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About

The Colorado Business Roundtable

Meet the Team

Debbie Brown

President

Debbie Brown serves as the President of the Colorado Business Roundtable. The Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT) is a public policy organization comprised of executives from some of the state’s largest employers working to strengthen the state’s economic vitality. COBRT engages with elected leaders, business and nonprofit leaders, and other strategic allies to improve the business climate in our state by unapologetically amplifying the voice of business.  COBRT is the state affiliate of the National Business Roundtable (BRT). Based in Washington, D.C., BRT is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

Previously, Brown was the President and founder of Amplify Strategies, a strategic communications and public policy consulting firm. Through Amplify Strategies, Debbie directed the strategy development, messaging, and marketing for businesses, nonprofit organizations, advocacy efforts and candidate campaigns of all sizes. She has created, launched and grown several businesses and organizations.

Debbie has been featured as a political strategist on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, BBC News World Have Your Say, SkyNews, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, New York Times, Colorado Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), as well as regional and local media. Prior to her work in the political and advocacy arena, Debbie was the founding partner in the boutique marketing firm, Firsthand Marketing, that provided strategic business consulting for banking, mortgage and credit union clients.

Debbie has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and a Who’s Who in Energy and a finalist for Outstanding Women in Business by the Denver Business Journal. Debbie is part of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network and an alumni of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Debbie is active in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and as Chair of the Public Affairs Committee. She has served on the Board of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and as Board Chair of Cherry Creek Academy, a public K-8 charter school.

Debbie volunteers as a business mentor for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women. Debbie was recently added to the Advisory Council of the Women’s Democracy Network, established by the International Republican Institute, which believes that a full and robust democracy depends on the equal participation of women.

Nancy Stewart

Operations Manager

Nancy Stewart is a nonprofit consultant specializing in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, event planning, and management. A nonprofit professional with over 15 years of experience, Nancy was the Executive Director of Child Advocates – Denver CASA. In addition to overseeing the administration and operations of the organization, Nancy utilized her background in fundraising and volunteer management to increase revenue, volunteer recruitment and retention to achieve the organization’s mission to provide a CASA for every child in need in Denver. In 2014, Nancy took a giant step out of her comfort zone by buying an existing coffee shop, Drip Denver, and embarking on the new and challenging adventure of small business ownership.

In 2018, she sold the business, left her role at Denver CASA, and began working remotely as a contractor in order to travel. As “Working Tourists,” Nancy and her husband split their time between Colorado and Spain.

Nancy is a graduate of Metropolitan State College with a degree in Organizational Communications. She began her career in the hospitality industry, working in sales and conference services. Moving into the not-for-profit sector in 2001, Nancy planned conferences and events for the American Water Works Association, where she was introduced to the international water and sanitation organization Water For People. In 2004 she joined their fundraising staff, eventually leading the Development team. Nancy also worked for the March of Dimes as the Denver Division Director, was the VP of Community Relations for CU Cancer Center Fund and the Director of Development of Susan G. Komen Colorado.

Nancy has served on several professional and charitable boards, including the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she served as chair of the mentoring committee. She has volunteered for a variety of organizations, including Denver Urban Scholars, Denver CASA, Susan G. Komen Colorado, Denver East High School, and the Golden Triangle Merchants Committee.

Cathy Lucas

Communication Strategy

With more than 25 years of experience, Cathy deeply understands the essential role of how marketing and communications advance an organization’s brand and reputation. She has helped numerous industries including higher-ed, nonprofit and government build a communication strategy that becomes a driver for the organization. Her ability to navigate through complex cross-functional and diverse stakeholder environments, while redefining how organizations communicate with the community – especially through industry and cultural shifts has won the race for many organizations. She has guided numerous leaders to build and refine the way they communicate their strategic stories into one coherent strategy. A unique communicator, Cathy has driven the creation of two university-wide strategic plans through a complex mapping of stakeholder engagement.

Some of Cathy’s most high-profile experience was at MSU Denver where she successfully grew the institution’s brand from a small college to a nationally recognized urban university.

Cathy has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, where she majored in journalism, and is an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional. She has been actively involved with many nonprofits, including the Denver Public Library where she currently serves as the President of the DPL Commission, the International Women’s Forum and the Colorado Inclusive Economy. She also serves on advisory board to Spawn Ideas – an employee-owned independent ad agency based in Anchorage Alaska.

Valerie Dowling

Policy and Initiatives Director

Valerie Dowling has worked in the political process from grassroots campaigns to the White House. In 2015, she moved into international development where she works to continue to increase women’s political participation, leadership and representation in elected office globally.

In her previous role, Valerie worked at the Republican National Committee in the Office of the Co-Chairman as the Director of Women’s Programs and was focused on creating programming to engage more women in the Republican Party.

Previously, she served as the Pennsylvania Coalitions Director with the Romney for President Campaign where she directed community outreach and volunteer engagement. Valerie also served as the Political Director for the National Federation of Republican Women where she developed and managed their national political programming.

Prior to this position, Valerie worked in the Bush Administration in Mrs. Bush’s Projects and Policy Office, Presidential Correspondence and Intergovernmental Affairs. Valerie has worked on several state and federal campaigns in the state of South Carolina. She is a proud graduate of Converse College.