Board of Directors

Back Row (Left to Right): Denise Halligan, James Shaffer, Hank Windmoeller, Brian Johnson, Terry Brace

Front Row (Left to Right): Donna Faulkner, Ruth Welch, Rob Wright, Paul Franco, Peter Birkholz, Valerie Hastings, Matt Tredway, Dan Wenzinger, Bryan Tutor, Lorie Moreno-Roch

The Officers


Robert Wright, a 2000 graduate of Western, serves as 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, Calif., with his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Ella.


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. He 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).

Valerie Hastings is 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.


Dan Wenzinger graduated from 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, Colo.


Gerry Shear is a 1992 graduate of Western. 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, traveling with his family and he is an avid sports car racer. Gerry resides in Las Vegas, Nev.  

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, D.C. 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, Colo., 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’".

PAUL FRANCO, graduated from Western in 1986 and majored in Finance. He is currently a Certified Financial Planner for Ameriprise Financial. Paul resides in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

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, Colo., 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.

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 an undergraduate degree 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.

RON LEACH is a 1981 graduate of Western where he majored in Business Administration. He later earned a graduate degree in Banking from the University of Colorado-Boulder and is a graduate of the East West Center for Executive Management in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ron currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for San Juan Construction, Inc. and has been with the company since April 2007. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Leach was an Executive Vice President of the Bank of Hawaii and held various management positions in lending, credit approval and general administration during his 25 years in banking. Previously, Mr. Leach served as the Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University of Guam Board, a Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredited a four-year land-grant institution located in the territory of Guam in the Western Pacific Ocean. He resides in Grand Junction, Colo., and joined the Western Foundation Board in 2018. 

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.

LORIE MORENO-ROCH is a 1988 graduate of Western. She majored in Political Science while attending and is retired from her previous position of President of CRMCulture. She resides in Louisville, Colo. 

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, Colo. James is an avid reader and enjoys photographing petroglyphs and pictographs and riding trains.

MATT TREDWAY and his wife, Dana, are 1983 graduates of Western. Steamboat, Colo., 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, Calif., where they are avid golfers. Bryan is a 1987 graduate of Western Colorado University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.

RUTH WELCH serves as a Director for the Bureau of Reclamation for the Department of the Interior. She graduated from Western with dual majors in Sociology and English Literature in 1986. She lives in Littleton, Colo.