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CJI Board Officers, Board Members, Young Professionals and Staff

Welcome Incoming Board Chair
Don Samuels

Don Samuels, Shareholder and Employment Litigation Practice Chair at Polsinelli PC, was elected CJI Board Chair at the May 13th annual meeting.

“I am honored to serve as the chair for such a prestigious organization,” said Samuels. “It is my hope that we will continue to play an important role in ensuring the existence of a fair, impartial and independent judicial system that is well understood by our citizens.”

“We are confident that Don’s legal and practical expertise will make him a stellar chair of CJI’s board,” said Joshua Anderson, CJI’s executive director. “As our new fiscal year begins, Don will be instrumental in helping us achieve CJI’s internal and external organizational goals.”

As chairman of CJI, Samuels plans to work towards his goals of helping the organization transition out of the pandemic, diversifying CJI membership and enhancing benefits for CJI members. A major theme of his tenure will be recognition of, respect for, and education about the rule of law. In terms of diversification, Samuels hopes to diversify the membership of CJI in every respect: lawyers and nonlawyers, geographic location, race, sex, age, national origin and ethnicity. He also plans to enhance the member experience by providing more opportunities for social and educational events for members to attend throughout the year.

Colorado Judicial Institute Board of Directors

Board Officers and Board Members of the Colorado Judicial Institute are all volunteers.  The board plays an active role in determining the direction, priorities, and projects for the organization.  Board members who chair various committees, along with CJI staff, are responsible for seeing projects through to fruition. 

Board Members are recruited through the efforts of the nominating committee.  New board members are sought throughout the community, both legal and non-legal.  Requirements for new board members are a dedication to judicial independence and the desire to work for the best possible judicial system for the citizens of Colorado.  Board members are required to be members in good standing of the organization and to participate on at least one active committee.  The CJI bylaws mandate that at least 50% of board members not be in the full-time practice of law.  The nominating committee recommends nominees to the membership and there is a vote to fill board positions at the annual meeting.  The annual meeting is traditionally held in May.

Board Officers are elected each year at the annual meeting by existing board members.  Current  board officer positions include the board chair, board chair-elect, secretary, treasurer and past chair.  The board officers, also known as the executive committee, are charged with the oversight of the organization's activities, staff and daily operations.

For more information about the CJI board, please contact us via email or at 303-766-7501.

2021-2022 CJI Board of Directors

Kristen Blessman
Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce

Natriece Bryant
Governor's Office of Information Technology

Mark T. Clouatre
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Hon. C. Scott Crabtree
17th Judicial District - Retired

Michael Dabbs
Gill Foundation

Faye Diamond
RBI Strategies & Research

Celia Dietrich
Dietrich Partners

Selena L. Dunham
Classique, LLC

Nickolas D. Fogel
Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Keo Frazier
KEOS Marketing LLC/New Thinkers/KEOS Marketing Consultancy

Jeffrey B. George - Treasurer
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Jonathan Goldberg
LIV Sotheby's International Realty

Hon. Robert D. Hawthorne
Colorado Court of Appeals - Retired

Eric L. Hilty
Tuff Shed, Inc.

Hon. Gary M. Jackson
Denver County Court - Retired

Jane Jackson

Peter Karpinski
ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants

Peter G. Koclanes - Immediate Past Chair
Sherman & Howard L.L.C.

Marjorie B. Lewis, PhD.
Metropolitan Academy of Behavioral Health

Hon. Lino S. Lipinsky de Orlov
Colorado Court of Appeals

Bob Manzi
Clarity Media Group, Inc.

Britton Nohe-Braun
One Earth Future Foundation

Chris Oltyan

Patrick T. O'Rourke
University of Colorado

Colin M. Purdy
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Christopher R. Reeves
Waltz | Reeves

Kathryn A. Reilly
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

Donald L. Samuels - Chair
Polsinelli PC

V. William Scarpato
U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado

Shannon W. Stevenson
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Deborah Suniga
Latino Coalition of Weld County

Hon. Elizabeth A. Weishaupl
18th Judicial District

Kristi Anderson Wells - Secretary
Wells Family Law, PC

Gwyneth Whalen
Caplan and Earnest LLC

Heidi Williams
Colorado Attorney General's Office

Rodney K. Yokooji

Emeritus Directors

Hon. Steve C. Briggs
Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc.
Colorado Court of Appeals – Retired

J. Daniel Brinker
J. Daniel Brinker & Co.

Stephen J. Burg
Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

E. Michael Canges
Senn Visciano Canges P.C.

Hon. Russell E. Carparelli
Conflict Resolution Services, Inc.
Colorado Court of Appeals - Retired

Marilyn S. Chappell
Sweetbaum Sands Ramming PC

Laurence W. DeMuth Jr.
US West – Retired

George D. Dikeou
COPIC Companies - Retired

Robert Ewegen
The Ewegen Law Firm, PLLC
Denver Post - Retired

Mark A. Fogg
Childs McCune LLC

Hon. Richard L. Gabriel
Colorado Supreme Court

Michael J. Gallagher
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Lawrence P. Gelfond
Gelfond & Associates, P.C.

Elinor M. Greenberg, EdD.
EMG and Associates

K.C. Groves
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC

John B. Grow, Inc.

Sheila M. Gutterman
Griffiths Law, PC

David A. Hall
Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations, LLC

Hon. Melissa Hart
Colorado Supreme Court

Hon. Robert J. Kapelke
Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc.
Colorado Court of Appeals – Retired

Hon. Lynn J. Karowsky
Weld County Court - Retired

Gary Lozow
Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher, LLP

Laurie A. McKager
18th Judicial District - Retired

Hon. Gale T. Miller
Colorado Court of Appeals - Retired

Robert N. Miller
Perkins Coie LLP - Retired

James E. Nelson
The Law Office of James E. Nelson

Michael L. O’Donnell
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP

Mark W. Pedigo
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Barbara B. Randell
Future Image Group, Inc.

John E. Sosville
Platform Brokerage

Barbara A. Thompson
Employers Council - Retired

Ralph G. Torres
The Law Office of Ralph G. Torres

Yvonne E. Zuber
Zuber & Domaille LLC

CJI Young Professional Committee

Nicholas J. Breitnauer, MD
Denver Health

John Feeney-Coyle - Secretary
Colorado Office of the Attorney General

James E. Fogg
Ogborn Mihm, LLP

Abigail M. Hinchcliff

Rachelle Jackson
Grant Thornton LLP

Daniel M. Jozwiak
Shoemaker Ghiselli + Schwartz LLC

Mary E. Kapsak - Chair Elect
Polsinelli PC

Katherine Madden
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Charles R. Mendez
Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Britton Nohe-Braun
One Earth Future Foundation

Gabrielle L. Robbie
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Bailey Ross
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

V. William Scarpato - Chair
U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado

CJI Staff

Joshua D.L. Anderson
Executive Director

Cynthia Ophaug-Johansen
Director of Marketing and Administration

Laura Rothenberg
Executive Assistant

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