Key Employee

Brand Experience

A "Key Employee" addition, promotion or status change is a credible "News Hook," appropriate for release to the news media.









Kevin M. Smith to Retire as President & CEO of the Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development

Aurora, CO, November 24, 2014 -- Kevin M. Smith, President and CEO of the Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4) since 2010, will retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2014. The announcement is made by Steve Orndorff, PhD, Chairman of the CID4 Board and President & CEO of MicroBiome Therapeutics, who says the CID4 Board has formed a search committee and that Smith will be available through February 2015 to assist in a smooth transition for the new Executive Director. 

Link to

Smith speaking at the 2013 CBSA Medical Device Symposium on moving from early to later stage funding:  













Well-Known Denver Real Estate Developer John M. Shaw to Oversee Properties in the Colorado Life Science District at Fitzsimons 

Aurora, CO, May 28, 2014 - Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA) has selected John M. Shaw as a consultant to oversee its real estate projects in the Colorado Life Science District at Fitzsimons. The announcement is made by Steve VanNurden, FRA President & CEO, who says, "John brings more than three decades of leadership and experience in successful real estate development, operational management and civic engagement to FRA’s projects.”

Link to PitchEngine 

Shaw providing welcome remarks and introductions at the grand opening event for the FRA's Accelerator Facility in August 2012: 









April Giles Named President & CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association  

DENVER-- November 8, 2012 -- April Giles, Executive Vice President of the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) for the past two and a half years, has been named President & CEO following an extensive national executive search conducted by an ad hoc committee of the CBSA Board of Directors. The announcement is made by Steve Orndorff, CBSA Board Chairperson and President/CEO of Ariel Pharmaceuticals.

Link to Business Wire

Giles interviews for the Comcast Newsmakers series on CBSA, the Colorado BioScience Institute and STEM education issues in the community: 












Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority Names New President & CEO

AURORA, Colo.March 14, 2012 -- Following an extensive national search, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA) has named Steve VanNurden as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, beginning in late May. The announcement is made byJohn M. Shaw, Chair of the FRA Board of Directors, who said: "Steve, a seasoned leader in the life science/bioscience space, comes to us from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota."The appointment of Mr. VanNurden is further evidence of the FRA's continued commitment to support the development of life science companies in Colorado in partnership with the State's research institutions.  He will be working with universities, local economic development agencies, state and local governments, and the bioscience industry to promote the successful development of the 180 acre Colorado Science + Technology Park, which is adjacent to the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. 

Link to PR Newswire 

VanNurden welcomes attendees to the 2013 Rocky Mountain Life Sceince Investor and Partnering Conference in Denver: 











Holben Hay Balzer Partner Sheila M. Balzer, CPA, Named Director of the Colorado Society of CPAs

DENVERJuly 12, 2010 -- Sheila M. Balzer, CPA, Partner of Denver CPA Firm Holben Hay Balzer (HHB), has been appointed to a two-year term as a Director on the Board of the Colorado Society of CPAs (CSCPA).  Her term began May 1, 2010. The announcement is made by William Holben, CPA, Managing Partner of HHB, who says, "Sheila had been with Husman & Company since 1994, prior to its merger with our firm in 2001.  She specializes in audits for credit unions, pension plans, not-for-profits and family-owned businesses; plus taxation." Further, Balzer has been a CSCPA member since 1997.  She is Past Chair of the Society's Careers in Accounting Committee, member of the Leadership Council, and Past President of the Educational Foundation. Balzer is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of theUniversity of Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy. 

Link to PR Newswire 

Economic Development Executive Holli Baumunk [Riebel] Named President & CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association
DENVER-- June 22, 2010 --Holli Baumunk [Riebel], Vice President of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation for the past seven years, has been named President & CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) July 12. The announcement is made by Rick Jory, CBSA Board Chairperson, who says Baumunk was unanimously recommended to the board for approval today by the CBSA Executive Search Committee, a subcommittee of the board formed earlier this year following resignation of John Collar. Denise Brown, CBSA’s Founding Executive Director and recently named board member, has been serving as Interim Executive Director of the trade association during the search process. 

Riebel Interviewed by Gregg Moss on 9News about the 2011 Rocky Mountain Life Science Investor and Partnering Conference: 












Christine Shapard Appointed Founding Executive Director for the Colorado Cleantech Industry [Industries] Association


Denver, CO, March 17, 2009 -- Christine Shapard, a well-known name in Denver's business community has been named the first executive director for the Colorado Cleantech Industry [Industries] Association (CCIA), a trade association currently being formed for the State's clean technology industry. The announcement is made by Ron Bernal, partner with Sequel Venture Partners, and member of the CCIA organizing committee, who says his team is absolutely thrilled to have an executive of Shapard's caliber on board to spearhead the future launch of the new association and its ongoing management and growth.

