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Hickenlooper names new economic development chief, top lawyer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nikki Mill
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Hickenlooper names new economic development chief, top lawyer
By Tim Hoover, Denver Post Staff Writer

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that his economic development chief is stepping down and will be replaced by his top lawyer.

Dwayne Romero had only served as director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade for less than six months and had continued working part-time at his job in Aspen.

Romero, 45, is president of Related Snowmass, a division of New York development and investment firm Related Cos. He had been commuting between Aspen and Denver during that time. In a statement, he spoke of balancing his multiple job duties with his family obligations.

"I now find that my focus needs to be on family and my work at Related Colorado as the company grows in Snowmass Village,” Romero said.

"Dwayne Romero was instrumental in kick-starting our statewide Bottom-up Economic Development Plan and moving Colorado toward the path of economic revival,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. "The Office of Economic Development and International Trade is stronger and more customer-focused because of Dwayne’s leadership. He brought tremendous expertise and vision to the planning process and helped create a roadmap for Colorado’s economic future. We will miss his boundless energy and passion for helping businesses of all sizes succeed. ”

Romero will be replaced as Hickenlooper’s economic development chief by Ken Lund, who is now the governor’s chief legal counsel.

"Ken Lund has a fierce passion for expanding business,” Hickenlooper said. "As managing partner for one of Colorado’s largest transactional law firms, Ken was intimately involved with growing businesses at all stages of their evolution. He’s almost obsessed with how to grow Colorado companies. Ken will build on the grass-roots plan we are creating and continue efforts to attract new jobs to Colorado.”

Meanwhile, Lund, who was hired in December, will be replaced with Jack Finlaw, who is now chief of staff to departing Denver Mayor Bill Vidal. Finlaw previously worked as deputy chief of staff for then-Mayor Hickenlooper and for seven years was the director of the city’s theatres and arenas division.

"Jack Finlaw is a skilled attorney who possesses a unique blend of management experience in business, the non-profit sector and government,” Hickenlooper said. "We are honored he will be part of our team again.”

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