GJEP board hires new director

Robin Brown
Robin Brown
Steve Jozefczyk
Steve Jozefczyk

A woman who’s worked in a variety of roles to promote Mesa County will continue to do so in yet another role —  executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

The GJEP board of directors announced   it had hired Robin Brown to oversee the economic development organization.

In addition, the board  promoted Steve Jozefczyk, business development manager, to a new position as deputy director.

Brown succeeds Kristi Pollard, who resigned to become president and chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corp. Pollard had joined GJEP in 2015.

“We reviewed numerous highly qualified candidates during our national search for GJEP’s new executive director. What made Robin stand out is not only her breadth of experience, but her well-documented passion for this community and for its economic prosperity,” Tim Fry, chairman of the GJEP board, stated in a news release announcing Brown’s selection. “She also demonstrates a tenacity and an unequivocal ability to take a vision and bring it to life. We are thrilled to have her on board.”

Brown founded Brownhouse Public Relations, a Grand Valley firm specializing in promoting agritourism and outdoor recreation and managing events. She also launched Spoke and Blossom, a magazine promoting the Western Colorado lifestyle.

Brown previously worked as co-director of the Downtown Grand Junction Business Improvement District, managing downtown events. She also operated a firm that managed a variety of events for organizations and businesses. In addition, she was involved in efforts to raise money to renovate the historic Avalon Theatre.

Brown served in the Army as a combat helicopter pilot and company commander  and was twice stationed in Iraq.

As executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Brown will lead a nonprofit organization that works to brings companies and jobs to Mesa County while also assisting existing companies expand their operations.

GJEP has been involved in implementing the  Rural Jump-Start Program offering tax incentives to businesses that create new jobs. The program creates zones in Colorado in which eligible businesses are exempted from paying state and local taxes. In Mesa County, qualifying businesses are exempt from paying state income, use and sales taxes as well as county and municipal personal property taxes. Mesa County was the first county in Colorado accepted into the program. Since then, seven companies have approved to participate and are projected to create a total of more than 600 jobs by 2020.

GGEP also has been involved in efforts to establish a business park south of downtown and retain a Grand Junction company as a tenant there. The new business park will be developed near Las Colonias Park and include Bonsai Design, a company that designs, builds and installs adventure courses and ziplines.

Jozefczyk will take on additional responsibilities as deputy director.

“Along with this new hire, we also wanted to recognize Steve for his tremendous contribution to GJEP over the past three years,” Fry said. “Steve is on the front lines every day, encouraging businesses to relocate to the Grand Valley. We owe much of our current momentum to his hard work and to the dedication of the entire team.”

That team also includes Jennifer Seal, director of operations and investor affairs, and Cilia Kohn, director of marketing and communications.