By Denver Business Journal

Karen Gerwitz will succeed Jim Reis as head of the World Trade Center Denver, officials said Wednesday.

Gerwitz currently is director of communications for the state Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

Reis, who was president and CEO of WTC Denver for 20 years, announced his retirement in May. Gerwitz will become executive director on Aug. 16.

Gerwitz has been DORAâ¿¿s director of communications since 2007. Before that, she served as director of board relations for the Colorado State Board of Education and as director of communications for Raytheon in Aurora.

From 1992 to 1997, Gerwitz was director of protocol for the Colorado International Trade Office. She also has worked overseas, including serving as a public information officer at IIASA, a science institute in Vienna, from 2001 to 2002. She holds a masterâ¿¿s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver and a bachelorâ¿¿s degree in international business from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

⿿I am thrilled to return to the international business community in Colorado and welcome this opportunity to advocate for international investment and free trade to and from this region,⿝ Gerwitz said in a statement. ⿿This organization has always been the hub of international business in Colorado, and I am honored to continue that legacy.⿝

⿿I have known Karen since 1992, when she worked at the Colorado International Trade Office, and I am thrilled that she has agreed to lead this organization,⿝ Reis said in a statement. ⿿I have no doubt that her enthusiasm for international business in Colorado and her passion for this organization⿿s success will be evident from the moment she walks in the door.⿝

The 200-member World Trade Center Denver is a nonprofit organization that works to attract and expand international business throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010