Erna and Brad Butler
Jim Carpenter served as Chief of Staff for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and had direct oversight of state agency executive directors and senior staff. He was a key liaison to Colorado’s Congressional Delegation and staff, the National Governors Association and diverse stakeholders, including business and myriad community organizations throughout the state.
For five years, Carpenter was Director of Public Affairs for National Jewish Medical and Research Center, managing public, media and government relations for the nation’s number one respiratory hospital and one of the world’s most respected medical research institutions. Carpenter also served as Director of Communications and Press Secretary, and then Chief of Staff for Colorado Governor Roy Romer.
Interspersed with his government and political service, Carpenter has been active in the non-profit community, including with the Mile High United Way, Denver Academy, National Jewish Health, and the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance.
Douglas Edwards concentrates on areas of corporate, securities, and general business law. He assists clients in a broad range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings, and compliance with federal securities and stock exchange rules.
In law school, Douglas served as lead articles editor for the University of Colorado Law Review and as president of the Business Law Association. He also served as a law clerk to The Honorable Nathan B. Coats, Supreme Court for the State of Colorado.
Jennifer Sadler is an active CPA, primarily responsible for the preparation and filing of financial forms as well as the review of certain accounting and reporting matters. Prior to joining Liberty Media Corporation, she was a manager at Dividend Capital Diversified Property Fund and KPMG LLP. Jennifer is a native of Colorado and earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Creighton University. She has served on the boards of various young professional nonprofit organizations and in 2010 was recognized as one of the 10 “CPA’s Who Care” by the Colorado Society of CPA’s.
Sue E. Renner directs a consortium of seven private foundations representing three generations of the David and Laura Merage family. In addition to overseeing grantmaking and operations for all of the Merage Foundations, Sue oversees the incubation of the David and Laura Merage Foundation’s Early Learning Ventures (ELV) Alliance model. Prior to joining the Merage Foundations in 2006, Sue was the Executive Director of Early Childhood Connections, and Senior Program Manager with the Colorado Office of Resource and Referral Agencies where she was responsible for launching Colorado’s T.E.A.C.H. program, a public-private venture providing early care and education professionals with college scholarships.
Sue is on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s Education Policy Council, and serves on the Colorado Association of Funders Board of Directors. Additionally, Sue is a founding Board member of Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), a CEO business roundtable dedicated to early childhood education advocacy. Sue earned a Master’s of Science degree in Human Development from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Allison Cusick is the executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. Her background includes 18 years of nonprofit and oral health leadership experience. Before joining the foundation, she worked at Washington Dental Service Foundation and also has held a variety of health positions in the early learning field. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and education from Oregon State University.
Jorge Gonzalez is active in real estate investments and sales in Denver. He also participates with family owned businesses in Texas and Colorado that include auto parts businesses, car washes, used car sales lots, a retail business and an Arby’s franchise. Jorge has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Few understand the power of change better than Greg Gossett, founder and CEO of HealthAware. Driven by his mission to develop sustainable healthcare systems via effective self-care, Greg heads up a talented team of behavior change experts. He guides them to success in developing data-backed, life-changing solutions that help people adopt sustainable healthy habits.
Greg holds a proven track record for maximizing health programs. In his 20 years at the forefront of early disease detection technology, he worked with more than 250 American healthcare systems to generate positive results for over 2 million patients.
Greg’s leadership experience straddles corporate business and healthcare. He specializes in population and public health management, and excels at product strategy, quality improvement, and outcomes evaluation. As HealthAware’s CEO, he oversees operations and financial management, builds lasting client relationships with memorable customer service, and drives planning and decision-making.
A prolific public speaker, Greg regularly captivates audiences at industry conferences. He holds an MBA from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.
He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and two children. Between writing chapters of his first eBook on behavioral science, he loves to ski, snowboard, bike, or hike in the Rocky Mountains.
Anna Jo Haynes is the President Emeritus of Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, which operate eight centers in Denver’s inner city for children from families with limited resources. Anna Jo is a long time advocate for children and their families and in that capacity served as the chair for Denver Public Schools/City of Denver Early Childhood Council, appointed by the Superintendent and the Mayor. Anna Jo was also the founding chairperson of the Colorado Children’s Campaign and past president of the Woman’s Foundation of Colorado, Current Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission for Colorado appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper and Board Member for Mayor Hancock’s Education Compact.
