EXECs Advocacy Program


The EXECs Advocacy Program is a 9-month program that offers exclusive insight into the workings of prominent Colorado companies through business tours and policy-based forums with key Colorado executives and officials.

Participants learn about policy issues impacting their business and community while developing a working understanding of business advocacy. Tours will be fascinating “insider” looks at businesses while integrating policy issues focused on Healthcare, Labor

& Employment, Tax, Energy & Environment, Manufacturing, and Federal Affairs. The Colorado Chamber staffers, key legislators, and congressional staffers may be brought in for specific expertise.

Please click on the EXECs Advocacy Program menu in the table to the left to get to know our current EXECs as well as our EXECs Alumni. You can also view tours from past programs.

Click here to view the 2022 brochure!


  • Develop a strong foundation in Colorado business policy and advocacy
  • Network with other leaders from Colorado companies
  • Gain perspective on critical issues that impact the different regions of Colorado and the industries that support them


Rising leaders who are passionate about shaping and enhancing Colorado’s economy and strengthening Colorado’s business climate. Candidates should have 5+ years of experience in their field.


The EXECs Advocacy Program fees are based per person and include all required program materials, travel, food, and beverages. Class fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Programs range from half-day to full-day commitments.

Applicant’s Employer is an active member of the Colorado Chamber:  $2950

Applicant’s Employer is NOT an active member of the Colorado Chamber: $3545



The 2022 EXECs Advocacy Program Application Link, located in the EXECs Advocacy Program menu to the left, is currently open.

The application due date is February 4th, 2022.


The program runs from February through October (March-November in 2021 due to COVID). Participants meet once per month for an interactive tour, participate in at least one council meeting, and have the option to attend optional networking opportunities and special events. The 2022 EXECs Program Schedule will be posted in October!


2022 Programming


Program Launch

Welcome and Networking


American Furniture




Denver Zoo




Southern Colorado Overnight


Lockheed Martin Space


Ardent Mills


Amazon and Program Conclusion

Past Tour Hosts

Please take a moment to view the list of past companies that have hosted the EXECs Advocacy Program. Note: the list is comprehensive, but not exhaustive.











2021 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2021 EXECs Cohort


EXECs Virtual Meet and Greet

Rachel Nance, Colorado Chamber Board Chair
Director, Strategic Accounts
Xcel Energy
Chuck Berry, President
Colorado Chamber of Commerce
Colorado Chamber of Commerce


Unconscious Biases and Equity in the Workplace

Interactive Discussion and Panel

Diverse Talent


Post-Covid Economic Recovery

Interactive Discussion and Panel

Richard Wobbekind, Associate Dean for Business and Government Relations
and Senior Economist
University of Colorado, Boulder
Kristin Strohm, CEO & President
Common Sense Institute
Denver Business Journal


Footers Catering

Footers Catering
Carrie Atiyeh, Director, Government &
Community Affairs
Visit Denver
Brianna Borin-Lygizos, Senior Vice President of People


Golden Aluminum


5 Rivers Cattle


Lincoln Tech

2020 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2020 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off and Capitol Tour

2020 EXECs Advocacy Program Kick-Off Program and Capitol Tour

Guest Speaker

Stacey Campbell
Shareholder, Campbell Litigation, P.C.
Board Chair, Colorado Chamber of Commerce


Program Introductions and Expectations
Program Calendar
Bird’s eye view of the legislative session in action
Tour of the Capitol building


The 2020 EXECs Advocacy Program kicked off the new year with a great introductory gather and professional encouragement by Stacey Campbell, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce’s Board Chair. After a morning of introductions, the cohort moved to the Capitol building where they observed the legislative session in action. The program concluded with a tour of the Capitol building and a historical overview in Mr. Brown’s Attic.

March | Xcel Energy

Guest Speakers

Jerome Davis, Regional VP of Customer and Community Affairs

Wes Parham, Manager of State Government Affairs

Nadia El Mallakh, AVP of Strategic Partnerships

Keith Hay, Director of Policy, Colorado Energy Office

Jared Luner, Public Policy Analyst


Colorado Climate and Clean Energy Policy
Xcel Energy’s Carbon Strategy


The 2020 EXECs Xcel Energy tour consisted of a visit to the Blue Spruce Plant in Aurora with a panel discussion hosted at Xcel’s Denver office. The discussion touched base on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on operations, strategic partnerships, and public policy pertaining to the reduction of carbon emissions.


April | Impact of COVID on Business

Guest Speakers

Stephen Cobb, MD, FAAFP
Denver Metro Group Vice President and Physician Executive
Centura Health
Associate Dean, Business & Government Relations and Senior Economist
University of Colorado
President and CEO
Mental Health Colorado

May | Unconscious Biases

Michelle Campbell

Diverse Talent

June | Government 101

Guest Speakers

Director, Government Relations
Lockheed Martin Space
Campbell Litigation, P.C. Employment and Labor Defense Firm

July | Developing a Skilled Workforce

Katherine Keegan, Director of the Office of the Future of Work
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Kelly Moore, Ed.D., Campus President
Lincoln College of Technology
Vaughn Redmon, Organizational Development Manager
Lockheed Martin Space

August | Corporate Social Responsibility

Kelly Donovan, Vice President, Community Affairs Manager
Wells Fargo
Kayla Garcia, Community Affairs Manager
Nell Wareham, Manager, Strategic Community Development

September | Native Roots Zoom

Shannon Fender, Director of Public Affairs
Native Roots
Sarah Woodson, Chief Executive Officer
Kush & Canvases, LLC

October | End Of Program Celebration






2019 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2019 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program

Guest Speaker

Chuck Berry
President, Colorado Chamber of Commerce


Program Introductions and Expectations
Program Calendar
Networking with fellow EXECs and EXECs Alumni


The 2019 EXECs Advocacy Program kicked off the new year with a fun and interactive icebreaker followed by a festive happy hour. Program attendees worked together in small groups scouring downtown Denver for answers to a set of questions. This fun and interactive event provided an rich networking environment where participants were able to work together and forge strong bonds in a more intimate environment. The event concluded with a great downtown happy hour where all of the 2019 EXECs came together to network and discuss the program in more details with EXECs Alumni.


March | EXECs Day at the Capitol

Guest Speaker

Joe Rice
Director of Government Relations, Lockheed Martin Space


House of Representatives (Observation)
Capitol Building Tour
Government 101
(Government Structure, Lobbying, and State Budget)


The session is in! The EXECs program made the short walk to the Capitol building for the March tour. The group took time to observe legislators in action from the House of Representatives Gallery. The group commented on their observations of the house dynamics, how the legislators interacted, and the manner in which they conducted business. Additionally, the EXECs hiked the 94 steps to the Capitol’s dome to take in the beautiful mountain view and learned about the construction of Capitol building on a guided tour of Mr. Brown’s attic. Immediately following the tour, the group met with Joe Rice, Director of Government Relations for Lockheed Martin Space. Joe, drawing from his legislative and mayoral experiences, guided the group through the state government structure, discussed lobbying and how everyone must be cognizant of how they are representing their company, and encouraged all the EXECs to be engaged in the political process.


April | Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center

Guest Speakers

Rick Medwedeff
General Manager, Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center

Kevin Hougen
President/CEO, Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Cathy Ritter
Director, Colorado Tourism Office


The EXECs group enjoyed a fantastic back-end tour of the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center. The group learned about the convention business, the Gaylord business model, as well as the technology and engineering involved in keeping a large facility operating. The post-tour panel included enlightening discussion about the Gaylord brand, economic development in Aurora, and Colorado Tourism.


May | Afternoon at Lockheed Martin Space

Guest Speakers

Adam Sohn

Vice President of Communications, Lockheed Martin Space

Joe Rice

Director of Government Relations, Lockheed Martin Space


Global Positioning System (GPS) III – Chris Jewell, GPS IIIF Program Execution Manager

Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprentice Program (AMTAP) – Sarah Turner, AMTAP Program Manager

Orion & Long Duration Deep Space Exploration – Todd Sullivan, Acting Advanced Programs Director


Lockheed Martin Space hosted the EXECs group for an amazing presentation and tour lead by Adam Sohn, Vice President of Communications, and Director of Government Relations, Joe Rice. The group explored the Factory, led by Bryce Svihoveci and Brian Kaplun, and stopped in to learn about the Additive Lab. The Additive Lab tour provided the EXECs an opportunity to learn about and handle 3D printed materials and to view first-hand the Orion heat shield. The next stop on the tour was the new Gateway Center, led by Brian Sava, which is the new advanced satellite manufacturing facility. During our tour we learned that Lockheed Martin created the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprentice Program (AMTAP) which trains candidates on the skills necessary to build electronics. Vaughn Redmon explained the process of Lockheed Martin Space identifying a need for technical workers and filling that need by creating a training pipeline for individuals interested in building electronics. Finally, the group stopped by the Collaborative Human Immersive Lab (CHIL). Jared Harper and Christian Kennett discussed the CHIL and how this work space allows pertinent individuals the opportunity to analyze designs and manufacturing processes in virtual worlds prior to physical manufacturing. The CHIL was a big hit with the group as they were encouraged to participate in 3-D renderings of systems and make their way through virtual reality experiences.


