Denver taps Joe Garcia, Colorado’s former lieutenant governor, as first chair of National Western authority

Mayor Hancock makes first nomination for new board as city stands up campus oversight entity

As seen in The Denver Post Here.

Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia is Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s pick to lead the board that will oversee the new National Western Center Authority.

In nominating Garcia for the unpaid board chairman position Monday, Hancock made his administration’s first major move toward forming the authority. The board eventually will have 11 members and will hire a full-time president and CEO for the authority, which will be charged with operating the 250-acre campus and booking most events.

The new entity is being created by the city and its partners — the Western Stock Show Association and Colorado State University — to oversee the site of a $1.1 billion, decadelong project to transform the longtime stock show site into a year-round tourism, event, education and agricultural innovation center.

“What really got me excited was when the mayor talked to me about the opportunity to create education programming,” Garcia said during a news conference announcing his nomination.

“I’ve always been about education,” he said. “I’ve seen the incredible value, especially in diverse communities and low-income communities — the kind of communities in which the grounds now sit. We can do so much for the people in that community and beyond, in terms of providing educational and economic opportunity.”

Garcia’s nomination will go to the City Council for confirmation.

He stepped down as lieutenant governor last year to become president of the Boulder-based Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a job he still holds.

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2017-11-07T15:47:47+00:00