Board of Directors
Common Sense Policy Roundtable is a non-profit free-enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy. CSPR actively follows job and economic development legislation and public policy initiatives.
Heidi Ganahl, Camp Bow Wow
After dealing with adversity early in her life, Heidi’s entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills helped her pick herself up and found Camp Bow Wow, a $100 million leader in the pet and franchise industry.
For this effort, she has received accolades including being named one of 2014 Fortune Magazine’s Top 10 Most Promising Entrepreneurs, the 2016 Colorado Brave Leader Award (Colorado Business Roundtable), Denver Business Journal Business Woman of the Year, the Inc 500/5000 list 5 years in a row, and a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012 and 2013.
After the sale of Camp Bow Wow in 2014, Heidi launched her non-profit Moms Fight Back, which is now part of the Fight Back Foundation. The Fight Back Foundation is a 501c(3) incubator built to support social entrepreneurs that want to tackle the most pressing issues confronting kids in Colorado today. Their team works to give our start-ups access to mentors, funders, and partners to tackle the problem from all sides and set them up for a sustainable, successful future.
In 2016, Heidi won a heated statewide race for the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents, which oversees the $4B CU system. She is also on various boards focusing on entrepreneurship, education reform and women’s issues including Colorado Succeeds, Job Creators Network, the Steamboat Institute and Leadership Program of the Rockies.
Heidi is married to Jason, who has one of the top BBQ restaurants in the state, and has four children, Tori, Hollie, and twins Jack and Jenna.
“I joined CSPR because as an entrepreneur, I want to preserve the business climate here in Colorado for future generations,” CSPR Board Member Heidi Gahnal, Regent, University of Colorado and President, Fight Back Foundation.
Jack Graham, Two Trees Partners
Jack Graham attended Colorado State University where he studied history and played quarterback; he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and went on to have a successful career in the international insurance and reinsurance markets. Following his business career, Graham served as CSU’s Athletic Director from 2011 – 2014.
In 1998, Graham founded ICAT Holdings, now Paraline Group, a recognized leader in catastrophic risk insurance and reinsurance products. He sold ICAT, including its Lloyd’s of London business, in 2010.
Prior to ICAT, Mr. Graham spent 21 years with E. W. Blanch Co. (now AON Benfield Group) as a reinsurance intermediary. At E. W. Blanch Co., Mr. Graham was Executive Vice President responsible for the Western Region of the U.S. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of E. W. Blanch Co., Paragon Reinsurance Risk Management Services, Inc., and Blanch Capital Risk Solutions, Inc.
As Athletic Director at CSU, Graham conceived of and led the initiative to build an on-campus football stadium and to raise the funds necessary to finance its construction. The stadium opened in the Fall of 2017. Graham also hired a number of highly successful coaches who have delivered excellent results for the University; in his final season at CSU, the Rams were ranked #1 in wins and winning percentage amongst all Division 1 universities in CSU’s “revenue sports” (football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball).
Graham was a member of the advisory board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in the Rocky Mountain Region, Financial Services division. He serves on a number of philanthropic boards in Colorado and lives in Ft. Collins. He and his wife Ginger founded Ginger and Baker, a Ft. Collins market and eating establishment.
“CSPR is an independent, non-political organization that analyzes critical public policy issues. Our board is comprised of Coloradans with a wide range of political philosophies. CSPR is a strong, independent voice, a voice that is trusted by Coloradans,” CSPR Board Member Jack Graham, Founder, ICAT Holdings.
Byron Haselden, Haselden Construction
Byron Haselden began his career in construction as a laborer and has held positions in virtually every aspect of construction management, including the role of Vice President of Preconstruction. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and President of Haselden Construction. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. In his role, he assesses the Company’s strategic direction and monitors the performance in its core competencies while also managing key current and potential owner relationships.
Byron is continuously exploring new ways to improve and enhance the services Haselden offers to its customers. The two-plus decades of construction management experience he brings to his leadership role provide a unique perspective and depth of experience that enables him to relate to clients and employees alike.
Buz Koelbel, Koelbel & Co.
Walter (Buz) Koelbel, Jr. of Denver is president of Koelbel and Company, one of the longest continually operating real estate companies in Colorado. The company’s efforts are focused on the development of office parks and large-scale residential projects, residential construction, and real estate investment. Projects include The Preserve at Greenwood Village, Pinehurst Country Club, The Breakers, Centennial Valley Business Park, and Rendezvous, a 450-acre mixed-use resort development in Winter Park.
His professional memberships include the Urban Land Institute as Trustee and member of the Recreational Development Council, Chairman of the Colorado Council on Economic Education, Southeast Business Partnership Board of Governors member and past Chair, Denver Museum of Nature and Science Board member, Mountain States Employers Council Board member, and member of World Presidents Organization.
Koelbel is a native of Colorado, and graduated from the University of Colorado in 1974 with a degree in finance. He and his wife, Sherri, have four children: Carl, Walt, Dean, and Bethany.
“If we have policies that nurture and create jobs – what that does, when an individual goes to work, they have a sense of human dignity, a sense of accomplishment, they have something to take pride in,” CSPR Board Member Buz Koelbel, President, Koelbel & Company.
T. Scott Martin, Rivercrest Capital Management
- T. Scott Martin is managing partner of Rivercrest Capital Management and chairman of Rivercrest Royalties and a director of Kimbell Royalty Partners. He is also non-executive Chairman of Bear Mtn. Resources.
- Martin began his career in oil & gas exploration and production working for AMOCO while attending Engineering school at CU.
- Martin founded three successful independent oil & gas companies which were later sold to Occidental Petroleum, Exxon-Mobil and SandRidge Energy respectively.
- Martin is a founding member of the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, a non-profit free-enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy.
- Martin is on the advisory board of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder as well as a Director of the University of Colorado Foundation.
- Mr. Martin was a recipient of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of Distinction award in 2005 and the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus 2014 from the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.
- Mr. Martin has a BA from Colorado College and a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado.
Charlie McNeil, NexGen Resources Corporation
Charles S. McNeil has broad experience in the coal, oil and gas, mining and power industries. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1971 and was honored with the Mines Distinguished Achievement Medal in 1998. At Mines, he is a member of the Foundation Board of Governors, the President’s Council, the Guggenheim Society, and a previous director of the CSM Foundation Property Management Corporation.
Since 1993 he has been Chief Executive Officer of NexGen Resources Corporation, a natural resources company he founded, which supplies all of the coal requirements for Xcel Energy’s Texas power plants, provides alternative fuel and clean coal technology commercialization, explores and develops oil and gas resources and provides mine development and operations. NexGen also manages a diverse portfolio of real estate assets it has developed for its own account. Under Mr. McNeil’s leadership, NexGen has been involved in over 15 company start-ups.
Prior to forming his company, Mr. McNeil held Board, CEO, and senior executive positions with Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Oil & Gas, Kaiser Coal, Kaiser Power, Perma Resources and Consol Energy. His experience includes responsibility for planning and operations of major companies, overall profitability of energy and industrial operations, start-up of new oil and gas, mining, and power companies, acquisitions and divestitures, investments in diversified industries and both corporate and project financing.
Mr. McNeil is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado and a member of the Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. He was previously nominated by the Secretary of Energy to the National Coal Council and is a former director of the National Coal Association and the Colorado Mining Association. He is also a member of the American Coal Council, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society, Council of Energy Advisors, the National Coal Transportation Association, the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute, the Western Energy Alliance and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
He is also active in serving the Denver community as a member of the Board of Trustees and President Elect of the Denver Area Boy Scouts, Mountain States Employers Council Board, Craig Hospital Foundation Board, Common Sense Policy Roundtable Board, Cherry Hills Farm Board, Arapahoe House for Substance Abuse Board, (honored as 2007 Pillars of the Community), Sewall Childhood Development Center, Kempe Foundation for Abused Children, Children’s Diabetes Foundation (honoree at 2011 Carousel B
Lem Smith, Squire Patton Boggs
With nearly 20 years of policy and political experience in Washington DC and across multiple state capitals and their governor’s offices, Lem Smith has demonstrated success in achieving victories within complex legislative, regulatory and enforcement arenas. Lem leverages his tenure on Capitol Hill and in the upstream energy industry to provide strategic counsel and policy-development, creative coalition-building and lobbying to a wide variety of energy and non-energy clients. Lem advises corporate and public sector clients with local, state and federal policy issues, including public and campaign affairs as well as crisis management.
Prior to joining Squire Patton Boggs, Lem was Director, US Government and Regulatory Affairs at Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., the US subsidiary of the Calgary-based Encana Corporation. In that role he directed all aspects of the company’s US government relations and regulatory policy matters at the local, state and federal levels. In 2010, Lem played a key role in negotiation of Colorado House Bill 1365, “The Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act”; in 2013, he negotiated successful resolution to the EPA’s “Draft Investigation of Ground Water Contamination Near Pavillion, Wyoming” with the state, EPA HQ and EPA Region 8. The last few years in Washington DC found Lem heavily involved in building state and federal strategies within the successful coalition to repeal the 1970’s-era crude oil export ban.
He previously served as Kerr-McGee’s Director, Federal Relations in Washington DC, where he was involved in advising executives upon the contentious Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA) price-thresholds suit, and later as Director, Government Relations in Denver and Washington DC, for Kerr-McGee, and upon Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s acquisition of Kerr-McGee, became the combined entity’s Manager of Government Relations for the Southern Rockies in Denver.
Lem began his career on Capitol Hill, serving first as staff assistant to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and then as legislative assistant to then-Congressman, now Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). He later joined Congressman Charlie Norwood’s (R-GA) staff, first as senior legislative assistant and later as legislative director where he served as the principal liaison to the House Energy and Commerce Committee handling energy, environment, telecommunications and oversight for Dr. Norwood and successfully negotiated a number of key energy provisions within the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), including native-load electricity protections, FERC Standard Market Design (SMD) prohibition and the BLM permit-processing improvement fund.
In 2008, Lem served as co-chair of the successful US$15 million statewide campaign and Issue Committee “Coloradoans for a Stable Economy”, created in opposition to Colorado Amendment #58 that would have altered the state’s long-time oil and gas tax policy by repealing the ad valorem credit resulting in a US$331 million tax increase upon upstream producers. In 2010, Lem was appointed by Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to his Natural Resources Transition Team and by Republican Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to his Energy Transition Team in 2012. In 2014, he was appointed to serve as a delegate on Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force on Local Control.
Robin Wise, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (JA)
Robin Wise honed has over 29 years in leadership and management positions at major corporations and nonprofit organizations including Northern Natural Gas and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
As the President & CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (JA), Robin Wise provides leadership and vision for the largest economics education organization in the region. Under her direction, the organization inspires student success through three vital pillars: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and workforce readiness.
Since Wise took the helm of JA in 1992, the organization has grown from reaching just 8,000 students in the 1990/91 school year to reaching 126,000 in the 16-17 school year. Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, Inc. is currently the 8th largest JA operation in the nation. JA’s hands-on, K-12 programs utilize nearly 6,000 business volunteers throughout Metro Denver, Northern Colorado, and Wyoming.
“CSPR provides economic analysis and tools that can set up Colorado’s next leaders for success. We want to inspire students and educators to pursue entrepreneurship and embrace free enterprise,” CSPR Board Member Robin Wise, President & CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain.
Earl Wright, AMG National Trust Bank
Mr. Wright is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMG National Trust Bank. AMG was founded by Earl Wright and Michael Bergmann. In 1972 they began providing financial counseling to clients under the name Asset Management Group, as a unit of Shearson Hammill. In 1975, they purchased their financial counseling business. They incorporated AMG in California on November 24, 1975.
Mr. Wright holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was honored as a “Master in Profession” from his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He helped start the Masters of Finance Program at the University of Denver and has authored articles for Trusts & Estates and Personal Financial Planning. Mr. Wright has been on the Doane College Board of Trustees since 1987 and serves on the Business Committee. He also serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Zenon C.R. Hansen Foundation. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Alliance for Choice and Education (ACE) and Board of Governors for the Tom Haggai and Associates (THA) Foundation. He is the Chair of the Graduate School Advisory Committee at the University of Colorado and chairs the Endowment Committee of the University of Colorado Foundation. He is a Board member of the Denver Rotary Club, the Institute for International Education and the University of Nebraska Foundation. He is a Chairman Emeritus for the Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award (the highest volunteer award given by a council) from the Denver Council.