New deputy director comes to CO office overseeing $34B outdoor rec industry |

New deputy director comes to CO office overseeing $34B outdoor rec industry

Daily staff report

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade on July 26 announced that Janette Heung will serve as the new deputy director for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, effective Aug. 10.

“Janette is joining us at an exciting time, with record growth for our outdoor recreation industry, and she’s just the person to help take us to the next level,” said Luis Benitez, OREC director. “We are thrilled to have her experience and knowledge on our team.”

In her new role as the deputy director, Heung will support economic development within the industry, work to build a dynamic workforce, advance conservation and stewardship, and encourage the intersection with public health and wellness in the sector. She will also develop new initiatives to further Colorado’s outdoor recreation growth. The position manages day-to-day operations of the office and serves as a liaison in the community.

“Colorado is rapidly becoming the epicenter of the outdoor recreation industry,” Heung said. “I’m tremendously excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Heung was born in the U.S., but grew up in Hong Kong. When she discovered Colorado and its outdoor recreation community, she immediately relocated here and started adventuring at an extraordinarily high level.

“Janette’s love for the outdoors directly feeds into her zeal for protecting it,” Benitez said. “When she’s not exploring outside, she is working on a range of environmental policy, public health and business challenges.”

Outdoor recreation is a booming industry in Colorado with $34 billion in consumer spending and $994 million in state and local tax revenue. The industry provides 350,000 jobs with earnings of more than $4 million. Over 80 percent of Coloradans participate in trail-related activities on a regular basis, according to the 2014 Scope Report.

Governor John Hickenlooper launched the OREC office in 2015. OREC is one of only three offices in the nation that provides a central point of contact, advocacy, resources and support at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, communities and groups that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation industry.

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