Board of Directors

From left to right: Rob Wright, Bob McGraw, Donna Faulkner, Gerry Shear, James Shaffer, Dan Wenzinger, Hank Windmoeller, Denise Halligan, Peter Birkholz, Don Jackson, Maxine Pierce, Travis Berry, Brian Johnson, Terry Brace, Mark Stewart.
Not pictured: Valerie Hastings, Steve Jaquith, Sean Markey, Matt Tredway, Bryan Tutor.

The Officers

Gerry A. Shear, President of the Foundation Board, is a 1992 graduate of Western and the Managing Principal of GSA Management. Gerry holds a BS (Business Administration) from Western, an MBA from University of Nevada Las Vegas and the CCIM designation. In his free time he enjoys hiking, skiing and travel with his wife, Jenny, and is an avid sports car racer.


Robert Wright, a 2000 graduate of Western, serves as Vice President of the Foundation. Rob is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bungalow Clothing, a disruptive, online clothing retailer. Before Bungalow, Rob served as Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of ReachLocal, Inc. (Nasdaq: RLOC). Prior to ReachLocal, Rob served as Director of Business Development for WorldWinner, Inc., where he was responsible for offering WorldWinner’s tournament platform to the Internet’s leading game portals, including,,, and Prior to WorldWinner, Rob was Director of Business Development for LineUp Technologies, a streaming media syndication company. Rob lives in Agoura Hills, California, with his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Ella.


Maxine Pierce, currently serving as Secretary of the Western State Foundation Board of Directors, attended Western from 1970-1974 studying Business and Accounting.  After graduating in 1974 she went to work in banking, working in the Bookkeeping Department, the Computer Department, and ending her full-time banking career as Auditor.  After furthering her education she did consulting work for the bank and also worked at various businesses for friends that needed temporary/part-time help.  Volunteering as a tutor with the local literacy program was a favorite project during this time.  Since her husband, David, retired they have spent time traveling, pursuing their hobbies.  He races vintage motorcycles in a national series.  She trains and trials her Border Collie, Cooper, in agility.  They have also established and are Co-Directors of the Topper Foundation.


Henry “Hank” D. Windmoeller, a 1973 graduate of Western, serves as Treasurer of the Foundation Board. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Sills Cummis & Gross, PC.  He was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Connolly Gallagher, LLP, a law firm located in Wilmington, Delaware. Hank’s experience includes 15 years as Chief Financial Officer and seven years as Chief Operating Officer in the legal services industry in the Washington, DC, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Prior to the legal services industry, Hank spent six years in homebuilding and eight years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen. Hank is a certified public accountant and holds a Master’s Degree in Accountancy and Business Administration from the University of Denver Daniels School of Business and completed the Executive Development Program at Georgetown University.

The Board

TRAVIS BERRY, a 1992 graduate of Western, founded Politicalworks in 2002 and has been involved in lobbying and state and national politics since 1990. Prior to starting Politicalworks he served as Deputy Legislative Director for Governor Roy Romer from 1994-97. In this capacity he helped develop and implement the Governor's legislative agenda. During his tenure he forged strong relationships with members of both sides of the aisle and successfully lobbied on a full range of public policy issues. Travis has held senior positions with numerous statewide campaigns and remains highly active in state and national politics. He has served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as Vice President of the Dutko Group, a Washington, DC lobbying firm. This diverse set of experiences and long history in lobbying and politics has provided Travis with the skills, knowledge and relationships to represent clients effectively before the state legislature and administrative agencies. Travis has forged strong bipartisan ties in the legislature and has a reputation as a talented and principled advocate for his clients.

PETER BIRKHOLZ graduated from Sam Houston State University with a BBA in 1975 and an MBA in 1976. For 25 years, Peter was a sports promoter, television announcer and television producer. After selling his sports franchise, Peter taught Marketing and Management courses for three years at the University of Houston at Clear Lake, and then taught for another 10 years at Sam Houston State University. He also served on the first Sam Houston State University Alumni Board, the Rotary Club of Huntsville and the Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Club of Houston. Currently, Peter is the managing partner of the Sam Houston Group, LP, which is a real estate partnership that owns commercial property in Huntsville, Texas. Peter has a home on the Taylor River in Almont, Colorado, and also resides in Huntsville. Peter and his wife, Kaye, have five boys and five grandchildren. He enjoys writing and has just published his first book, When Wrestling Was Rasslin’.

TERRY BRACE received his BA degree from Western in 1974 with majors in History and Political Science, and his  MA degree from Western in 1978, as well as earning his Doctoral Degree from California Coast University.  He was Superintendent for three school districts in California, and he served as a principal, counselor, teacher, and coach before then.  He was selected to be a member of the National Center for Educational Research and Technology, a prestigious national group of superintendents; was a founding member of the Merced Anti-Violence (Gang) Task Force; and served on the California State University Stanislaus Education Doctoral Board, Merced College President’s Circle, and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Board of Control. Terry has also made presentations at national and regional conferences on improving student achievement, strategic planning, strategic/organizational leadership, and time management.  Terry is an active cyclist, hiker, skier, and kayaker.  He is currently President and CEO of Brace Leadership Associates, LLC.  He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Mary (’74).

DONNA FAULKNER, a 1968 graduate, taught in Georgia, Arizona, and eventually at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, where she earned her M.Ed.  In 1978, Donna and Doug Faulkner (’66) started Faulkner Corporation, an oil and gas company and a related drilling company, where she served as Comptroller for twenty-five years.  Donna is still involved in the oil and gas industry with her own investment company and also continues in the business with her son, Drew, as a partner in West Elk Resources and other ventures. Drew continues the family business with his company, Olympia Oil, which is involved both nationally and internationally in oil and gas exploration.  Drew also is CEO  of HWD, a horizontal well drilling company. Donna and her partner, Mickey Smith, live on their ranch outside of Crawford, Colorado, where they raise hay and horses and enjoy the good life.

DENISE LARSON HALLIGAN, a 1978 Western graduate, majored in Business.  She currently works in Commercial Lending for Colorado Business Bank in Downtown Denver. Previously she was a computer programmer for US West and Lockheed Martin.  Denise lives in the Arvada area with her husband, Gerry.  They have a daughter about to graduate with a Masters in Fine Arts from UNLV, a son working in California, and a son who recently graduated from Western who is now working in Crested Butte.

VALERIE HASTINGS, a 1983 Western graduate, has over 32 years of experience in Accounting, Tax and Business consulting. After receiving her Western degree in Accounting, Valerie then proceeded to get her Certified Public Accountant certificate and is licensed to practice in the State of Colorado.   She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. When she is not working in the Tax and Accounting world, Valerie spends time with her son, Corbin.  Valerie is a retired volunteer firefighter/engineer for the City of Golden Fire Department.

DON JACKSON graduated summa cum laude from Western in 1980, and cum laude from Baylor Law School in 1983, where he was a member of the Baylor Law Review. Currently, Don is Managing Partner of the Ware, Jackson, Lee, O’Neill, Smith & Barrow law firm in Houston, Texas. Previously, he was a partner at Ware, Snow, Fogel and Jackson, and an associate and then partner at Vinson and Elkins. Don began his career as a Briefing Attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas. Named a Texas Super Lawyer (2003-2015), a Top 100 Lawyer in Houston (2011, 2013-2015) and a Best Lawyer in America, Don is board certified in personal injury trial law and civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. An advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates, he is also a member of the Houston Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, American Board of Trial Advocates and Texas Bar Foundation, as well as the author of numerous articles, papers and presentations.

STEVE JAQUITH is a 1983 graduate of Western. Steve started his long and successful career in the airline industry at Trans-Colorado Airlines before joining Continental Airlines, where he held a range of management and leadership positions across the country. Currently, Steve is the Managing Director of the Denver Hub and Colorado Region for United Airlines, Inc., managing all company-related activities in the airline’s fourth largest hub. While attending Western, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Steve participated in student government, served as Concert Director for the student body, and was a Residence Hall Advisor and Director. Married, with two daughters and an eight-year-old son adopted from Russia, Steve enjoys sports, reading, music, travel and spending time with family and friends.

BRIAN JOHNSON is a 1980 Western graduate with undergraduate degrees in Geology with a Business minor. He completed a Master of Science degree in Mineral Economics and Finance at the Colorado School of Mines. After spending 14 years in Australia and the United Kingdom, Brian has returned to the U.S. to set up a limited liability company called Sheldon Kye Energy, focused on energy infrastructure project development and advisory. Previously, Brian was Executive Director of the Energy and Utilities advisory team in Melbourne at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to PwC he was based in the UK where he was Director and Senior VP at Caminus (NASDAQ) leading a team providing strategy and risk management advisory services, along with risk management software solutions, to the Europe’s energy and utilities industries. Prior to Caminus, Brian was a Director at Oakvale Capital in Sydney, providing energy and mining clients with financial/treasury and strategic risk management advisory services. Starting his career as a Petroleum Geologist, Brian has also held management and leadership positions at the New York Mercantile Exchange and Colorado Coal and Coke.

SEAN MARKEY is a 1993 graduate of Western. He earned his medical degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his surgical internship and neurosurgery residency. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Sean has served as the Director of Neurosurgery at Littleton Adventist Hospital and currently serves as the Director of Neurosurgery at Parker Adventist Hospital. He also serves as faculty for a number of medical device companies, which includes on-going work in the development of new spinal surgery techniques. He has been listed in 5280: Denver’s Mile-High Magazine as one of the city’s top doctors for his work with brain and spine disorders. He currently serves as the Neurosurgical Consultant to the Denver Broncos. Sean is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Colorado Neurosurgical Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Western Neurological Society. Sean and his wife, Kristina, currently reside in Denver and have three daughters. Outside of medicine Sean enjoys skiing, biking and automobiles.

ROBERT McGRAW, JR. is the President of McGraw and McGraw, CPA and a 1977 graduate of Western. A practicing Certified Public Accountant since 1982, his firm specializes in accounting for small businesses, personal and corporate tax planning/preparation, as well as small business consulting. The firm is led by Bob and run in conjunction with his two sons, serving clients across Colorado. Bob is licensed in the State of Colorado and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. He has served on the Board of Directors for multiple publicly-traded companies as Audit Committee Chairman, as well as on the boards for several nonprofit organizations. Bob resides in Westminster, CO, with his wife, Marjie.

JAMES SHAFFER, a 1973 graduate of Western, is President of Streetscapes, Inc., a dealer/distributer of furniture and site amenities for public spaces and a pedestrian amenities consultant. Prior to starting Streetscapes in 2005, James was a manufacturer’s representative in the contract furniture industry for more than 25 years. James is actively involved in the Urban Land Institute and is on the advisory board for WalkDenver – a Denver based pedestrian advocacy group. James and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Aurora, Colorado. James is an avid reader and enjoys photographing petroglyphs and pictographs and riding trains.

MARK STEWART, a 1979 Western graduate in Geology, has worked 36 years for Schlumberger Technology Corporation and is currently serving as a Senior Account Manager in Denver. Since graduating, Mark has worked in numerous locations, including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Dubai, Aberdeen, Luanda and Paris. Helping to extract oil and gas from new shale plays, Mark can say without hesitation, that Western provided an excellent education, comparable to any large, “big name” university. As such, Mark is both loyal to and proud of his Western education and grateful for the many opportunities it created. As a second year member of the Western State Foundation Board, Mark enjoys working with a very diverse and dedicated group of board members all trying to help improve the University in a variety of ways.  Married for 30 years, Mark and LaTricia are extremely proud of their two daughters, the oldest who is an architect in Dallas, Texas and the youngest daughter who is working as a mechanical engineer for Royal Dutch Shell in the Gulf of Mexico.  Residing in Parker, Colorado, Mark’s hobbies include cycling, fishing, reading and operating two small agricultural ventures in Colorado.

MATT TREDWAY and his wife, Dana, are 1983 graduates of Western. Steamboat, Colorado is home, and Matt has been very involved in that community for 29 years. Matt’s two daughters work together in their own clothing design business in Nashville. Matt was a student of Western’s first outdoor education semester, and that experience shaped his life. Matt was an instructor for The National Outdoor Leadership School and founded Everything Outdoor Steamboat, designed to give students a chance to experience rock and ice climbing, backpacking, winter mountaineering, 14ers, kayaking, and horse packing. Climbing is Matt’s passion, and he has been on expeditions around the world, including Alaska’s Denali, peaks in Canada, Peru, Kilimanjaro, Cho Oyu in Tibet, and an ‘06 Everest bid. Matt heads a construction company, and is managing partner in a real estate development company. He serves on a variety of boards, including the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. He teaches alpine skiing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation.  Matt is excited to carry on a family tradition of promoting Western that dates back to 1963.

BRYAN TUTOR is Chief Operating Officer at RS Investments, a global investment management firm based in San Francisco. Prior to joining RS Investments, Bryan was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Finance and Operations at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in New York.  Beginning his career as a consulting actuary for both PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte and Touche, Bryan has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.  A native of Gunnison, Bryan and his wife, Paula, currently reside in Alamo, California, where they are avid golfers.  Bryan is a 1987 graduate of Western State Colorado University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.

DAN WENZINGER graduated Western in 1976, majoring in Accounting and Business.  He is currently a Principal/Cofounder of Tierra Development and Triton Communities and President of Tierra Funding, LLC.  Dan has been involved in residential development, construction and land banking for the last 16 years. His experience includes functioning as Chief Operating and Chief Finance Officer in the twelfth largest residential home builder along the Front Range of Colorado. His residential real estate experience has crossed all functions including land acquisition, entitlements, land development and vertical construction. Dan has also held various financial executive positions in the oil and gas industry and provided financial consulting as a Certified Public Accountant.  Dan and his wife, Cheryl, currently reside in Golden, Colorado.