2024 Honorees

Shawnee Adelson

Colorado Brewers Guild

Shawnee Adelson is the executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild and has been with the organization since 2015. She has a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Whitman College and a master of arts degree in international development from University of Denver. She has worked for nonprofits and membership-based organizations for more than 15 years. As a Colorado native, she is passionate about ensuring that Colorado continues to be the state of craft beer.

Nick Armstrong

WTF Marketing

Nick is the self-described “Geek-in-Chief” of WTF Marketing, lead organizer of FoCo Comic Con and Founded in FoCo, and alongside his team, has raised a total of $140,000 for youth literacy and mental health organizations. He’s passionate about fostering community, championing eco-friendly initiatives, and empowering emerging leaders.

Jeni Arndt

Mayor – City of Fort Collins

Jeni Arndt has a master of arts degree in geography, an MA in special ed and a Ph.D. in literacy and language. Her professional experience includes congressional intern, ESL teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, special-ed teacher, middle school principal, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, university faculty member and department head. After more than three terms in the Colorado General Assembly, she was elected mayor of Fort Collins in April 2021 and re-elected in 2023.

Darin Atteberry

Elevations Credit Union

Darin Atteberry joined the Elevations Credit Union team as market president for Northern Colorado in 2021. He also serves as senior vice president for strategic relationships and governmental affairs. Prior to his arrival at Elevations Credit Union, he served as the Fort Collins city manager for more than 17 years.

Carrie Baumgart

Markley Motors

Carrie Baumgart, a Fort Collins native and CEO of Markley Motors Inc., is a driving force in the automotive industry and a dedicated community leader. She represents the fourth generation of the family-owned business, working at the business for more than 32 years. Her educational background includes graduating from Poudre High School, followed by studies in business and psychology at Front Range Community College. She graduated from the National Automobile Dealer Association Dealer School in 2006.

Stacy Brown

Town of Windsor

Stacy Brown began working for the town of Windsor April 2011 and has been an economic developer for more than 25 years. She works with companies to supply them with the resources they need to be successful and has brought in nearly $700 million worth of investment to Windsor.

Tim Brynteson

Otis & Bedingfield LLC

Tim Brynteson’s law practice at Otis & Bedingfield focuses on estate planning, business succession planning and general business matters. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder in 1991. He serves on the boards of the United Way of Weld County and The Weld Trust.

Bill Capsalis

Bill Capsalis is a veteran of the healthy lifestyle industry where he’s been helping emerging brands find a path to market. Having worked with more than 500 natural-products brands, his knowledge of the industry keeps him busy helping all kinds of founders. He has served as the vice president of marketing at Gaiam, been the cofounder of a cleaning-products brand, worked in agency settings and most recently left his full-time role as the executive director of Naturally Boulder, a trade association dedicated to helping emerging companies learn and grow.

Lance Cayko


Lance Cayko is a serial entrepreneur, architect, builder, lecturer and podcaster. He has a diverse background in architecture, construction and real estate development, and is the co-founder and partner of F9 Productions Inc., a design/build firm based in Longmont, specializing in single-family residential, multifamily residential and small commercial projects.

Bhavna Chhabra


Bhavna Chhabra serves as senior director of engineering and site lead for Google’s Boulder office. Chhabra is responsible for maintaining the overall health, impact and success of Google’s campus. A University of Colorado Boulder alum, she has served as site lead since 2016 and enjoys biking and hiking in her free time. 

G. Brent Coan

Coan, Payton & Payne

A founding member of the law firm Coan, Payton, and Payne, G. Brent Coan has for decades been a legal asset to the corporate and real estate sectors in Northern Colorado. He has helped companies with purchase and sale transactions, business organization and capitalization, corporate M&A transactions, land planning and development, and creditors’ rights. Brent also believes in serving his community, which he has done as a trustee for the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, chair of the board of Rocky Mountain Innosphere, director of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, and president of Northern Colorado Youth Hockey.

Scott Cook

Longmont Chamber

Scott Cook has served as CEO of the Longmont Chamber of Commerce since 2017. Before the Chamber, he worked for a small family recycling business in Chicago and as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C. At the Chamber, he  established the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, expanded the event calendar with new events such as People Powered and State of the City. In 2023, he led the charge to renovate the Chamber’s downtown location. He enjoys travel, time with family and working out and has competed in several physique competitions. 

Dixie Daly

Loveland Chamber of Commerce

Dixie Daly, an accomplished entrepreneur, speaker, inventor and author, serves as the business membership director at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. Balancing her entrepreneurial spirit with a sincere dedication to helping others, she shares her passion, innovative ideas, and leadership skills, fostering inspiration among individuals and budding entrepreneurs alike.

Debbie Davis

Independent Financial

Debbie Davis has been in the banking industry for 35 years, with the past 19 years with Independent Financial. She serves as board chair for the Berthoud Chamber of Commerce, director for Be the Gift, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado’s Berthoud Committee and member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Loveland Berthoud Association of Realtors, and founding member of Colorado Women of Influence. Over the past several years she has served in leadership roles as chair for the Loveland Downtown Partnership, Loveland Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Real Estate Women of Northern Colorado.

Mat Dinsmore

Wilbur’s Total Beverage

Mat Dinsmore serves as general manager at Wilbur’s Total Beverage, working for more than 23 years with his father and team members to grow the Fort Collins retailer of wine, liquor and beer. Dinsmore obtained a bachelor of science degree from Colorado State University in 2005 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming in 2012.

Jay Dokter

Vergent Products

With more than 35 years of experience, Jay Dokter is a business executive and serial entrepreneur who has been a leader in many successful startups and fast- growing companies. His passion is business strategy, startups, accelerated business growth, collaboration and job creation for northern and greater Colorado. He serves as CEO of Vergent Products and is involved with other business ventures, including The Forge campus in Loveland.

Cynthia Eichler

Visit Fort Collins

Cynthia Eichler is president & CEO of Visit Fort Collins. She has led the organization through its first strategic Destination Master Plan, the creation of a Tourism Improvement District and doubling the organization’s funds. She also is facilitating a feasibility study for a conference center.

Doug Emerson

University Bicycles

Doug Emerson owns University Bicycles, a full-service bicycle shop that he founded in Boulder in 1985. The business has grown to become one of the most-successful bicycle retailers in the U.S. He also co-founded the Boulder Valley Velodrome, a 250-meter wooded cycling track in Erie. Emerson has been a driving force behind the evolution of Boulder’s bicycle culture.

Erion, Doug

Doug Erion

Desk Chair Workspace

Doug Erion attended Loveland High School and the University of Colorado. With his father, Ken Erion, he helped build the Johnson Publishing Co. Doug Erion founded Desk Chair Workspace in downtown Loveland. He takes a great interest in community and serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of NOCO, UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation and the Erion Family Foundation. He enjoys cultural travel, poetry, fly fishing, reading and music.

Nathan Ewert

Nathan Ewert

First National Bank of Omaha

Nathan Ewert is a senior vice president for FNBO,  leading the bank’s branch, mortgage, small-business and wealth businesses across the full eight-state FNBO footprint. He has been with FNBO for five years and prior to this promotion, Nathan was the regional director for Colorado. Ewert serves on the boards of directors for the Northern Colorado Alliance and the Better Business Bureau.  He is former chair of the Colorado Bankers Association with more than 25 years of industry experience. FNBO is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska Inc. FNNI and its affiliates have more than $30 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates.

Brad Feld

Foundry Group / Techstars

Brad Feld is a partner and co-founder of Foundry. He has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for more than 35 years, since founding his first company, Feld Technologies, in college. He is also a co-founder of Techstars and, with his wife, Amy Batchelor, runs the Anchor Point Foundation. Feld has written several books on entrepreneurship and venture capital and began blogging in 2004.. He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Be is also an art collector and long-distance runner who enjoys wandering around alone in the mountains for hours at a time.

Nick Forster


Nick Forster is widely known for more than 40 years in the Bluegrass bank Hot Rize and his role as founder, producer and host of the internationally syndicated environmental and musical radio program, eTown. In addition to eTown and Hot Rize, Forster has launched Hippy Bluegrass Church, a non-denominational,” once in a while,” Sunday morning sing-along event. He also is an accomplished record producer with a Grammy nomination and other awards to his credit.

Erin Fosdick

Longmont Economic Development

Erin Fosdick is the president & CEO for the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, an organization leading a collaborative, comprehensive economic development strategy to promote and strengthen Longmont’s economic health. She has more than 20 years of experience in community and economic development. She serves on the boards of directors for Commuting Solutions and the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Mike Freeman

Innosphere Ventures

Mike Freeman has spent the last 30 years of his career at the intersection of entrepreneurship, venture capital and economic development in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Over the last decade, he has been the CEO of Innosphere Ventures, where he’s worked with thousands of startup founders in high-tech sectors, providing them with business support around technology commercialization and venture capital. He is a general partner of two early-stage venture capital funds: the Innosphere Fund I and II, and was formerly a GP in the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund. Innosphere Ventures is seeking to produce large-scale technology-based economic growth in the region. Freeman led two successful programs to grow the life-sciences and climate-tech sectors; securing $2 million in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and a $160 million inaugural program from the National Science Foundation, the CO-WY Regional Innovation Engine. He served in numerous executive roles in the public, private, and nonprofit/venture-capital sectors. Freeman serves on five private company boards.

John Gates

Mayor, City of Greeley

John is a Greeley native. He is a 25-year veteran of the Greeley Police Department and is currently the chief of safety and security for Greeley-Evans Schools. He served for eight years on the Greeley City Council and is in his fourth term as mayor of Greeley. He is married to his wife, Patty.

Ginger Graham

Ginger and Baker

Ginger Graham is founder and owner of Ginger and Baker in Fort Collins. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in business administration at Harvard, where she taught at its Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. She then ran a Nasdaq 100 business, San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and a Fortune 500 firm, Indianapolis-based medical-device company Guidant Corp. Graham has received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the Most Influential Corporate Directors by Women Inc. magazine in 2020, and inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame this year.

Grant, Dani

Dani Grant

Mishawaka Amphitheatre, Chipper’s Lanes

Dani Grant owns and manages Mishawaka, a vibrant destination music venue in Poudre Canyon. In addition to The Mish, she has introduced three stages within Chippers Lanes Entertainment Centers.  Dani also serves on numerous nonprofit boards and provides her expertise as a consultant.

Guernsey, Josh

Josh Guernsey

Waypoint Real Estate

Josh Guernsey is co-founder and managing partner of Waypoint Real Estate, providing comprehensive real estate brokerage development and consulting services in Northern Colorado. His responsibilities include providing financial modeling and feasibility analysis for development projects, investment transactions, as well as tenant and landlord representation services. His role also includes strategic structuring of joint venture partnerships, procurement of debt equity capital and the pursuit of public/private partnerships. Guernsey is a Colorado native and donates his time to multiple local charities, including RamStrength, Colorado State University Everitt Real Estate Center and CHAMP.

Angela Healy


Angela is the CEO and co-owner of AvenueWest Global and AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing, an award-winning provider of corporate housing and real estate services with managed properties in over 500 cities and 18 franchise locations across the country. With over 30 years of industry experience, Angela has a strong record of leadership in real estate investment and management.

Simon Heart

All County Property Management

Simon Heart is the president and owner of two residential property management offices serving Boulder County and Northern Colorado — All County Property Management of Boulder and The All County Fort Collins Team. Collectively, these offices manage more than 1,000 residential units, with annual revenues of nearly $3 million.

Charlene Hoffman

Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau

Charlene Hoffman, a seasoned leader in the hospitality and tourism industry, has worked for more than a decade at Visit Boulder, serving as CEO for the past three years. With expertise in business development, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship, she navigates challenges with initiative, perseverance, compassion, and a fun-infused commitment to fostering Boulder’s vibrant community.

Landon Hoover

Hartford Homes

Landon is the owner and CEO of Hartford Homes, a master plan community developer and homebuilder in Northern Colorado. He previously served on the Poudre Valley Fire Protection District board and serves as Habitat for Humanity Fort Collins’ board chair. Hoover and his wife, Kara, have three boys.

Chris Hutchinson

Trebuchet Group International

Since 2002, hundreds of organizations and leaders have trusted Chris Hutchinson to help them thrive at work. He is the author of Ripple: A Field Manual for Leadership that Works and partners with purpose-driven leaders as they work to improve the world through their organizations.

Iffie Jennings

Xcel Energy

Iffie Jennings serves as area manager, community and government affairs at Xcel Energy, working to forge community alliances with more than a decade of expertise. Her leadership style, characterized by kindness, fosters innovation and unites various sectors toward shared objectives. Her strategic approach in community engagement has been instrumental in driving significant, positive change across diverse platforms.

Chris Johnson

Cerus Fitness

Chris Johnson, CEO of Cerus Fitness in Frederick, is dedicated to changing the fitness industry. With a passion for health and well-being, he leads Cerus Fitness in providing a supportive environment for individuals to achieve their fitness goals while building strong connections within the community.

Margo Karsten

Banner Health

Margo Karsten joined Banner Health as CEO of Banner Fort Collins Medical Center, McKee Medical Center and North Colorado Medical Center in 2016.  She was successful in her efforts to bring MD Anderson, the No. 1 cancer center to the Northern Colorado market.  In 2018, she became president of the Western Division in a dual role.  She serves as the Western Division president for Banner Health.  She provides overall leadership for three hospitals in the northern Front Range and oversees a total of 14 acute and critical access hospitals in six states. Over the past 20 years, she has held leadership roles at hospitals in Colorado and Wyoming. She is active in many community boards which include: Greeley Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association. Karsten has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing administration and a doctorate in organizational development.

Jeffrey Kash

Premier Members Credit Union

As assistant vice president for community relations at Premier Members Credit Union, Kash oversees sponsorships, business development, education, sustainability, and events. He is involved in many regional and national nonprofits as a board member, advisor, and fundraiser. He enjoys classic American cars (he owns several), throwing elaborate dinner parties, and building community in everything he does.

Casey Katofsky

Future Legends

Casey Katofsky serves as executive director of the Future Legends Complex in Windsor and is the co-owner of NoCo Hailstorm FC,  NoCo Rain FC, NoCoOwlz Baseball and the Grand Junction Jackalopes Baseball. He leads a team of about 150 people to create one of the biggest sports and entertainment complexes in the country.

SeonAh Kendall

City of Fort Collins

SeonAh Kendall serves as the economic health director for the city of Fort Collins. She and her team focus on business retention, expansion, and attraction, along with talent/workforce partnerships, small business, entrepreneurship and innovation. She seeks to ensure that Fort Collins is a healthy, equitable and resilient community where people and businesses can thrive.

Drew Lyon

Focused Energy

As the CEO of Focused Energy, Lyon leads a team of fractional operators who provide tactical and strategic guidance and execution, seeking to drive results for scaling companies in various industries. He seeks to help small- and medium-sized businesses understand and manage their business from a financial and operational standpoint, using data-driven recommendations and insights. Lyon works with each client to identify and solve their unique challenges, and to align their strategic plans and vision with their capital deployment and risk management. He also serves on advisory boards to support and empower the SMB community.

Chad McWhinney

McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc.

Chad McWhinney serves as chairman and CEO of McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. and is the visionary behind McWhinney’s mission of creating places people love. With more than 30 years of real estate expertise, he has guided McWhinney to develop and plan more than 4,000 acres of land; more than 7 million square feet of office, industrial, medical, and retail properties, including more than 4,300 hotel keys; and 5,300 units of multifamily apartments and built-for-rent homes. Under his direction, McWhinney oversees a portfolio of $4 billion in assets under management. His strategic vision and creative insight have earned the company prestigious accolades, including two Urban Land Institute awards, reflecting McWhinney’s commitment to excellence and innovation.

McWhinney, Troy

Troy McWhinney

McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc.

As McWhinney’s chief investment officer and co-founder, Troy McWhinney provides strategic leadership for the company’s development and investment plans. Additionally, he develops new growth opportunities and manages all new and existing investor relations. Since McWhinney’s founding, rooted in the 1991 purchase of 440 acres of land from his father, Troy’s long-term vision helps position McWhinney as an evergreen company, one that prospers in all phases of the real estate cycle and develops “win-win” business strategies. He has received entitlements for over 5,500 acres of land in Colorado, consisting of more than 14,000 residential units and 20 million square feet of commercial development at full buildout. For more than 20 years, Troy has played an integral role in developing and planning more than 6,000 acres of land, and has developed more than 10 million square feet of office, industrial, medical, retail and residential properties, including over 3,000 multifamily apartment homes with a total value in excess of $1 billion.