June | Western Slope Tour 

Climax Molybdenum

Guest Speakers
Vicki Seppala
General Manager, Climax Molybdenum

Eric Weise (EXECs 2018)
Regional Global Supply Chain Manager, Climax Molybdenum


Vicki and her staff covered a brief history of Climax Molybdenum. They discussed their impressive community involvement along with their community programming. The Climax staff also explained their mining and shipping processes along with the challenges and opportunities of conducting business in Colorado.


Peach Street Distillery

Guest Speaker

Bill Graham
Owner, Peach Street Distillers

Bill and his employees welcomed the EXECs group during their Western Slope tour. Bill covered the history of the distillery, technical aspects of distilling, Peach Street’s struggle with accounting on the Western Slope. He also discussed the benefits of working in the area and how Peach Street focuses on sourcing their ingredients locally, commenting on the importance of the distillery using as many local purveyors as possible.  Bill and Peach Street have a tremendous relationship with local farmers and are proud of the work they all do together.

Terra Energy

Guest Speaker

Shawn Brennan
Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager, Terra Energy Partners

Shawn, and the employees of Terra Energy, hosted the final leg of the Western Slope tour. Shawn discussed the history of Terra Energy, the presence of natural gas in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, the technology needed to reach the gas deposits and challenges with extraction. Additionally, Shawn touched on Terra’s innovative spirit, community efforts, and environmental concerns. After the initial discussion, the EXECs were able to visit an active pad that was being serviced as well as a producing pad.

Special Guest Speaker

Betsy Bair
Regional Director, United States Senator Cory Gardner

Senator Cory Gardner’s Regional Director, Betsy Bair, stopped by at the conclusion of the Terra Energy tour to discuss Senator Gardner’s agenda and noted different areas of opportunity that the senator is currently working on. She started with the anticipated relocation of the BLM government offices. Currently housed in Washington DC, Senator Gardner has been lobbying for Colorado, specifically Grand Junction, to become the new home of the BLM offices. Additionally, Betsy commented on the senator’s involvement in the Coos Bay conversation and its relevance to Colorado. Lastly, Betsy touched on a Robocall bill that was introduced and the importance of workforce development along the Front Range.


July | Morning at Five Rivers Feeding

Guest Speakers

Mike Thoren

President and CEO, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

Tom McDonald

Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

Josh Szasz, DVM

Staff Veterinarian, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

Sara Place, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Sustainable Beef Production Research



The EXECs headed north to Kersey, Colorado for the July tour. Five Rivers Cattle Feeding hosted an immersive experience for the group, covering topics such as cattle processing, inoculation, feed make-up and distribution, veterinary medicine, water reclamation, and environmental issues, as well as industry misconceptions. As the group made their way from station to station, they were introduced to the incredible amount of science behind cattle feeding. Additionally Dr. Sarah Place, Senior Director for Sustainable Beef Production Research, discussed the inter-workings of beef sustainability in depth.


August | Afternoon at Native Roots


Senator Julie Gonzales

State Senator for SD 34

Representative Harod

State Representative for HD 8

Representative Matt Grey

State Representative for HD 33

Benjamin Waters

Principal, Waters Public Affairs

Jordan Wellington

Vice President of Policy, VS Strategies

Cindy Sovine (EXECs 2014)

Lobbyist and Political Consultant, Sovine Consulting


Native Roots hosted the EXECs Advocacy Group August tour. The day began with the panel discussing several cannabis bills that were introduced during the 2019 Legislative Session. Additionally, the panel touched on federal issues as they relate to the cannabis industry and the effects of marijuana legalization on the minority population. Immediately following the panel, the group traveled to the retail facility and then the production facility. While touring each location, the staff members discussed medical vs. recreational marijuana and tax obligations with both, we learned about the science behind the grow timeline from Native Root’s in-house horticulturist, and we made several stops along the production cycle, learning about the different processes.


