Former Secretary of State for Colorado
Bernie Buescher was one of the original proponents of Colorado's redistricting reform, Referenda Y & Z. He is “Of Counsel” with the law firm of Ireland Stapleton Pryor and Pascoe, P.C.. A lifetime resident of Grand Junction, Bernie practiced law in Grand Junction with Williams Turner and Holmes for 14 years, and served as President and CEO of West Star Aviation from 1986 through 1995. He served two terms in the Colorado General Assembly and for two years served as Secretary of State for Colorado. For four years Bernie was a Deputy Attorney General, managing the State Services Section of the office. He has served on approximately 40 non-profit boards.
Certified Public Accountant
Diana is a Certified Public Accountant with more than twenty years of experience in individual tax and personal finance. Personally, she has long prioritized building wealth as quickly as possible while also enjoying a comfortable lifestyle along the way. Professionally, she thrives in helping clients to accelerate wealth building and achieve financial freedom.
Diana operates her own tax practice here in Grand Junction. She is the founder and creator of the money management website Buck the Budget and author of the book Money for Teenagers. She is the CFO of the Beanstalk Foundation and former CFO of Stolberg Equity Partners.
Raised in the corn fields of rural Illinois, the fertile soil and lack of population cultivated his imagination and fueled a lifetime of artistic endeavors. Now Geoff spends his time in various musical projects while maintaining his visual art skills through freelance graphic design.
Author & Speaker
Gina is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect, designer, author, speaker, and adoption advocate. She and her husband Aaron adopted their boys from Guatemala, and life took a frightening turn after they discovered that their youngest son was neglected by his foster mom before they picked him up. He came to them with anger, anxiety, and violence. Gina's love of learning and dedication as a mother sparked her research of different treatments and therapies, which eventually led to their inspirational success story about overcoming reactive attachment disorder. Her memoir, Love Never Quits, chronicles the family's journey and received a Gold Seal from the Mom’s Choice Awards.
Born and raised on the Hawaiian islands. Taught to work hard and spread aloha when ever and wherever possible.
Jennifer and Codi Mendenhall
Mom and Student
Codi is a 7th grader at Redlands Middle School. Jen is a full time mom. They both enjoy sharing their experiences with assistive technology, hoping to inspire others discover their own technoloy tool box!
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Karl grew up on the Western slope of Colorado in the mining towns of Telluride and Silverton. He did the typical mountain activities of hiking, snowshoeing and playing the only organized sport of Basketball. He graduated from Mesa College first in 1987 in A.A.S in Electronics Technology, then in 1992 with a B.S. in CS and Math. Then started a 20+ year career working for national laboratories as an integration engineer and eventually found a way back to Grand Junction to hold his current position of Associate Professor of Computer Science at Colorado Mesa University.
Kayra Martinez, flight attendant with United Airlines, has made it her mission to help refugees who have arrived in Greece after fleeing their war-torn countries. Ms. Martinez has dedicated the past four years to volunteering on the ground in Greece, offering art workshops to vulnerable refugees and sharing their art at exhibitions worldwide at pop up exhibitions supported by communities around the world. The Love Without Borders for Refugees in Need art shows have garnered international attention. Ms. Martinez has been invited to speak and show the art in over 106 cities in four continents, including Hong Kong, Canada, Europe, and all over the United States.
Ms. Martinez’ efforts have received high acclaim and have been the subject of segments on the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Voices of America, and numerous newspaper publications. Ms. Martinez has been honored as a recipient of United Airlines’ Volunteer Impact Grant for her work with refugees in Greece.
Visual Effects Artist
I am a visual effects artist for major motion pictures and television. I am from Grand Junction, Colorado. Former Colorado Mesa University graduate. Living and working abroad internationally.
Library Director at Mesa County Libraries
Michelle Boisvenue-Fox is the Library Director at Mesa County Libraries who works with partners and library staff to work on community problems. Michelle believes that people are the most important thing to a library. As a result, libraries change lives in big and small ways. Michelle holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. She has a habit of reading books while cooking and enjoys being outdoors in Colorado.
Randy Coleman has worked in Urban Forestry for the majority of his career. Entering this career path with a degree in business management; he learned about trees and their benefits to a community from the ground up. In his training as an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist and his rise to a City Forester; he has witnessed the lack of appreciation for the only asset in a community that gains value as it ages. He has organized tree plantings and many educational opportunities to try and help folks capture the value they can create in their community.
As a member of “The Talk of the Town” Toastmasters club in Grand Junction; he is an example that anyone can work through the fear of public speaking.
Hello, my name is savanah. I am a girl who has worked very hard in life. I have Epilepsy, Schizophenia, tourette's and Autism. I am a young lady that is going to College and has succeeded in doing.
I am colorado Miss amazing 2017 representing all girls and women with disabilities. I am currently a CSU student and part of ASCSU as the senator for the disability support office and the external affairs chair. I am also a special Olympics athlete leader. I'm am also the vice chair of the disability coalition bourd of loveland Colorado. I am so happy to be speaking to all of you. Let's make a difference together.
New Mexico State Senator
Currently serving as a New Mexico State Senator District 3 McKinley-San Juan
Use to be a Secondary Level Math Teacher
Bachelors Degree from the University of New Mexico Financial Management
Native American, member of the Navajo Nation
Powerhouse singer/songwriter Shawnee uses music as medicine. With songs like Warrior Heart and Mirror Me, anthems of self empowerment and hope.
Billboard has named her one of their (Artists You Should Know) in LGBTQ2 music. Shawnee voice is powerful and dynamic blended with soul and passion.
Stacy Mendell Matt Angleman
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Stacy Schoolfield Mendell, LSCW, AASW, CAIS, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who holds certificates in Animal Assisted Social Work and Canine Assisted Intervention Specialist from the University of Denver’s Institute for Human Animal Connection. Stacy has worked in mental health in the western slope community, along with her four legged co-therapists, for the past nine years. Together they have worked with the homeless and working poor, hospice patients and for the past 7 years, with children and adolescents. She currently facilitates pet grief and loss groups at Roice Hurst Humane Society and facilitates Humane Education groups in the community.
Born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, Victoria Chavez-Herrera graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Staying on the Western Slope to start her engineering career, Victoria works with MCVSD 51 on her free time to deliver a science, technology, engineering and mathematics program to area schools where she can focus on her passion of inspiring our youth to be professionals that diversify these heavy technical industries. She is an engineer, a Latina, a wife; but most importantly, a strong woman determined to change perceptions of a woman's capability.