About Building a Better Colorado

Learn more about the organization and our mission.

Building a Better Colorado wants to address our common challenges in a way that brings people together.

A diverse, nonpartisan coalition of Coloradans has come together with the shared belief that Colorado can do better than the divisive arguments that have come to dominate our political discourse.

Who We Are – BBCO Executive Committee

As a non-partisan project, BBCO tries to maintain a diverse and politically-balanced Executive Committee made up of thought leaders from both the business and non-profit communities across the state.

It’s Not About Politics,
It’s About Shared Solutions!

Colorado Voters:

Colorado is one of the most politically-balanced states in the nation, with an almost equal number of voters registering as “Republican” and “Democrat”. In recent years, “Unaffiliated” voters have grown to become the largest block of voters in Colorado, now making up 35% of the Colorado electorate!

BBCO Executive Committee:

As a demonstration of BBCO’s commitment to non-partisan dialogue, BBCO is very intentional about similarly maintaining political balance on its Executive Committee. This isn’t about whose side wins or loses. It’s about working together to make the state that we all love a better place for ourselves and our children. We hope you’ll join us!”

  • Joe Zimlich
    Joe Zimlich
  • Reeves Brown
    Reeves Brown
  • Dave Younggren
    Dave Younggren
  • Al Yates
    Al Yates
  • Lee White
    Lee White
  • Dan Ritchie
    Dan Ritchie
  • Joelle Martinez
    Joelle Martinez
  • Gail Klapper
    Gail Klapper
  • Ted Harms
    Ted Harms
  • John Ikard
    John Ikard
  • Steve Halstedt
    Steve Halstedt
  • Tom Gougeon
    Tom Gougeon
  • Tim Foster
    Tim Foster
  • Stanton Dodge
    Stanton Dodge
  • Don Childears
    Don Childears
  • Mario Carrera
    Mario Carrera
  • Denise Burgess
    Denise Burgess

What We Do

BBCO does not advocate for any specific policy solutions for any of the policy areas which we’re exploring. Rather, BBCO convenes politically-balanced panels of subject-matter experts to discern the facts about a given policy challenge, defines a range of potential policy options to address that challenge, and then engages citizens in a constructive conversation to evaluate the merits of those different policy options. By giving control of the outcome to those whom we engage in the conversation, BBCO gives ownership of the policy challenge – and responsibility for identifying an appropriate solution to that challenge – to the people.

What We’ve Done

Through two statewide conversations in 37 communities in 2015 and 2019, BBCO engaged over 3,000 Coloradans who found unprecedented levels of bipartisan agreement on six proposed policy solutions.

BBCO’s “Colorado Conversations” have proven that, regardless of how diverse Colorado may be, Coloradans CAN find consensus solutions when they view a policy challenge through the shared lens of improving the state we all love, they’re armed with the facts, and they’re empowered to engage in constructive conversation.



    Four of BBCO’s six policy recommendations have been adopted by Colorado voters:

    • Initiative Process (2016):  In order to protect our constitution and ensure more statewide participation in proposed amendments to it, require that petition signatures for future citizen-initiated amendments come from different geographic areas of the state, and require that future amendments which propose to add language to the constitution pass by more than just a simple-majority.
    • Election System (2016):  Reinstate a Presidential Primary in Colorado to encourage more participation in the Primary election.
    • Election System (2016):  Create a “semi-open” Primary election in order to make it easier for unaffiliated voters (the largest and fastest-growing block of voters in Colorado) to participate.
    • Fiscal Policy (2020):   Repeal from our state constitution Colorado’s 1982 “Gallagher Amendment” which froze the ratio of statewide valuation between Residential and Non-residential property and has resulted in the unintended erosion of local tax property tax bases essential to funding local public services.

      A fifth BBCO recommendation was adopted by the Colorado legislature.

      • Fiscal Policy (2017):  Remove from the TABOR revenue limit the Hospital Provider Fee revenue which provides additional state funding for Colorado’s expanded Medicaid population, thus avoiding reductions in key state investments like higher education.

      Ask a Question about BBCO or Colorado Fiscal Policy:

      7 + 6 =

      Joe Zimlich

      Mr. Zimlich has been Chief Executive of the Bohemian Group for more than twenty years. Bohemian is a private family financial management and community services office comprised of the Bohemian Foundation, Bohemian Asset Management and Bohemian Companies. In his current role, Mr. Zimlich provides leadership and oversight to the major program areas of the Foundation, including its community programs, civic programs, contemporary music programs and global impact programs; steers the investment and management of more than $1B in financial assets; and directs the development and management of a family portfolio of early-stage value investments and global real estate assets, primarily in eastern Europe.