Peter Meyer

Brinkman Construction

Pete Meyer has been with Brinkman Construction for the past 15 years and is the vice president of business development. He has more than 30 years of business-management experience and more than 20 years of experience in commercial development and construction for multiple product types, including office, industrial, retail, hospitality, and residential. His prior work includes serving as a principal and senior vice president of development for a developer based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. As senior vice president, he was instrumental in the development of more than 5 million square feet of office, condo, retail, and mixed-use projects across the country. Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Richmond. He is a founder/owner of Timnath Beerwerks, consistently recognized as one of the top breweries in Northern Colorado. Meyer has also been heavily involved in a number of community impact organizations, previously serving as a board member for Teaching Tree. He serves as the president of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County.

Dawn Paepke

Kaiser Permanente

Dawn Paepke serves as community relations consultant for Kaiser Permanente. In addition to extensive work with the nonprofit sector, she serves as a DJ on 105.5 FM The Colorado Sound. Paepke has spent more than two decades in nonprofit leadership roles in Northern Colorado, helping with fundraising, marketing, sponsorships, grants, and management. Whether in her previous roles at United Way and Banner Health, or in her current position at Kaiser Permanente, Paepke has worked to promote social justice, equity and access to affordable health care.

Doug Radi

Sweet Loren’s

Doug Radi serves as president of Sweet Loren’s, a baking-goods company offering allergy-free products. Radi is an experienced CEO and marketing, sales and general management professional with more than 25 years in the consumer packaged goods industry, including the OTC health care, snack food, dairy, bakery and organic/natural industries. His professional experience includes 20 years working on the largest brands in the natural and organic products industry, including Silk Soymilk, Horizon Organic, Rudi’s Organic Bakery and Good Karma Foods.

Curt Richardson

Otter Products LLC

Curt Richardson made the first OtterBox waterproof box in his Fort Collins garage in the early 1990s. Today, the company has a diverse product line, ranging from protective cases for smartphones to temperature-controlled delivery containers. Richardson remains involved in Otter Products strategy and vision as a board member. Additionally, he’s co-founder and chairman of Blue Ocean Enterprises Inc.

Orly Ripmaster

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate

Orly Ripmaster serves as the president of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, an independent brokerage with more than $15 billion in sales over the past five years. Her passion extends beyond the office to her ranch in Northern Colorado, where she and her family raise sheep, goats and chickens, and specialize in lavender and honeybees, selling at local farmer’s markets. Prior to her current role, she was an executive at KSL Capital Partners, a global private equity leader in travel & leisure. A five-time letter winner alumnus of Harvard University, the University of Colorado, and ESSEC, Paris, she’s not only an accomplished executive but also a dedicated community member, actively involved in local philanthropic initiatives specifically related to mental health for current and former college athletes. Passionate about women’s leadership and education, she contributes as a member of various leadership groups and as a keynote speaker and university lecturer.

Schock, Marilyn

Marilyn Schock

UCHealth Greeley Hospital

Marilyn Schock serves as president of UCHealth Greeley Hospital. She earned a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy and her MBA at Colorado State University. Schock has more than 40 years of experience in health care and a passion for community involvement. She serves on various boards, including Aims Community College Board of Trustees, Sunrise Community Health, Greeley Chamber of Commerce and North Colorado Health Alliance.

Chris Shade

Quicksilver Scientific

Christopher Shade is founder and CEO of Quicksilver Scientific, specializing in the biological, environmental, and analytical chemistry of mercury in all its forms and their interactions with sulfur compounds, particularly glutathione and its enzyme system. He has patented a mercury speciation diagnostic process to analyze human toxicity, founded the only clinical lab in the world offering mercury speciation analysis, and has designed systems of nutraceuticals for detoxification and antioxidant protection, including advanced phospholipid delivery systems for both water- and fat-soluble compounds. Shade speaks as an educator on the topics of mercury, environmental toxicities, neuroinflammation, immune dysregulation, and the human detoxification system in the United States and internationally. 

Kevin Unger


Kevin Unger serves as president and CEO of UCHealth North Region, encompassing Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins; Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland; Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont; Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs; Cheyenne Regional Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Wyoming; Sidney Regional Hospital in Sidney, Nebraska; and Greeley Hospital in Greeley. He also serves as president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies. Unger earned his Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University, a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Colorado Denver, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado Denver and a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development and Change from Colorado State University.

View photos from the 2024 Book of Lists Launch Party featuring Most-Influential Business Leaders.