OEDIT Chief Economic Recovery Officer Announces New Staff Assignments to Support State Deployment of American Rescue Plan Funding

DENVER - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) Executive Director and Chief Economic Recovery Officer, Patrick Meyers, has announced key OEDIT promotions to further support the State’s economic recovery and aid the deployment of federal funding throughout the state. 

With the pending infusion of over $6 billion in federal funds to the State of Colorado, Meyers has named Business Funding & Incentives Director Jeff Kraft as Deputy Director of OEDIT; Lindsay Finlayson as Director of Operations; and Katharina Papenbrock as the Deputy Director of Rural Opportunity. 

“As we prepare to receive these federal support dollars, as early as next week, these staff changes ensure we have the right people in place to deploy that support as quickly and as effectively as possible,” said Meyers. 

Kraft, a Colorado native, has been with OEDIT since 2013 and will be called upon to play an integral role with the deployment of federal funds throughout the state in addition to his current responsibilities. His extensive work on behalf of the state includes contracting for use of the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits and the Strategic Fund. He was instrumental in structuring state funding of Regional Tourism Act projects which brought the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum to Colorado, among others. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped design and implement several funding programs including the Energize Colorado Gap Fund and the CLIMBER fund, as well as supported the federal CARES Act  deployment of the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Finlayson joined OEDIT in 2016 and holds extensive operational experience and agency knowledge. Her in-depth understanding of state systems, LEAN process improvement and project management will be instrumental in the distribution and management of the stimulus funds that Colorado receives. In addition, Finlayson will collaborate with senior staff and the Governor's Office/Office of State Planning and Budgeting to ensure compliance with operational guidelines.

Papenbrock joined OEDIT in November 2019 as a Rural Opportunity Representative for western Colorado, tasked with overseeing technical assistance programming and coordinating rural strategy for the region. In her new role, she will manage the implementation of the $3.2 million Economic Development Administration grant for rural economic recovery the State recently received. The move supports Governor Polis’ goal of statewide economic recovery by increasing the direct engagement and decision-making power on the local level. Prior to joining OEDIT, Papenbrock served as the executive director at the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and owned and operated a locally-sourced restaurant in Ouray.