Author: Boettcher Foundation

DENVER, July 21, 2022 — The Boettcher Foundation is excited to announce the second cohort of Fellows to participate in its Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship. The Fellowship, a component of the Foundation’s COLead Initiative, seeks to identify, celebrate, elevate, and connect community champions from across Colorado. The program elevates these individuals’ voices and amplifies their impact through structured opportunities to develop as individual leaders and members of Colorado’s ecosystem, including a financial investment, individualized coaching, and an emphasis on building connections. “I am honored that these 10 incredible Coloradans have chosen to take part in Boettcher’s Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “Each one of these leaders impacts their communities through leadership and community building. We are excited to support them on their leadership journeys.” The 2022 Fellows, chosen from a competitive process, come from a variety of backgrounds, sectors, and geographic regions. They are local leaders engaged in economic development, youth development, civic engagement, and more. Though unique in their professional backgrounds and lived experiences, each Fellow is determined to serve Colorado and their community with courageous leadership. The Fellows are pictured below as follows (top row, left to right; bottom row, left to right): 2022 Boettcher Fellows Shelby Clark, Wray Esteban Salazar, Alamosa Gregory Kolomitz, La Junta Jennifer Holloway, Craig Chris Beasley, Colorado Springs   Gloria Perez, Leadville Dave Goe, Grand Junction Letitica Bancroft, Fort Morgan Gillian Laycock, Hugo Lupita Garcia, Alamosa   About the Boettcher Foundation:  We believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day, we build up and connect doers and difference makers from across the state, working to elevate people, programs, and organizations. Because by investing in Colorado leaders, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building across Colorado....

1996 Boettcher Scholar Danny McDonnall is a bioengineering expert turned opera singer. He was recently interviewed by 1995 Boettcher Scholar Katy Craig. They discuss humanitarian biotechnology, finding passion and mission to fuel motivation, and of course, opera. Watch the video (and get a glimpse of Danny's vocal prowess) here....

DENVER, June 1, 2022 — The Boettcher Foundation is proud to announce its 2022 class of Boettcher Investigators, recipients of grant funding through the Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards Program. The eight Investigators work in teaching and research positions at Colorado State University, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder, and National Jewish Health. The prestigious award supports promising, early career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance their independent research in Colorado and compete for major federal and private awards in the future. Each Boettcher Investigator will receive a $235,000 grant to support up to three years of biomedical research. The new Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are: Colorado State University Jaclyn A. Stephens, Ph.D., OTR/L - Evaluating yoga intervention-induced changes in performance and neurophysiology in adults with chronic brain injury. Allison Vilander, D.V.M., Ph.D. - Characterization of immune response to oral rotavirus vaccination in a murine model of environmental enteric dysfunction. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Martin W. Breuss, Ph.D. - Elucidation of the features of germ cell mosaicism and its impact on human health. Shanlee Davis, M.D., Ph.D. - Pathophysiology of cardiometabolic dysfunction in Klinefelter Syndrome. Michael S. Leibowitz, M.D., Ph.D. - Altering the tumor microenvironment to increase epitope spreading and augment chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for metastatic osteosarcoma. Andrew C. Smith, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D. - Spinal cord lesion determinants of optimal responsiveness to spinal cord stimulation. University of Colorado Boulder Aaron T. Whiteley, Ph.D. - Novel mechanisms of STING signaling in disease. National Jewish Health Jessica W. Hui-Beckman, M.D. - The role of temperature on the atopic march.   “At a time when we are reminded of how vital biomedical research is to a healthy society, the Boettcher Foundation is honored to invest in these eight exceptional early career researchers as they investigate causes and treatments of disease, injury, and more,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “We know the ripple effects of their leading research at our beloved Colorado institutions will have immense beneficial impacts for people far into the future.” With the newest class, the 12-year-old Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program has accelerated the breakthrough work of 90 Boettcher Investigators. Notably, this year's cohort is consistent with a recent trend of an equal proportion of women and men recipients. Over the past three years, 50% of the Investigators have been women researchers, compared to 35% during the program’s first nine years. In total, Boettcher Investigators have attracted more than $110 million in additional federal, state, and private research funding. Additionally, Investigators have published more than 100 articles and registered eight patent applications. “Colorado BioScience Association congratulates the newest class of Boettcher Investigators and thanks the Boettcher Foundation for its vision to advance Colorado’s leadership in health innovation by supporting researchers during the critical, early stages of their careers.” said Elyse Blazevich, Colorado BioScience Association president and CEO. “The Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards Program makes a critical contribution to our state’s momentum as a leading national and international hub for life sciences.” The Boettcher Foundation has been a leading philanthropic supporter of biomedical research in Colorado for many years. For more information about the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, visit the Boettcher Foundation website. About Colorado BioScience Association: Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) creates co-opportunity for the Colorado life sciences community. CBSA champions a collaborative life sciences ecosystem and advocates for a supportive business climate. From concept to commercialization, member companies and organizations drive global health innovations, products and services that improve and save lives. The association leads Capital and Growth, Education and Networking, Policy and Advocacy, and Workforce Cultivation to make its members stronger, together. Learn more: cobioscience.com About the Boettcher Foundation : We believe in the promise of Colorado and potential of Coloradans. Every day we build up and connect doers and difference makers from across the state, working to elevate people, programs, and organizations. Because by investing in Colorado’s leaders, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building across the state. Photos of individual recipients are available by request.  ...

