GJEP business manager awarded for promoting entrepreneurship

Mara Hardy

Mara Hardy, business development manager for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, is among three winners of a new award recognizing their efforts to promote entrepreneurship.

The Anchor Point Foundation awarded Hardy and the others with the Startup Champion Award as part of Techstars Startup Week West Slope presentations. The winners each received a $10,000 grant to support activities that grow local entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Anchor Point Foundation supports non-profit organizations doing innovative work in their communities.

Hardy joined GJEP in 2018. She brought to her duties experience in a  succession of positions with the Colorado Water Conservation Board. She also worked with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and its leadership foundation and operated her own consulting company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and master’s degree in urban and region planning from the University of Colorado.

With GJEP, she’s focuses on the technology sector and works to both recruit new firms to Mesa County and help existing firms expand. She’s also been involved in organizing Techstars Startup Week West Slope.

“We are so proud to have Mara on our team,” said Robin Brown, executive director of GJEP. “In two years, she has proven to be an immeasurable asset, spearheading efforts to mobilize the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Western Colorado and elevating the local tech industry by recruiting new business, like INFOCU5, to the Grand Valley.”