A veteran Denver city official who has overseen the construction of the National Western Center at the site of the annual stock show is leaving to take a new job as chief operating officer of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Gretchen Hollrah, an 18-year employee with the city, will step down as executive director of the sprawling 250-acre Western Center project effective today, city officials announced.
The $765 million project will double the size of the National Western Stock Show complex.
Brad Dodson, who had been serving as deputy director of the project under Hollrah, has been named acting executive director of the National Western Center.
“Gretchen has been an amazing leader and an incredible public servant during her 18 years of service with the City and County of Denver,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement announcing the changes.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work Gretchen has done, and I know she will bring the same standard of excellence to her new role with the DCPA,” Hancock added.
Her appointment to the DCPA ends a national search for a COO to oversee facilities, event services, finance, information technology, capital projects and human resources. She will start that job on July 1.
“I cannot think of a more qualified individual to lead the operations of our 40-year-old theater organization as we embark on an ambitious renovation of our facilities, infrastructure and internal culture,” said DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden.
Hollrah previously served simultaneously as deputy chief financial officer and deputy chief project officer with Denver.
She started her career as a city planner for New York City and worked in the private sector in San Francisco before coming to Denver.
Editor's note: an earlier version of this story misstated the cost of the National Western Center project and misspelled Brad Dodson's name.