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.
Fiona Arnold was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to his cabinet as Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade in January 2015. She joins OEDIT most recently from River North Investment Company LLC, where she serves as owner and president of the real estate development company focused on commercial and residential urban redevelopment projects, including the redevelopment of a city block in the River North (RiNo) District of Denver. Previously, Arnold served as executive vice president and general counsel for Vail Resorts, where she was a key advisor to the CEO and the board of directors and provided leadership and oversight of the company’s acquisitions and transactions.
Prior to Vail Resorts, Arnold served as associate general counsel at Western Gas Resources Inc. (now a part of Anadarko Petroleum), and prior to that she served as vice president of legal and business affairs at Crown Media Holdings in Greenwood Village, CO. Arnold began her career as an attorney in Australia before joining the international law firm of Jones Day in Dallas, Texas and then moving to Colorado in 2001.
Arnold holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Tasmania; a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide; and a Master of Laws, International & Comparative, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
She is a Governor appointed Commissioner of the newly formed Business Experiential Learning Commission. She currently serves as a board member for the non-profits Dress for Success, Colorado, and the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, as well as co-chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of Colorado, School of Law. Previously, she served as a board member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Corporate Counsel, as well as the Colorado Chief Legal Officer Group.