      Mr. Zimlich has further exercised his corporate and community interests through service on boards and committees across a number of areas and industries. He currently serves on the boards of the Bohemian Foundation, First Western Trust Bank, AMPT, LLC, Third Way (a national centrist think tank) and is a member of the Colorado Forum and Colorado Concern.

      Mr. Zimlich is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Business degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) and Human Resources Professional (SHRM).

      Mr. Zimlich’s previous community involvement board/advisor roles have included membership on Colorado State University System Board of Governors, CSU’s Global Leadership Council, EnviroFit International, Kota Microcircuits (founder group), Poudre River Valley Trust Bank (founder group), BASX, LLC, Across America Real Estate Development Group, Solix Systems, LLC, Fort Collins Economic Opportunities Advisory Committee, Fort Collins Community Development Block Grant Committee, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Fort Collins Human Resources Ordinance Task Force, and Leadership Fort Collins.

      Reeves Brown

      Reeves Brown is an independent public policy consultant and Project Coordinator for the “Building a Better Colorado” project.

      Reeves served on Governor John Hickenlooper’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) from 2011-2015. As Director of DOLA, Reeves led the Department’s 170 employees in providing technical assistance on all aspects of local government administration, housing solutions, and property tax administration.

      Prior to his appointment at DOLA, Reeves served as the Executive Director of CLUB 20, a non- profit political advocacy organization representing the diverse interests of the 22-county Western Colorado region. He also served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and oversaw the creation of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agriculture Land Trust (which has led to the protection of over 2 million acres of agriculture land nationwide).

      Reeves grew up on his family’s 5 th generation cattle ranch in eastern Montana and later received a B.S. in Agriculture Business and a minor degree in Economics from Montana State University. Reeves and his wife, Dianne, have four children (Kyler, Keaton, Seve and Abigail) and a cat with an attitude.

      Dave Younggren

      Dave Younggren is a Founding Board Member of Gary Community Investment Company and The Piton Foundation. Gary Community Investment Company was founded in 2012 to use for-profit investment strategies to support Piton’s philanthropic efforts. Piton was founded in 1976 and is dedicated to improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families.

      Prior to these roles, Dave was Senior Vice President of Gary-Williams Energy Corporation. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing the finance, accounting, tax, legal and risk management functions, as well as serving on the board of directors. He also was responsible for managing the company’s real estate portfolio.

      Dave’s 39 years of energy and real estate industry experience includes three years as a CPA in accounting and taxation with Peat Marwick; four years with Cairn Investment Company, a diversified private holding company; and 32 years with Gary-Williams.

      Dave has served as a board member of The Piton Foundation for more than 17 years. He also serves on the boards of Urban Land Conservancy (past chairman), Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program (chairman), Belle Creek Metropolitan District (President) and Colorado Forum Fund (chairman). He previously served on the board of directors of Urban Peak, The Spot, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Mackintosh Academy and Denver Academy. He also is a member of The Colorado Forum and Colorado Concern.

      Dave is a graduate of Augustana College and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He served for three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

      Al Yates

      Albert C. Yates retired from the presidency of Colorado State University in August 2003 after thirteen years at the helm of one of the nation’s top research universities, completing a 35-year career in higher education as a professor and administrator. Since then he continues to be involved in the formulation of public policy through his many associations with public boards, commissions and community leaders. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Guaranty Bancorp, Inc. and serves as advisor to, and spokesman for, the Bohemian Companies in Fort Collins, CO.

      Dr. Yates graduated magna cum laude from Memphis State University in 1965, with degrees in chemistry and mathematics; earned a doctorate in theoretical chemical physics from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1968; returned to Indiana University as a chemistry professor in 1969; and, in 1976, was appointed professor of chemistry and vice president for graduate studies and research at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to his Colorado State appointment, Dr. Yates served for nine years as executive vice president and provost at Washington State University in Pullman.

      In commemoration of his more than a decade of service to Colorado State University, Dr. Yates was honored in 2001 as an Honorary Alumnus of the institution; a CSU Alumni Association student award was named in his honor; a University student leadership institute was renamed as the Albert C. Yates Leadership Development Institute; the new chemistry/biosciences building was named Albert C. Yates Hall; the Albert C. Yates Chair in Mathematics was established; and the State of Colorado recognized Albert C. Yates Day with an official proclamation by the Colorado General Assembly. Dr. Yates was honored as the National Western Stock Show 2002 Citizen of the West. He has received several honorary degrees including the degree of Doctor of Science, Myongji University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Doctor of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines; and Doctor of Education, University of Denver.

