May 09, 2016
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced the new leadership team for the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC). Anna Jones has been named the new Executive Director, and will be supported by current Deputy Director Todd Wenskoski and new Deputy Director Christopher Pacheco. Kelly Leid, the current Executive Director, will formally transition into his new position as Executive Director for the Office of the National Western Center.
The NDCC was created in 2013 by Mayor Hancock to align the planning and implementation of six major projects in North Denver. Following three years of planning, the new NDCC leadership team will focus on delivering on the vision of these projects and ensure they are done so in a manner that is aligned with the needs of the surrounding community.
“Following the phenomenal foundation laid by Kelly Leid, Anna and the team will take the next steps to realize positive change in these neighborhoods in close collaboration with the residents who live there,” Mayor Hancock said. “Early on, we saw that major projects slated for this northern corner of our city – if done right -- had the opportunity to uplift the historic neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria and Swansea that have been underserved for decades. Through thoughtful coordination and delivery of these projects, I believe we can create a brighter future for the residents and businesses in these neighborhoods and I have every bit of confidence that Anna and the team will deliver on that vision.”
Specifically, this team will work to support the internal and external staffs of each of the six projects, strengthen partnerships to finance the projects, and establish a broad-based communications and community engagement platform to create a meaningful dialog with the community at-large.
Anna Jones has been involved with community development efforts in Denver and around the country for nearly 20 years, and currently serves as Senior Vice President at Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA), a Denver-based economic development and planning firm. While at PUMA, Jones has managed community-based strategic planning initiatives.
“Providing new and sustainable opportunities for the residents of these historic neighborhoods couldn’t be a more important undertaking. We have a roadmap for success and I’m excited to help facilitate positive outcomes. ” Jones said. “It’s an honor to be appointed by Mayor Hancock, and I look forward to working with the community as these critical projects move forward.”
Jones served two terms on the Denver Planning Board during the planning and implementation of Union Station and the citywide zoning code update, and was chair of Downtown Colorado, Inc. after several years on the board. Jones has been an active volunteer in a variety of community development organizations, including Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods and Colfax on the Hill. Other initiatives include public/private partnerships for the Santa Fe Drive arts district and the Federal Boulevard Partnership, Morrison Road and Westwood neighborhood revitalization.
Joining Jones on the new leadership team is existing NDCC Deputy Director Todd Wenskoski, who will oversee planning and operations. Wenskoski has been with the NDCC since its inception in 2013. In addition, new Deputy Director Christopher Pacheco will help coordinate NDCC project implementation. Both bring veteran planning and engineering experiences respectively, and each has taken lead roles on NDCC projects.
Wenskoski has over 20 years of expertise in major urban redevelopment projects and city-building, and currently serves as the Deputy Director of the NDCC, where he is charged with directing major initiatives and building collaboration between the city's internal and external teams and the community. Over his career, Wenskoski has directed complicated urban projects focused on redevelopment, transit, community outreach and city building, including the 16th Street Mall Extension and Millennium Bridge at Riverfront Park and the Cherry Creek North/Business Improvement District streetscape improvements.
Pacheco currently serves as a Senior Engineer/Project Manager for the City and County of Denver within the Department of Public Works Capital Projects Management Group. As Public Works Project Manager, Pacheco has helped in developing budgets for city infrastructure projects, as well as managing the design and construction of roadway projects throughout Denver. His current projects include the 38th & Blake Transit Oriented Development Infrastructure Program, which includes the 38th & Blake Sidewalk project, 38th & Blake Road Bridge replacement and the 35th/36th Pedestrian Bridge project.
An informal meet-and-greet will be held with the new NDCC team and the community in the coming weeks. Details still be distributed as they are determined. Jones and Pacheco will assume their new roles beginning May 23.