September Speaker: Jeff Weist, Lobbyist

Jeff Weist is a professional lobbyist who has spent 20 years assisting his clients in all aspects of government relations, including strategic planning, lobbying, political fundraising, coalition building, grassroots and communications.

Jeff believes he has the best job in the world, turning his passion for crafting public policy into a lifetime profession helping his clients navigate the often byzantine maze of government.   

Jeff has been interested in public policy since high school. He continued those pursuits in college at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he majored in Political Science, and acted as Managing Editor of the Georgetown Guardian newspaper.

During his tenure in Washington, DC, Jeff served as Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Dan Schaefer (R-CO).  He advised the Congressman on economic, telecommunications, budget, utility, tax and banking issues and had the privilege of playing a leading role in the first major re-write of the nation’s telecommunications laws in 60 years, as well as crafting groundbreaking utility regulation and tax reform legislation.

After coming home to his native Colorado, Jeff was Director of State Government Affairs for AT&T Broadband, the nation’s largest cable television company, as well as its predecessor company, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI). In that role, he oversaw legislative affairs and coordinated lobbying efforts region and nationwide.

From AT&T, he graduated to contract lobbying in 2002, and is proud to have cultivated more than decade-long relationships with many of his clients. From major corporations, medium and small businesses, trade associations to nonprofits, Jeff understands the needs of business owners and membership driven organizations alike.

Despite his passion for his work, Jeff tries hard to lead a balanced life that centers on his two teenage boys. Together, they enjoy a wide range of very fun hobbies, including: fly-fishing, shooting, skiing and high-powered rocketry.  Jeff is a Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster, and former Cub Scout Cubmaster.  Jeff has also volunteered on numerous boards including the Denver Art Museum Asian Art Association and the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

March Speaker: Rosalie Chamberlain, Dimensions of Diversity

Rosalie Chamberlain is the Director of Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching. She is skilled leadership and executive coach and consultant, having worked with a broad range of corporate, government, and private industries, both national and international. Additionally, she is a nationally recognized speaker and program facilitator. Rosalie has more than 18 years of coaching experience working with individuals and groups on leadership development, team building, talent management, career transitions, and helping organizations become successful and inclusive environments.

She specializes in helping leaders obtain leadership mastery and enhance or develop critical skills that maximize the talent of the workforce of their organization, as well as identify and understand any potential blocks and beliefs that hinder progress.

Rosalie specializes in leadership assessment and effectiveness, multicultural competencies, leadership influence, talent management, organizational culture and managing and leveraging diverse talent. She has unique experience with respect to organizational culture, having worked with multicultural organizations with complex diversity and inclusion challenges to develop and implement strategies, behaviors and best practices for building inclusive organizations.

She is the author of Conscious Leadership in the Workplace: A Guidebook to Making a Difference One Person at a Time (2016). Rosalie is a contributor to The New York Times, HR News Magazine (International Public Management Association for Human Resources), Strategic HR Review, Talent Executive, Chief Learning Officer, ABCNews.com, Onward Nation, Strategy Driven, Recalculating: 97 Experts on Driving Small Business Growth, Center Valley Business Times, American Diversity Report, as well as multiple national and international blogs.

January Speaker: Beth Smith, Interviewing Techniques

Beth Smith has been empowering business owners, hiring managers and human resource directors for over a decade to interview and hire the right person the first time. She discovered the importance of the interviewing process when she made a poor hiring decision, which almost led to the demise of her first company.

After launching an enormous research project so that she could learn how to conduct more effective interviews, she concluded that there is a science to interviewing. She also discovered that many managers are thrown into the interview room, scrambling to figure out what to ask and what to listen for, instead of actually being taught how to conduct an effective interview. Beth’s mission has become to transform the world through the interview processin order to promote happy and productive work environments for both employers and employees. To do this, she created A-list Interviews.

Through the research she did on the interview process and through the almost 20,000 candidates that she has interviewed, Beth developed the Response Analysis System™. Studies done on the Response Analysis System™ show that 91% of those who were interviewed and then hired based on the Response Analysis System™ are still employed by the company 12 months later. The power of this system is from the advanced ability to listen to job applicants and measure their fit into an organization both culturally and for skill level.

