- Board of Trustees
- Board Members
Contact the Board
To contact a Board of Trustees member, send your message to:
Colorado Mesa University
Office of the President
1100 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501
To read biography, click on the trustee name.
Betty Bechtel graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a BS in business in 1967. While her husband, Joel, attended medical school, she worked as a statistician for the telephone company, then attended Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law, attaining her JD cum laude in 1978. From 1979-1980, she worked in the employment law section of Dykema Gossett law firm in Detroit, Mich.
Returning home to Colorado in 1980, she practiced primarily employment law with Dufford, Waldeck, Milburn & Krohn, in Grand Junction, for 25 years. In 2005, she and Michael Santo began the firm of Bechtel & Santo, LLP, emphasizing employment law for businesses. She has served as President of the Mesa County Bar Association, and received its Professionalism Award in 2010. Betty retired from active practice as of Jan. 1, 2011, but continues with the firm in an "Of Counsel" status.
Betty has chaired the boards of several non-profit organizations in the community, including the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Economic Development Council (now known as Grand Junction Economic Partners), the Business Incubator Center, Hilltop Rehabilitation Hospital and Hospice of the Grand Valley. Additionally, she has served as a board member of the Mesa County Pro Bono Association, Cinema at the Avalon, the Art Center, Glade Park Community School and Mesa Developmental Services Foundation.
Tilman "Tillie" Bishop
Tilman "Tillie" Bishop is a Colorado native, a longtime educator, a dedicated public servant and an influential former state lawmaker who lives in Grand Junction.
He has supported education in Colorado for decades, having been an administrator and taught in Colorado public schools for seven years and serving as an administrator at Colorado Mesa University for 31 years.
In 1970, Bishop was elected to the Colorado General Assembly and served two terms/four years in the Colorado House of Representatives and six terms for a total of 24 years in the Colorado Senate, the last six years as president pro tem. His tenure as a state lawmaker ended in 1998 due to term limits.
Bishop's 28 years of service in the General Assembly rank him fourth in Colorado history for continuous service, and he was the longest-serving state senator from western Colorado. During his tenure as a state lawmaker, Bishop focused on education, water, energy, natural resource development, highways and transportation, legislative reform, youth corrections and the state personnel system.
In 2002, Bishop was elected to a four-year term as Mesa County Commissioner. In 2006, he was elected to a six-year term to the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
On the national level, Bishop served as Colorado's representative on the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He also sat on the executive committee of the Energy Council, made up of 10 major oil-and-gas producing states and Canada and Venezuela.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., Bishop earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in education at the University of Northern Colorado as an El Pomar Foundation and wrestling scholarship recipient. In 1999, his alma mater conferred upon him an honorary doctorate degree.
Bishop and his wife, Pat, a retired public high school teacher, have been married for 61 years. Their son, Barry, passed away in December 2008.
Kelly Brough is the President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 3,000 businesses with 300,000 employees.
Before joining the Chamber, she served as chief of staff for the City of Denver and Mayor John Hickenlooper, overseeing a general fund of $857 million. She also served as deputy chief of staff and director of the Denver office of accountability and reform for the city.
As the first female director of human resources for the City of Denver, she successfully moved the human resource department from an authoritarian culture to one based on service delivery and focused on outcomes. During her two years in this role, she led significant reforms including moving the city to a full pay-for-performance system and established the city’s first bonus plan program.
She directed an internationally recognized leadership program at the University of Colorado at Denver—the Rocky Mountain Program and has served as a consultant to many local governments facilitating decisions, managing large public processes and comprehensive planning efforts, mediating disputes and providing strategies to build stronger public/private partnerships.
She currently serves on the board of directors of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Denver Zoological Foundation; the Denver Scholarship Foundation and VisitDenver; the Graduate School - Bioscience Advisory Board for University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, the Corporate Board of Delta Dental as well as the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Women’s Forum and The Chamber 100 with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Brough earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1989 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, Criminal Justice from Montana State University in 1986.
Brough was named as one of Colorado’s 10 most influential women by The Denver Post and one of Denver’s most influential people by 5280 Magazine. In 2012, Brough received the University of Colorado Denver Campus Alumni Recognition Award. She has attended a number of leadership programs including the JFK School of Government’s program at Harvard for state and local public officials. She was also named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2001.
Kathleen is a fifth-generation Coloradan who grew up in Denver and Vail. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and received her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law.
Eck spent most of her legal career with Martin Marietta Corporation, now Lockheed Martin, where she held positions of increasing responsibility within several operating companies of the corporation and at the corporate level, including Corporate Secretary and Associate General Counsel. She is a trained mediator and has participated in the Negotiation Workshop at Harvard Law School. She continues to practice law and is a real estate broker with Slifer Smith & Frampton in the Vail Valley.
