Colorado’s chief marketing officer steps down; state not sure about replacement

Liz Cahill, tasked with branding Colorado to attract companies, stepped down last month. Her departure leaves uncertainty about the position going forward.

Liz Cahill, Chief Marketing Officer at State of Colorado, seen with Broadway stretching into the distance. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Liz Cahill, Chief Marketing Officer at State of Colorado, seen with Broadway stretching into the distance. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite;
Liz Cahill, former chief marketing officer for the state of Colorado, seen with Broadway stretching into the distance. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colorado’s chief marketing officer, tasked with branding the state to attract companies, stepped down last month. Her departure leaves uncertainty about the position going forward.

Gov. John Hickenlooper created the chief marketing officer spot during his first term along with the former head of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Ken Lund. The department told Denverite last week it has not made decisions on finding a replacement.

In 2012, Hickenlooper hired the founder of the Noodles & Co. to be Colorado’s first chief marketing officer. After he stepped down, the state tapped the former vice president of marketing for V.F. Jeanswear, Liz Cahill, to take the tricks she learned marketing Lee jeans, Nautica sportswear and other VF Corp. brands and apply them to selling Colorado to companies.

“Liz Cahill led the analytical and strategic shift in how Colorado competes for companies and talent. She was an asset to the state and we’re sorry to lose her expertise,” said Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the state’s economic development office.

Copeland said, “Decisions regarding the identification and timing of a permanent replacement have not yet been made.”

Asked directly if the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is considering getting rid of the position, spokeswoman Emily Williams said, “I don’t think any decisions have been made at this point.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Cahill or the chief marketing officer role.

Cahill told Denverite she left to help her mother care for her father.

“I’d been wrestling with the decision personally for months, but changes in his condition really pushed me to make the move,” she said in an email.

“There’s never a good time to step away and I loved what I did, but I’m appreciative that we were able to work out a solution that allowed me to be where I need to be.”

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.