Less than two weeks ago, Steve Cox took his first trip with Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The mayor's chief of staff, who will soon transition into the new chief of Economic Vitality and Innovation, traveled with Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Mike Hancock and a host of economic specialists to Silicon Valley to court companies considering a relocation. They also encouraged companies with a Colorado branch to expand.
It's the type of outing Cox will be doing more as he seeks to create new jobs, realize Mayor Steve Bach's visions, and make city government more efficient.
Bach says he wanted "to get both Steve Cox and Steve Bach up and out of day-to-day operations so we can get things done."
"Are we really going to get Great Streets done on South Academy?" the mayor asks, referring to a plan to revitalize blighted South Academy Boulevard. "It's one thing to have a plan, but how are we going to get to a conclusion there? And on downtown, how are we going to turn downtown around?
"So I just felt, I need somebody who can pick up the phone and call the governor, can call [El Pomar Foundation Chairman and CEO] Bill Hybl, can call anybody and say, 'I need your help and we need to meet and talk about something.'"
Cox says his role will be to work with business leaders to create changes in government that will fuel business growth. He'll also examine the city, department by department, looking for efficiencies and ways to cut back regulations deemed burdensome by businesses.
But first, Cox will spend a lot of time with the mayor, identifying strategies and goals, such as what industries to target for expansion.
"We're going to tag-team this," Cox says.