"I’m extremely excited about leading the first industry-led, industry-focused cleantech trade association in our state," Shapard says.  "Colorado has the potential to be the national leader for the this important industry."

Shapard most recently served as interim director of the Colorado Bioscience Association (CBSA), which she originally joined in January 2006 as director of marketing and communications. Prior to CBSA, Shapard was with the Governor's Office of Economc Devopment & International Trade where she helped start Colorado's trade association for nanotechnology companies and help launch both the BioWest Conference & Expo and the Bioscience Colorado magazine.

Clean technology is anything that helps consumers or industries to use natural resources such as energy, water and waste more efficiently - and, while using them - lessen their environmental footprint. The sector includes renewable energy manufacturers and providers as well as products and services that make our current energy production and distribution systems more efficient.

About the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association

The Colorado Cleantech Industry [Industries] Association represents the interests of the state’s cleantech industry. Its mission is to further establish Colorado as a world leader in clean technology by providing representation and advocacy, a unified voice, relevant programming and capacity development. For more information, visit

Chris Shapard speaking at the release of the Colorado Cleantech Action Plan in October 2010: 


Mary J. Gearhart, P.E., named operations manager for Rocky Mountain Region of the international Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp

Note: this company was acquired by Tetra Tech on March 7, 2003.

Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation Intensifies Focus On Rocky Mountain Region

Lakewood, CO - December 20, 2001– Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation is heading into 2002 with an expanded emphasis on its Rocky Mountain Regional Office. Sam W. Box – chairman, president and CEO of the company – recently announced that Mary J. Gearhart, P.E., was hired to run the Foster Wheeler Environmental offices in Denver, Albuquerque and Chicago. Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation is most familiar in the region for its 1997 program management contract with the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to design remediation projects and select the subcontractors needed to perform the $1.6 billion cleanup effort. In addition, Foster Wheeler's Rocky Mountain Region is focused on these projects:

--- Unexploded ordnance surveying and removal. It is estimated that in excess of 10 million acres of land in the continental U. S. may be affected. Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation was awarded two contracts to provide UXO services worldwide.

--- An environmental remediation and construction contract with the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, to provide environmental cleanup and construction services.

--- A contract to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the US Forest Service, including a Rehabilitation Needs Plan, a Tral1sportation Analysis, a Watershed Analysis, a Biological Assessment! Biological Evaluation, and a Socioeconomic Evaluation on the "Viveash Fire" near the town of Pecos, New Mexico.

--- A contract with the Federal Highway Administration to provide services for a cleanup project at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado.

Mary Gearhart brings more than 22 years experience in environmental and infrastructure engineering to the position at the Rocky Mountain regional office of Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation. She has held positions at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, David E. Fleming Company, and most recently served as vice president and area manager for ARCADIS, Inc. She has been responsible for both program management and operations management, and has been instrumental in developing innovative site closure strategies, permitting and compliance programs and long-term operations and maintenance programs.

Gearhart was appointed as a member of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, serving the Commission from 1988 to 1993. She is a native Denverite and graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver Civil Engineering program. Gearhart is currently chairing the University of Colorado at Denver Engineering Advisory Council and is a member of the search committee for anew dean for the College of Engineering. She has served on this Council since 1979. In addition, Gearhart also chairs the Board of Directors of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Opera Troupe, and still finds time to serve as the co-den leader of her 8-year-old son's Cub Scout troop.

Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation's mission is to conduct a global business directed toward cleaning up and protecting the environment while facilitating economic growth, and to do so in a safe, compliant, cost-effective manner. The company assists clients in reducing their environmental liability through proactive planning, risk-based approaches, analyses and corrective action. Clients benefit from staff experience, talent and technologically advanced systems that solve their most complex environmental problems.

Notes to Readers/Editors:
Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foster Wheeler USA, is a leading environmental consulting, engineering, and remediation firm employing 2,200 people expert in the areas of environmental sciences" engineering disciplines and construction. The firm has 25 domestic offices and 19 international locations.

Further, please note that Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation was acquired by Tetra Tech on March 7, 2003, and is now called Tetra Tech FW, Inc., (go to for more information).

The media relations campaign for Mary Gearhart's executive announcement (executed in conjunction with Consensus Communications, Lakewood, CO) December 2001-July 2002 resulted in ten placements in the following publications: Denver Daily Journal, Denver Business Journal, Intermountain Jewish News, Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Defense Cleanup, Colorado Construction, and Colorado Woman News.

Circulation reach: 1,122,904
Ad Value Equivalent: $3,197.80

In addition, exposure was also achieved at,, Hoovers Online,,, and Yahoo!

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