“Business Leaders for Hickenlooper” is officially launched and includes CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and businesses big and small across the state
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Hickenlooper for Colorado
July 22, 2014

Eddie Stern, 970-209-9259,

Today, more than 120 Republican, Democratic and Independent business leaders from across the state come out in support of John Hickenlooper


“Business Leaders for Hickenlooper” is officially launched and includes CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and businesses big and small across the state


COLORADO – July 22, 2014 – Today, more than 120 Republican, Democratic and Independent business leaders from across the State of Colorado helped launch “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper,” an organization formed to support  the work John Hickenlooper has done to help energize, accelerate and grow Colorado’s economy. The group continues to grow and is made up of small business leaders and large business leaders from across the state, including the leaders of four Fortune 500 companies (updated list below).

Since Hickenlooper first took office:

In 2011, Hickenlooper began working to recruit Arrow Electronics, Inc. to Colorado. The company is now largest company in the state. Michael Long is chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Arrow Electronics and a member of “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper.” Today, Long offered the following comment in support of John Hickenlooper:

“I support John Hickenlooper because he understands the needs of Colorado businesses and he’s worked hard to make Colorado a great place to live and do business.

“John and his team deliver on their promises to help Colorado businesses, he’s helped cut red tape, and he knows that a highly educated workforce is attractive to companies looking to establish or expand their presence in our state.

“John Hickenlooper is focused on helping to grow companies large and small across the state of Colorado for the benefit of us all.”

Kim Jordan is the co-founder and CEO of the New Belgium Brewing Company based in Ft. Collins, and she’s a member of “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper.” Since it began back in 1989, New Belgium Brewing has become the third-largest brewer of craft beer in the nation and the eighth-largest brewery in the United States. During a press conference today, Jordan offered her support for John Hickenlooper:

“John is an entrepreneur who has worked hard so that folks in all corners of the state have a better shot at making their business succeed. He’s an out-of-the-box thinker and a problem solver who’s done a great job of getting our state through some really tough times. He is a relentless champion for Colorado businesses, but certainly for the craft brewing industry that he himself helped pioneer here in the state, and at New Belgium, we’re especially appreciative of that. It's been a pleasure working with John over the years and we’re lucky to have him as our Governor, and I’m proud to offer my support for him today."

Also during today’s press conference, Republican business leader Chad McWhinney offered his support for the Hickenlooper campaign. McWhinney is the CEO and co-founder of McWhinney, a real estate development, investment and management company that is responsible for some of Colorado’s most successful developments, including Denver’s new Union Station development. He is also a member of “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper” and offered this statement in support of John Hickenlooper:

“In 21 years of doing business in Colorado, I’ve never come across a more genuine human being or visionary leader than John Hickenlooper. He’s one of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He’s great for Colorado, and I couldn’t pick a better person to lead us for the next four years.”

Republican Dan Ritchie’s long, distinguished and wide ranging career has taken him from Wall Street to Hollywood to a ranch in Colorado, and from banker to university chancellor to Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. As a member of “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper” he offered the following statement in support of John Hickenlooper: 

“John has a strong, successful entrepreneurial background himself, and he has helped use that experience to improve opportunities for business owners large and small across the state. He works to bring people together, regardless of their political party, and he has proven himself a champion for economic growth in the State of Colorado. That’s why he has my support and the support of business leaders across the state.”

John Hickenlooper offered the following statement today on the need to continue to grow Colorado’s economy: 

"Colorado has come so far in just a few years. More than 200,000 jobs have been created since we took office, and unemployment has dropped from 9.1 percent to 5.5 percent. While this is a good direction to be heading, too many families are still struggling. We must keep our momentum going and continue to work with Republican, Democratic and Independent business leaders until Colorado is first in the nation for job growth."

Below is the list of more than 120 Republican, Democratic and Independent business leaders from across the State of Colorado who helped launch “Business Leaders for Hickenlooper” today: 

  • Kim Jordan, CEO, New Belgium Brewery

  • Chad McWhinney, CEO and Co-founder, McWhinney

  • Michael Long, Chairman, President, and CEO, Arrow Electronics

  • Charles Ergen, Chairman of the Board, DISH Network

  • Jacqueline Hinman, President and CEO, CH2MHill

  • Greg Maffei, President and CEO, Liberty Media

  • Mike Fries, President and CEO, Liberty Global

  • Ken Tuchman, CEO, TeleTech Holdings

  • Donna Lynne, Exec. Vice President, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plans

  • Jim Leprino, Owner, Leprino Foods

  • Fredric Hamilton, Chairman and Managing Partner, The Hamilton Companies

  • Larry Mizel, Chairman and CEO, MDC Holdings

  • James Crowe, Founder and Former CEO, Level 3

  • Lee McIntire, Chairman, CH2M HILL

  • Daniel Ritchie, Chairman and CEO, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

  • Robert P Jornayvaz III

  • Jeffrey Tarr, CEO, DigitalGlobe

  • Roger Hutson, President and CEO, HRM Resources

  • Gregg Engles, CEO, Whitewave Foods

  • Brad Holly, Vice President of Operations, Anadarko

  • Mark Falcone, CEO, Continuum Partners

  • Ted Brown, energy industry executive

  • Eddie Robinson, Co-Founder, Robinson Dairy

  • David Eves, President and CEO, Public Service Company of Colorado

  • Kathryn Paul, President and CEO, Delta Dental Colorado

  • J.B. Holston, Chairman of the Board, Sitrion Corporation

  • Greg Stevinson, President, Denver West Realty, Inc.

  • Michael Beatty, Founding Partner, Beatty & Wozniak

  • Wynne Odell, CEO and Co-Founder, Odell Brewing

  • Peter Dea, President and CEO, Cirque Resources

  • Harry Frampton, Chairman and Founder, East West Partners

  • Aaron Kennedy, Founder, Noodles & Company

  • Michael Schonbrun, Founder and CEO, Balfour Senior Care

  • Chuck Morris, President and CEO, AEG Live Rocky Mountain Region

  • Bruce Alexander, President and CEO, Vectra Bank

  • Michael Salem, President and CEO, National Jewish Health

  • Brian Burney, President and CEO, Oliver Manufacturing

  • Bill Carver, President and CEO, Carver Brewing Company

  • Chris Osborn, CEO, Coach Training Alliance

  • Zee Ferrufino, CEO, KBNO Radio

  • Mark Satkiewicz, President, SmartWool

  • Tom Gart, President, The Gart Companies

  • Ken Gart, Partner, The Gart Companies

  • Lawson Stiff, President and CEO, Gunsmoke Production Company

  • Barry Hirschfeld, CEO, AB Hirschfeld and Sons

  • Blair Richardson, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Bow River Capital

  • Brad Busse, President, Busse Ventures

  • Jeff Hermanson, CEO, Larimer Associates

  • Rick Sapkin, Managing Principal, Edgemark Development

  • Cole Finegan, Managing Partner, Hogan Lovells

  • Mark Smith, Founding Principal, East West Partners

  • Barbara Grogan, Founder and Retired CEO, Western Industrial Contractors, Inc.

  • Bob Ladenburger, Retired President and CEO, Exempla Healthcare

  • Marcel Arsenault, CEO, Real Capital Solutions

  • Troy McWhinney, Chief Investment Officer and Co-Founder, McWhinney

  • Bob Hanfling, Executive Chairman of the Board, Silver Bullet Water Treatment Co.

  • Charles Murphy Sr., Founder, Murphy Constructors

  • Bruce Etkin, Chairman, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners

  • Stanton Dodge, Executive VP and General Counsel, DISH Network

  • Norman Brownstein, Chairman, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

  • Steve Farber, President and Founding Partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

  • Jennifer Wolkon, Co-Founder, Secret Sauce Food and Beverage

  • Josh Wolkon, Co-Founder, Secret Sauce Food and Beverage

  • Andrew Bermingham, CEO, Montreaux Energy

  • Andrew Bohutinsky, CEO, Blackeagle Energy Services

  • Buck Blessing, CEO, Griffis/Blessing, Inc.

  • Charlie Woolley, CEO, St Charles Town Company

  • Jean Galloway, CEO, Galloway Group

  • David Roberts, CEO, Reed Group

  • Joe Zimlich, CEO, Bohemian Companies

  • Mark Simmons, CEO, Solar Mart

  • Todd Wenner, CEO, Infinite Aegis

  • Tom Congdon, CEO, SM Energy

  • Wy Livingston, President and CEO, Wystone's World Teas Holdings, Inc.

  • Gary Nelson, Chairman, Sigma Federal, LLC

  • Kimbal Musk, Co-Founder, The Kitchen and The Kitchen Community

  • Christine Kneeland, Founder, Work Life Designs

  • Pam Alexander, Founder, Alexander Ogilvy PR

  • David French, President, French & Co.

  • Kyle Zeppelin, President, Zeppelin Development

  • Walt Stinson, Founder, ListenUp

  • Todd Colletti, Owner, Buffalo Exchange

  • Mike Burg, President, Burg Simpson

  • Tim Wolf, President, Wolf Interests

  • Vince Colarelli, President, Colarelli Construction

  • Laura Love, President and Founder, Ground Floor Media

  • William Brinkerhoff, President and Owner, Brinkerhoff Group of Companies

  • Marc Steron, Managing Partner, Shanahan's Steakhouse

  • Kyle Bachus, Founding Partner, Bachus & Schanker

  • Jill Grossman-Belisle, President and Owner, JGB Strategic Solutions

  • Melodie Reagan, President and Owner, Crazy Good Marketing; i2i Workforce

  • Jim Hering, Vice President and Co-founder, HW Home, Inc.

  • Daniel Jablonsky, General Counsel, DigitalGlobe

  • David Palmer, Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP

  • David Fine, Office Managing Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP

  • Duke Hartman, COO, High Noon Entertainment

  • Gary Reiff, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Black Creek Group, Dividend Capital Group

  • Chad Asarch, Principal, Monroe Group

  • John Huggins, Principal, Longs Peak Advisors

  • Charles Murphy Jr., General Contractor, Murphy

  • Brad Gray, Partner, McAleer Gray

  • Jim Linfield, Partner, Cooley

  • Steve Kaplan, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell

  • Steven Kaufman, Partner, Morrison and Foerster

  • Howard Gelt, Senior Partner, Polsinelli, P.C.

  • Jim Mulligan, Senior Partner, Snell and Wilmer

  • Russell Johnson, Senior Vice President, Outreach Health Centura Health

  • Lisa Hough, VP of External Affairs, Simple Energy

  • Jeff Dolan, VP of Regulatory Affairs, Comcast

  • David Thomson, VP Real Estate, Inspirato

  • Jeremy Bronson, Owner, Occasions Catering

  • Jim Sullivan, Owner, Sullivan Group

  • Margot Moellenberg, Owner, The Firefly Garden

  • Mike Lafferty, Owner, Rocky Mountain Surveying

  • Thomas Rumery, Owner, Osage Farm

  • Tom Tomaskovic, Owner, Timberline Cabinets and Design

  • Steve Bachar, Partner, Ireland Stapleton

  • Pres Askew, Retired

  • Mike Dino, Sr. Policy Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs

  • Kristin Bronson, Attorney, Lewis Roca Rothberger

  • Steven Demby, Attorney, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

  • Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer,

  • Andrea Lund, CPA, Arrow Electronics

  • Kasia Iwaniczko MacLeod, External Affairs and Corporate Giving, Xcel Energy

  • Arlene Hirschfeld

Below are some of the Hickenlooper administration initiatives that have helped lead to the economic successes Colorado has seen since John took office:

  • The Colorado Blueprint: Immediately after taking office, John traveled throughout Colorado and talked to more than 5,000 people from across the state to create an economic development plan from the bottom up. John asked local leaders to develop customized regional plans that the state could bring together as a unified document, called the Colorado Blueprint. 

  • Cut Red Tape: A common theme heard during the Bottom-Up Economic Development Tour was that of overly burdensome state regulations. A “Pits and Peeves” project initiated after the tour reviewed more than 8,000 state regulations, and nearly 50 percent of these rules were improved or eliminated altogether.

  • Promoted Tech Development in Colorado: John signed the bipartisan Advanced Industries Accelerator program, which invests tens of millions of dollars in promising technologies and companies. To date, 19 companies and another 19 technologies from the biomedical, advanced manufacturing, energy, electronics, and IT sectors have received grants which will help them get through some of the toughest stages of company development including proof-of-concept and early-stage capital and growth stages.

  • Promoted Entrepreneurship: John has focused on developing Colorado as an innovative ecosystem. He started the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), which is supporting innovators and promoting entrepreneurs. Colorado is now ranked second best place to start a business, second best for innovation and entrepreneurship, and first in the nation for labor supply. Four of the top 10 communities for tech startups in the country are in Colorado, including Boulder (#1), Ft. Collins (#2), Denver (#6) and Colorado Springs (#9).

  • Balanced the Budget: John has signed four bipartisan budgets that have invested in economic development, infrastructure, education, and critical budget reserves that were vital for Colorado to be able to respond to natural disasters.

  • Reformed State Contracting: John signed legislation that makes it easier for Colorado companies to get state contracts, so state tax dollars are being put to use employing Coloradans.

  • Attracted New Companies to Colorado: Colorado successfully recruited corporate headquarters such as Fortune 150 giant Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Layer3 TV, Trizetto, Cool Planet, and a joint-venture of Cargill, CHS and ConAgra called Ardent Mills. Ardent Mills will be one of the largest flour milling operations in the world. 

  • Agriculture is one of Colorado’s strongest industry sectors, employing more than 170,000 people and accounting for more than $40 billion in economic activity. Since 2009, the state’s agricultural exports are up more than 90 percent and have recently surpassed $2 billion annually. Last year, Colorado’s farm-fresh products were sent to 110 countries around the globe.

  • Reduced Trade Barriers: In 2012, John led a trade mission to Mexico, Colorado’s second-largest trading partner, where he successfully negotiated with the Mexican government to lower the trade barriers that had prevented Colorado’s fresh potatoes from being sold in central Mexico. Because of this new international agreement, the market for Colorado potatoes sold in Mexico is projected to grow four-fold in coming years.

  • Promoted Colorado Agricultural Products: John is an advocate for Colorado’s local farm-fresh products, declaring August each year as Colorado Proud Month and starring in advertisements reminding people to buy delicious Colorado produce, meat and dairy. Colorado Proud, a division of the state’s Department of Agriculture, markets more than 1,900 companies’ food and agricultural products to Colorado consumers. John also promotes restaurants that serve Colorado wine, a growing sector that brings more than $100 million in economic benefit from sales and tourism.

The infographic below helps highlight job creation across Colorado.


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