State of the State 2023
Unpacking Colorado’s Economic Priorities with Governor Jared Polis
Thursday, January 26, 2023
11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Denver Art Museum
South Sturm Pavilion
100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy.
Join us for a conversation with Governor Polis as he discusses Colorado’s business priorities for the year ahead and answers top-of-mind questions from business leaders.
General Admission Ticket: $125 | Lunch will be provided | Event sponsorship opportunities available via registration site | Non-profit pricing available by emailing [email protected]
Governor, State of Colorado
Governor Jared Polis is an entrepreneur, education leader, public servant, and Colorado native. After launching several successful companies, including one out of his college dorm room, Polis committed himself to making sure other Coloradans had the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Polis founded schools for at-risk students and new immigrants and started nonprofits to help veterans and entrepreneurs.
Prior to serving as Governor, Polis served on the State Board of Education where he worked to raise pay for teachers and reduce class size for students, and represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional district, where he was rated the most effective member of the Colorado delegation.
As Governor, Polis has focused on saving Coloradans money, keeping our economy strong, and preserving our Colorado way of life. Polis delivered universal free full-day kindergarten, signed a number of bills to save families money on health care, and made significant progress towards the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040, all while cutting taxes for small businesses and investing in affordable housing and transportation. His efforts to expand health care access to medically underserved communities and to ensure that equity and justice remain central to building a Colorado for All have produced impactful legislation and made progress toward his administration’s bold vision.
Founder and CEO, Maria Empanada
Lorena Cantarovici, founder and CEO of Maria Empanada, came to Denver from Argentina with only $300 in her pocket but determined to make it. She started by selling empanadas from her kitchen, mostly to friends and family. Eleven years and multiple locations later, that effort has paid off: The prestigious restaurant rating organization Zagat has named Maria Empanada “One of the 12 Hottest New Bakeries in America;” they’ve been featured four times on The Food Network (in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), and in scores of local, national and international media coverage; they’ve been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Small Business Person of the Year Award for the State of Colorado,” and been inducted into the City of Denver’s “Gazelle” program –a group of fast-growth companies the City highlights when recruiting corporations to move their operations to Denver.
Colorado Site Director, Boeing
David Eddy has been with the Boeing Company for 34 years and is the Boeing Site Director for the Aurora and Colorado Springs locations. He is the Boeing Program Manager on the GPS OCX Program and also serves as the President of the Boeing Leadership Network Association for the Colorado Chapter. He currently serves on a number of executive boards including Colorado Business Roundtable, Colorado Succeeds and Colorado Space Business Roundtable. He is a STEM champion and is devoted to help improve the K-12 educational system here in Colorado.
President, Xcel Energy – Colorado
Robert S. Kenney is president of Xcel Energy’s Colorado Operating Company. In this role, he is responsible for executive leadership and strategic guidance of state and local governmental and regulatory affairs, as well as customer and community relations, and charitable giving for the many Colorado communities Xcel Energy serves.
Robert leverages more than 30 years of regulatory, legal, governmental, and public affairs experience to deliver outstanding energy service to the people of Colorado, while maintaining Xcel Energy’s unwavering commitment to keeping customer bills low. At the same time, he leads his Colorado team in working with public policy makers, regulators, and community stakeholders to deliver strategic plans and customer programs, which will drive the state’s and Xcel Energy’s continued leadership in the clean energy transition, including transportation electrification.
Michelle A. Marks
Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver
Since joining CU Denver in July 2020, Chancellor Michelle Marks has pursued an ambitious vision for the future of CU Denver and its impact as a leading urban public research university.
An innovator dedicated to making higher education equitable for the good of society, Dr. Marks believes the urgent national need for equitable education, amplified in this time of great societal challenge, demands long-term solutions. She is leading CU Denver to address long-standing structural inequities through a reimagined approach to lifelong learning. Prior to her current role, Dr. Marks led academic innovation and new ventures at George Mason University.
Dr. Marks holds a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from George Mason University.