DENVER, May 19, 2022 —The Boettcher Foundation today announced that it is recognizing a group of standout Colorado teachers for their impact and influence on some of the state’s top students. As part of the Boettcher Scholarship Program, which provides Colorado’s most talented students with scholarships to attend a Colorado college or university, the Boettcher Foundation also honors the teachers who have committed themselves to supporting the high-achieving students who interview for the scholarship as finalists. “These educators have devoted their careers to motivating and inspiring an incredible group of leaders and learners,“ said Tiffany Anderson, director of programs at the Boettcher Foundation. “We are honored to recognize them for all they do for the young people of our state, their schools, and communities.” This year’s teacher honorees were selected by the 100-plus finalists for the Boettcher Scholarship. Each educator will receive a plaque, a personalized tribute from the student who selected them, and a $500 grant to be used for a project or activity to benefit students at their school. “As dedicated and passionate educators, these individuals have championed leadership in their classrooms and helped a talented group of students to strive for excellence,” Anderson said. A complete list of the 2022 Teacher Recognition Award recipients follows. About the Boettcher Foundation: At the Boettcher Foundation, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. 2022 Teacher Recognition Award Recipients Teacher  School or Institution School District Brett Todd Adams City High School Adams County 14 Jillian Lykens Air Academy High School Academy 20 Sandra Vuletich Air Academy High School Academy 20 Tina Edelein Alexander Dawson School Kristin Leclaire Arapahoe High School Littleton 6 Teresa Gutierrez Arapahoe High School Littleton 6 Lisa Paulek Bayfield High School Bayfield 10 JT-R Jeni Montague Big Sandy School-Simla Big Sandy 100J Kathy Gustad Brighton High School School District 27J Andrea Binion Broomfield High School Boulder Valley RE 2 Ron Tillitson Burlington High School Burlington RE-6J Don Daniels Chatfield Senior High School Jefferson County R-1 Courtney Hendricks Cherokee Trail High School Cherry Creek 5 Cameron Gauthier Coal Ridge High School Garfield RE-2 Tracy Wilson Colorado Rocky Mountain School Private Karen Jordan Colorado Springs Early Colleges High School Charter School Institute Kelly Chappell Colorado State University Eric Friesen Columbine High School Jefferson County R-1 Kyle Yeh Coronado High School Colorado Springs 11 Ryan Christensen Cotopaxi High School Cotopaxi RE-3 Charlotte Camp Crested Butte Community School Gunnison Watershed RE1J Katherine Páez Dakota Ridge High School Jefferson County R-1 Michelle Guerra Dakota Ridge High School Jefferson County R-1 Jakob Meils Denver East High School Denver County 1 John Jonas Denver North High School Denver County 1 Megen Gilman Denver North High School Denver County 1 Moss Kaplan Denver School of the Arts Denver County 1 Lance McClure Denver South High School Denver County 1 Steve Franklin D'Evelyn Jr/Sr High School Jefferson County R-1 Samantha Williams Discovery Canyon High School Academy 20 Kricket Lewis Durango High School Durango 9-R Danelle Rivera Eagle Valley High School Eagle County RE 50 David Frantom Eaglecrest High School Cherry Creek 5 Paul Strode Fairview High School Boulder Valley RE 2 Kristin Shapiro Florence High School Fremont RE-2 Christine Matthie Fort Collins High School Poudre R-1 Kenneth Monks Front Range Community College Kyle Hirsch Gateway High School Adams-Arapahoe 28J Angela Danley George Washington High School Denver County 1 Teacher  School or Institution  School District Christopher Hubble George Washington High School Denver County 1 Thomas Frasier Greeley Central High School Greeley 6 Brian Hayenga Hinkley High