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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Launches Nationwide Listening Tour

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pritzker will travel across the country, engaging with business and thought leaders, academics and Department of Commerce employees

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will launch a nationwide listening tour this week, during which she will travel across the country to meet with business and thought leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and Department of Commerce employees. She’ll hear from these groups about their priorities, concerns and ideas on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create American jobs.

“As Secretary of Commerce, my goal is to serve as a bridge to the business community – both domestically and abroad – so that we can work together to strengthen the economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans,” said Secretary Pritzker. “I intend to leverage the sum of my experiences as an entrepreneur, a business leader, and a citizen deeply committed to American competitiveness to help strengthen the Department and the government-wide leadership it provides in areas such as manufacturing, attracting business investment, innovation, and exporting.”

Colorado marks the first stop on her tour, which begins this week. In Boulder, she will tour Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., which produces spacecraft instruments and sensors, radio frequency and microwave technologies, and a variety of advanced aerospace technologies and products. Ball Aerospace also works with Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on development of its satellite program. While there, Secretary Pritzker will hold a roundtable with local business and community leaders, as well as government officials, to hear about the challenges they face when it comes to the growth and success of businesses and the economy.

In Denver, Secretary Pritzker will visit Intertech Plastics, Inc., which is a provider of high speed, high volume injection molding products.

“I believe it’s particularly important to connect with business and thought leaders early and often, both to hear their ideas on how government and the private sector can work together, but also to promote the tremendous work the Department of Commerce does on behalf of U.S. companies, whether that’s supporting manufacturers, empowering exporters to reach new markets, bringing broadband to communities across the nation, or providing intellectual property protection,” Secretary Pritzker said.

As part of her listening tour, Secretary Pritzker will also visit Department of Commerce facilities located all across the country. In Boulder, she will visit offices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NOAA, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In Denver, she will visit with additional Department of Commerce employees.


Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the 38th Secretary of Commerce by Vice President Joe Biden on June 26, 2013.

She is a civic and business leader with more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, hospitality, senior living, and financial services industries. Ms. Pritzker served as CEO of PSP Capital Partners, and has previously developed such diverse companies as Vi (formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt), a leader in luxury living for older adults; The Parking Spot, a large U.S. network of off-site airport parking facilities; and Pritzker Realty Group. 

President Obama appointed Ms. Pritzker to the President's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness, which formerly advised the administration on economic growth and job creation. Ms. Pritzker previously served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  She has also served on the boards of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group and LaSalle Bank Corporation. She is past executive chairman of TransUnion, a global financial services information company.  

Much of Ms. Pritzker's civic work focuses on public education. She served as advisory board chairman of Skills for America's Future, The Aspen Institute. Skills for America's Future is a national initiative that brings together businesses, community colleges and others to prepare workers for 21st century jobs. In 2012, she helped launch Skills for Chicagoland's Future, the first city model of Skills for America's Future. Ms. Pritzker is past chair of the Chicago Public Education Fund, the first venture philanthropy to raise private equity to invest in public schools, and a former member of the Chicago Board of Education.  

In 2012, Ms. Pritzker received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, an honor given to individuals who have served with distinction in public life and have shown a special commitment to seeking out informed opinions and thoughtful views.  

Ms. Pritzker earned her bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. She and her husband Dr. Bryan Traubert have two children.