The Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. has named Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University, the recipient of its first Regional Economic Development Excellence Award.
"We are building a bridge between Colorado State and the community that will last for decades," said Eric Holsapple, chairman of the NCEDC board of directors and interim director of the Everitt Real Estate Center at Colorado State. "Dr. Penley’s leadership toward that end benefits the researchers at Colorado State as well as the businesses in the region, which helps maintain the strength of the northern Colorado economy."
The NCEDC presented Penley with the award at its annual meeting in Fort Collins on Monday. The organization plans to give the award annually.
"Dr. Penley’s initiation of the Office of Economic Development at Colorado State will take this region to a much higher level with primary jobs being generated and companies bringing products to market," said Maury Dobbie, president and chief executive officer of the NCEDC. "As a visionary, he realizes we face a tremendous budget deficit at the state level and this funding crisis in higher education isn’t going to go away. This will be one of the ways we will be self-sustaining in this region working with our many partners, including Colorado State."
The Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. is charged with leveraging public and private funds to strengthen existing employers, support expansion projects, provide critical research for decision-making and recruit new employers who create primary jobs and invest capital.
The organization lists funding for higher education, including strengthening Colorado State’s brand, among its Leadership 2010 Council goals. Its Higher Education Partnership Committee exists to help propel Colorado State into top position with the leading research and teaching universities in the United States and the world.
As part of its strategic plan, Colorado State is committed to expediting commercialization of intellectual properties created by researchers. In July, the university contracted with the NCEDC to create a regional economist position, now filled by Martin Shields, and to collaborate on economic development-oriented programs, encouraging technology transfer and regional corporate investment.
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. has agreed to spend $150,000 to supplement salary and fund sponsored research each of the next five years as Colorado State ramps up its newly created Office of Economic Development.
Shields is based in the economics department of the College of Liberal Arts and reports to Hunt Lambert, director of the Office of Economic Development, on his outreach activities.