Adams County Opportunity Zones Program
With the creation of the Opportunity Zones Program as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Adams County had nine census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the County Manager’s Office recognized Adams County would need to take direct action to steer investment into its Opportunity Zones and help them stand out above others throughout the country. To directly pursue and encourage investment in the county’s Opportunity Zones, the BOCC established the Opportunity Zones Task Force, overseen by the county’s Economic Development Administrator. The task force is composed of local government, county government, housing, economic development, and private industry stakeholders.
The Opportunity Zones Task Force is developing a community prospectus, similar to what many other municipalities have put together. The task force is also diving deeper to present a more complete picture to the development of the community. This includes:
- Establishing a task force-sanctioned project pipeline to help preapprove proposed projects that are searching for investment opportunities.
- Creating a coordinated incentive structure through the partnership of county and local governments consistent throughout all Adams County Opportunity Zones.
The task force is focused on creating an environment conducive to expedient development of projects and opportunities that also meets the needs of the communities within and surrounding the Opportunity Zones. The task force recognizes the benefit of the Opportunity Zones program in helping the community establish the proper groundwork for long-term effective growth throughout the region.
Opportunity Zones Task Force Members
Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio uses his experience in construction, his law degree from Denver Sturm College, and private sector global management experience to guide issues in social justice, equity, and neighborhood prosperity. Commissioner O’Dorisio formally served as a Deputy District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District of Colorado where he prosecuted a variety of crimes and sought justice by balancing the interests of the victim, the community, and the defendant. Commissioner O’Dorisio serves on various community boards, including the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Aerotropolis Regional Transportation Authority, and Highway 7 Coalition. When he is not bolstering regional connectivity, Commissioner O’Dorisio can be found innovating new strategies to retrofit historic neighborhoods with sidewalks and safe routes to school or guiding the successful adoption of policies to mitigate the impacts of growth and new development. As a former agent of justice, Commissioner O’Dorisio is a compassionate servant of equity in social justice issues. He has a passion for proactive code compliance that partners with neighborhoods and he works to ensure the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meets the needs of our residents.
As Adams County Manager, Raymond Gonzales’s duties include implementing the policies and priorities of the Board of County Commissioners and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. Gonzales joined Adams County in 2013, and he also worked as Assistant City Manager in Brighton and Undersecretary of Labor for the State of New Mexico. He is a graduate of Brighton High School and Regis University.
Damon is a partner at Ballard Spahr, LLP, and has over 20 years of experience advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, government relations and affairs, corporate governance, capital raises, and commercial real estate transactions. His clients include those in industries such as software and technology, hospitality, food and beverage, financial services, and manufacturing. A former in-house counsel, Damon advises corporate legal departments and serves as general counsel for lower- to middle-market companies. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Damon was Managing Principal of Palladium Holdings, a comprehensive strategic business advisory and operations improvement firm, and served as Vice President of Business Affairs, Deputy General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of a publicly held multi-national company. Damon has served as a director on several non-profit and political boards and commissions, including as a Trustee to the University of Nebraska Foundation, Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, Goodwill of Colorado, and Butterfly Pavilion.
Michelle is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) with over 25 years of experience. She serves the City of Commerce City as Economic Development Director and previously worked as Vice President of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corp. Michelle started her career working for the Denver Chamber of Commerce and worked on projects that included bringing the Colorado Rockies to town and site selection conferences for the Denver Grand Prix. She has also worked with many companies on business expansions and relocations, including Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Ball Corporation, Terumo BCT, Trimble Navigation, the Coleman Company, and CoorsTek. Michelle is a Board Officer for the Economic Development Council of Colorado and Chair of the Professional Development Committee. She received a Special Recognition Award from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation in 2017 for her work as a Founder and Course Director for the Colorado Basic Economic Development Course. She was honored in 2013 as a Celebrate Women in Jefferson County winner and also received the Economic Developer of the Year award from the Economic Development Council of Colorado in 2010. She is a Colorado native and a graduate of Colorado State University.
Dawn Davis is President of the North Metro Market for FirstBank, where she has been employed for nearly 24 years. She has been active in the North Metro area for just over four years and has worked with consumer and business customers her entire career. Originally from the Western Slope of Colorado, Dawn graduated from Mesa State College and continued her education with a Graduate Degree in Banking from the University of Colorado- Boulder. Dawn has a passion for her community and has worked with numerous boards that serve people in affordable housing, affordable childcare, foundations, and healthcare. Currently, she is working with CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties and the Metro North Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her loving husband, John, and their two beautiful daughters, Ashlyn and Brooke.
Paul DeCresentes is President of DePaul Real Estate Advisors, a Denver-based real estate firm that specializes in acquisition, financing, sale and leasing for land, retail, industrial, and multifamily assets. Mr. DeCrescentis started his career with Security Pacific Mortgage as a commercial real estate loan originator and was recognized as a top producer in the nation in 1985 and 1986. In 1988, Mr. DeCrescentis joined the SullivanHayes Companies, a prominent retail developer and leasing company, where he specialized in tenant and landlord representation and sales of investment properties. Mr. DeCrescentis then joined Realty Funding Group, LLC, and as Vice President, he raised equity, arranged debt, and facilitated the sale and acquisition of all commercial property types. With this background, he formed DePaul Real Estate Advisors in 2000 to bring together several disciplines in one firm. Mr. DeCrescentis has completed sales, financing, and leasing transactions totaling approximately $3 billion in value. He is a Denver native and graduate of Colorado State University with a BS in Business Administration with a double concentration in finance and real estate.