She serves on the board of directors of Millennium Bancorp and Millennium Bank and is President of the Lake Creek Metro District. Eck has also served on the board of trustees and as chair of Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Adams State College and the Women's Foundation of Colorado.
Eck lives in the Lake Creek Valley near Vail with her husband, Jack, a physician.
Jose D.L. Marquez
Jose D.L. Marquez majored in philosophy at St. John's University, in Collegeville, MN, in 1964. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1970 and his LLM from the University of Virginia Law School in 2001.
Marquez served as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, USAF, from February 1971 to June 1972, before working as an attorney for Colorado Rural Legal Services from June 1972-August 1975. He served as Regional Assistant Attorney General, Colorado Attorney General, Grand Junction, from September 1975-December 1977 before going into private practice with Prakken and Marquez (and then Prakken, Marquez & Coebergh) P.C., in Grand Junction, from January 1978 to January 1984.
Marquez served as a District Court Judge, 21st Judicial District, Grand Junction, from February 1, 1984 to July 15, 1988, when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals. He retired from the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2008 and currently serves as a senior judge.
Marquez was appointed to the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees by Governor Bill Ritter on May 13, 2010.
Ray Martinez grew up in Fort Collins and has more than 30 years of experience in public service, including serving three terms as mayor of Fort Collins. He served three years in the United States Army in Thailand and stateside duty and earned the Army Commendation Medal.
Martinez began his career in the Fort Collins Police Department in 1974. During his tenure, he worked closely with Hispanic community leaders, youth and athletes to improve the relationships between the community and law enforcement. He also became an expert witness in the field of identification, recognition and investigation of dangerous drugs.
Martinez was the lead investigator in an international terrorist investigation involving the attempted assassination of a Libyan student. The magnitude of this criminal episode is the subject of two published books: "Death Merchant" by Joseph Goulden and "Man Hunt" by Peter Maas. Martinez was the first Hispanic sergeant in Fort Collins police service and retired in 1996 after 25 years of law enforcement service.
Martinez is an active member of several advisory boards in Fort Collins. With a particular interest in working with youth, he co-founded an organization known as Neighborhoods United. Volunteers work directly with at risk youth to provide them with positive educational and recreational experiences. Since 1988, Martinez served as Chapter Advisor for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Colorado State University.
Other boards on which Martinez serves or has served include the Partners Advisory Board of Directors; Governor Owens' appointment as Chair of the Minority Business Advisory Council, continued under Governor Ritter; member and past Chair of the Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Board of Directors.
Martinez has published 10 books. In addition, he wrote a weekly newspaper column for nearly two years. He was also a radio talk show host for six years. He is currently providing consulting services and continues as a writer and public speaker.
Doug is the current chairman of the Board of Trustees at Colorado Mesa University.
A native of Grand Junction currently residing in Colorado Springs, Colo., Doug Quimby is a seasoned real estate executive and proven leader with deep ties to community service and economic development organizations.
After winning the prestigious Denver Post Golden Helmet Award in 1970, Quimby went on to play varsity football and rugby at Harvard College where he earned an AB in history magna cum laude. After earning his JD from Stanford Law School, Quimby returned to Colorado to practice law specializing in real estate transactions, development and management.
He is currently President, Chief Executive Officer and principal owner of La Plata Communities, Inc. He and his wife, Courtney, have two adult children.
David Reed graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and from South Texas College of Law at Houston, attaining his Juris Doctor magna cum laude.
For more than 25 years, the law firm of J. David Reed, P.C. has provided general and specialized legal counsel to clients throughout western Colorado with offices in Montrose, Telluride and Ridgway.
Reed has participated in community development, charities, local volunteer organizations and projects throughout the region. He has formerly served as Montrose, Colorado, City Council Member and as Mayor, President of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Montrose County School Board. He currently serves as President of the Board of the San Juan Healthcare Foundation and as Treasurer of the Board of the Montrose Community Foundation.
Joan D. Ringel has been involved in public policy since 1979. She served as Assistant to the Executive Director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education from 2002 to 2004, where her responsibilities included research, writing, media relations, management and strategy. She was a partner in Ringel, Boyle & Weist Policy Strategists, Inc., a consulting, research, lobbying and public relations firm for 13 years. Mrs. Ringel has an MPA in public policy from the University of Colorado, Denver and an AB in English literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently working on a short story collection.
Ringel currently serves on the Colorado Judicial Performance Commission and volunteers at Project Angel Heart. She has frequently been a literacy tutor, most recently a mentor and tutor for a high school student. She previously served on the Regional Air Quality Commission, the Winter Park Recreation Association, the Colorado Judicial Institute Board of Directors, the CANPO-ASI Board of Directors and the Denver Sunrise-Sunset Committee. Her publications include "Not So Cut and Dried," The Human Touch; "Academic Libraries and Regional Economic Development," Libraries and the Search for Academic Excellence; "Sophie's Victory," Women's Words, and "Regulatory Reform in Colorado," Colorado Lawyer.
Ringel has lived in Denver for 36 years. She is married with two adult sons, who also live in Denver. She enjoys reading, gourmet cooking, traveling and has recently resumed playing the flute.
Daniel R. Robinson
Dan was born in Trinidad, Colo. He attended Denver Public Schools and graduated from Western State Colorado University where he was Student Body President. He worked summers through college on ranches and as a horseback guide in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Robinson joined the Peace Corps after college and spent three years in a remote village in rural Colombia. He is fluent in Spanish.
Robinson graduated from the University of Connecticut Law School and returned to Colorado where he and his wife raised two children. He has been appointed by five Colorado governors of both parties to various state Boards and Commissions. He was elected two terms to the Mesa Valley School District School Board. Robinson was a member of the National Ski Patrol for 25 years, for which he was awarded a lifetime ski pass.
Robinson started and directed a successful non-profit organization, Mesa County Partners. The program continues to serve hundreds of at risk kids in Mesa County. He was President of the Riverside Task Force, which led to the renovation of the historic Riverside School and the creation of the Dual Immersion Academy. He has received numerous community awards and recognitions, including the Judge John R. Evans Award from the Colorado Juvenile Council for his contribution to Juvenile Justice in Colorado. Robinson was a legal aid lawyer and a Deputy District Attorney. He spent 19 years as the director of a juvenile detention/corrections facility in Grand Junction with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.
Robinson is a practicing attorney with the law firm of Killian, Davis, Richter & Mayle, P.C. in Grand Junction. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, the Mesa County Bar Association and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
He and his wife, Gigi, have been married 45 years. She is an elementary school counselor. They live on a small farm west of Grand Junction.
Bob Wilson is a retired accounting professional who brings a wealth of community service and leadership experience to the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees.
Upon completing his Associate of Arts degree at then Mesa College in 1961, Wilson completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. After spending 14 years as an accountant and eventually partner at Dalby Wendland & CO in Grand Junction, Wilson worked as Business Manager at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and then as a private business consultant through the 1980s. From 1987 until 2005, he worked in varying capacities at Rocky Mountain Health Plans including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President.
While Bob retired in 2005, he is very involved with numerous community organizations including Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, the Walker Foundation, the Mesa County Victims Compensation Board and Industrial Development, Inc.
Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer, PhD, Faculty Trustee
Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., as an Honors Scholar with a BA in English and a BS in Biological Sciences in 1993. After working as the lead instructor in an English Immersion Program in eastern Colorado for a year, she decided to pursue her Ph.D. at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. She graduated with her doctoral degree in zoology in 1999 with a specialization in the molecular phylogenetics and evolution of marine invertebrates. During the fall of that same year, Palmer was hired at Colorado Mesa University as an assistant professor of biology. She earned the rank of associate professor in 2004 and ultimately earned the rank of full professor in 2009.
At CMU, Palmer regularly teaches a variety of courses including Principles of Animal Biology, Marine Biology, Invertebrate Zoology, Senior Thesis, and Evolution. She also teaches a field course on the Oregon coast on Marine Invertebrate Communities both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research interests, which she explores with her student-researchers and her collaborators, include the population genetics of polychaetes (seaworms) and the natural histories of tardigrades. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Palmer has served as the president of the Faculty Senate and as the director of the University Honors Program. She also regularly volunteers in the community, particularly in the public schools. In her free time, Palmer enjoys reading, hiking, camping, backpacking, and traveling internationally.
Lucy Benoit, Student Trustee
Lucy Benoit is a political science major at Colorado Mesa University. She actively participates in the Associated Student Government as Student Trustee, Political Science club, and Phi Sigma Alpha honors society. Last year Lucy was an executive in the sorority interest group that facilitated the expansion of Greek life on campus.
Lucy is from Littleton, Colorado where she attended Columbine High School and graduated in the class of 2013. She lettered in Varsity cheer all four years and became captain.
Currently a senior, Lucy is a full-time student and part-time employee of Colorado Mesa University in the office of student success. As a peer coach in the office of student success, Lucy partners with a success coach to co-teach University 101 classes and counsels students outside of the classroom.