas of economic development.  “The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession” says Thornton Economic Development Director John Cody. “It’s an incredible designation, and achieving it shows a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.” Cody also holds the CEcD designation.

Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector. “Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well-being, quality of life and economic opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities,” says Cody.

The test is administered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC,) and according to the organization there are now only 17 CEcD designates in Colorado and four work in the city of Thornton Economic Development Department. Martin Postma in the Long Range Planning Division is also a CEcD.  “This truly shows the depth of our city’s Economic Development expertise, and our continuing efforts to best serve the economic needs of the Thornton community,” says Cody.

On behalf of the Economic Development Council of Colorado, we congratulate you all for a job well done!

Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation announces new president & CEO

Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation’s (Jeffco EDC) Board of Directors appoints Sam Bailey as the organization’s next president & CEO effective January 3, 2017.

On December 15, 2016, Jeffco EDC’s Board of Directors announced that it has appointed Sam Bailey as the new president & CEO. “We are very excited to have an experienced, energetic and well established professional take over leadership of our organization. Sam brings with him many years of international, state and local economic development expertise from his experience with Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International. Sam also opens the doors to many opportunities for Jefferson County through the strong relationships he developed in his former role, across the globe and across the state of Colorado,” said Jeffco EDC’s Board chairman John Moore. “It was important to go through an extensive recruiting process to make absolutely sure we had the right individual in place to lead Jeffco EDC. Sam possesses the leadership and relationship expertise we need in a leader. We are confident in our selection of Sam as our president & CEO,” Moore added.

“I am thrilled to carry on Jeffco EDC’s legacy as a leading community organization. Working in partnership with the EDC’s board, investors, and stakeholders, Jefferson County is well-positioned for significant growth,” Bailey said.

Bailey joins Jeffco EDC from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade where he oversaw international and domestic business recruitment, retention, and expansion. During his time at the state, Bailey supported the recruitment and expansion of companies adding over 16,000 jobs in Colorado.

Report highlights assets and opportunities in the state’s energy economy

The Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC), an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver EDC, released its annual report measuring Colorado’s competitive position in it’s natural resources including oil, natural gas, coal, renewable energy, alternative-fuel vehicles, and sustainability sectors of the energy industry. This report highlights assets and opportunities in the state’s energy economy.

The eighth edition of Resource Rich Colorado (RRC) compares Colorado to the 49 other states based on the availability of natural resources for energy generation, pertinent energy policies and programs, and applicable intellectual resources crucial to the energy industry.

“While many states are typically strong in either fossil fuels or renewables, Colorado has the advantage of rich and abundant resources in both, positioning it as an energy leader not only in the United States, but globally,” said Brian Payer, Program Manager for Strategic Operations at Sphera and co-chair of the CEC’s Resource Rich Colorado Committee.

The study found that Colorado’s balanced energy economy is strong in several key areas:

  • Third in LEED-certified building cumulative square footage per capita
  • Sixth in natural gas and seventh in oil production
  • Ninth in installed solar capacity (447 MW) and 10th in solar generation*
  • Eighth in cleantech venture capital investments
  • 10th in installed wind capacity (2,960 MW) and seventh in wind-energy generation*
  • 10th in alternative fuel vehicles adoption per capita
  • 30 federal laboratories are an asset to state’s climate of innovation and are primary drivers for energy company attraction and expansion
    (*as percentage of total state power generation)

RRC also includes new employment information for the energy industry. Combined direct and indirect employment in Colorado’s energy industry represents a $14.9 billion annual economic impact.

Colorado ranked fourth in the nation for cleantech industry employment concentration in 2016. Directly employing 26,270 people, employment rose by 6 percent over the previous year. Five-year growth was 22.4 percent compared to the U.S. growth rate of 17.6 percent.

Colorado is ninth in fossil fuels employment, but like other areas of the country, experienced employment contraction in 2016. The state had a -4.7 percent decrease in employment compared to a -8.4% in the U.S. Overall, Colorado had 5.9 percent, five-year job growth in fossil fuels, compared to -1.5 percent for the U.S.