Beth graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 with degrees in History and Social Work with a minor in English. She also studied Psychology, Philosophy, and Child Development. She has won several awards within her community and industry, such as, Women Who Make a Difference in Boulder, Business Owner of the Year, Certificates of Service for The Hill Alliance, and The Responsible Hospitality Group.

She currently lives in Boulder with her family. In her free time, Beth is the Orientation Coordinator for PawsCo, a Colorado animal rescue organization. She is also an avid swimmer, loves to lift weights and is a die-hard football fan.

December Speaker: Chris Natzke, Creating a 2018 Plan for YOU

Have you ever created exciting plans for the new year only to wake up a few months after the beginning the new year to find you have not begun work on any of them?

In this dynamic and engaging presentation, life-leadership coach, martial arts master instructor and former national champion, Chris Natzke, will share strategies for creating a powerful annual plan and share championship tools to assist you to stay on track throughout the year. 

Topics include:

1)  Process is Primary – Determining where you are, where you want to go and WHY

2)  Living a “Be/Do/Have” Life – Embracing empowering ways of BEing to positively impact your life

3)  Forward Focus Thinking – Moving “Through” not “To” by using obstacles for your learning, upliftment and growth

4)  Making the Way Clear – Releasing distractions so you can fully focus on your intentions for the new year by using the 5 D’s

5)  The Power of the Plan – Pre-Planning for success and preparing for when thing DON’T go right

6)  Inspired Action – Moving out of your Comfort Zone, avoiding your Panic Zone and living in your Stretch Zone

For over four decades, Chris Natzke has been a dedicated student and teacher of the martial arts, achieving the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt/Master Instructor, ranking him in the top 1% of all martial artists in the world.  Also an accomplished national competitor, Chris won the United States National Taekwondo Championships in 1999.  In 1995, he left a very successful career in corporate sales to create his martial arts organization, the Colorado Alliance of Martial Arts (CAMA).  Since that time, the lives of thousands of students (both children and adults) and their families have been positively impacted through his teachings, with over 600 students reaching junior and advanced ranks of Black Belt. 

Now Chris is taking his impactful message beyond the walls of the martial arts school and out into the world.  Businesses and organizational leaders are positively impacted by his message highlighting his “7 Qualities of Black Belt Leadership”.  These qualities represent his journey over four decades in martial arts, personal development, motivation and leadership.  In addition to his work with companies and organizations, Chris has also impacted thousands both in the Denver area and nationally through his “Kindness Counts” program.  Through his programs, school-age children are taught bully-proofing verbal self-defense skills as well as the benefits of non-violent conflict resolution.  As a result, over 250,000 documented random acts of kindness have been generated in the Denver community since 2005.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and a Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.  He is also the author of the newly published book, Black Belt Leadership: 7 Keys to Creating a Life of Purpose by Discovering Your Inner Champion.

Chris Natzke’s principles of success and leadership have transformed the lives of literally thousands of students, business professionals and organizational leaders. His message of inspiration, empowerment and belief in one’s self, leaves audiences moved and inspired to take decisive action in creating the lives and careers of their dreams while making a positive, profound and lasting impact in their world.


September Meeting Topic: Two Games of Leadership

Tom Athenour, CEO/Principal at StarQuest Group, has been in the professional development business for nearly 25 years, and has worked with Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial start-ups to help them achieve profitable growth objectives, develop leadership talent, and create healthy organizations.

Prior to co-founding StarQuest in 1998, he was VP of marketing for International Learning Systems, a consulting firm that worked with Fortune 500 companies across North America. Before entering the consulting business, he worked nearly 15 years in the financial services industry and held leadership positions in marketing, operations and sales with Bank of America, California Bancshares, and Piper Jaffray.

His passion (and purpose) is to work with executives, mid-level leaders, and sales professionals to help them elevate their game; increase their effectiveness; and lead more creative and fulfilling lives.

August Meeting Speakers: Zach & Joel Appel, Childhood Addiction

Zach Appel is a junior at Metro State. Zach grew up in Denver and attended several high schools in Denver and a boarding school in Maine. Zach has been sober for 3.5 years and now helps teens and adults get and stay sober. Zach’s interests are music, reading, psychology, and anything outdoors.

Joel Appel has been an entrepreneur and business manager most of his life. After graduating from Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Joel worked at the Quaker Oats Company for 8 years. He then founded Orange Glo International with his parents, which they sold to Church & Dwight/Arm & Hammer in 2006. A year later Joel founded Launch Pad Ventures which partners with inventors and entrepreneurs who have created such cool companies as Tortle, Brainetics, FullBar, Base Education, and Sleep For Life. Joel sits on the boards of First Descents and the Hoffman Institute. Joel is married to Tiffany Glucksman Appel, has two kids, Zachary and Danielle, and also loves everything outdoors.

April Meeting Speaker: Julie Rasmussen, on Russia Today

Julie Rasmussen has led international business startups, turn arounds and high growth companies for over 25 years. Recently, she served as interim COO for the 8 portfolio companies of a publicly traded holding company based in Dallas, TX. She also sits on the board of the holding company. She lived and worked in Russia and the UK for over 15 years before returning to the US and relocating permanently to Colorado. She has extensive CEO and private, public and nonprofit board experience in industries such as real estate development, fast moving consumer goods, franchising, car leasing and rental and direct selling.

As a child, she spent her summers at her grandparents’ log cabin near Florissant, CO. After college, she moved to Aspen to wait tables and be a ski bum, only to get a job helping produce a whitewater river rafting documentary in Siberia for ABC TV. After spending most of her adult life abroad, Julie’s goal has always been to get back to Colorado where her heart and home are.

Here’s what Julie’s colleagues say about her:
“I can say without reservation that Julie Rasmussen is one of the finest corporate executives I’ve ever worked with in the last 25 years of my career in corporate communications. She is exceptionally bright, uniquely talented, passionate about her work, forthright and fair in the management of her team, engaged in the world outside her balance sheet, and, in the end, a kind person you can trust completely.”

January Meeting Speaker: Carla Johnson, The Art of Storytelling in Marketing

As the Chief Experience Officer, Carla Johnson helps marketers unlock, nurture and strengthen their storytelling muscle so they can create delightful experiences for audiences. She works as a trusted advisor at the highest level of blue-chip brands to establish open conversations, instill creative confidence and inspire an environment of receptivity that develops highly prized teams and stellar business results. Carla has worked with companies that include American Express, Dell, Emerson, Motorola Solutions, VMware, Western Union and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how to tap into a wellspring of ideas and unveil new ways to bring their brand stories alive in fun and captivating ways.

Consistently recognized as one of the top influencers in content marketing, Carla’s latest book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, teaches marketers how to develop, manage and lead the creation of valuable experiences in their organizations. Carla serves as the Vice Chair on the Executive Board of the Business Marketing Association (a division of the ANA) and previously was the Vice President of Thought Leadership. She’s an instructor for Rutgers University mini-MBA program, the Content Marketing Institute, the ANA and the Online Marketing Institute. A frequent speaker, Carla also contributes to industry wide news outlets, forums and conferences on the future of the marketing profession, leading through innovation and the power of storytelling.

October Meeting Speaker: Tami Door, President & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership

Tami Door is the President & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, a membership organization that creatively plans and manages Downtown Denver so that it remains vibrant and economically healthy. The Partnership dedicates its efforts to development, retail, public policy, transportation and housing initiatives. The Partnership currently has over 700 member businesses.

© Glenn Ross | www.glennrossphoto.com
© Glenn Ross | www.glennrossphoto.com

Under the umbrella of the Downtown Denver Partnership Door oversees multiple entities including the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Downtown Theater District and Downtown Denver Events – Colorado’s largest producer of public events. Her organization produces popular community events that bring more than one million people Downtown each year, including Denver Startup Week, A Taste of Colorado, the 9News Parade of Lights, and New Year’s Eve Fireworks Downtown.