Additional Board Service has included: Past Board Chair, Clayton Foundation, Denver Foundation Board of Trustees, Founding Co-Chair Qualistar Colorado, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Future Black Women Leadership Institute, Circle of Latina Leadership.
Elaine Kelton is a community leader and longtime Vail resident. She is currently the president of the Kelton Group and also serves on the Cancer Caring Board of Directors for the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. In Kelton’s various leadership roles with El Pomar Foundation, Vail Valley Foundation and other groups, she has been closely involved in initiatives related to parenting education, early literacy and quality child care.
As a member of the Bright by Three board, Kelton hopes to expand the agency’s presence in Eagle County and other mountain communities, while supporting the nonprofit’s adoption of digital technology for program distribution.
Taylor is President and Chief Executive Officer of Babson Farms Inc., a family office overseeing operating businesses in agriculture and insurance, diverse real estate investments, mineral interests and public and private equity investments. Taylor was named to his current position in 2011. In the years since, Babson Farms has been involved in the development of real estate holdings and made direct investments into private equity and alternative investments on behalf of a multi-generational single family with offices in four states. Taylor gained a deep knowledge of financial services working in management and consulting roles at Putnam Investments and New England Funds / CDC-Ixis (now Natixis) in Boston. After a sabbatical in Paris, Taylor repatriated to Denver (his hometown) to pursue work in mergers and acquisitions – first at W.G. Nielsen & Co, where he worked for close to a decade, and later as a founder of St. Vrain Partners, Ltd. As an investment banker in Denver, he closed deals with some of the most recognized middle market companies throughout the Front Range and other parts of the US.
Ari Opsahl is the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Anheuser Busch InBev, where he leads and manages four of Anheuser Busch’s wholly owned distributors in Denver, Colorado Springs, Loveland, and Littleton. He is responsible for over 500+ employees, and sales results. Ari is also the founder and CEO of Birddog Innovations, a marketing and innovation company focused on commercial real estate marketing solutions in branding, digital media and web design. Ari graduated from Yale University with a degree in Economics.
Nim Patel is the Principal at NimbleIQ, a company that works with Business Founders to launch MVP’s that solve real problems, and Business Owners/Managers to create software solutions that transform their business. The company is a collective of strategists, product owners, designers, and vetted offshore development firms that guarantee delivery of MVP’s and software solutions on time and on budget. Nim is also the Co-Founder of EngageMyHealth, which increases health literacy and conversions of prospects to patients for the elective healthcare market. Nim is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, and a Mentor for the Unreasonable Institute.
Dr. Katherine Richardson, known as Katie to her friends and colleagues, is a dedicated medical professional and an active leader and member of the community she works and lives in.
Originally from the Midwest, Dr. Richardson is proud to have been a member of the Denver community since attending and graduating as Valedictorian from Highlands Ranch High School. A true transplant, Dr. Richardson was selected as a Boettcher Scholar in 1991 and continued her studies as a Biology major at The Colorado College. Subsequently, Dr. Richardson attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Upon completion of residency, she spent a brief stint in private practice before coming to Colorado Permanente Medical Group (the physicians of Kaiser Permanente).
In addition to her work as a practicing pediatrician, she has held multiple leadership roles for Kaiser Permanente including Chief of Highlands Ranch Primary Care, Primary Care Operations Chief, CPMG Director of Physician Experience, and she currently works on a team leading innovation for our medical group and Kaiser Permanente Colorado. As part of that role, Dr. Richardson has been an active part of the burgeoning digital health technology community in Denver, helping facilitate partnerships between cutting edge start-ups, accelerators, industry leaders and medical professionals. She also has the pleasure of being a clinical advisor to three health technology start-ups.
Dr. Richardson has a passion for public service. She volunteers her time for several charities, including Wish for Wheels and Center for Personalized Education for Physicians. She is also a member of the Cherry Creek School District Medical Advisory Board. In her free time, Dr. Richard of the Cherry Creek School District Medical Advisory Board. In her free time, Dr. Richardson enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the outdoors, and traveling to new places.
