The Economic Development Council of Colorado, the professional association of economic developers in Colorado, presented a Special Recognition award to Former City Manager Craig Kocian at its Spring Conference in Estes Park on Thursday, April 26th.
The Special Recognition award is presented only when someone affiliated with the profession demonstrates outstanding support for its efforts to improve the economy of the state or one of its local communities. The award is not presented annually, but only as warranted by nomination of an outstanding individual. This year's award was presented to someone who is respected by Economic Development practitioners for his support of Arvada's program.
Craig was instrumental in the success of Arvada's economic development efforts during his tenure as City manager and continues to serve on its business retention committee, even in retirement. He has worked with large and small businesses and helped create a business environment in Arvada that is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. He served as City Manager of Arvada twice, once in 1976 as the youngest City Manager in the nation for cities over 50,000 and again 14 years after leaving the job to be City Manager in Oakland, California. His most recent tenure was from 1997 until September of last year.
During his time in Arvada, Mr. Kocian focused on redevelopment of Olde Town, Rocky Flats and a focus on infrastructure necessary to meet Arvada's growth needs. He also focused on the appearance of Arvada as an attractive and unified city. His focus on retention of businesses in Arvada was a driving force in its recognition as a world-class city in this regard. Craig has won numerous awards including the recent Lifetime Achievement award from the Colorado City and County Management Association - their first ever!
More than 200 economic development professionals were at attendance at the ceremony recognizing Mr. Kocian, who was honored with a standing ovation for his dedication to the economic development of Arvada.