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CiviCO and CMU announce launch of Leadership Academy and western Colorado cohort

Program is first cross-sector, cross-region academy in the United States

CiviCO (formerly Quarterly Forum) is proud to announce the launch of an innovative, statewide leadership program — the CiviCO Leadership Academy, to galvanize and unite the Colorado way of leadership. 

“Across the country we have never seen a true leadership program to bridge communities across a state,” said Co-Chairman Ryan Heckman. “The CiviCO Leadership Academy will be that first transformational opportunity for the participants from communities across Colorado. We have incredible partners who have made this vision into a reality.” 

After two pilot years of a cohort in the Metro Denver region, CiviCO partnered with established community organizations around Colorado to launch regional cohorts in northern Colorado, southern Colorado and western Colorado, in addition to the metro Denver region. CiviCO has partnered with the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado in Fort Collins, the Quad Innovation Partnership in Colorado Springs and Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction to deliver the in-person offerings in each region, respectively. 

Given the importance of connecting emerging leaders across western Colorado and the State, Colorado Mesa University is pleased to serve as the rallying point for the western Colorado cohort and is excited to host the entire leadership class later this fall. 

“With so much attention being paid to the rural, urban divide in Colorado and our nation, it’s really up to all of us to light a candle rather than cursing the darkness,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “CMU is thrilled to be a part of any effort to bring our State closer together and this partnership with CiviCO is the latest example of our commitment.” 

The nine-month program combines digital curriculum in partnership with McKinsey Academy, one-on-one executive coaching and personal development planning in partnership with BetterUp, and an in-person experience led by CiviCO. The academy begins with a three-day kick-off retreat in Vail, Colorado, and ends with a three-day capstone event in Denver, in addition to one statewide cohort gathering in each of the regional hubs. 

Map of CiviCO cohorts

The 2020 class kick-off their experience with an intensive three-day training in September to launch the curriculum and build new statewide relationships. 

The western Colorado cohort of the CiviCO Leadership Academy include:

Amy Crick

First Colorado National Bank, Delta County Economic Development

Jeremy Rietmann

Town of Gypsum

Katlin Birdsall

Colorado Mesa University

Kelly Reuss

Colorado Mesa University

Kraig Andrews

Grand Junction City Council

Lindsey Campbell

Colorado Mesa University

Liz Howell

Colorado Mesa University

Robin Brown

Grand Junction Economic Partnership

Tawny Espinoza

Community Hospital

Trish Thibodo

Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning

The CiviCO Leadership Academy is made possible by generous contribution from the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, Boettcher Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation and anonymous donors.

For more information about CiviCO or the CiviCO Leadership Academy, please visit



Written by David Ludlam