Bea Romer, in addition to serving as former First Lady of Colorado, is a recognized leader in the field of family and children’s issues both in Colorado and nationally. An early childhood and family life advocate and educator in her own right, she also chaired First Impressions, Governor Roy Romer’s initiative on families and children. Through projects such as “Read to Me, Colorado” and the Colorado Initiative for Family Learning, Mrs. Romer has taken the lead in making family literacy a priority for Colorado. On a national level, Mrs. Romer served on the boards of the Child Care Action Campaign, the Family Resource Coalition of America and the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (H.I.P.P.Y. USA). She has previously served as a member-at-large on the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has sat on the National Head Start Fellowship Review Committee. In her early career, she founded the Montview Community Preschool in central Denver. Mrs. Romer has a bachelor’s degree in child development from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is certified as a family life specialist by the National Council on Family Relations.
Merriam Spurgeon worked thirty years as an IT Engineer for Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technology and Colorado College – all in Colorado Springs. She is officially retired, but continues to work part-time remotely for Colorado College writing code and mentoring two programmers. Her scope of experience includes software development and application support, data modeling and database design, project management, end-user training and documentation, data analysis and reporting.
Ryan Welch is a key member of the senior leadership team at RMPBS, overseeing and implementing fundraising strategies for major gifts, planned giving and foundations. Ryan has held several account positions with CocaCola and worked as a journalist for New Times, a Kansas newspaper. Ryan has bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.
Nancy Accetta is a past elementary school teacher and mother of two with a long history of nonprofit leadership including fund-raising and event planning for various organizations in Early Childhood, Public Television, and the cultural arts. In addition to serving as a past board chair, Nancy has been active with Bright Beginnings since her father, Brad Butler, co-founded the organization in 1989.
Dr. Berman has held many prestigious positions in the world of Pediatrics. He has served as Consultant to the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization on Control of Acute Respiratory Infections; National Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Health Financing; Director of Health Policy and State Medically Indigent Programs for the University of Colorado; and President of Colorado Bright Beginnings. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Berman was President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Doug was on the founding board of Bright by Three when it was known as Bright Beginnings. Doug’s commitment to education and public service spans multiple decades; including co-founding Qualistar Early Learning and working on the the bipartisan Health Care Task Force of the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C. In 2009, Doug became the Chief Executive Officer for Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), growing income from 9 to 17 million dollars and membership from 43,000 to over 76,000, making RMPBS the largest membership organization in the state of Colorado. A member of the 1974 PLC class and a 1978 graduate of the University of Colorado, Doug became president of the FirstBank of Boulder in 1982. Price was promoted to president of FirstBank of Denver in 1988 and retired in 1999 as president of FirstBank of Colorado. In 2016, he became the founder, majority shareholder and chairman of CSBO Holdings Inc., the parent company of Citizens State Bank where he also serves on the board.
George Sparks has been the President/CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since November 2004. Prior to that he was a management consultant with NorthStone Group in Louisville, CO. He spent 24 years in the electronics measurement business at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies and was General Manager for several HP divisions from 1987-1999. Prior to joining Hewlett-Packard, George spent 9 years in the Air Force as a pilot and as an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics at the USAF Academy. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Academy with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering, and also holds an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.
One of George’s passions is educational public policy, particularly for those not well served today. He is the Chair of the Education Committee of the Colorado Forum, and is on the Boards of Colorado Trust for Public Lands, the Tointon Institute, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Colorado Bright Beginnings, and the Public Education and Business Coalition (Emeritus).
Governor Hickenlooper’s position on Early Childhood Education (ECE): We know that if a child gets a good early start with education it can make a huge difference in whether they are successful later in their life. All children in Colorado should have access to quality, affordable early childhood education. ECE should be regarded as a part of an educational continuum with seamless transitions and sharing of information and data between Pre-K through K-12 and into post-secondary education. ECE programs should adhere to high standards of accountability and quality and teachers should receive proper training and support to excel in the classroom and best serve their students. We will explore options to grow access to these programs statewide and work to create state-level standards and assessments to ensure school level readiness upon completion of ECE.
Bernie Buescher is a renowned statesman and regulatory attorney with Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe. Mr. Buescher served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Colorado, in charge of the State Services Section. In January of 2009, Mr. Buescher was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Bill Ritter. During his two years in office, he substantially reduced expenses in the office, improved customer service and expanded ballot access. Mr. Buescher was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2004 and was immediately appointed to the Joint Budget Committee, where he worked on behalf of Colorado to find innovative bipartisan solutions to the difficult issues facing Colorado. Prior to his election, Mr. Buescher served as Chair of the St. Mary’s Hospital Board. Previously, he was responsible for implementing the Children’s Basic Health Plan while working as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance.