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Denver’s small/minority business programs get boost with leadership announcement

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) has announced the hiring of Demarcus Peters as the director of its Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO). Peters will oversee the city’s outreach, certification, and compliance programming that helps create and foster a more equitable playing field on public contracts for small and disadvantaged firms. In addition, Peters will oversee the DSBO satellite office at Denver International Airport and administer the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and supplier diversity initiatives.

“Demarcus Peters brings a strong familiarity with the challenges and best practices of building business opportunities for small, growing companies,” said OED Executive Director Eric Hiraga. “He is a seasoned leader in promoting diversity and inclusion in the public-sector marketplace, and brings top-notch business capacity development expertise to our team.”

“I look forward to applying my background supporting women/minority businesses in a place noted not only for its educated workforce but also for its business vibrancy and quality of life,” said Peters, who just relocated to Denver from Cincinnati. “With the boom in large-scale projects that Denver is experiencing, this is a critical time in the city’s history to ensure that opportunities for success are shared throughout the region, particularly in construction and professional service firms.”

Demarcus Peters Background
Peters has assumed the role as DSBO Executive Director after his previous position as Director for Diversity and Inclusion for the Southwest Ohio regional transit authority, where he served as the Title VI, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Compliance and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. His responsibilities included identifying, expanding and accelerating the use of diverse suppliers, including minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and small disadvantaged businesses.

His years of diversity, inclusion, and consulting experience include serving as a business analyst for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), where he successfully increased diverse suppliers, supplier development, and external community involvement. He has monitored local Small Business Enterprise (SBE) plans and procurement processes as a compliance officer, and also worked as a program director for Enterprise Community Partners, a community development finance institution.

Peters earned his Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law following his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.