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University of Colorado Denver increases focus on business partnerships

Leanna Clark joins the university to further enhance business outreach

3/15/2011
Leanna Clark

DENVER - The University of Colorado Denver means business.  That’s the message behind recent business initiatives and now the creation of a key position to focus on business relationships.

The University of Colorado Denver, with its two locations at the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus, is increasing its focus on outreach to local business to further enhance educational opportunities for its 28,000 students and cement its role as an important economic anchor in the Denver community.

The university is already creating an education corridor at the Denver Campus that stretches from student housing near Auraria into the downtown business community with the construction of a new Business School and the creation of innovative partnerships with industry. Likewise, the Anschutz Medical Campus is an economic bright spot, pumping $3.5 billion into the state’s economy each year.   

Now, the university is adding new focus to building relationships with business leaders and local communities, with the addition of Leanna Clark as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Engagement.

“Leanna’s background as a successful businessperson and her contacts in the local community will help us further our goal of establishing the university and its two campuses as a go-to partner for business,” said Chancellor Jerry Wartgow.  Chancellor Wartgow is elevating the importance of outreach to the business community through the creation of this new position within the Chancellor’s Office.  In this new role, Leanna will help raise the visibility of the university as a leader in human resource and economic development for Denver, Colorado and the nation and foster partnerships between the university’s two campuses and business, industry, government and other educational entities.

Leanna has nearly 25 years of business experience, including 12 years as a small business owner as well as roles in Denver’s corporate, foundation and nonprofit communities.  With a background in marketing, public relations and community outreach, Leanna most recently directed communications and foundation activities for IMA Financial Group, one of the nation’s leading risk management companies. She also founded and directed a major division of an international nonprofit organization that works in more than 120 countries nationwide. Previously, as principal and co-owner of marketing PR firm Schenkein, one of her primary roles was positioning senior level leaders at client organizations in visible roles within in the community and creating partnerships to elevate their brands.

Leanna has served on the board of directors of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation along with many leadership roles within the Chamber, most recently co-chairing the annual Leadership Exchange Trip (LEX). She is on the board of the Denver Public Schools Foundation and on A+ Denver, a group of business and community leaders charged with monitoring the progress of reform in Denver Public Schools. She’s served on many other boards, including board chair of the Public Education and Business Coalition and on the Metro Denver Sports Commission’s International Bid Committee, working to bring international caliber sports to the Denver area.

Leanna has been recognized as a 2009 Women of Distinction by the Girls Scouts of Colorado; she’s also been honored twice by the Denver Business Journal as a “PowerBook” award recipient and one of the “Forty Under 40” top young business leaders. She’s received national recognition from the Universal Press Syndicate as part of its “Workwise” Awards, honoring innovation and creativity among workplace leaders. In addition, she was named a “Woman of Achievement” by the Association for Women in Communications.

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Contact: Jacque Montgomery, 303-928-9093, jacque.montgomery@ucdenver.edu