School Adams-Arapahoe 28J Jennifer Van Gundy Hinkley High School Adams-Arapahoe 28J Susan Hartley Hinkley High School Adams-Arapahoe 28J Ginna Halverson Kent Denver School David Martin Lakewood High School Jefferson County R-1 Jenna Randle Lamar High School Lamar RE-2 Jennifer Cooper Legacy High School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Joshua Sloane Legacy High School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Tyler Arko Legacy High School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Jenna Butler Legend High School Douglas County RE 1 Rodney Stutzman Littleton High School Cherry Creek 5 Dena Herskind-Palser Lone Star Undivided High School Lone Star 101 Chris Chou Longmont High School St Vrain Valley RE 1J Katharine Ellis Monarch High School Boulder Valley RE 2 Keith Mainland Monarch High School Boulder Valley RE 2 Katie Allison Mountain Vista High School Douglas County RE 1 Mike McGuire Mullen High School Teresa Ewing Niwot High School St Vrain Valley RE 1J Lynnette Weddle North Park High School North Park R-1 Melissa Williford Northglenn High School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Diane Patterson Northridge High School Greeley 6 Dana Hansen Overland High School Cherry Creek 5 Kara Billings Overland High School Cherry Creek 5 Joshua Kurz Pagosa Springs High School Archuleta County 50 JT Kim Popick Palisade High School Mesa County Valley 51 Allen Hankla Peak to Peak Charter School Boulder Valley RE 2 Kurt Schaefer Peak to Peak Charter School Boulder Valley RE 2 Kate Margrave Pine Creek High School Academy 20 Gillian Lange Pomona High School Jefferson County R-1 Kayla Diaz Ponderosa High School Douglas County RE 1 Carrie Gongaware Primero High School Primero Reorganized 2 Jodi Crane-Murphy Pueblo Centennial High School Pueblo City 60 Joanne Griego Pueblo Central High School Pueblo City 60 Joanne Griego Pueblo Central High School Pueblo City 60 Vicki Bowker Pueblo County High School Pueblo County 70 Johanna Woelfel Pueblo West High School Pueblo County 70 Nicole McHenry Pueblo West High School Pueblo County 70 Jenny Braketa Ralston Valley Senior High School Jefferson County R-1 Trisha Anthony Rampart High School Academy 20 Randy Mills Rangeview High School Adams-Arapahoe 28J Tina Phibbs Riverdale Ridge High School School District 27J Teacher  School or Institution School District Julia Dale Rock Canyon High School Douglas County RE 1 Kerry Hinton Rock Canyon High School Douglas County RE 1 Mary Burnham Rock Canyon High School Douglas County RE 1 Kenyon Scheurman Rocky Mountain High School Poudre R-1 Kayla Sommers Roosevelt High School Johnstown-Milliken RE-5J Audrey Gamache Salida High School Salida R-32 Kelly Landgraf Sheridan High School Sheridan 2 Bryon Booher Silver Creek High School St Vrain Valley RE 1J Carmen Rubino Silver Creek High School St Vrain Valley RE 1J Alejandra Larrahona Smoky Hill High School Cherry Creek 5 Kelli Turnipseed Soroco High School South Routt RE 3 Richard Boland South Park High School Park County RE-2 Michelle Hayden St. Mary's Academy Justin Pond Standley Lake High School Jefferson County R-1 Lucas Thomas Stargate Charter School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Gina Wither Steamboat Mountain School Jenny Shea Steamboat Springs High School Steamboat Springs RE-2 Jacob Wunsh Strive Prep-Smart Denver County 1 Bonnie Grossen Swink High School Swink 33 Jessica Pickering Swink High School Swink 33 Jay Klagge Thompson Valley High School Thompson R2-J Deborah Molen Twin Peaks Classical Academy St Vrain Valley Re 1J Theresa James Vista Ridge High School District 49 Tim Cuevas Westgate Community School Adams 12 Five Star Schools Jeff Dennis Westminster High School Westminster Public Schools Michael Saulmon Wiggins High School Brush RE-2 Chelsea Situmeang Young Aspiring Americans for                Social & Political Activism    ...

Largest Scholar Cohort Ever Commemorates the Program’s 70th year  DENVER, May 5, 2022 — Fifty of Colorado’s most talented graduating seniors have been named Boettcher Foundation Scholars, marking the largest cohort ever to earn the prestigious scholarship recognizing the next generation of doers and difference makers. “These 50 young leaders are talented, passionate, intellectually curious, have outstanding character, and possess resilience beyond measure,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Foundation. “The sense of responsibility and commitment to community-building among this class impressed us in profound ways. We are honored to call them Boettcher Scholars.” The year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the Boettcher Scholarship Program, which annually awards merit scholarships to Colorado’s top high school seniors with the goal to keep Colorado’s brightest minds and most talented young leaders in-state for their postsecondary years. In addition to being a comprehensive scholarship, the award also includes programming and support to ensure that Scholars reach their full leadership and academic potential. Scholars are selected based on academics, service, leadership, and character. The Boettcher Scholar network includes more than 2,700 leaders who have gone on to make their marks in the sectors of business, government, nonprofits, and academia in a myriad of industries. This year’s cohort includes the following: A certified EMT who volunteers for 35 hours a week at a local fire protection district Owner of a digital art, design, and advertising business The state president of DECA who has led the state officer team in planning and executing events for Colorado’s 1,700 members A published author and illustrator of a children’s book An activist who worked with her county health department to pass ordinances expanding smoking/vaping free areas, requiring businesses to have a license to sell tobacco products, and raising the legal age for tobacco products A community champion who, in partnership with a local university, initiated a project to create make-at-home cooking kits distributed through a local food bank The owner of a student’s pilot license An environmentalist who has worked with regional community groups and institutions to evaluate the effects of motorized recreation and how to save the bees in southwest Colorado A researcher who has been studying the effects of concussions on youth soccer players for five years alongside university experts and national concussion specialists “This cohort of Scholars remained steadfast in their leadership through a pandemic that hit during their sophomore year,” said Tiffany Anderson, director of programs at the Foundation. “Their leadership and service shined with so many of them dedicating themselves to supporting their families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities. We like to describe this group as a collection of community champions who view leadership as an everyday activity.” Nearly 1,700 students applied for the Boettcher Scholarship this year, a record number. This year marks the first year the number of Boettcher Scholars has increased from 42 to 50. Scholar names, high schools, and photos follow. High-resolution images available upon request. About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. 2022 Boettcher Scholars Ashley Agyepong Hinkley HS CU Boulder Victoria Aragon Eagle Valley HS CSU Abhiyan Barailee Northglenn HS CU Boulder Adithya Bhaskara Silver Creek HS CU Boulder Herminia Bocanegra Tejeda Northridge HS Mines Talia Cardin Denver South HS CC Carson Carere Lamar HS CU Boulder Yahir Chairez Salazar Greeley Central HS Mines Brendan Church Ralston Valley Senior HS CU Boulder Kelly Clingan Thompson Valley HS CU Boulder Charlotte Combe Lakewood HS CC Sydney Cure Burlington HS CSU Liz Cutting Mullen HS CU Boulder Andrea Donlucas Brighton HS CSU Sophia Feghali Palisade HS CU Boulder Gabrielle French Stargate Charter School CU Boulder Dayanira Gallegos Gateway HS Mines Asaiah Gifford Cherokee Trail HS CU Boulder Morgan Hampton Arapahoe HS Mines Melia Henrichsen Fort Collins HS CSU Royce Hinojosa Bayfield HS CC Maggie Holland D'Evelyn Jr./Sr. HS CU Boulder Nicholas Huber Durango HS Mines Jaiden Inks Pueblo West HS DU Anoushka Jani Legacy HS CU Boulder Aidan Janney Coronado HS CU Boulder Chloe Kemp Pine Creek HS CU Boulder Dylan Lindsey Rocky Mountain HS DU Cari Loa Adams City High School CU Boulder Emilze Lopez Sheridan HS CU Boulder Arianna McCarty Centaurus HS CU Boulder Ian McLeod Alexander Dawson School CU Boulder Amanda Miller  Broomfield HS CSU Erick Monroy Coal Ridge HS CU Denver William Navarrete Moreno CO Springs Early Colleges  HS CU Denver Bethany Rasco Big Sandy School-Simla Mines Daniela Reyes North Park HS CU Boulder Kaylenn Sánchez-Flores Strive Prep-Smart Mines Willa Schendler Colorado Rocky Mountain School CC Sophie Scholl Denver North HS CSU Kailey Sieja George Washington HS CU Boulder Erika Sjoblom Soroco HS CU Boulder Frankie Stroud Rock Canyon HS DU Li Hong Sweet-Seip Pueblo County HS Mines Nell Taylor Pagosa Springs HS CSU Emma Todd Columbine HS Mines Abby Voorhis South Park HS CU Boulder Sophie Whitehead Legend HS CU Boulder Tinsley Wilkinson Steamboat Mountain School DU Ada Youngstrom Denver North HS CC ...

By Chris Lowell In a world concerned with standards and conformity of behavior, Quincy Hansen argues for a more accommodating and accepting world. Quincy does not fit neatly into one category; he is as curious about the world as he is multi-faceted in his interests and talents. From Thornton, Colorado, Quincy is not only a Boettcher Scholar studying Biology and entomology at Colorado State University, but he is also an autism advocate turned published author and frequent advisor and guest voice on projects aimed at increasing acceptance and participation of people with autism in society. Whether he is helping young adults with autism find their voice in this world, delivering remarks at an autism perspective conference, musing about nuanced evolutionary biology topics, or heading out on a fossil prospecting trip, Quincy is a dynamic young leader who advocates for understanding of life on earth; beings big and small, extinct and extant, neurodiverse and not alike. I recently sat down with Quincy to discuss his journey to this point, some of his current work (including the release of his upcoming book), and where he is headed next. Below are excerpts from our conversation. Navigating the difference between school and academics    Can you tell me about your academic journey? Between seventh grade and graduating high school, my narrative about myself switched from: Quincy will not graduate high school, to: class valedictorian. Middle school was not a conducive environment for me to learn. I was struggling academically, mentally, and socially, and we were struggling to access the right accommodations in school. It became so bad towards the end of seventh grade that I did not finish the academic year. My dad knew that regardless of how it appeared in a middle school classroom, I was intelligent. He suggested enrolling me in Front Range Community College (FRCC), which we did. I achieved a 4.0 as an 8th grader in my first semester at FRCC, which was an immense confidence boost for me. It turns out, that I do pretty well in a lecture, rather than unaccommodating classrooms in a typical middle school. In a college class, I can go my own pace, and avoid the cruelty of middle school students; the maturity of fellow college students is much higher. One of the classes I took at FRCC was intro-level biology. I loved the topics, and when I love something I am super enthusiastic about it. College-aged students would ask me for help, which again was a confidence boost. After other unsuccessful attempts at integrating into new middle schools, I finally enrolled in Faith Christian Academy, which turned out to be fantastic. Instead of fights over educational goals and accommodations, they were flexible and they believed in me as a person, and saw me as an actual student. I received the accommodations I needed, I made great friends, I played on the football team, I was the bass player in the jazz band. And I became our class valedictorian.  Neurodiversity, writing, and advocacy Can you tell me about your relationship with writing and how being neurodiverse impacts that? It is easier to express myself in writing. I haven't taken any advanced writing courses; I have a grasp of writing mechanics, and I don’t overthink it too much. My internal thought process is very visual. When I think, it’s like watching a movie reel go by in my head; that’s how I process and understand ideas. It is a translational process to take those ideas from my head and use words to paint that imagery onto a blank page. That does make me an unbelievably slow writer, but at the same time it ends up being a true expression. Perhaps people can get bogged down by the words themselves when they are writing and miss the concepts they are writing about. I start with the concepts and try to translate them into words. Writing is freeing, to an extent. I have so much that goes in my head and when I can get it down and have a record of those concepts, that is great. How did your advocacy career get started?  It has been a fantastic journey. I found myself answering the same questions about myself over and over again. So I figured, instead of doing that, why don’t I just write them down and send them a link. So, in High School I began writing the blog Speaking of Autism…. People with Autism process sensory information differently, and different behaviors are the product of the distinct way we receive and process that sensory information. The world can interpret these behaviors as needing to be fixed, when they only need to be understood more, accepted, and accommodated. I began to realize that there was this whole advocacy movement surrounding autism and neurodiversity, and I had this great philosophical awakening on the topic. At some point, a well-known autism advocate liked something that I wrote and they shared it on their page, which caused my blog to blow up in 2019. I woke up in the morning and I had hundreds of thousands of views and had emails in my inbox with people wanting to know if I had an email list or a Facebook page. I didn’t, because only a few people were regularly reading before that. I started to meet bloggers whose material I had always read, and I got invited for various speaking engagements at conferences, and things were taking off. Of course, the pandemic came which halted the in-person speaking and advising gigs. But throughout the pandemic, I continued to write. I was eventually contacted by a publishing house that specializes in autism, neurodiversity, and special education to collaboratively develop a proposal for a book, which was eventually greenlit. It took me about 10 months to write, and it will be released in mid-July 2022. Tell me about your book: Shake it Up! How to be young, autistic, and make an impact. Autism advocacy is gaining a lot of ground right now, yet there is not a specific resource for young people who are autistic or neurodiverse on how to sharpen their advocacy skills. So we crafted this first of its kind advocacy guide specifically targeting teens and young adults interested in leading change. It features interviews with young autistic leaders, and discusses issues like stereotypes, self-image, and communication barriers. The overall concept for Shake it Up was developed collaboratively with the publisher and the autism community. It seeks to build readers’ confidence to change the world around them. Despite the stereotype that people with autism live in our own worlds, Autistic people are very deeply connected with the world, and we process sensory and emotional inputs more intensely. There is a tendency for autistic people to accumulate encyclopedias of knowledge. We get very passionate about things that interest us and about injustices of the world. Greta Thunberg is a great case study. I think any reader will be able to get something out of it. I am so happy to have this contribution to the world. Your advocacy career is obviously advancing, but you also have a focus on evolutionary biology in a research and academic setting. So, where are you headed next? Advocacy has been a lot of fun, and it gives me a lot of meaning and purpose. I don’t believe this is my last book either. Trying to make a difference is so empowering, which is why I don’t see myself simply ending my involvement with advocacy. But I am more complex and multifaceted than that. I have other interests, and I am a scientist at heart. I want to study biology and the evolution of life on earth. Evolution is what drives me and gets me going. I want to make that my professional career, I want to have an impact on science and be a researcher. After undergrad, I intend to get my Ph.D. and become a professor. But that doesn’t mean I have to abandon advocacy. In the meantime, the world has gotten comfortable moving events online, so I've been giving presentations, and participating in online panels; hopefully I can start doing more events in-person and get back to where I was two years ago. One passion can support the other. It is a false dichotomy to think these two paths are distinct and separate....

DENVER, April 20, 2022 — The Boettcher Foundation is pleased to announce that Lindsey Paulson, M.D., has been appointed to the Board of Trustees. Dr. Paulson, a family physician in Wray, is nationally trained in surgical obstetrics and is passionate about providing high quality and safe maternity care in rural Colorado. Comprised of some of Colorado’s most dynamic business and community leaders, the Boettcher Foundation Trustees are responsible for governing and guiding the Foundation’s mission to support the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. “Lindsey is the definition of a doer and difference maker,” said President & CEO Katie Kramer. “Her dream was always to practice rural medicine and give back to the community where she works and lives. Her knowledge and lived experience from growing up and raising a family as a rural Coloradan make her an incredible asset for our board.” Dr. Paulson, a 1999 Boettcher Scholar from Sargent High School in the San Luis Valley, is the first Scholar Alumna to be named a Trustee. She is the fourth Alum overall to serve on the Foundation’s governing board. Dr. Paulson said she draws inspiration from the transformational impact that Boettcher’s scholarships and grants have on communities and the lives of Coloradans, including hers. “Being a Boettcher Scholar has enriched my life both academically and professionally and I have formed many lifelong, enriching friendships,” Dr. Paulson said. “As I pursued my career in rural family medicine, I worked to honor the investment that Boettcher made in me as a young woman and I have developed a passion for the communities and people of Colorado.” As a physician, Dr. Paulson practices full spectrum family medicine in obstetrics, pediatrics, inpatient, outpatient, and family emergency medicine. She has served two terms as chief of staff at the Wray Community District Hospital and is active on the Wray Hospital Foundation Board. Her advocacy for rural medicine is well known across Colorado. She currently serves as the North Colorado Family Medicine Rural Training Track where she works to mentor and support the next generation of rural family physicians. “I love Colorado and especially rural Colorado,“ she said. “I am excited to bring my unique experience to the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees as we work together to help Coloradans thrive.” Dr. Paulson earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Denver before graduating from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She lives in Wray with her husband, Noah, and their three children. ...

By Chris Lowell Judi Wagner’s resume is barely over a page long. “You never want to have a long resume,” she says while reviewing her career with me over coffee on a bright, early-spring Colorado day. The unassuming piece of paper lists her involvement in single-spaced font, with generous margins. But upon closer inspection of the document, and after dozens of references to her role as president and various other board positions, one begins to get the sense of Judi as an immeasurably talented leader whose impact has been felt in Colorado and by Coloradans for more than half a century. To trace the entirety of Judi’s contributions would be a considerable feat, but a few of Judi’s most notable leadership successes include her role as president of a group of trailblazing women who founded the Women’s Bank of Denver, co-founder of Electing Women, a group dedicated to supporting women in their pursuit of our nation’s top political offices, and co-founder of the first university-based center for women’s health research, The Center for Women’s Health Research, at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Born Judith Foster in Pennsylvania and raised in Fresno, California, Judi described what it was like being the oldest of 25 cousins in the same small town. She found herself as their de facto leader. “The first thing I did as the oldest cousin was to make all these little kids learn Christmas carols and make them play their tambourines, and stage them at Christmas time,” said Judi. “I think that was a blessing in a lot of ways, you get the idea of what leading is about. You know what works, what gets people motivated, and what makes them want to be part of it.” In the same way that Judi taught her chorus of cousins to find their voice, so too has she advised boards, organizations, and causes to lead with a unified voice. While individual voices are unique on their own, it is when they are arranged that choirs can produce a powerful, unified harmony. Wherever she went, Judi brought the gift of consensus-building along with her, carving out a remarkable story of leadership and impact. Leadership in Finance Judi is a pathfinder in the field of finance. When she came to Colorado in 1972, Judi was the first women to work at the Boettcher & Co investment firm. As a research analyst, she formed relationships with banks, technology start-ups, and utilities across the Western United States. Learjet and StorageTek were among the young firms that she came to know. After the economic crash of 1971, Judi decided to venture out on her own. She formed Foster Management, the precursor to Wagner Investment Management, which was the first women-owned investment firm in Colorado. Her focus was to build the financial independence of women. By the early 1970s, women were not guaranteed access to credit. In fact, in many instances, women were denied credit for no other reason than gender discrimination. This was supposed to change in 1974, when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) passed. In Judi’s experience, it was still extremely hard for a woman to be granted credit, even after the ECOA became law. “The bankers were ignoring the law,” she said. Predisposed to build consensus, Judi led a groundbreaking group of women who knew this was a great opportunity to establish a women’s bank that would ensure all women — married, single, divorced, and widowed — were able to access to financial independence. Judi’s diplomatic leadership steered the effort to obtain a federal bank charter, raise the capital to start the bank, install high-quality, female leadership to run the bank, and navigate the various other processes that had never been successfully completed in Colorado. The bank had to raise $2 million dollars in capital to launch. “I had no idea how to start a bank,” recalls Judi, with a laugh. “I just knew how to get the people interested and raise the money.” On its opening day, the Women’s Bank of Denver pulled in $1 million in deposits, and $1 million more each week for the next 12 weeks. It was immediately profitable. By 1982, assets of the Women’s Bank were $25 million, which made it the second largest women’s bank in the country, behind only the New York City version. Leadership in Women’s Health Research Judi’s leadership is certainly not confined to the financial industry. Along her journey, one of Judi’s clients pointed out the dearth of women’s health research. An idea was hatched among a few University of Colorado professors to establish a research institution dedicated solely to women’s health. Judi lent a helping hand to the efforts of the professors, helped fundraise, and broadened the vision and impact for the proposed research center. Judi’s organizational efforts got the attention of the powers that be, which led to the funding, and ultimately the founding of first university-based center for women’s health research in the country, The Center for Women’s Health Research, at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. While reflecting on this chapter, Judi mused, “Once you find someone that wants to do something, it is fun to lend a helping hand. I have really enjoyed it.” Today, the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research is considered among the best places to conduct women’s health research, especially research that considers both biological and social differences in women. Leadership in Electing Women Judi has also played a central role in getting more women elected to powerful public offices in Colorado and the US. After her friend and collaborator, former Colorado Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler narrowly lost her gubernatorial bid in 1998, the two co-founded a project aimed at supporting women who are running for some of the top public offices in the country. Bolstered by her gifts for consensus-building and fundraising, Judi says that by 2000, she was convening two to three events a year to raise money for candidates. Today that number is closer to 10-12 events a year to support women in US Senate and gubernatorial races. While the organization started in Denver, Judi had bigger aspirations. “We thought this shouldn’t just be in Denver, this should be national.” Thus, the Electing Women Alliance was born. More than a dozen groups across the country have been set up to fundraise in their own communities. Since its founding, Electing Women has contributed more than $2 million to more than 40 candidates, including 20 current and former women U.S. Senators, and five former governors. Presently, helping maintain the success of this group, and looking ahead to where the grassroot effort can evolve, occupies a large part of Judi’s calendar. At the end of our conversation, I asked Judi what she had on her agenda for the rest of the day. “We are hosting the First Lady at 3 p.m., so I better prepare for that.” I immediately looked at my watch, concerned about how much time she had to prepare, and jokingly asked her: “Well, what are you doing having coffee with me?” She chuckled, and said “just a coincidence.” Aligning the Stars One thing I noticed about Judi is her modesty. As our conversation bounced from discussing one of her contributions to the next, she would often chalk it up to “good luck” or “coincidence.” Whether it was her being hired at a certain job, meeting a certain person at the right time, or getting an initiative successfully off the ground, Judi summed it up with “there’s been a real lot of luck in my life.” But we all know that it takes preparation and hard work to make a transformative difference. “I think I am basically a shy person,” she added, after I noted her modesty, “even though I am very curious.” Her curiosity is a superpower. That was evident in her formative years in investment research, travelling across the country and learning about new technologies. Importantly, I believe it also led her to discover and develop the untapped potential of certain people, initiatives, and ideas. Interestingly, when I would ask “how did you get that started?” or “how did that happen?” she would often refer to a run-in with a friend, a conversation at a Christmas party, a walk with a neighbor, or other seemingly simple encounters. In those anecdotes, it’s clear that her leadership is very approachable. As she listened to the ideas of those around her, I imagine Judi’s curiosity led her to wonder: what if the stars aligned for this idea? Of course, it is exceedingly helpful that Judi also had the talent for aligning those stars. “Once you’ve started something, and you see what good it’s doing, it makes such a difference — you just want to stay involved,” said Judi. Through modest, consensus-building and diplomacy, combined with the hard work, and a little luck, Judi Wagner has made a transformational impact on the world. The Colorado Leadership Stories Project, part of Boettcher’s COLead initiative, celebrates leadership in Colorado by telling the stories of all Colorado leaders. Judi noted that telling the stories of women specifically is critical to the efforts of getting more women placed in leadership positions. Telling stories inspires us, and it makes us see ourselves in other people's shoes. Judi believes that there are a lot of hard-working, visionary women leaders who are undiscovered. Hopefully by telling her story, we can inspire the next generation of leaders. ...

DENVER, April 8, 2022 — Colorado State University Pueblo senior Phillip “Flojo” Flores has been named the Colorado Leadership Alliance’s (CLA) 2022 Student Leader of the Year. The annual award, announced in February and presented on April 6 at the Leading Colorado Luncheon, is given by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation. “Flojo’s enthusiasm and commitment to the CSU Pueblo community are both astounding and part of his DNA,” said Tiffany Anderson, director of programs at the Boettcher Foundation. “He is committed to leadership in multiple ways, seeing leadership as a day to day activity and recognizing that anyone can be a leader.” A Pueblo native, Flojo graduated from Pueblo South High School. At CSU Pueblo, he has been a campus leader throughout his years on campus. His involvement in a number of programs, most notably the President’s Leadership Program, are where he has been able to connect with students and serve as a mentor for many students, in particular new undergraduates. “I see leadership as the ability to positively and organically motivate and unite people to act during difficult situations by understanding their complex needs,” Flores said. “Leadership is knowing how to bring the best out of people when they don't see it in themselves.” Flores says prolifically that he has become the student he once looked up to, a role he cherishes. Receiving the Students Leader of the Year means that dreams are real and there are many others who grew up just like him who are capable of being community leaders and influencers. “I am here today because of people who believed in me,” Flores said. “As Student Leader of the Year, I look forward to doing the same for others.” He will graduate in 2023 with a master’s degree in mechatronics engineering, a double major in Spanish, and a minor in leadership studies. Flojo, who was recognized at the Leading Colorado Luncheon on April 6, will be the first in his family to graduate from college. The Colorado Leadership Alliance works to bring together leadership programs, directors, and students from college campuses across Colorado, in order to define and address community needs. Find out more at denverleadership.org/colorado-leadership-alliance.   About the Boettcher Foundation We believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come.  ...

By: Sarah Satterwhite, Senior Advancement Writer University of Denver At the Founders Celebration on Wednesday, March 2, the University of Denver celebrated several of our most recent founders whose involvement has contributed significantly to DU’s success. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner presented the Founders Medal, one of the highest honors bestowed by the University of Denver, to honorees in recognition of their transformative leadership and philanthropy in advancing DU’s mission and values. The Boettcher Foundation is the inaugural foundation to receive the Founders Medal this year, recognizing its deep and longstanding partnership with DU. The Boettcher Foundation has supported DU for more than 80 years, contributing to scholarships, broad infrastructure support and campus programs. The Boettcher Foundation’s scholarship program has focused for more than 70 years on keeping the best and brightest students here in Colorado. DU’s partnership in that effort has resulted in many former Boettcher scholars returning to DU as employees and continuing to support the university as engaged alumni during their successful careers. DU is a top-five all-time recipient of Boettcher Foundation philanthropic support, receiving more than $50 million in scholarship and grant support over the years. ...