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Luncheon Keynote:

Stephanie Copeland
Managing Partner, Fourpoints Funding
CEO, the Governance Project

Stephanie Copeland, joined the Governance Project and became a managing partner of Fourpoints Funding on January 1, 2019. Previously, Stephanie served on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s cabinet as the Executive Director for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet in January 2017, she oversaw a host of divisions, initiatives and programs that support business development throughout the state of Colorado. Before this appointment, she served as president of the Zayo Group, a communications infrastructure services firm. She was previously COO at WildBlue, where she was responsible for the operations of the $500 million rural broadband business. Stephanie spent her career in the telecommunications sector in both the US and Europe. In the early 1990s, she moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to take a management position with Cable & Wireless. She returned to the US in 1994 as part of the team that started MFS International. She joined the early team at Level 3 Communications in 1997, and in 2001, Qwest Communications recruited her to join its leadership team. Stephanie has served as a director for the Colorado Broadband Deployment Board, The Business Experiential Learning Commission, the Governor’s Blockchain Council and the Colorado Workforce Development Council. A Blackstone Entrepreneur, she serves as an advisor to early stage companies in Colorado.

Erik Mitisek
President, Imagine Analytics

Erik Mitisek is the former Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Colorado under Gov. Hickenlooper, founder of Project X-ITE at the University of Denver and co-founder of Denver Startup Week. Erik is a serial entrepreneur who has worked in numerous industries across the public and private sectors. In his current role, he is innovating the digital space of the insurance market. We’re excited to bring Erik back for his second Western Colorado Economic Summit – he held a much-appreciated breakout session on creating a “no-coast tech hub”.

Twitter: @ErikMitisek
Instagram: @ErikMitisek

Mike O’Donnell
Executive Director, Colorado Lending Source

Mike holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia. He began his career in the United States in 1990 as the executive director of the University of Kansas Small Business Development Center and adjunct faculty in the business school there before taking the helm of the certified development company located in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1997.

In 2000, the opportunity arose to relocate to Colorado and join the nonprofit, mission-based educational lender, Colorado Lending Source, and begin expanding outreach and capital access to new and existing small business owners across the length and breadth of Colorado. Colorado Lending Source now offers four different types of loans, from $5,000 up to $5.5 million, and additionally provides back-office small business lending assistance to 54 community banks as a Lender Service Provider for Small Business Administration guaranteed loans. During 2018, Colorado Lending Source facilitated 221 loans to small business owners who created some 1,747 new jobs and had a $331.7 million impact on the Colorado / US economy.



  • Allison Blevins, Chief Operating Officer, Proximity Space
  • Robert Boswell, CEO, Laramie Energy
  • Shawn Brennan, EHS Manager, Terra Energy Partners
  • Kevin Brooks, Managing Partner, Venture Advocates
  • Eric Carlson, Western Slope Director, Colorado Oil & Gas Association
  • Greg Caton, Grand Junction City Manager
  • Angela Christensen, Executive Director, D51 Foundation
  • Alecia Dembowski, Assistant Coordinator of Career Services, Colorado Mesa University
  • Curtis Engelhart, Executive Director, Mesa County Workforce Center
  • Kelly Flenniken, Area Manager, Community & Local Government Affairs, Xcel Energy
  • Mike Foster, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties
  • Kelly Maves, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties
  • Eric Nilsen, Director of Maintenance and Operations, Mesa County Valley School District 51
  • Tom Parrish, School Board President, Mesa County Valley School District 51
  • Eric Payne, Managing Partner, Venture Advocates
  • Jen Pedersen, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties
  • Jane Pizem, Controller, Asset Engineering
  • John Potter, Director of Project Management, Blythe Group + co
  • Diana Sirko,  Superintendent, Mesa County Valley School District 51
  • Mike Sneddon, Owner, Wren Industries
  • Rick Taggart, Grand Junction City Councilmember
  • Page Tucker, Founder and CEO, Prostar Geocorp
  • Derek Wagner, Vice President, Intergovernmental & Community Affairs, Colorado Mesa University
  • Ken Watkins, Grand Junction Fire Chief
  • Darcy Weir, Workforce Development Coordinator, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Wurtzbacher, President and COO, Caerus Oil & Gas
  • Aaron Young, Founder, Kaart

Welcome and Awards:  Doug Simons, Owner/President, Enstrom’s Toffee & Confectionery and Chairman of the Board, Grand Junction Economic Partnership

GJEP Annual Update: Robin Brown, Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership

Emcee: Todd Conklin, CEO and President, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties