Luis Colon (Vice Chair)
Lone Tree, CO
Mr. Colon began his career in 1989 with Eli Lilly and Company as a chemical engineer, supporting day-to-day operations of chemical manufacturing plants and directing large renovations of manufacturing facilities. After completing his master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge (England) and his MBA from the University of Michigan Business School, Mr. Colon joined A.T. Kearney, a leading management consulting firm. After serving as a corporate strategy and e-business consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, he then became part of the executive management team at Source One Management.
In 2003, he joined Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's Cabinet as the Manager of the Department of General Services. His success in that position inspired him to start his own company, Colón Construction Services, a construction solutions company focusing on sustainable construction. He also managed the Western U.S. operations for the CSA Group, a full-service architectural and engineering project delivery company with headquarters in Miami, Florida. He is now part of Xcelente Global’s senior team, where he focuses on consulting with clients on international business strategy and logistics.
Mr. Colon received the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s 2000 Brillante Award, the organization’s highest award, and also received fellowships from the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the William Davidson Institute, Astra-Zeneca, and Air Products and Chemicals. Mr. Colon was selected as one of the Denver Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award recipients and also received the prestigious Gates Family Foundation fellowship to attend the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He currently holds or has held seats on the Board of Trustees of both the Iliff School of Theology and Mesa State College, the Board of Directors of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Past Chairman), the Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation (Past Chair), the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, the Advisory Council of the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, the Curious Theatre Company Board, the Denver Division of the March of Dimes, the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross, Teach for America-Colorado and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. He also serves on the Colorado Community Advisory board of U.S. Bank.
Mr. Colon was born and raised in Puerto Rico and he resides with his wife Toti and three children in Lone Tree. He was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2013 to serve through June 2017 as a Republican resident of the 4th Congressional District.
John L. Anderson
John Anderson is a partner in the education consulting group, Schoolhouse Partners. He is the former president and CEO of New American Schools.
He began his business career with IBM after graduating from Yale University. Over a 30-year career he held positions in marketing, manufacturing and development, and on the corporate staff, including serving as an assistant to the IBM chairman of the board.
His interest in, and passion for, education began in 1989 when he was named director of the Governmental Programs-Education for IBM in Washington, D.C., where he coordinated the activities of The Business Roundtable's primary and secondary education initiative.
Mr. Anderson is President of the Board of Music in the Mountains, Vice President of the Community Foundation Serving SW Colorado and a member of the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College. He is a member of the Board of the Colorado Legacy Foundation and the Institue for Student Achievement.
He is an avid outdoorsman and ski instructor. He and his wife, Cissy, reside in Durango, CO. Mr. Anderson was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve through July 1, 2019 as a Republican representing the 3rd Congressional District.
Mary Beth Buescher
Grand Junction, CO
A lawyer by trade, Mary Beth spent 15 years as a deputy district attorney for Mesa County; ran the Great Books Program at her children's school; served 13 years on the Mesa County Child Protection Team; and, recently, has spent two years on the Colorado Juvenile Parole Board.
Mary Beth was the first woman lawyer to have a practice in Grand Junction. She also worked for Ken Salazar, while he was a United States Senator, helping run the Senate Office for the Western Slope.
She has served on the boards of many non-profits including, currently, Mental Health Colorado and the Riverside Educational Foundation (REC). REC serves the poorest neighborhood in Grand Junction with after school tutoring and enrichment programs, preparing them for higher education.
Her proudest accomplishment is choosing Bernie as her life partner 44 years ago, raising four great kids -- now all employed, college educated adults. She hopes her term on CCHE continues to expand higher education opportunities for all Coloradoans.
Mary Beth was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2016 to serve through July 1, 2020 as a Democratic resident of the 3rd Congressional District.
Maia Babbs is a Vice President with Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, performing investment security analysis and managing client relationships. Ms. Babbs has sixteen years of broad financial industry experience.