Throughout her ten years of leadership, she has overseen multiple key city plans, such as the 16th Street Plan and 14th Street Plan, all of which have involved a wide variety of stakeholders. Door led an 18-month process to create a twenty-year vision for Downtown, the Downtown Area Plan. It was formally adopted by City Council in July of 2007 and is now in its implementation phase.

She was selected by the Denver Business Journal as one of the Forty Under Forty in the local business community, and was included in Denver’s Powerbook List, compiled by the Denver Business Journal. She is a member of the Young President’s Organization and the Colorado Women’s Forum.  She was named the 9News Leader of the Year.

Door serves on the following committees / boards:

  • Auraria Higher Education Center Board of Directors – Vice Chair
  • Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce – Treasurer
  • Denver Commission to End Homelessness – Co-Chair
  • Visit Denver – Board Member
  • Denver Theatre District – Board Member
  • Young Presidents’ Organization – Member

Door, her husband Rick and sons Hayden and Parker live in Park Hill and enjoy skiing and water skiing in their spare time.

May Meeting Speaker: Dick Monfort, CEO Colorado Rockies

As baseball season kicks off, we are thrilled to host Dick Monfort, CEO Colorado Rockies, at our May Meeting.  Dick will talk about Leadership in the context of a Major League Baseball Team.  What it looks like to deal with these high-powered stakeholders (MLB Owners, league President, wealthy players, etc.) in a leadership capacity.  Pulling back the curtain, here is what it is like behind the scenes.DickMonfort

Dick Monfort enters his 18th season with the Rockies franchise and in 2015 he continues in his role as Owner/Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the club.  A Colorado native, Monfort and the Colorado Rockies Ownership Group have established the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club as a leading organization in the Rocky Mountain Region in both the sport and business of baseball.

Brothers Dick and Charlie Monfort have done extensive community outreach through their family-directed Monfort Family Foundation.  In September 2004, the Monfort Family Foundation, gifted $10 million dollars to Children’s Hospital Colorado for the construction of a new medical facility in Aurora, Colo.  The oncology floor of the new hospital is named in memory of Rick Wilson, a cousin of the Monfort family.  In addition, the family funded an artwork, photo and Rockies memorabilia display to enhance the seventh floor of the hospital.  The foundation is a longtime provider of funding and endorsement for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Metro Denver and Weld County.  In 2012, they matched dollar for dollar on fans’ collected contributions for Coloradoans devastated by summer wildfires.  Also active in higher education, the Monfort family supports the Monfort School of Business at the University of Northern Colorado and the Monfort Excellence Fund at Colorado State University; both impact students, faculty and the Northern Colorado community through scholarships for exceptional students and support of outstanding faculty.  Other organizations that have benefited from the Monfort family’s years of philanthropic work include CU Cancer Center, Craig Hospital, United Way, the Denver Art Museum and Habitat for Humanity.

In January 2012, the Monfort brothers headed an investment group that purchased the Casper Ghosts, the Rockies affiliate in the Pioneer League now located in Grand Junction, Colo.

Individually, Monfort was the 2008 recipient of the United Way of Weld County Humanitarian of the Year Award-an award his father, Kenny Monfort, received twenty years earlier.  Monfort is currently the Chairman of the University of Northern Colorado Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Directors of University of Colorado Health and Chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission.

Monfort spent 25 years in the cattle business, primarily with his family’s company. He became president of Monfort of Colorado, Inc., in 1987 and joined ConAgra Red Meats in 1991 as the president & CEO.  After retiring from ConAgra in 1995, he helped launch the Montera Cattle Co. in 1996.  Currently, he owns the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, Monfort has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management.  In May 2012, Colorado State University President Tony Frank awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to Monfort in recognition of his significant contributions to Colorado industry and higher education.  Also in May 2014, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship by Johnson & Wales University.

Born April 27, 1954, Monfort makes his home in Greeley, Colo., and he has three children: daughter Lyndsey (and son-in-law Aaron Graber) and sons Walker and Sterling.