Green Festival Speakers

Mayor John Hickenlooper



A geologist turned brewpub pioneer who had never run for political office, Hickenlooper was elected Mayor of Denver in 2003 and reelected in 2007. In April 2005, less than two years into his first term, Time Magazine named the political newcomer one of the top five bigcity mayors in America.

Both Hickenlooper and Denver continue to gain national recognition for innovative approaches to sustainability, transit, arts and culture, ending homelessness, economic development, regionalism, and of course hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Hickenlooper brings creative leadership and innovative thinking to Denvers City Hall, drawing on his diverse background as an exploration geologist, real estate developer and restaurateur.

After the collapse of the oil industry in the mid1980s, Hickenlooper found himself with a healthy severance check, no immediate job prospects, and time on his hands. He spent two years developing the Wynkoop Brewing Company, the first brewpub in the Rocky Mountains, and one of the largest in the world.

A respected entrepreneur, Hickenlooper was also involved in numerous downtown Denver renovation and development projects and is credited as one of the pioneers that helped revitalize Denvers Lower Downtown historic district. In recognition of his efforts supporting preservation in Denver and downtowns across the country, Hickenlooper received a National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1997.

Long before he had ever considered public office Hickenlooper was active in community affairs, serving on numerous civic boards, including Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Civic Ventures, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Association of Brewers, and the Institute for Brewing Studies.

Leading a grassroots campaign to preserve the Mile High Stadium name in 2000 planted the seeds for his 2003 mayoral bid. An unlikely candidate facing a halfdozen seasoned political veterans, Hickenlooper made Denver history with his nearly twotoone margin of victory and began his term by assembling the most diverse team of city leadership Denver has ever known.

Since taking office, Mayor Hickenlooper has increased civic engagement and participation throughout the city and Denver metro region, building strong bonds and partnerships that transcend partisan and geographic lines. His integrity, sense of humor and accomplishments have renewed public faith and trust in City Hall, and his boundless energy, enthusiasm and creativity have generated tremendous optimism and confidence in Denvers future.