Colorado names first COO

Colorado’s director of Economic Development has been named the state’s first chief operating officer.

Don Elliman was announced as Colorado COO by Governor Bill Ritter yesterday in a move that will solidify the state’s approach to economic recovery and development.

“This will allow us to better capitalize on our successes at creating jobs, helping businesses and developing a 21st century workforce as we lead Colorado forward and position ourselves for a strong recovery,” Gov. Ritter said in a statement.

As COO, Elliman will be responsible for direct management, supervision and oversight of Recovery Act funds. Mr. Elliman had previously chaired the Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability Board, composed of public and private sector leaders. He has also served as director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade since March 2007.

“I look forward to serving Gov. Ritter, his administration and the people of Colorado in this new capacity,” Elliman said. “In partnership with the citizens, businesses and communities of Colorado, state government will help lead Colorado toward a strong recovery.”

Mr. Elliman spent thirty-two years at Time Inc. as a publisher of People magazine and Sports Illustrated. From 2000 to 2004, he served as president and CEO of Ascent Sports, now Kroenke Sports, which owns the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center.

“Bringing Don into the new role of COO will allow us to more fully integrate his private-sector management skills, his economic-development leadership and his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expertise into all of state government’s operations,” Gov. Ritter said

There was no word when Elliman’s replacement would be announced, though a statement from the Governor’s office indicated a new economic development director would be found as soon as possible.

To learn more about how Colorado is leveraging stimulus dollars and keeping ahead of Recovery Act reporting requirements, read “The Mile-High approach to transparency”.

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