Arrow Electronics, described as a “game changer” for Colorado’s economy by moving its world headquarters to the Denver area, today was named the Deal of the Year by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
Sharing the stage with Arrow, which at No. 133 on the Fortune 500 list is the highest ranked corporation headquartered in Colorado, was United Airlines announcement this week that it would offer direct daily flights from Denver to Tokyo.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also praised the recent addition of direct flights from Denver to Reykjavik, Iceland. He also said he had learned this morning that Volaris Airlines is seeking permission to provide direct flights from Denver to Mexico City.
The flights to Tokyo were a long-time coming, Hancock said. He noted that was one of the goals of Mayor Federico Peña in the late 1980s, when Hancock was working for him as an intern.
These announcements demonstrate that “we can compete with the best of them — that is what we are — the best of them,” Hancock said. He said the new Tokyo route is expected to generate $130 million annually in economic development, create 1,500 jobs and bring thousands of visitors to Denver. “It is just going to ripple through the entire economy.”
More than 600 people attended the eighth annual EDC ceremony luncheon at the Sewall Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Those in the audience also were treated to two videos – one highlighting Arrow Electronics, which holds a 40 percent of the global market share in its portion of the electronics industry and announced it was relocating its headquarters to the area last October – and the other with economic development guru Tom Clark doing his Tom Cruise impression as a secret agent from the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Arrow – a bullseye for Denver’s economy
Arrow, with almost a $4 billion market cap, employs 12,000 worldwide and distributes, services and provides technology solutions in telecommunications, information systems, transportation, medical and industrial and consumer electronics.
“Arrow’s decision to move its world headquarters and other portions of its supply chain to Metro Denver is certainly a game changer for our state,” said Bob Deibel, president and owner of OfficeScapes, and co-chair of the Metro Denver EDC Executive Committee.
He said John Hickenlooper got wind of the deal when running for governor, and then tirelessly worked to make it happen.
The title of the event was Mission: Possible, with Clark, the CEO of Metro Denver EDC, starring in a spoof video, which included Hickenlooper and others. (The biggest laugh occurred when Hickenlooper said that he wouldn’t be able to attend today’s event because he was meeting POTUS at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. “What the bleep is POTUS?” asked Clark, who clearly does not watch Veep on HBO.)
“When I was told that Tom was going to play Tom Cruise, I said it had better not be from Risky Business,” quipped Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.
Agents recruited to spread the word
Along the theme of secret agents, Clark unveiled a new campaign designed to mobilize the region’s most passionate business leaders and help position the Denver area as a top place for innovate companies and people. Christened as the Metro Denver E-Force, executives, or as Clark calls them, “agents,” will share the latest rankings, business news and inside knowledge with their professional and social media networks.
“Since we started the Metro Denver EDC eight years ago, I’ve continually been approached by executives asking what they can do to help,” Clark said. “This campaign is one way we can engage with people to have them really make a difference in promoting the region’s economy, especially since it will keep metro Denver top-of-mind for companies looking to expand or relocate.”
One of the E-Force Agents was Andrew Hudson, former aide to Mayor Wellington Webb, spokesman for Frontier Airlines and now CEO and founder of AndrewHudson’sJobsList.com, which attracts 25,000 online visitors each week.
“You are doing what you are supposed to be doing — connecting with connectors,” Hudson said.
To watch the Mission:Possible video, please visit this Metro Denver Economic Development link.
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