Most recently, she served as equity research analyst at Janus Capital for seven years, focusing on the global financial sector with an emphasis on investment banks, insurance, and specialty financial firms. She also covered business services and European retail and industrial companies while at Janus.
Her prior experience includes working as an equity research analyst covering various sectors at Denver Investment Advisors, serving as a senior associate at investment banking firm Green Manning and Bunch, Ltd., and as an associate in Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.’s debt capital markets group where she focused on energy, power, and chemicals debt origination in New York. Ms. Babbs is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.
Maia received her BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and her Master of Arts of Law and Diplomacy (International Affairs) with a concentration in international economics and finance from The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
Ms. Babbs lives in Golden with her husband Carlton and 9 year old daughter. She was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2015 to serve through June 2019 as an Unaffiliated resident of the 2nd Congressional District.
Renny Fagan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Nonprofit Association, joined the Association in March 2009. With about 1300 member nonprofit organizations statewide, the Association provides capacity building resources and technical assistance to nonprofits and advocates on behalf of the entire nonprofit sector. Previously, Mr. Fagan served as the state director for U.S Senator Ken Salazar and briefly for Senator Michael Bennet, where he was responsible for the Senator’s eight offices around the state. He served as a Deputy Attorney General for Attorney Generals Ken Salazar and John Suthers, managing attorneys providing legal services to elected officials and state agencies. Under Gov. Roy Romer, Mr. Fagan was the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. He began his public service as a state legislator from El Paso County. Elected three times to the House of Representatives, he served on the State Affairs, Judiciary, and Finance Committees and focused on school finance and land use policies.
Mr. Fagan currently serves on the boards of the National Council of Nonprofits, Mile High United Way, the Colorado Channel Authority and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.
A Colorado native, Mr. Fagan grew up in the Pikes Peak region and has resided in the Denver Metro area for the last 20 years. He received his B.A in Political Science at the University of Chicago and his law degree from Northwestern University. Mr. Fagan was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2015 to serve through July 1, 2019 as a Democrat resident of the 7th Congressional District.
Colorado Springs, CO
Cassie Gannett is an assistant principal at Stratmoor Hills Elementary School in Harrison School District 2 in southeastern Colorado Springs. She has spent the majority of her career in District 2 where she worked as a high school math teacher and Instructional Coordinator for Secondary mathematics. Dr. Gannett has over 20 years of experience in education including K-12, community college, and university work.
She is a Colorado native who returned to her home state after earning a degree in education from the University of Kansas. Her pursuit of knowledge continued at Regis University where she earned a Masters of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a focus on English as a Second Language. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Denver with a dissertation focus on equitable math education.
Outside of work and learning, Cassie is the treasurer of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a member of the Colorado Math Leaders. In addition, she has volunteered for Junior Achievement, TESSA, and Newborn Hope.
Her passion for education is not surpassed by her love of family. She enjoys many Colorado pastimes including skiing, hiking, and camping with her husband and three boys.
Dr. Gannett was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2016 to serve through July 1, 2020 as an unaffiliated resident of the 5th Congressional District.
As a K-12 educator, Ms. Garcia has a wealth of experience. She spent six years as the dropout prevention coordinator at Keating Alternative High School; three years coordinating vocational education programs in partnership with Pueblo District 60, District 70 and Pueblo Community College; seven years as a business education teacher at Pueblo South High School and Aurora Central High School as well as 13 years as an elementary school principal in Pueblo District 60 and Harrison School District 2. Ms. Garcia received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern Colorado, her Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley College and her administrative coursework from the University of Denver. She is a co-founder of Partners in Education and the Pueblo Homework Hotline and has served on the Board of Directors for the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation. She is currently on the Latino Advisory Committee for El Pomar’s ELD Program; Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Pueblo County; Board of Trustees for the Sangre De Cristo Arts and Conference Center; and Pueblo Community College’s Advisory Council/GOLD Panel. She is now employed by IntelliTec College of Pueblo as the Director of Career Services. Natives of Colorado, Ms. Garcia and her husband Patrick have a daughter who graduated from the School of Engineering at CSU-Fort Collins and CU Law School; a daughter who is a graduate of CSU-Pueblo with an elementary teaching degree; a son who graduated from the School of Business at CSU-Fort Collins; a son who is a pre-med student at CU Boulder; and one granddaughter. Ms. Garcia was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2011 to serve through July 1, 2019 as a Democratic resident of the 3rd Congressional District.
