LOVELAND — Loveland’s economic development director, Kelly Jones-Sage, has resigned effective Feb. 21.
She has served in that position for the past seven years, according to a press statement from the city.
A reason for the resignation was not given, although Jones-Sage confirmed to BizWest that the shifting political winds as they affect economic development are among her reasons for leaving.
“The current political direction does not align with my strategic philosophy on economic development. I’ve always been a proponent of smart, managed growth. The rescission of Centerra South is a destructive example of this new political direction. The city is losing a billion-dollar project based on ideology,” she said, referencing the new City Council’s decision to roll back a decision of the previous City Council to create an urban renewal area in an area south of U.S. Highway 34 in east Loveland.
She said she had worked in Greeley and Fort Collins and had hoped to end her career in Loveland.
“We’ve made tremendous progress despite the headwinds,” she said.
Jones-Sage said she will go to work for PCL Construction Inc., a multi-state construction firm where she will be doing marketing campaign work. PCL has a state headquarters in Denver and an office in Windsor. It is the company that is doing the remodel work on the 16th Street Mall in Denver.
“I want to extend my deep appreciation to Kelly for her seven years of leadership, stewardship and vision for Loveland,” said Rod Wensing, acting city manager. “She leaves behind an accomplished body of work and a strong team committed to economic vitality for our community.”
As Wensing related, “during her tenure in Loveland, Sage oversaw JAX’s expansion into the former K-Mart building, redevelopment and sale of the former HP Campus to the Forge Campus, led the negotiations of the Draper downtown development project, attracted Colorado’s second largest Amazon facility, Bass Pro Shops, and IMAX. She also promoted interest in a customs facility at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. During the COVID pandemic, Sage partnered with regional leaders for economic recovery efforts, securing loans and grants to support small businesses, and implemented the downtown restaurant patio program to overcome health restrictions.”
She also revised the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, revised the city’s business assistance/incentive policy and added a small-business assistance process.
“I have enjoyed working with incredibly devoted city of Loveland staff, devoted business leaders and community champions over the span of my career,” Jones-Sage said in the official statement from the city. “Loveland has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been fortunate to play a small role in its development since the beginning of my 25-year career here.”
The city will conduct a national search for a new economic development director, and Marcie Willard, business relations manager, will serve as acting economic development director in the interim.