Economic development chief has background in broadband

The state office that coordinates economic development efforts has a new head that understands what it means to have a good high-speed broadband infrastructure.

Gov. John Hickenlooper named a new director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade on Wednesday who has made a career in the telecommunications industry, including bringing it to areas of the world that don’t have it.

Stephanie Copeland, who replaces outgoing director Fiona Arnold, has spent the past three decades working with companies to expand telecommunications and broadband in the nation and abroad.

“From small startups and early phase companies to large multinational companies, Stephanie focuses on ensuring high growth for companies both in the U.S. and Europe,” Hickenlooper said in appointing her. “Stephanie’s leadership will enhance OEDIT’s ability to attract investment from both the international and national business communities, as well as unlock new opportunities to accelerate the state’s job growth.”

Copeland comes to the state from The Zayo Group, where she served as president of that communications infrastructure services firm. Just prior to that, she was chief operating officer of WildBlue, where she was responsible for the operation of its $500 million rural broadband business.

In the early 1990s, Copeland started her career working in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she worked to bring telecommunications services to that part of the world. Since then, she has worked for Level 3 Communications and Qwest Communications until it was sold to CenturyLink.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in German and commercial studies, and has completed several graduate-level courses at the University of Paderborn in Germany.


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