CLI Board of Directors
The CLI Board of Directors is a diverse group comprised of general counsel, managing partners of law firms, federal judges, senior government attorneys, the law deans of Colorado's law schools, legal professionals, and representatives from diversity organizations and specialty bar groups.
| Chair: James Pinto , Partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP |
Jim Pinto is a Shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He works with the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Group in the Denver office, assisting clients with intellectual property issues, as well as preparing and prosecuting patent applications relating to electrical, computer, software and mechanical technologies. Mr. Pinto was named "Denver Patent Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers. He is also the Co-Chair of the firm's Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee.
| Chair Emeritus: Jennifer Weddle , Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP |
Jennifer Weddle is a partner at Greenberg Traurig, where she specializes in Indian Law and serves as the Co-Chair of the firm's National American Indian Law Practice. She is a frequent speaker on tribal rights, Indian Law matters, and Native Americans' unique racial and political perspective on legal diversity issues. Ms. Weddle was a Co-Chair of the 2007 Rocky Mountain Legal Diversity Summit and a past President of the Colorado Indian Bar Association.
| Treasurer: James Arundel , Partner, Kutak Rock LLP. |
Jim Arundel is a former managing partner at Kutak Rock's Denver Office. His practice area is focused on corporate finance, with an emphasis on securitization and resecuritization, derivative products, guaranteed and non-guaranteed tax credit multi-family housing transactions, and public finance.
| Secretary: Meshach Rhoades , Of Counsel, Kutak Rock |
Meshach Rhoades is Of Counsel in Kutak Rock's Litigation Group and focuses her practice on telecommunications, regulatory and commercial litigation. Before joining Kutak Rock, she served as in-house counsel for a Fortune 200 company and also clerked for U.S. Senior District Court Judge John L. Kane. She is a former President of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and is their representative on CLI's Board. She is also Regional President for the Hispanic National Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors for Easter Seals Colorado and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. She is past Chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee.
| The Honorable Christine Arguello , U.S. District Court Judge, District of Colorado |
Judge Arguello was appointed to the U.S. District Court in October 2008. Previously, she was the Managing Senior Associate Counsel at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Judge Arguello has taught law in Kansas and Colorado and practiced in both the private and public sectors. In 2007, she was selected for the Denver legal community's "2007 Qwest Diversity Trailblazer: Individual of the Year Award" for her commitment to, and work on behalf of, inclusiveness in the legal profession.
| Heather Baker , Director of Marketing and Business Development, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC |
Heather Baker has been Chair of CLI’s marketing committee for the past three years. Ms. Baker is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at the law firm of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC in Denver. She has over 14 years of strategic marketing experience in the legal, architectural and construction industries. Ms. Baker received her M.S. in resort and tourism management from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and her A.B. in political science from Davidson College.
| The Honorable Wiley Daniel , U.S. District Court Judge, District of Colorado |
With his appointment in 1995 by President Clinton, Judge Daniel became the first African American to be appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and only the second to be appointed in the Tenth Circuit. From October 2008 through December 2012, Judge Daniel served as the Chief Judge of the District. He began his legal career as an associate at a Detroit law firm and moved to Denver in 1977, whereupon he practiced law at two law firms before his judicial appointment. Judge Daniel also teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School and as a lecturer for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and various other organizations.
| Leslie Fields , Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP |
Leslie Fields is a partner in the Denver office of Faegre Baker Daniels and also serves on the firm's management board. She specializes in eminent domain and real estate litigation law. She has been recognized as one of the top women lawyers in the state by Law Week Colorado and is consistently listed with America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Real Estate. Leslie wrote the leading textbook on eminent domain law in Colorado: Colorado Eminent Domain Practice. During her extensive career, Ms. Fields has been involved in nearly every major governmental project within the state of Colorado. She is also a member of the Faegre Baker Daniels' diversity committee. She received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
| David Fine , Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP |
David Fine is partner in the Denver office of McKenna Long & Aldridge. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, employment litigation, public policy and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Fine served as the City Attorney for the City and County of Denver from 2007 - 2011. In that capacity he provided policy and legal advice to Mayor John Hickenlooper and other City leadership, served as the final decision maker on all critical legal decisions facing the City, and managed a large public law firm with diverse practices.
| Jordan M. Fox , Member, Sherman & Howard L.L.C. |
Jordan M. Fox is a Member with Denver’s oldest law firm, Sherman & Howard, and focuses his practice on family law. Mr. Fox is a frequent author and speaker on family law topics and is a Fellow with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He received his B.S. degree in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1989 and his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1993. Mr. Fox is a member of the First Judicial District Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association Family Law Section. In his spare time, he takes and teaches karate in Lakewood, Colorado.
| Nicole Gorham , Associate, Rothgerber Lyons & Johnson LLP |
Nicole Gorham focuses her law practice on commercial and complex civil litigation involving business entities of various sizes. Ms. Gorham's experience includes litigation in a wide range of substantive areas including business transactions, contractual disputes and real estate law. She received her law degree in 2007 from Syracuse University College of Law. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ms. Gorham represents the Colorado Women's Bar Association on CLI's Board of Directors.
| Susani Harris , Senior Director for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, University of Colorado Law School |
Susani Harris serves as the Senior Director for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at the University of Colorado Law School. She develops and oversees initiatives that support admissions, career development, retention, student programming, pipeline activities and alumni. From 2008 to 2011, she served as the Assistant Dean for Career Development at the University of Colorado Law School. Prior to this position, she was legal counsel for a settlement consulting firm in Houston, Texas and was an attorney at Holland & Hart, where, over her 20 years there, she practiced Oil & Gas and Mining Law and was Of Counsel, Director of Attorney Recruitment and Professional Development, and Director of Diversity and Professional Development.
| Franz Hardy , Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP |
Franz Hardy is a partner in the Denver office of Gordon & Rees, whose practice includes complex commercial cases in employment matters on behalf of employers and professional liability cases. Mr. Hardy serves on the Colorado Bar Association and Professional Liability Committee, where he co-chaired the state-wide 2007 Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminar. He is also President of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association (ABAPA) and represents APABA on the CLI Board of Directors.
| Dean Heizer , Managing Partner, Heizer Paul Grueskin LLP |
Dean Heizer has been practicing law in Colorado for twenty years. He has extensive experience in all aspects of employment and employee benefits law. He serves as lead trial counsel in most of Heizer Paul Grueskin’s complex civil litigation matters. Dean is deeply committed to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession. He is a former Chair of CLI's Board of Directors.
| Martin Katz , Dean of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law |
Dean Martin Katz teaches and writes about constitutional law and employment discrimination law. Prior to joining the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, he was a partner in the employment litigation group at Davis, Graham & Stubbs, and a law clerk to Judge David M. Ebel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Dean Katz graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School. In his spare time, he flies search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.
| Kenzo Kawanabe , Partner, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP |
Kenzo Kawanabe is a commercial litigator who represents clients in a variety of matters relating to contract disputes, business torts, products liability, and intellectual property. He has significant litigation and trial experience in “bet-the-company” cases in a variety of industries. Mr. Kawanabe is Deputy Chair of the Davis Graham & Stubbs Trial Group and is a member of the Executive Committee. He teaches at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and has earned an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is recommended in litigation by Chambers and Partners and is recognized by Colorado Super Lawyers (Top 50 Attorneys in Colorado) and Benchmark Litigation.
| Loretta Martinez , General Counsel, Metropolitan State University of Denver |
Loretta Martinez is the General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan State University of Denver. She serves as the chief legal adviser to the President and Board of Trustees, providing advice and counsel on all matters affecting the legal rights and obligations of the College. Ms. Martinez was appointed secretary to the College’s Board of Trustees in November 2010. She previously served as General Counsel for the Colorado State University System, and as Legal Counsel, General Secretary and Acting Director of Human Resources for Colorado College. Ms. Martinez has been named a Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation Fellow, a National Hispaña Leadership Institute Fellow and a Harvard Administrative Fellow.
| Andrew McCallin , First Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Unit, State of Colorado |
Andy McCallin is a First Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Section of the Colorado Attorney General's Office. Previously, he practiced law and clerked for a federal judge in Denver. Mr. McCallin served on the board of the Colorado Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association since 2005 (president in 2006) and represents the organization on CLI's Board. In 2007, the Colorado Supreme Court appointed Mr. McCallin to the Board of Trustees for the Attorney's Fund for Client Protection, which reimbursed clients who lost money as a result of dishonest acts by their lawyers.
| Lisa Mickley , Member, Hall & Evans, LLC |
Lisa Mickley is a Member at Hall & Evans and her practice focuses on litigation and insurance coverage. Her experience includes coverage advice, disputes and extra-contractual claims, as well as personal injury claims, products liability, wrongful death and premises liability. She is a past Chair of the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Legal Group and serves as their representative on CLI's Board of Directors.
| Rhonda J. Parish , General Counsel, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group |
Rhonda Parish currently serves as the Chief Legal, People and Risk Officer & Corporate Secretary for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group (ENRGI), based in Lakewood, Colorado. She has leadership responsibilities for the Legal, Human Resources and Risk Management Departments, as well as for the Office of the Corporate Secretary to the ENRGI Board of Directors. Prior to joining ENRGI in January 2010, Ms. Parish worked for Denny’s Corporation and its predecessor companies serving first as Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and later as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary. Prior to her tenure with Denny’s, she worked for Walmart Stores as Corporate Counsel and later as Assistant General Counsel.
| Patty Powell , Associate Dean of Student Affairs, University of Denver Sturm College of Law |
Patty Powell is the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and a lecturer with the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (DU Law). She previously served as Director of Career Services and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at DU Law, as well as Assistant Dean of Career Development at the University of Colorado Law School. She is a past Co-Chair of the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, past Co-Chair of the Professional Advancement Committee for the Colorado Women's Bar Association, past President of the Sam Cary Bar Association, and Co-Chair of the 2007 Rocky Mountain Legal Diversity Summit in Denver.
