Mayor John Hickenlooper announced today the appointments of LaCharles Keesee as the Executive Director of the City’s Office of Economic Development and John Lucero as the Deputy Director of the same department.
“LaCharles and John will make a strong team in leading the City’s charge to create jobs, attract new companies to Colorado and support existing small businesses throughout Denver,” Hickenlooper said. “They both bring years of experience to the Office of Economic Development and the skills needed to help move our community closer to full economic recovery.”
Keesee has served as the interim Executive Director of OED since July, when Andre Pettigrew left the position. Lucero will replace Cec Ortiz, who left the City in May.
“It’s an honor to serve the City and County of Denver,” Keesee said. “I look forward to working with businesses, residents and our elected officials in carrying out the mission of OED and meeting the challenges that lie ahead in this economic climate.”
Lucero will start work Aug. 23.
“I am excited to join LaCharles and the team at the Office of Economic Development,” Lucero said. “We share a common vision of opportunity for the City of Denver in these challenging times.”
Keesee has more than 15 years of experience in financial management and analysis, operations and governmental regulatory affairs. His responsibilities with the City and County have included Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer. He previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Interconnection Strategy with Level 3 Communications, as Senior Vice President of Industry and Corporate Affairs for ICG Communications, and as Senior Policy Advisor to former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer. Keesee, a former member of the State Banking Board, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University and is a member of the American Finance Association and American Mathematical Society.
Lucero has more than 20 years of experience in management, operations and marketing. As an advocate for affordable, private property and fair housing rights, Lucero has successfully represented the interests of local small businesses, non-profit agencies, property owners and neighborhood associations. He served on the Denver Zoning Code Task Force and its Residential Subcommittee in developing the New Code. He has more than 15 years experience as a real estate broker and sales manager with Lucero Real Estate, and previously worked as Vice President of Procurement and Product Services for Hotel Systems Support Group Inc. He serves as a commissioner on the Denver Water Board and is involved with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the National Association of Realtors, the Colorado Association of Realtors and the Denver Board of Realtors.