“While Colorado’s energy industry is vibrant on many fronts, companies are facing market, regulatory, and political uncertainty,” explained Heidi Morgan, Manager of Colorado Government Affairs for Black Hills Energy and co-chair of the CEC.

Additional challenges highlighted in RRC include uncharacteristically low oil and gas prices, continued local control debates over oil and gas development, global climate change concerns, strengthened ozone regulations, and energy-policy uncertainty at the federal level.

Another highlight from the report shows that Colorado has a lower gasoline tax than most states. At 22 cents per gallon, Colorado ranks 40th, placing well below the national average of 30.5 cents per gallon.

“The state last raised its gas tax in 1991,” said Payer. “The state’s citizens might look to raising the gas tax as a way to fund necessary, new infrastructure investments or look toward other funding options.”

Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC, heralded news last week that Colorado Senate Republicans plan to form a select committee to discuss energy and environmental issues. He hopes RRC will be a valuable resource to the newly formed committee.

“This study is an important tool that we use to educate and inform citizens and policy makers about Colorado’s important strengths in modeling a balanced energy approach,” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC.

In order to quantify Colorado’s role in the broader global marketplace, RRC also analyzes national and international statistics. A detailed analysis of these competitive rankings can be found by downloading the full report below.

>> Resource Rich Colorado, Eighth Edition (Executive Summary)
>> Resource Rich Colorado, Eighth Edition (Full Report)

About the Colorado Energy Coalition
Formed in 2006, the Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC) is an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. The CEC is a diverse organization dedicated to strengthening the business climate in Colorado that supports all sectors within the energy industry-fossil fuels, cleantech, energy efficiency, and conservation. CEC members represent the industry, finance, law, government, education, and economic development organizations. The CEC is housed at and staffed by the Metro Denver EDC. The CEC’s Competitive Analysis Committee conducts research on Colorado’s competitive position in energy in the national and global energy economies, results of which are published in the annual Resource Rich Colorado report. To learn more, see

Colorado’s most resilient rural economies have a clear vision of the future and strong leaders, study shows

Denver Post Reports: Rural economies that are already diversified have a better chance of adding jobs in the long term

A new study of economic resilience suggests that rural Colorado communities that have a cohesive vision of their future have a better chance of getting there.

Across rural Colorado, communities in the same area, with similar populations and comparable assets are in much different places economically, a disparity the last recession only widened.

To understand why, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, with the help of the University of Colorado, studied why some places like Durango and Salida are thriving while others like Trinidad continue to struggle in a land that time forgot.

“We think about resiliency as how do you bounce back from natural disasters and from all manner of things,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, but he added the concept also applies to rural communities.

Brian Lewandowski, the CU researcher who led the study, looked at job growth going back to 1990 in 47 non-metro counties. The study also included focus groups to understand the prevalent attitudes.

In general, the more diversified a rural economy was, the better chance it had of adding jobs over the long haul, he said. Agriculture was linked with slower growth over time, while tourism contributed to faster growth.

A larger population or a higher share of people employed in local government, however, didn’t correlate with stronger growth in rural areas.

Investments in education and health care matter, in part because of the people they can help attract to a community. But building expensive public assets, like a regional airport or a community college, weren’t answers in themselves, Lewandowski said.

Rather, the study suggests that intangibles such as a community’s vision of its future and strong leadership to get it there are what mattered the most in the end.

Opposite of resilience are attitudes, still prevalent in some communities, that oppose change, growth and risk-taking, motivated in part by a desire to hold onto a past identity that isn’t delivering.

Although the state can help with issues like education, transportation and better broadband access, in the end, those living in a community must decide how they will reinvent themselves and cope with a changing economy.

“The state is never going to have as good of a vision as individual communities will have of their future,” Hickenlooper said.

That is where local leadership comes in, he said. Where the state can help is empowering local leaders and sharing with them what has worked in other communities.

“At the core of all of these successes is hard work and persistence. You just don’t quit,” Hickenlooper said.

Interesting innovations are taking place across rural Colorado, but some communities find themselves in a catch-22, Lewandowski said. They struggle to keep their young adults, leaving them without the workers that employers who might be willing to invest in them want to see.

Lewandowski said it is important to remember that rural Colorado is in much better shape than rural America as a whole. More than half of the state’s rural counties rank in the top quartile of rural counties nationally for job and population growth.

But the comparisons aren’t made with those areas, but rather the northern Front Range, contributing to a sense of being left behind in large swaths of Colorado.


Estes Park EDC receives IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Award

The Estes Park EDC recently received notification of an International Silver Award for Excellence in Economic Development. The award, from the International Economic Development Council in Washington, DC was in recognition of the program entitled “Mountain Strong – Estes Valley Business Retention & Expansion.”

Jim Pickering, Estes Park EDC Board Chairman stated that the award is in recognition of the hard work and dedication that Staff and Board Members gave in response to the devastating floods in 2013. The Estes Park EDC worked in cooperation with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Larimer Small Business Development Center to help secure $2.2M dollars in direct grants for Estes Valley area businesses through the Recover Colorado Disaster Relief Fund.

Jon Nicholas, Estes Park EDC President and CEO stated that in addition to direct financial relief to businesses themselves, the businesses retained 283 full-time and 449 part-time jobs, thereby reinvesting much of that money back into the local economy.

Adam Shake, Estes Park EDC Director of Communications and Business Development stated that this award is a reflection of the Estes Valley community as a whole. It’s not only the hard work of the Estes Park EDC and its Board of Directors that gained the international recognition for this award, but the tireless service and dedication of its community as well.

The award application reflected the successful efforts of others as well, such as the United Way of Larimer County and the community-wide “Mountain Strong” fundraising efforts for Crossroads Ministries. “Our community-wide efforts have earned this recognition,” said Jon Nicholas.

OEDIT Awards $4.1 million to Support Technology Start-ups in Advanced Industries

Colorado companies with technologies that could improve 3D printing, doctor/patient interactions and farming were approved for funding as part of the Advanced Industry Accelerator Grant Program through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). A total of $4,141,990 was approved this grant cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado’s advanced industries.

“We are thrilled to fund so many innovative organizations who are working on technologies that will have positive impacts on Colorado’s key industries,” said global business development director and OEDIT deputy director Michelle Hadwiger. “Colorado continues to be an epic center for innovation and we must support that ecosystem with funding.”

Thirteen Colorado companies were approved to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grants for a total of $2.8 million. (See list below) Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation. Early Stage Capital and Retention grants fund companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.

Additionally, four Colorado companies – MenoGenix, Vairex Air, Cognitive Robotics and Ascentia – were approved for second round or “transition” funding for a total of $451,000. PetroDe will receive $250,000, through a partnership between OEDIT and the Colorado Energy Office aimed at supporting oil and gas energy startups, and five bioscience grants were awarded for a total of $840,490.

The AI Accelerator Grant program received 112 applications this grant cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as by an industry-specific reviewer. Nineteen companies were invited to participate in a pitch session in October with the full AI committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Economic Development Commission on Nov. 17.

The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open in Jan. 1, 2017 and applications will be due March 1, 2017. Infrastructure grant cycle will open Feb. 1, 2017 and close on April 1, 2017.

More information about the AI Industry Accelerator grant program can be found at

The Advanced Industry Accelerator Programs (AIA) were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure that increases the state’s capacity to be globally competitive. AIA encompasses three distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early Stage Capital and Retention, and Commercialization Infrastructure.

Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grant Recipients

CANVAS Technology – The CANVAS Autonomous Cart is a material-handling trolley that relies on computer perception to map its surroundings, navigate, and deliver goods between work cells or between buildings.

Colorado School of Mines – The project will provide world-leading capability for 3D printing SMAs (Shape Memory Alloy) that are ready for applications when 3D printed by front-range manufacturers.