| Lee Reichert , Deputy General Counsel, Molson Coors Brewing Company |
Lee Reichert is the Deputy General Counsel of Molson Coors Brewing Company and the Chief Legal Officer of its Molson Coors International business unit, where, among other things, he oversees the company’s international joint ventures, strategic alliances and acquisition activities. Prior to this position, he practiced corporate law in Denver, Colorado as a partner of an AmLaw 200 firm and served on the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Reichert represented businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to private equity funds in their acquisition, debt and equity financing and joint venture activities, both on an international and domestic basis.
| Mark Savit , Partner, Patton Boggs LLP |
Mark Savit is a former managing partner of Patton Boggs' Denver office. He counsels clients on natural resources law and regulation matters, with an emphasis on mine safety and health law, protected species law, public lands law, oil and gas law, occupational safety law, and related litigation and legislative services. Mr. Savit began his career at the Department of the Interior. Before joining Patton Boggs, he headed the special investigation unit of the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration.
| Y.E. Scott , Senior Assistant Attorney General, Colorado Attorney General's Office |
Y.E. Scott joined the Colorado Attorney General's Office in 1991, representing the Department of Corrections. In 1993, Governor Roy Romer appointed her to the State Parole Board. In 1997, she became the Board's first and only Administrative Law Judge, conducting revocation hearings along the Colorado Front Range. After the Board was reorganized in 2000, Ms. Scott returned to the Attorney General's Office, where she is now the Senior Assistant Attorney General serving as General Counsel to the State Board of Nursing. She has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a volunteer judge for the Aurora Teen Court.
| Paula Torke , Regional Director, Dorsey & Whitney LLP |
Paula Torke has been with Dorsey & Whitney for 18 years, starting her career as the Office Manager for the Denver office. For the past 8 years, she has been one of three Regional Directors responsible for five of the firm’s regional offices. She has a strong background in all areas of law firm management. Ms. Torke is an active member of the Association of Legal Administrators on a local, regional and national level. She speaks at regional and national conferences on such topics as branch management, outsourcing, facilities and office space. Since her involvement with CLI's Inclusiveness Network, Ms. Torke has become an advocate for embedding inclusiveness in all areas of law firm management.
| Phil Weiser , Dean, University of Colorado Law School |
Phil Weiser was named the Dean of the University of Colorado Law School in 2011. He is also the Thompson Professor of Law, as well as the Executive Director and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. Dean Weiser re-joined the Colorado faculty in June 2011. He previously served as the Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director at the White House and as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
| Scot Wilensky , Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Xcel Energy Inc. |
Scott Wilensky is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Xcel Energy. Previously he was Vice president of Regulatory and Resource Planning for all of Xcel Energy's operating companies. He has more than 25 years of experience in utility regulation, having served both as Managing Director of Rate Revenue and as Managing Director of Government Affairs. Prior to his service at Xcel Energy, he spent 10 years as Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office in areas affecting public utility regulation. Scott earned his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.
| Mark Yonkman , General Counsel, National Bank Holdings Corporation |
Mark Yonkman is General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Compliance & BSA Officer at National Bank Holdings Corporation. He was formerly the Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer of CoBank, responsible for providing legal counsel to all areas of CoBank's business operations. Mr. Yonkman was also Senior Vice President and General Counsel for M&T Bank, a commercial bank with over $65 billion in total assets headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. He received his J.D. from Wayne State University.
Recognition of Former Board Members
The CLI Board and Executive Director wish to acknowledge the profound contribution of former law school deans, Dean David Getches and Dean Beto Juárez, without whom the Deans' Diversity Council and the nonprofit simply would not exist. Their courage and leadership have inspired many.
| David Getches , Former Dean and Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School |
The late Dean David Getches served more than two decades at the University of Colorado Law School. He was a national authority on natural resources and Indian law issues, and an ardent advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession. Prior to joining the faculty of CU Law School in 1979, he was the founding Executive Director of the Boulder-based Native American Rights Fund and spent several years in private practice. Dean Getches also served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and as Special Consultant to the Secretary of the Interior. He co-founded the Deans’ Diversity Council with former DU Law Dean Beto Juárez in 2006. In March 2011, CLI’s Board of Directors honored Dean Getches with a special award recognizing his visionary leadership and commitment to making the legal profession more diverse and inclusive. Read CLI's press release honoring Dean Getches' legacy.
| José R. (Beto) Juárez, Jr. , Former Dean and Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law |
Beto Juárez, the University of Denver's first Hispanic Dean, began his tenure at the Sturm College of Law in July 2006. An accomplished scholar, lawyer, and administrator, Dean Juárez came to DU from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a law professor and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Dean Juárez began his career as a staff attorney for the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation in Galveston, Texas, where he practiced poverty law, with an emphasis on family and housing law. He also worked as a staff attorney for MALDEF in San Antonio and as MALDEF's Regional Counsel and Employment Program Director in their LA office. Dean Juárez co-founded the Deans' Diversity Counsel with CU Law Dean David Getches in 2006.