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Kelly Leid to Step Down After Six Years with the Hancock Administration

Gretchen Hollrah Named Leid’s Successor to Oversee National Western Center Office

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced that Kelly Leid, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWCO) will be stepping down to become Executive Vice President for Oakwood Homes, a locally-based homebuilder and developer.

“Kelly has been an outstanding leader and public servant," said Mayor Hancock. “His ability to consistently take on significant, complex projects, bringing a broad coalition of public and private interests together and organize them toward success is truly unique. It is bittersweet to see him go, but his impact through sincere public service will continue as his legacy.”

Since 2011, Leid has skillfully led three highly complex organizations as a Mayoral appointee, which has included:

  • Stabilizing Development Services during the recession, instituting new engagement and accountability efforts between customers and staff in the delivery of permits and inspection services;
  • Founding the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative in 2013, bringing together six major portfolios across numerous public and private stakeholder groups to strategically align the planning and implementation of complex projects to help reconnect and reenergize the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods; and
  • Launching and organizing the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWC) in 2016, to oversee a multi-faceted, billion-dollar capital build initiative in partnership with Colorado State University and the Western Stock Show Association.

“These past six years have been an incredible honor to serve Mayor Hancock and this great city, Leid said. “This journey of public service, especially regarding our work in the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods is some of my proudest work for Denver. I am deeply grateful to the Mayor for the trust that he placed in me to help advance his bold vision for a world class city.”

Placing great importance on the continuity of leadership in the strategic management of the NWC campus and the program team, the Mayor also announced that Gretchen Hollrah has been named as the new Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center.

Presently, Hollrah serves as the NWCO Deputy Director leading efforts on the city’s interface between the State of Colorado and Denver Urban Renewal Authority on the Regional Tourism Act award, the development of the NWC capital-build program reporting systems, the NWC NextGEN Agribusiness studies, and the exploration of campus funding options for future phases.

“I have known Gretchen since my days on City Council and she has been nothing but spectacular at bringing to fruition big plans and critical projects,” said Mayor Hancock. “She is an integral part of Kelly’s National Western Center leadership team since Day One, and most recently, played a critical role in helping complete the Framework Agreement. Her broad managerial background in planning, project management, capital programs and finance within the City make her uniquely prepared for continuing the important work ahead. She has my complete confidence and that of our partners as we move the National Western Center forward.”

Hollrah assumes the position after serving this past year as Deputy Director for NWCO and four years as the City’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer. Previously, she served as the City’s Capital Program Manager.  In this role, Hollrah developed a new performance and accountability system for the allocation of capital funding citywide. 

Prior to joining Denver’s Department of Finance in 2008, Hollrah spent seven years in Denver’s Public Works Department as a Senior City Planner.  Her experience also includes transportation planning in the private sector at Wilbur Smith Associates in San Francisco, California and at the Department of City Planning in New York City.

“We have an incredible team in place to deliver on the commitments made to 2C voters, our partners, the state and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Hollrah.  “The National Western Center will be unlike any other place in the country, with new multi-use facilities to keep the National Western Stock Show in Denver for the next 100 years, a boldly envisioned presence for Colorado State University in Denver, and a truly unique place for visitors to enjoy. I am excited about the journey ahead and I am deeply honored by the Mayor’s confidence in me and in our team.”

Both Leid and Hollrah are committed to a seamless transition over the next several weeks as NWCO prepares for early site work and the anticipated issuance of the National Western Center Baseline Book (which includes the program’s scope, schedule and budget) in October.

Leid’s last day will be October 2 and Hollrah will begin her new role on October 3.