GeoVisual Analytics – GeoVisual’s OnSight platform provides farmers of specialty crops (vegetables, fruits and nuts) with real-time, in-the-field plant growth status and inventories, using artificial intelligence-based (AI) computer vision on imagery from aircraft, drones and on-the-ground cameras.

Graham Equipment, Inc (Sterling, CO) – The product we will be advancing is an Electric Planter Drive system for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) as well as our own branded Electric Planter Drive System.

Kelvin Thermal Technologies – “System-specific TGP” is an enabling component for TGP-enabled system for future smartphones, VR/AR and wearable electronics.

NREL – This project will design and characterize a near production-ready EcoSnap-AC prototype. This is the major technical challenge facing the path to commercialization.

Orderly Health – Orderly will provide simple, intuitive tools that allows users to engage with their own healthcare data with as little friction and effort as possible and empower them to make smarter choices.

Roccor, LLC Aerospace – Roccor is developing a family of cost-effective furlable composite boom products called ROC™ Boom that will deploy antennas and solar arrays from small satellites enabling a new generation of commercial satellite constellations to provide Internet communications from space.

RxAssurance Corporation – RxAssurance blends today’s web/smart device technology and effective behavioral motivators to engage patients in between their provider appointments.

SilLion – The Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office (DOE VTO) has set a series of storage technology performance goals that it argues, if reached, will enable widespread market penetration of PHEV and EV products.

SunTech Drive – SunTech Drive has developed a patent pending new class of power electronics for driving AC motor loads with solar power using 50% less PV panel capacity than any other controllers on the market.

Utility Asset Management – Creating an integrated pole inspection solution that uses non-destructive scanning device, cloud based storage process and residual economic value calculation module.

University of Colorado – Based on the current single-spot illumination, the project will create ~1000 focal spots simultaneously to largely increase the imaging speed. To increase the photon efficiency, we will design new optical elements that produce small and simple point spread functions so that high signal-to- noise ratios are achievable even with relative low photon numbers.

Stephanie Copeland new executive director for Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced last Wednesday, that Stephanie Copeland has been appointed executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), effective January 2017. She will replace Fiona Arnold, who has served in the role since November 2014.

“From large multi-national to small early phase companies, Stephanie focuses on ensuring high growth for companies both in the U.S. and Europe. Colorado is extremely lucky to have her expertise and know-how,” said Hickenlooper. “Stephanie’s leadership will enhance OEDIT’s ability to attract investment from both the international and national business communities, as well as unlock new opportunities to accelerate the state’s job growth.”

Spanning close to three decades in the telecommunications sector, Copeland was part of the the birth and growth of the internet in both the US and Europe. She joins OEDIT most recently from The Zayo Group, where she served as a president of the communications infrastructure services firm. She was responsible for helping take the company public and managing full operational responsibilities. Previously, Copeland served as chief operating officer at WildBlue, where she was responsible for the operations of the $500 million rural broadband business.

“I am thrilled to become a part of such a talented team, and build on the exciting economic momentum that has been built in Colorado,” said Copeland. “I look forward to collaborating with people and industries across the state to find even more innovative and creative ways to continue strengthening our economy in every part of Colorado.”

Copeland started her career in sales and quickly established herself as a thought leader. In the early 1990s, she moved to St.Petersburg, Russia to take a management position with Cable and Wireless, establishing a joint venture to bring competitive telecommunications to the region. Copeland moved back to the U.S. in 1994, as part of the team that started MFS International, a company that built some of the first competitive telecom networks in Europe. Joining the early team at Level 3 communications in 1997, Copeland developed and ran the first transport products for the company in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In 2001, Qwest communications recruited her to run pricing for the company, spanning the consumer, small and large business segments. She remained at Qwest for ten years until the sale of the company to Centurylink, holding several leadership roles including the vice president of marketing and the vice president of the small business segment.

Copeland holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois in German and Commercial studies. She completed post graduate courses at the University of Paderborn in Paderborn, Germany. Copeland is a Blackstone Entrepreneur, and is an advocate and supporter of women in business, serving as a mentor to support women across the communications industry. She was named Fierce Telecom’s top women to watch in 2015.