Denver 2020 Advisory Council Member Since: January 2014
Wellington Webb spent 12 years as the leader of Denver's Mile High City, and helped drag it out of the economic doldrums of 1991 to an investment of $7 billion in infrastructure when he left office in 2003. In October 2003, he founded Webb Group International. The firm works with businesses and cities on economic development projects, public relations and other consulting areas. His clients include Parsons Transportation; the American Beverage Association; Hudson News; and Boulder Apps.
Wellington Webb serves on the board of directors of the Maximus Corporation, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense Fund) and is the President & CEO of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He was appointed by President Obama to serve on the FirstNet Board of Directors. He is a member of the Denver Rotary, a 33rd Degree Mason and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
As mayor, he oversaw the completion of $4 billion Denver International Airport and redevelopment of the former Stapleton Airport into a thriving residential and business area. He also helped convince voters to approve a $300 million addition to the Colorado Convention Center, which opened December 2004, and pushed through difficult negotiations for a nearby privately-publicly funded Hyatt Convention Center hotel which opened in 2005.
Among his goals was the redevelopment of the industrial Central Platte Valley near downtown Denver. The area once littered by abandoned rail lines now boasts a privately-funded Pepsi Center (professional basketball, hockey and entertainment venue), relocation of Six Flags Elitch Gardens (amusement park), a community gardens and acres of city parks along the South Platte River. He also pushed for the successful transformation of lower downtown into a vital business and residential area anchored by the professional baseball ball park, Coors Field. In addition, he made sure that Denver's professional athletic teams -- the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche -- signed agreements to play in the city for at least 25 years and relocate to venues within the downtown area.
His social agenda included convincing the city to create Denver Health Medical Authority in 1997, which eliminated a cash deficit of $39 million and has been rated one of the top public hospitals in the U.S. The mayor led the campaign for nearly $290 million in voter approved bonds for improvements to the hospital and property. He also added more than 2,000 acres of new parks and open space to the city _ the largest addition of park land by any mayor in Denver's history. Voters also approved $96 million for neighborhood and park improvements; and $125 million for a major expansion of the Denver Art Museum and improvements to the Denver Zoo.
The city also took advantage of good economic times to invest in a new $200 million city office building, which citizens pushed to be named after the mayor; and a $16 million African American research library -- the only such facility west of the Mississippi River. His negotiating skills included getting four new airline routes to serve Denver: British Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Korean Airlines. He looked to stimulate Denver's economy by opening foreign trade offices in London, England and Shanghai, China, and leading U.S. Conference of Mayors missions to Africa and Colorado trade missions to China and Japan.
Denver is the only city to be cited for five consecutive years as "One of the Top American Cities" in Fortune Magazine's annual "Best Cities" survey. The city also was named "One of the Top Three Cities for Sound Fiscal Management" by City and State Magazine; "One of the Top American Cities" by Money Magazine; and ''Top city for Entrepreneurs'' by Entrepreneur Magazine.
As a statesman, Webb hosted Pope John Paul II and nearly 200,000 people worldwide for World Youth Day in 1993. Four years later, he welcomed President Clinton and eight world leaders at the Denver Summit of the Eight, the annual local economic summit. His numerous recognitions include, the U.S. Conference of Mayors highest honor, the Distinguished Public Service award in ; The Americans for the Arts Government Leadership in the Arts; The National Wildlife Federation's Achievement Award; The National Trust for Historic Preservation's ''Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy'' award; and by the country of France the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Chevalier of the Legion Honor). Webb is the only Mayor in U.S. history to serve as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, President of the National Conference of Black Mayors, and President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.
Prior to being elected mayor, he served in the Colorado State Legislature; was appointed a Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Jimmy Carter; was appointed Executive Director of Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies under Governor Richard Lamm; and was elected Denver's city Auditor. His first career was as a faculty member for the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. Wellington Webb is married to former six-term State Representative Wilma J. Webb and they have four grown children; Keith, Stephanie, Anthony and Allen.