Vanecia Kerr is the Managing Director of Marketing, Communications and Development for City Year Denver. Prior to joining City Year in 2011, she was the Regional Director of Community Affairs for the mid-west and western region of TIAA-CREF. In this role she was responsible for developing and overseeing the strategy and implementation of the community outreach activities for the organization. Her tenure at TIAA-CREF spanned nearly 18 years where she held several leadership positions including relationship management with top tier clients (mostly notable colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations) with assets ranging from $200M to $800M. Ms. Kerr received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University in Virginia and a Masters of Public Administration from Baruch College at the City University of New York (CUNY). Ms. Kerr has received numerous certificates and honors including her recent recognition in 2014 by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce as a Finalist for the Athena Award. In terms of civic engagement, Ms. Kerr has a number of outstanding accomplishments. She is the founder of several organizations and has served on numerous boards. Most recently she was on the Founding Committee to bring City Year to Denver and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries, the Public Education & Business Coalition, and the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Ms. Kerr is a highly experienced public speaker credited with over 250 speaking engagements with audience sizes ranging from 20 to 2000; this includes serving as a keynote speaker, expert panelist and facilitator for various local and national organizations including the Clinton Global Initiative and Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship. Ms. Kerr is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (a public service sorority) and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. In her spare time she likes to volunteer, serve in her local church, watch movies and enjoy the many activities that Colorado has to offer with her husband and 12 year old son.
Tom McGimpsey joined Advanced Energy (Nasdaq “AEIS”) in 2009 as VP and General Counsel and was promoted to EVP of Corporate Development and General Counsel in 2011. Prior to Advanced Energy, Mr. McGimpsey held other executive positions such as VP of Operations for First Data Corporation, EVP of Business Development & Chief Legal Officer for McDATA Corporation (Nasdaq “MCDTA”) and was the Director of the Corporate Law Group at US WEST, Inc. (NYSE “USW”). Prior to going in-house, Mr. McGimpsey was in private practice at national law firms, and was a senior engineer for Software Technology, Inc. before pursuing a career in law. Mr. McGimpsey received his Executive MBA from Colorado State University (with honors), his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. McGimpsey is an independent board member on the board of directors of CPP, Inc., a leading international wind and air quality engineering company, and serves on the boards of several Advanced Energy affiliated companies in Europe, India and Asia. Mr. McGimpsey has authored and co-authored several articles on audit committee responsibilities, executive compensation, corporate spin-offs, etc., and has spoken on mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law matters at the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) and other seminars.Mr. McGimpsey was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2015 to serve through July 1, 2017 as a Republican resident of the 2nd Congressional District.
Paula Sandoval lives in northwest Denver and served as a Colorado State Senator for eight years. She also served on the Denver City Council for one year. Ms. Sandoval is the owner of the Tamales By La Casita restaurant, which has served Denver for over 25 years. Ms. Sandoval is a lifelong resident of Denver, although she was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attained a BA in Communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Ms. Sandoval also served on the Colorado State University System’s Board of Governors, is a past board member of the Denver Welfare Reform Board, and a past board member of both the Colorado Historical Society and Colorado Commission on Aging.
Ms. Sandoval has a long history of public service. She currently is a Board member of the Greenway Foundation, Energy Outreach and Wings of Hope and she serves as the Vice Chair of the Denver Board of Environmental Health.
Ms. Sandoval was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2015 and will serve through June 2018 as a Democratic resident of the 1st Congressional District.