      Lee White

      LEE WHITE is a Managing Director for Stifel Public Finance.  He has been responsible for the following practice areas:

      He has been in the investment banking business for 35 years and is responsible for underwriting over $8 billion of municipal bonds.

      He came to investment banking with extensive cabinet level experience in state government.  He was Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Administration in 1979-80 and then Executive Director of the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budget in 1981-82.

      Lee participates in numerous professional, educational and civic organizations. He is Chairman of the Board of Rocky Mountain Prep charter school, Denver & Aurora, Colorado. He was Co-Chairman of the Raise the Bar Constitutional Committee (Amendment 71). He was elected to the Denver Board of Education as an At-Large Member in 1996 & 1998.

      Lee received a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Masters of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

      Dan Ritchie

      Dan Ritchie has served as President of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation since 1993. The Foundation focuses on early childhood education and development. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Daniels Fund, which supports programs that encourage personal responsibility and achievement by funding college scholarships and community programs.

      Dan was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from January 2007 until May of 2015. He served as the 16th Chancellor of the University of Denver for 16 years from 1989 to 2005. He was Chairman of the Board of the University from 2005 to 2007. Dan’s involvement with the University of Denver began in 1983 when he became a trustee. He served as vice chairman of the board and chaired the development committee before becoming Chancellor. In his 24 years of involvement with DU, the school steadily gained stature and strengthened academic programs.

      Dan was CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting for eight years before moving to Colorado in 1987. The move to Colorado capped a career of nearly 30 years spent in executive positions with MCA, Inc. and Westinghouse.

      Some of Dan’s awards include: The Citizen of the West Award given by the National Western Stock Show to an individual who exemplifies the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer; the National Samaritan Institute Award; the Gold Medal Award of the Poor Richard Club; Outstanding Philanthropist at National Philanthropy Day; the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee; and membership in the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. He received the Evans Award, the highest award of the University of Denver, as well as DU’s Ethical Leadership Award.

      He holds both undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard.

      Joelle Martinez

      Joelle Martinez is a nationally respected non-profit executive, political strategist, and public affairs specialist. Since 2015, Joelle has served as the Executive Director of the Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver. Previously, Joelle served as a Senior Consultant for Stratton-Carpenter & Associates, an international consulting firm that provides planning, communications, and strategy development for multi-sector clients. Early in her career, Joelle co-founded REM and Associates, a leading business development, public affairs, media relations, and campaign management firm located in Denver.

      Joelle has managed and consulted on political and policy campaigns at the local and national levels, working with multiple committees, the Colorado Democratic Party, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Voto Latino.

      As a public affairs specialist, Joelle has built winning strategies for candidates and coordinated public affairs efforts for Fortune 500 companies. A national trainer and speaker, Joelle has served as a guest commentator for a number of media outlets on Latino-related issues.

      As a public affairs specialist, Joelle has built winning strategies for candidates and coordinated public affairs efforts for Fortune 500 companies. A national trainer and speaker, Joelle has served as a guest commentator for a number of media outlets on Latino-related issues.

      In the community, Joelle co-founded the Colorado Latino Forum and serves as a Trustee for the Mile High United Way. She is also an Executive Board Member of Poder PAC.

      A proud Colorado native, Joelle is an alumna of the University of Colorado Boulder. Outside of work, Joelle enjoys spending time with her husband, Jason Prutch, and their twins, Isabella and Mateo.

      Gail Klapper

      A fourth generation Colorado native, Gail Klapper received her B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College where she served as President of College Government. She earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Colorado Law School in 1968. Gail was appointed as a White House Fellow by President Gerald Ford. After her term in Washington, Gail returned to Colorado to serve as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, running the Department of Regulatory Agencies and the Department of Personnel. In 1982, she was a candidate in a statewide race for Attorney General of Colorado.

      Gail has been the Member/Director of the Colorado Forum since 1989. She currently serves on the Boards of Guaranty Bancorp, Gold Inc. and Great-West Funds, Inc. She serves as Chair of the Board of Great-West Funds. Gail previously was a member of the Boston-based Houghton Mifflin board. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Western Stock Show Association and co-chaired its business planning group focused on creating a new National Western Center. Gail was the founding President of the Hotel Authority Board that built and operates the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel in Denver. In addition, she has chaired the following Boards of Trustees: Boston-based Wellesley College, the Denver Metro Chamber, the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Public Education and Business Coalition (Founder), the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, and the Regional White House Fellows Selection Panel. Gail was the first recipient of the annual Leadership Denver Association Award for Outstanding Achievement. She was also the recipient of the University of Colorado’s Norlin Award for Professional Excellence, the University of Colorado’s Public Service Award, the University of Colorado Law School’s Honorary Order of the Coif Award, Urban Peak’s Maverick Thinker Award; the Denver Regional Council of Governments Service Award; the Cal Frazier Investing in Education Award, and the Downtown Denver Partnership Honorary Partner Award and the Top Hand Award from the National Western Stock Show Association.

      Gail manages the family’s 6K Ranch and Tack business in Elbert, Colorado where they raise, train and show reining horses and sell equipment and clothing for the western discipline. Gail is married to Jack A. Klapper, M.D. They have four wonderful daughters and seven awesome grandchildren.

      Ted Harms

      Since 2010, Ted Harms has served as the Executive Director of The Anschutz Foundation where he is responsible for the review and analysis of applications for all foundation grants. The Anschutz Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in Colorado and supports a broad variety of charitable initiatives to positively impact the people of Colorado specifically and society in general in the areas of education, health care, human service, public policy, arts and culture, and personal and spiritual values. Previously, Ted was a Partner with KPMG with over 38 years of experience, including 29 years as a partner in Denver and San Francisco. He served clients in many industries providing them with audit due diligence, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions services.

      Ted earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Illinois (Bronze Tablet). He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ted is a licensed CPA in Colorado, California and Illinois. Ted and his wife Jan have lived in the Denver area for 37 years and currently live in Greenwood Village. Their two children (both married with children) live in Chicago.

      John Ikard

      John Ikard is President and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company, Lakewood, Colorado, and immediate past Chairman of the American Bankers Association (ABA).

      With total assets in excess $15 billion dollars, FirstBank is the second largest bank in the State of Colorado and one of the largest privately held financial institutions in the country. Despite the financial crisis, FirstBank has posted record profits every year since 2007. John started at FirstBank in 1981, and has been president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company since 1999.

      John has held leadership positions in a wide variety of organizations. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, former Vice-Chair and current board member of both the Colorado Children’s Hospital Foundation and Colorado Children’s Hospital Board. He is past Chairman of the Denver Area Boy Scout Council past Chairman of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and past board member of the Colorado State University Board of Governors.

      In 2010, John was honored with the prestigious “Community Banker of the Year Award” by the American Banker magazine. FirstBank has been awarded the “Ethics in Business” award by the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance and named by the Denver Post as “Best Places to Work” for the last four years.

      John is a graduate of Colorado State University, holds an MBA from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.

      Steve Halstedt

      Steve Halstedt cofounded and was Managing Director of Centennial Ventures, Colorado’s first venture capital firm. Starting in 1981, Centennial raised a series of 8 venture capital funds totaling $1 Billion in capital. He was founding President of the Venture Capital Association of Colorado and served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association. In 1999, Steve was designated an Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region by Ernst & Young. Prior to Centennial, he was President of Daniels & Associates, the Investment Banking and Brokerage arm of Daniels Properties, Inc., a pioneering cable television operator.

      In 1969, Steve was commissioned as an Officer in the US Army Corps of Engineers. He taught BASIC and Fortran computer programming and operations research to company and field grade officers at the US Army Engineer School, where he was also a software engineer. He was a Battalion Assistant Operations officer and a Combat Engineer Platoon Leader in Viet Nam. Steve is the recipient of a Bronze Star and the US Army Commendation Medal.

      Steve graduated in 1968 with a BS in Management Engineering with Distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he presently serves on the Board of Trustees. He earned an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration in 1973 and was designated and Edward Tuck Scholar.

      Steve is past Chairman of the Board of OpenWorld Learning, an after-school technology program, and of Denver School of Science & Technology, a public Charter school network. He is a member of the Colorado Forum and the Blackstone Entrepreneur Network. In 2015 he received the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Technology Association.

      Steve is married to Susan Ford Halstedt, has three grown children and four grandchildren. His personal interests include travel, golf, reading, swimming, biking, running, snowboarding and Tai Chi.

      Tom Gougeon

      Tom Gougeon has served as the President of the Gates Family Foundation since August of 2010. The Foundation makes philanthropic investments throughout Colorado in education, natural resources, community development, arts & culture, civic capacity and the well-being of children, youth and families.

      Prior to Gates, Tom was the Chief Development Officer for Continuum Partners (2000-2010), a developer and operator of mixed use urban real estate projects. Tom worked extensively on the Belmar redevelopment project in Lakewood, CO and the Union Station transit hub in central Denver. Tom served as President of the Union Station Neighborhood Company (a joint venture of Continuum Partners and East West Partners) from 2008 to 2010. Tom also served as the Executive Director of the W.M.B. Berger Foundation (1997-2000), the CEO of the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation (1991-1996) and as Assistant to the Mayor of the City and County of Denver (1983-1991). While in the Mayor’s office Tom was responsible for activities in the areas of budget and finance, planning, community development, infrastructure and liaison with the state and federal governments. Tom was heavily involved in the development of Denver International Airport and had direct oversight of the project from 1987-1990. Tom also worked as an Associate in the Industrial Economics Division of the Denver Research Institute, as a policy analyst at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on the staff of U.S. Senator Gary Hart.

      Tom has served on the boards of numerous community organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Denver Civic Ventures, the Urban Land Conservancy, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Piton Foundation, Neighborhood Housing Services, the Stapleton Foundation, Preservation Action, A+ Denver, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and the Denver Water Board. Tom has a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Denver and a MCRP from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

      Tim Foster

      Tim Foster has served as the tenth president of Colorado Mesa University since March 2004, when the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees appointed him. A former member of Colorado Governor Bill Owens’ cabinet, he previously served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He was initially appointed to the position by Governor Owens in 1999 and reappointed in 2003. He also served as head of the Department of Higher Education, which includes the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Council on the Arts, and served on the boards of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Denver Chamber of Commerce and its Committee on Science and Technology.

      Prior to directing the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Tim served in the Colorado House of Representatives, beginning in 1988, and served as the House Majority Leader for four sessions, from 1993 to 1996. He received numerous awards from diverse groups such as the Sierra Club, Ducks Unlimited, the Iron Skillet award from the Colorado Restaurant Association, and the Guardian Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. During that time, Tim was also a partner in the general practice law firm of Foster, Larson, Laiche and Griff in Grand Junction.

      A Grand Junction native, Tim’s numerous community activities include service on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association, the Board of Powderhorn Ski Area and as chairman of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

      Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with honors from Kenyon College in 1980. He completed graduate coursework for a master’s degree in mineral economics at the Colorado School of Mines from 1982 to 1984. He also earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver – College of Law in 1984.

      The married father of four sons, Tim is an avid bike rider, skier, swimmer, soccer player and coach.

      Stanton Dodge

      Stanton Dodge serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), a Fortune 200 satellite TV provider with more than 13.5 million subscribers nationwide. Stanton is responsible for all legal and government affairs for DISH and its subsidiaries, and oversees Corporate Communications. Since joining DISH in November 1996, he has served in increasingly senior positions in the Legal Department, and was responsible for Human Resources from January 2010 through July 2011.

      Stanton has received many accolades for his accomplishments in the legal field, including the National Law Journal – America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel, recognizing general counsel that serve as models inside their companies and in their communities (2016); the Denver Business Journal – C-Suite Award: Chief Legal Officer of the Year, recognizing the top Chief Legal Officer in the Denver metro area based on innovation, business leadership and community involvement (2015); the University of Colorado Law School − “Adopted Alumnus” Award, recognizing individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the law school (2015); the Burton Awards – “Legends in Law” Award, recognizing outstanding corporate general counsel in the United States (2014); and the inaugural Legal 500 – Corporate Counsel 100: United States, recognizing the 100 most influential in-house lawyers in the United States (2013).

      Stanton serves on the Board of Directors of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), and is actively involved in many community and philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of directors of National Jewish Health and Colorado Concern. In 2015, Stanton was appointed by United States Senator Michael Bennet to serve on his Federal Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, and in 2013, he began serving a six-year term on the 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission for the State of Colorado. Stanton has testified numerous times before subcommittees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives regarding copyright law and other issues affecting the video distribution business.

      Prior to joining DISH, Stanton was a law clerk to the Hon. Jose D.L. Marquez of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in 1995 and his B.S. in accounting from the University of Vermont in 1991.

      In his spare time, Stanton enjoys cycling, skiing, fly fishing and spending time with his wife and their three young children.

      Don Childears

      Don Childears has been President/CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association since 1980. He previously did legislative analysis on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and Congressional campaign work.

      Don completed his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law in 1981, the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, University of Colorado, in 1978, and a BSBA (Marketing) from Colorado State University in 1973.

      Don is involved with myriad organizations and activities, including: Building a Better Colorado (Treasurer), Let Colorado Vote (vice-chair), Colorado Competitive Council (chair), Colorado Concern, Colorado Civil Justice League (chair), Colorado Housing Council (chair), BancInsure Board of Directors, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (University of Colorado) Trustee and Treasurer, and the American Bankers Association (Board of Directors, BankPac, Government Relations Council, State Association Division [chair], Regulatory Relief Task Force [chair]).

      Don speaks or teaches on government, political influence, and banking, at banking schools, law schools, and associations. He has participated in interviews including Al Jazeera, BBC, NBC, ABC, CNN, CNBC, PBS, and Fox News, and has been published in American Banker, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and Washington Post. He’s received numerous industry recognitions.

      Don grew up in Saguache (a small rural Colorado town) and is married to Linda Childears who is President of the Daniels Fund ($1.5B charitable foundation) in Denver.

      Mario Carrera

      Mario Carrera has over 30 years of experience in television and radio management, most recently serving as Chief Revenue Officer of Entravision Communications Corporation, a $250M+, Russell 3000 diversified global media, marketing and technology company. Entravision platforms include the largest affiliate group of Univision Television Stations, O&O Radio stations, Radio Network and Top Hispanic Digital Network reaching 105 markets that aggregate 94% of all US Latinos through owned and partner assets, including 55 television stations, 49 radio stations, multiple interactive owned and licensed platforms and data analytics.  Mario led for seven years all of Entravision’s sales activities including news and content production, the execution of revenue strategies and innovative client-centric integrated marketing solutions.

      Mario’s sales and management background includes Senior Management responsibilities with radio and television stations in Fresno, Bakersfield, Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver/Colorado Springs/Aspen. Under his tenure in Colorado, Entravision’s Noticias Univision Colorado won 14 Emmy’s and KCEC-TV won the Best 2010 Public Service Award Campaign from the Colorado Broadcasters Association. In both 2007 and 2009, he was recognized as General Manager of the Year and the Best Radio Manager for a Large Market by Radio Ink Magazine.

      In 2010, Mario received the highest honor given to a volunteer with the Silver Beaver Award from the Denver Area Council Boy Scouts of America. In 2011, the NFL and Denver Broncos Football Club recognized Mr. Carrera for Outstanding Hispanic Heritage Community Leadership.

      In addition, he received the American Jewish Committee, Colorado Lifetime Civic Achievement Award in 2012 and the Hispanic Contractors of Colorado honored him as Community Advocate of the Year in 2013.   Most recently, Mr. Carrera was presented with Mexico’s Ohtli Award to acknowledge contributions to Mexican-American communities in the United States.

      Mario Graduated from Harvard University, studied at El Colegio de Mexico and participated in professional development programs offered through the University of California Los Angeles and the Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business. Mr. Carrera and his wife, Irma, live in Lone Tree, Colorado.

      Denise Burgess

      Denise Burgess is President and CEO of Burgess Services, Inc., a Denver-based construction management firm. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce since 2010, and will become the first African-American Board Chair of the Chamber in September 2017. She has been listed in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, and a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and the David E. Bailey Small Business Advocate Award.

      Armed with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado, Denise launched a promising career in broadcast management. She was called in 1994 to work alongside her father and business mentor until his untimely passing in 2002. Denise’s career skyrocketed after she transitioned her father’s heating and air conditioning business into a nationwide firm, specializing in construction management, commissioning, and quality assurance/quality control. Burgess Services’ accomplishments during her tenure include the City and County of Denver Justice Center, the Corp of Engineers Southeastern Headquarters in Miami, and the Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport (DEN). Burgess Services was awarded the largest contract ever awarded to a black-owned business — a $39.6 million mechanical contract at DEN.

      Denise credits her continued support from family and friends as part of her success, along with her dedicated employees. Never taking anything for granted, Denise regularly takes time out of her busy schedule to give back to the Denver community both personally and professionally. The Burgess Family Fund was established through the Denver Foundation in 2013 with a goal of funding the education of minority women interested in STEM and construction. The Burgess Family Fund has donated to over a dozen Colorado organizations.

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