September |  Zimmer Biomet

Guest Speakers
Jonathan Toronto
Vice President, Associate General Council, Zimmer Biomet

Amar Patnaik
Director of Marketing, Zimmer Biomet

Randy Fesmire
Compliance Director, Zimmer Biomet

Leah Curtsinger (EXECs 2015)
Director of Federal Affairs, Colorado Chamber of Commerce


October | Laws Whiskey House/Program Conclusion

Guest Speakers
Rhonda Sparlin, Partner, RubinBrown
Board Chair, Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Chuck Berry
President, Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Stacey Campbell, Shareholder, Campbell Litigation, P.C.
Board Chair Elect, Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Award Presentation

hosted by Priscilla B. Varner, EXECs Advocacy Program Manager

2018 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2018 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program

March | CACI Day a the Capitol: HealthCare


April | Lockheed Martin Space

May | Native Roots


June | Climax Molybdenum & Terra Energy


July | Vestas


August | Western Sugar Cooperative


September | Google


October | End of Program Celebration

2017 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2017 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program

March | MillerCoors

April | Western Slope Tour

May | American Furniture Warehouse

June |Tri-State Generation & Transmission

July |Western Sugar Cooperative

August |Lockheed Martin Space

September |Cybersecurity

October | End of Program Celebration

2016 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2016 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program

March | Chamber Day at the Capitol

April | HealthOne

May | Ameristar

June | Golden Aluminum

July | Climax Molybdenum

August | Pueblo Overnight Trip

September | Bioscience

October | Footers

2015 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2015 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program


Scott Bemis
Director of Business Affairs & Community


March | Kick-Off Program


Tisha Schuller
President & CEO
Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Bill Ray
Homeownership Opportunity Alliance

Christopher Guith
Senior Vice President
Global Energy Institute, US Chamber of Commerce

Ray Johnson
Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Manager

Doug Rhoda
Wolf Robotics

April | HealthONE


Sara Smith
Division Senior Vice President of Strategy & Development

Tony Canfield, M.D.
P/SL Robotic Surgery Chair

Beverly Petry
Chief Marketing Officer
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, HealthONE

Len Kalm
Vice President of Payor Engagement

May | Ameristar Casino, Resort & Spa

Sean Demeule
Vice President & General Manager

Peter Chu
Assistant General Manager

June | Western Slope Overnight

Climax Molybdenum

Leitner Poma

The Business Incubator Center

July | Farm Bureau of Colorado

Gary Sebek
Aurora Organic Dairy

Brent Boydston
Vice President of Public Policy
Colorado Farm Bureau

August | Oil and Gas

PDC Energy


September | Lockheed Martin

David Markham
President of Commercial Launch
Lockheed Martin

October | Program Conclusion

2014 EXECs Advocacy Program Recap

2014 EXECs Cohort

February | Kick-Off Program

March | CACI Day at the Capitol

Guest Speaker

Loren Furman
Senior Vice President of State and Federal Regulations
Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Gayle Berry
Owner, Lobbyist and Governmental Affairs
G Berry Group

Joan Green Turner, Former State Representative
President and CEO
J. Andrew Green & Associates, Inc.

Joe Rice, Former State Representative
Director of Government Relations
Lockheed Martin

Tisha Schuller
President and CEO
Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Virginia Morrison Love
Pinnacol Assurance

April | Air Methods & Air Life Denver

Ryan Frazier
Senior Advisor to the CEO, Strategic Relations
Air Methods Corporation

Ron Thackery
Senior Vice President, Professional Services & Integration
American Medical Response

Hollie Seeley
Assistant Vice President
Airlife Denver with HealthOne

May | Lincoln College of Technology

Al Short
Campus President
Lincoln College of Technology-Denver

Stephanie Steffens
Workforce Development Council

June | Climax Molybdenum & WPX Energy 

Al Short
Campus President
Lincoln College of Technology-Denver

Stephanie Steffens
Workforce Development Council

August | The Brown Palace

Marcel Pitton
Managing Director
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

Jayne Buck
Vice President of Tourism
Visit Denver

August | Manufacturing

Ben Lutze
Vice President and General Manager
EVRAZ Pueblo

Nick Zeiman
Vice President of Operations

September | Cyber Security

David Shepard
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Mike Trammell
Director of Security and Infrastructure

Dr. David Coker
Vice President of Product Service & Infrastructure
Intelligent Software Solutions


October | Program Conclusion