Auraria Board of Directors

Auraria Board of Directors 2016–2017

Yolanda Ortega, Chair

Governor Appointment

Vice President Emeritus of Student Affairs, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Yolanda Ortega has been a Denver resident since 1972, the same year she began working at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since her retirement from MSU Denver as Vice President of Student Affairs, she has remained active in the community and with the university. In addition to the Auraria Board of Directors, she serves on the MSU Denver President’s Community Cabinet and on the Board of Directors for Escuela Tlatelolco, a Latino Montessori K – 12 private school. In addition, she is an appointee for the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Cultural Affairs and the Denver Latino Commission.

John Desmond, Vice Chair

Governor Appointment

Downtown Denver Partnership
Executive Vice President for the Downtown Environment
1515 Arapahoe Street, Tower 2, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80282
303-571-8204 • E-mail

John Desmond is the Executive Vice President of Downtown Environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership, where he oversees all urban planning, transportation, and research efforts. He also manages the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, which is responsible for a variety of programs to enhance downtown Denver’s public realm, most notably the upkeep of the 16th Street Mall. Desmond was the driving force behind the 14th Street project, the largest downtown streetscape project in the last 35 years. He was co-manager for the 2007 Downtown Denver Area Plan, which earned national recognition for its innovative policies. He’s also been extremely involved in a series of initiatives to better connect the Auraria Campus to surrounding downtown districts. (read more)

Maria Garcia Berry

Governor Appointment

CRL Associates, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer
1625 Broadway, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202
303-592-5466 • E-mail

Maria Garcia Berry is the guiding force behind what is today one of the most influential public affairs firms in Colorado, CRL Associates, Inc. Serving a broad spectrum of clients from transportation to professional sports teams to real estate developers, the services of Ms. Garcia Berry and her associates are sought by clients across the United States. (read more)

Elaine Gantz Berman

MSU Denver Board of Trustees Appointment

MSU Denver Board of Trustees

Elaine Gantz Berman was appointed to the MSU Denver Board of Trustees in 2015, for which she serves on the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. She has dedicated her professional work and community service to improving the lives of Colorado's children. In January, 2015, she completed eight years on the Colorado State Board of Education, and, previously served for eight years on the Denver Board of Education, including four years as its President. Prior to serving in elected office, Berman also worked for 18 years as a program officer at the Denver-based Piton Foundation. She has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and commissions, and helped to found the Colorado Children's Campaign, the Adoption Exchange, the Colorado Education Initiative, and the Colorado Non-Profit Development Center. (read more)

Richard E. Martinez, Jr.

State Board for Community Colleges & Occupational Education Appointment

Young Americans
President and CEO
3550 East First Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
303-321-2265 • E-mail

As President and CEO of Young Americans, Richard E. Martinez, Jr. is responsible for managing and ensuring the success of Young Americans Bank and the nonprofit programs of Young Americans Center for Financial Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance & Real Estate from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University. (read more)

Irene Griego

University of Colorado Board of Regents Appointment

7th Congressional District, Democrat, Current Term 2015–2021
Vice Chair
1800 Grant Street, Suite 800
Denver, CO 80203
720-441-9640 • E-mail

University of Colorado Regent Irene Griego is a lifelong resident of Colorado whose career in public education took root with degrees from CU. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Colorado Boulder and a doctorate in school administration from the University of Colorado Denver, as well as a master’s in educational administration from the University of Northern Colorado. (read more)

Everette J. Freeman

Community College of Denver
Campus Box 250, P.O. Box 173363
Denver, CO 80217-3363
303-556-2413 • E-mail

Everette J. Freeman was named President of the Community College of Denver in November 2013. Dr. Freeman most recently served as President of Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. His has extensive expertise in higher education leadership, especially in the areas of daily operations, strategic planning, institutional planning, capital expansion, and community relations. (read more)

Stephen M. Jordan

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 1, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362
303-556-3022 • E-mail

Stephen M. Jordan has been president of Metropolitan State University of Denver since July 2005. Since taking the helm, Dr. Jordan has led MSU Denver on a rapid trajectory toward becoming one of the preeminent public urban universities in the nation. Under his leadership, MSU Denver has achieved university status, improved higher education access for undocumented students through its leadership in passing the ASSET bill, launched its first master’s degree programs and seen undergraduate enrollment skyrocket. (read more)

Dorothy A. Horrell

University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 168, P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
303-315-2500 • E-mail

Dorothy A. Horrell assumed her role as Chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver in January 2016. A recognized leader in higher education, Dr. Horrell received a gubernatorial appointment to the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2009, serving as board chair from 2013–15. She was President of the Colorado Community College System from 1998–2000, and was President of Red Rocks Community College from 1989–98. She previously held several positions in the community college system, including Vice President for Educational Services and Director of the Occupational Education Division. In addition, Dr. Horrell served from 2001–13 as President and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado’s leading foundation supporting the arts and nonprofit leadership. (read more)

L. Rafael Sanchez, Ph.D., P.E.

Faculty Representative, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board

University of Colorado Denver
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Campus Box 112
PO Box 173364
1200 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80217-3364
303-556-2361 • E-mail

L. Rafael Sanchez Vega's work focuses on applied research with industrial applications. His industrial experience includes four years of working as a senior staff engineer at LTV Steel Technology Center (Independence, Ohio) and one academic sabbatical year at Micro Motion (Boulder, Colorado). At CU Denver, he has developed procedures and test devices to evaluate mechanical and friction properties on sheet metals. His work has been used by many industries and in major companies, such as General Motors, US Steel, and China Steel (Taiwan). More recently, his attention has been focused on solar energy, specifically the design and development of a small-scale, Fresnel-based solar thermal system, particularly suited for off-grid applications. Of particular concern to Dr. Sanchez Vega, is teaching students to apply academic concepts to the engineering world. This concern motivated him to develop new courses, such as Prototyping Techniques for Engineers and Experimental Mechanics. In these courses, students are exposed to academic approaches, experimental techniques, and professional skills. (read more)

Stacie Amaya

Student Representative, Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board

Tivoli Student Union, Room 314
Campus Box Tiv-1, P.O. Box 173361
Denver, CO 80217-3361
303-352-7142 • E-mail

Stacie Amaya is in her senior year at the University of Colorado Denver, pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science with an emphasis public policy. This is Stacie’s second term serving on the Auraria Board; her prior term was as a student at the Community College of Denver, where she earned an associate’s degree in legal studies. She has served as the Student Advisor to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and worked as a legislative fellow for Governor John Hickenlooper's Office. This year she will complete an internship under the guidance of the Chief Policy Director for the Department of Higher Education. She plans to pursue a career in policy development.