FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [March 29, 2019 – Grand Junction, CO] — The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) is excited to announce that Stephanie Copeland, the former Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade   (OEDIT), will headline the 4th annual Western Colorado Economic Summit on April 19.

Copeland was appointed to former Gov. Hickenlooper’s cabinet in 2017 and spent two years working on key initiatives to support economic development in Colorado, particularly emphasizing growth in rural parts of the state. She is a strong advocate for the federal Opportunity Zones program. Since leaving the Governor’s cabinet, Copeland joined the Governance Project, an organization that provides support to local leadership with community development projects – Opportunity Zones is one of their key priorities.

Prior to her government work, Copeland led a successful, global career in the private sector, primarily telecommunications. Copeland has served as a director for the Colorado Broadband Deployment Board, The Business Experiential Learning Commission, the Governor’s Blockchain Council and the Colorado Workforce Development Council. A Blackstone Entrepreneur, she also serves as an advisor to early stage companies in Colorado.

Copeland will provide the keynote address during the lunch portion of the Economic Summit. The morning will kick off with an economic overview by Mike O’Donnell, Executive Director of Colorado Lending Source, and a plenary session on creating an innovation ecosystem by Erik Mitisek. Mitisek is a welcomed repeat presenter at the Economic Summit. The current President of Imagine Analytics previously served as the state’s Chief Innovation Officer under Gov. Hickenlooper and has founded numerous innovative projects, including Denver Startup Week.

In addition to these plenary sessions, there will be several breakout sessions featuring local leadership and expert panelists that will cover topics ranging from city and school district updates to real estate trends, workforce development, business development and more. Speaker information can be obtained here:

About the Western Colorado Economic Summit
The Western Colorado Economic Summit serves as the annual meeting for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, and the nonprofit’s main fundraiser. With attendance last year maxing out at 400 people, it also serves as the west slope’s leading economic summit. The 2019 event would not be made possible without the support of its sponsors:

Title Sponsors: Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, Venture Advocates

Gold Sponsors: Bank of Colorado, Charter Communications, Colorado Mesa University, Community Hospital, Enstrom Toffee & Confectionery, Grand Valley Power, SCL Health – St. Mary’s Hospital, US Bank

Silver Sponsor: FCI Constructors, Inc.

Bronze Sponsors: Colorado Christian University, CoorsTek, Hilltop, Land Title Guarantee Company, Pinnacol Assurance, Rocky Mountain Health Plans

For more information about the Western Colorado Economic Summit, visit and follow #westcoeconomics on social media.

About the Grand Junction Economic Partnership
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) works to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in Colorado’s Grand Valley by supporting high-impact capital investment and job creation. Operating as a 501(c)3, GJEP administers incentive programs and offers free services to organizations interested in relocation or expansion in the Cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, the Town of Palisade and surrounding communities of Mesa County. Visit for more information.