Chase joined the City of Westminster Economic Development Department in 2018 as the Real Estate Coordinator and oversees developable city-owned land as well as the acquisition, disposition, leasing, and management of the city’s real estate assets. Chase also works to identify opportunities to entitle or develop land in the form of public-private partnerships, community land trusts, or other collaborative arrangements. Chase was previously in the private sector where he was a manager at PwC. While at PwC, Chase served numerous real estate clients in areas including valuations, risk analysis, due diligence, portfolio analysis, purchase price allocations, market analysis, and lease analysis. Chase earned a BS in business administration from Colorado State University and an MBA from Mississippi State University.
Blake Fulenwider is Vice President at L.C. Fulenwider, Inc., a fourth-generation Colorado real estate development company with holdings in Adams County near Denver International Airport. Blake has a BSBA from Denver University and an MBA from the University of Colorado.
A proud Colorado native, Patrick joined the Brighton Economic Development Corporation (Brighton EDC) in 2016 as Assistant Director. He leads business retention and expansion efforts for the Brighton EDC, which includes entrepreneurship and innovation program development. Patrick previously spent 13 years with the Denver Office of Economic Development, most recently as Economic Development Supervisor, where he led a team of business development representatives in business retention and expansion activities and implemented many components of Denver’s annual economic development strategic plan. He also worked as a Business Analyst and Business Specialist in workforce development while in Denver. Patrick also was a manager in the telecommunications industry with MCI Worldcom, TCI, and Rhythms NetConnections, leading national deployment teams and handling high profile escalations for large business customers. Patrick also previously worked as a Congressional Aide for U.S. Representative Pat Schroeder in Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. Patrick has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Olga Gonzalez was born in Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles. She is a long-time diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant; seasoned nonprofit professional; and community activist and organizer. Prior to joining Cultivando as Executive Director, she served as the board Vice President for two years.
Olga earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Chicano Studies from Scripps College and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. She has earned several awards for her work in the areas of health equity and social justice, including the Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Health Equity from the Public Health in the Rockies Conference. She is currently part of the Transformative Leadership for Change fellowship that builds the strength, relationships, and power for social justice leaders throughout Colorado. Olga is also part of the 2019-2021 cohort of the Executive Directors of Color program at the Denver Foundation. Olga is the proud mother of three amazing children and is raising them with her husband to be the next generation of fierce and compassionate social justice warriors. In her free time, Olga enjoys spending time with her family and teaching Zumba classes.
As a Vice President at the Aurora Economic Development Council, Yuriy Gorlov is responsible for all business attraction and retention activity and investor relations. Working with real estate professionals on advising business decisions and leveraging public resources has led him to negotiate deals with a variety of companies, leading to the creation of more than 17,000 primary jobs since 2010.
Chad has over 23 years of economic development experience, specializing in urban renewal and revitalization initiatives, and he currently serves as the Redevelopment Administrator for the City of Thornton’s Office of Economic Development. His previous positions include Economic Development Director for the City of Greeley, Director of Major Projects for St. Louis Development Corporation, and Development Manager for the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Chad is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, having previously worked as an environmental consultant, managing financing and contracting for complex cleanups in Michigan, Missouri, and Colorado.
Joseph Libkey Jr.
Joseph Libkey Jr. has experience as a residential/commercial general contractor, real estate investor, and real estate developer for the last 10 years. He has experience with over 150 residential and commercial projects, including public schools, specialty hospitals, universities, luxury homes, urban row-home re-development, multi-family apartments, condominiums, and land planning for subdivisions. In 2014, Mr. Libkey had the fortunate experience to work as a certified developer with Eric Booker, Assistant Commissioner of Code Enforcement for the Baltimore City Housing Authority, to develop vacant properties into custom townhome living for residents and staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2015, Mr. Libkey expanded to Colorado to focus on residential rehabilitation projects due to Denver’s tremendous growth. His business model grew to encompass new construction spec homes as well as commercial and multi-family condo/townhome developments in 2018. These developments were focused in the City of Denver as well as the North Metro Denver area.
Peter serves as Executive Director of Unison Housing Partners, where he leads the activities and policies of Unison in support of the its mission and vision. Prior to joining Unison, Peter served as Regional Director, overseeing a $35 million business unit spanning 13 states and U.S. territories for USIS providing national security solutions to federal government clients. Peter earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, a Masters of Fine Art from CUNY at Queens College, a Masters Certificate in Finance from Tulane University, and an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology with a focus in Project Management.
Drew O’ConnorDrew serves as Deputy Director of Unison Housing Partners, the Housing Authority of Adams County. He oversees the 15 affordable housing communities, steers the implementation of support programs to help Unison members lived fulfilled lives, and works with the Executive Director to disrupt generational poverty through policy advocacy. He is also guiding the development of Unison’s member-centered model, an inclusive approach that centers Unison policy, practices, and culture on the members it houses. Prior to Unison, Drew worked as a nonprofit leader focusing on community and neighborhood development on issues such as affordable housing, healthy food access, and economic justice. He has worked as consultant to dozens of nonprofit and public sector organizations across the country to help them clarify and strengthen mission, strategy, and member-centered practice. Drew also served as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Paraguay.
Ms. Rodgers is Vice President, Denver Market Leader at Enterprise Community Partners, leading Enterprise’s work with local partners to increase and deploy resources for affordable housing, advocate for local and state affordable housing policy, and provide technical assistance and training to local partners. Ms. Rodgers has 30 years’ experience in affordable housing policy, finance, and development. She has worked in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors on urban and rural housing initiatives, including developing a homeless shelter and homeless services in Durango. Ms. Rodgers moved on to a housing consultancy firm, an urban nonprofit, and finally the State of Colorado Division of Housing. For 11 years, she helped local agencies and governments to identify housing needs, create local services and housing programs, develop real estate, and establish nonprofit agencies.