DENVER (July 31, 2023) – Colorado Concern President and CEO Mike Kopp announced to the Colorado Concern board that he plans to leave Colorado Concern effective December 1, 2023 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Kopp has led Colorado Concern as its president & CEO since 2015 and currently stands as its longest-serving leader since the organization’s formation in 1986.
“It has been both an incredible pleasure and immense challenge to be a part of an organization that has impacted the state in such a significant way. It’s hard to leave because I love the people and the work, but of course it’s exciting to look ahead and consider all the wonderful ways one can have an impact in the private sector,” said Kopp. “During my tenure at Colorado Concern, I’ve witnessed the power of people coming together from different sectors, political parties, industries, and points of view, to overcome decades of gridlock on problems that have prevented Colorado’s business environment from realizing its full potential. Our successes have come about purely because of the people who make up the organization, the board, the staff, the members, so I am supremely optimistic about its capacity to have an impact in the coming years.”
Under the leadership of Kopp and his board members, Colorado Concern tackled some of Colorado’s most vexing public policy challenges, including securing property tax relief for homeowners and businesses owners, passage of Colorado’s largest roads and bridges funding package, movement on construction defects litigation reform and more. This would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Colorado Concern’s staff, whose commitment and expertise were instrumental in these achievements.
“Mike has the unusual ability to unite those with competing priorities around a singular mission. It’s no secret that serving over 140 of Colorado’s most influential leaders and CEOs is difficult, but Mike’s success was due to his leadership skills, a passion for investing in and promoting a positive business environment in Colorado, and a track record of winning in the legislative arena. It’s rare to have someone with such a desire to win who also has the ability to ensure everyone feels heard and validated,” said Greg Stevinson, chair of Colorado Concern’s board of directors. “The board is very proud of what Colorado Concern has achieved in partnership with Mike and are grateful for his service and leadership, and, in particular, the incredible team that Mike assembled at Colorado Concern.”
Colorado Concern was founded to be a relentless advocate for Colorado’s business community.
“For the past eight years, former state Senator Mike Kopp has served and led Colorado Concern with distinction. He is, in large part, responsible for putting Colorado Concern on the map as the mainstay organization that promotes business-friendly legislation, enabling Colorado employers to provide the high-paying jobs from which their employees in our state can flourish,” said Barry Hirschfeld, one of nine business leaders who founded Colorado Concern in 1986. “As a board member, it’s been my personal pleasure to work alongside this skilled professional. We are all sorry to see Mike leave, but we’re looking forward with great anticipation to his future success.”
Some of the organization’s achievements over the period include:
- Securing $700 million dollars of property tax relief, including the first commercial property tax reduction in 40 years.
- Building and leading a historical statewide transportation coalition to overcome decades-old gridlock to pass Colorado’s largest-ever roads and bridges funding bill.
- Identifying regulatory barriers and the legislative fix needed to get licensed professionals and military spouses to work sooner and more affordably.
- Leading the successful construction litigation reform effort at the state capitol that helped increase supply in the multifamily sales market.
- Bringing a successful suit to the Supreme Court against an unconstitutional Executive Order aimed at loosening safeguards and controls around ballot signature-gathering activities.
- Removing highest and best use from property assessments.
- Created a centralized website for all state agency rulemaking.
- Supporting the ballot measure that made Colorado’s constitution more difficult to amend, which gave Colorado’s businesses a more stable regulatory environment.
- Helping pass the depoliticization of legislative redistricting.
- Supporting the opening of political primaries to unaffiliated voters.
- Defending the Denver camping ban on the Denver ballot.
- Removing a badly outdated property tax rate scheme from the Colorado constitution.
- Creating the definitive state blueprint of Colorado’s infrastructure investment needs for the U.S. Congress.
- Creating a strategic partnership with ActivateWork to place talented but overlooked and disadvantaged workers in career-path positions at member companies.
- Facilitating the COVID response and recovery for the business community through a 70-person task force composed of statewide leaders, promoting investment in infrastructure.
- Facilitating a productive space for members of both political parties to collaborate so that practical, achievable outcomes could be produced.
“Colorado Concern is about more than just creating a vibrant economy for Colorado businesses. Behind each business are owners, employees, their families, customers or clients, suppliers and more. For the Colorado community to do well, our people must do well financially, emotionally, and spiritually, and Mike understands that. I will miss working closely with him,” said Pat Hamill, president and CEO of Oakwood Homes and one of the longest serving board members at Colorado Concern. “Colorado Concern and, for the past eight years, Mike have diligently worked through issues that served as roadblocks for families to seize greater opportunity within Colorado. We’ve accomplished great things, and we remain committed to ensuring that Coloradans can continue to thrive.”
It’s not just the original members of Colorado Concern that have high praise for Mike and the direction of Colorado Concern, but also its newest members who appreciate his impact.
“Mike is a first-class civic leader who has succeeded in every initiative he has led because of his ability to cut through political tribalism and get to the heart of an issue,” said Janine Davidson, president, Metro State University of Denver. “He will be missed at Colorado Concern, but undoubtedly will soar at his next adventure.”
Davidson has served on the Colorado Concern board for the past three years. Prior to her current tenure at Metropolitan State University, Davidson was appointed by President Obama as the 32nd undersecretary of the U.S. Navy.
In addition to his legacy with Colorado Concern, Kopp has a history of dedicated service to his country and his community. He served his country as a paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and continues to serve in his current role as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army. Prior to joining Colorado Concern, Kopp was the corporate affairs manager at Intermountain Rural Electric Association. He also is a trustee at Metro State University and at Colorado Christian University. Kopp also served Colorado as a state senator, which included leadership roles as caucus chair and Senate Minority Leader. Moreover, his entrepreneurial drive led him to found ForwardThink Strategies and to continue his private pursuits, including cattle ranching in South Dakota.
Colorado Concern’s board is initiating the process of selecting a highly qualified and experienced individual as Kopp’s successor by establishing a search committee.
The committee will seek individuals who, like Kopp, demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, embody a passion for investing in and promoting a positive business environment in Colorado, and have a track record of driving meaningful change for businesses through the political process.