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Gov. Hickenlooper announces changes to economic development and legal teams

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Ken Lund, the Chief Legal Counsel in the Governor’s Office, will become Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade on Aug. 1. He will replace Dwayne Romero, who will return full time to the private sector as president of the real estate company Related Colorado.


Jack Finlaw, who is now Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor Guillermo (Bill) V. Vidal, will replace Lund as Chief Legal Counsel. Lund will hold dual roles when Romero leaves the Office Economic Development and International Trade until Finlaw starts work later in August.

“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. “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.

“Ken Lund has a fierce passion for expanding business. 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.”

Romero was hired in January to work as Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. He announced then he planned to continue working part time at Related Colorado, a growing operating division of Related Cos., the international real estate development and investment firm headquartered in New York. That arrangement allowed Romero to keep his family in Aspen, while also fulfilling his new duties in the Hickenlooper administration.

“I want to thank Governor Hickenlooper for giving me the opportunity to lead the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The governor is setting the right course for economic recovery in Colorado and the hard-working staff at OEDIT is creating positive change that will benefit the entire state,” Romero said. “During my tenure at OEDIT, I focused on three missions: carrying out Governor Hickenlooper’s Bottom-up Economic Development initiative through meetings in all corners of Colorado; continuing my duties at Related Colorado; and balancing both of those jobs with my family, which includes three young girls. 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 will continue to work closely with Lund as the Bottom-up Economic Development initiative evolves. Specifically, he will voluntarily assist the Office of Economic Development and International Trade in coordinating future work connected to the bottom-up plan with rural Colorado communities. He will also serve as a member of the Economic Development Commission, a panel created by the General Assembly to promote economic development in Colorado.

Lund was hired in December to be Hickenlooper’s Chief Legal Counsel. He was previously the firmwide Managing Partner of Holme Roberts & Owen in Denver and responsible for the articulation, development and implementation of the law firm’s client service and engagement strategy. Under Lund’s leadership, ColoradoBiz magazine named Holme Roberts & Owen the 2009 Top Colorado Company in the legal category for sustained financial excellence, community involvement and operational excellence.

Lund will remain a member of the Governor’s Office senior staff in his new role and continue to provide legal counsel to the governor.

“I am honored to serve in this critical economic development role and look forward to continuing the momentum created by Dwayne Romero and his team,” Lund said. “Our focus will be on helping to execute the local, regional and statewide economic development plans developed over the past six months. We want to attract, retain and help grow businesses all over Colorado. We will work our way out of this recession by building partnerships and supporting businesses to create jobs.”

Lund previously served as a board member for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. and the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross. He also was a board member and executive committee member for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Denver. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metro Denver Sports Commission.

Lund earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a juris doctorate from the University of Denver.

Finlaw, who will replace Lund at the governor’s Chief Legal Counsel, has worked the past six months at Mayor Vidal’s Chief of Staff. He previously worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Mayor Hickenlooper and for seven years as 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.”

Finlaw worked as Deputy General Counsel for Comcast Corp. in Englewood and as Counsel for Jones Intercable Inc. before working for the City. He previously served as a board member for VISIT DENVER and Opera Colorado.

Finlaw earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a juris doctorate from the University of Denver.