|Gov. John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper is a lifetime entrepreneur who ran as a “dark horse” to become Mayor of Denver in 2003. He led the campaign to pass FasTracks, the largest regional transportation initiative in U.S. history, and helped convince the 34 metro mayors (2/3 Republican) to unanimously support and pass the 0.4% sales tax increase at the ballot. In eight years, he had reduced the total workforce by 7%, the first such reduction in Denver’s history. In 2005 TIME Magazine named him as one of the five top big-city mayors in America.
When he was inaugurated Governor of Colorado in 2011, having run on his history of collaboration for community good, he became the first Denver mayor to be elected governor in 150 years. He also became the first geologist to become a governor in the history of the nation, and the first brewer since Sam Adams in 1792. Again he has recruited talent from all quarters, and is redefining the relationship between a state government and it’s business and civic communities.
Governor Hickenlooper’s goal is to create the most pro-business state government, but with the highest environmental and ethical standards. His administration has already examined more than 16,000 rules and regulations, and either eliminated or streamlined more than half of them. They have created the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and provided Advanced Manufacturing Grants to accelerate start-ups and early stage technology businesses. They are building an integrated workforce training system, in conjunction with the Markle Foundation and LinkedIn, that will create a single, seamless continuum for education and workforce preparation.
Governor Hickenlooper applied his passion to create good government on a national level as well. His 2015 “Chair’s Initiative” at the National Governors Association, focusing on hiring, appropriate creation and implementation of regulations, and continuous improvement, was a big success. He is a great believer that governors can revive American democracy.
Stephanie Copeland was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to his cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in January 2017. She joins OEDIT most recently from The Zayo Group, where she served as a president of the communications infrastructure services firm. She was part of a leadership team taking the company public, managing full P&L and operational responsibilities for Zayo’s network services. Previously, she served as chief operating officer at WildBlue, where she was responsible for the operations of the $500 million rural broadband business.
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 serves as a board member for the Colorado Broadband Deployment Board and the Colorado Workforce Development Council. 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.
Stephanie oversees a host of divisions, initiatives and programs tailored to support business development throughout the state of Colorado. The office includes Global Business Development, Colorado Tourism Office, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media, Minority Business Office, Colorado Creative Industries, and the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN).