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Gates Center Advisory Board

JANELLE BLESSING

advisory board Advisory Board advisor blessing 2016Janelle grew up in Littleton and graduated from Fort Lewis College.  A strong advocate of conservation, she performed field research for FLC and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for three summers during college, assessing the effects of the Yellowstone fires of 1989. Janelle’s diverse interests and intellectual capabilities have also led her into the fields of medicine and finance, respectively, as a registered nurse at both Swedish Medical Center and Boulder Community Hospital and then as a financial planner.  She has served on the boards of the Family Learning Center and Pikes Peak Community Foundation and is active with the the Denver Art Museum. Currently, Janelle serves as a board member on the Colorado board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy. Janelle enjoys traveling, biking and skiing and has found a special niche in endurance competitions having participated in two Ironman’s, the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race and the New York City marathon, to name a few. Together, Janelle and her husband, Buck, have two young daughters, as well as two adult daughters from Buck’s prior marriage.

MARILYN COORS

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Marilyn is Associate Professor of Bioethics at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She holds a Ph.D. in bioethics, and the ethical issues in clinical genetics and genomic research are the foci of her research, teaching and professional service.

Research interests pursued by Dr. Coors include the ethics of human genetic modification, informed consent in genomic research, and the use of genomic information in behavioral genetics. As the Director of Research Ethics for the Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute, she is directly involved in research ethics consultation and cross disciplinary ethics education. Coors is an Affiliate member of the University of Colorado Division of Substance Dependence and a Faculty Fellow of the University of Colorado Institute of Behavioral Genetics

Dr. Coors received her undergraduate education from Cornell University where she majored in biological sciences. She then attended the University of Denver, earning a M.S. in cytogenetics, a M.A. in ethics and religion, and a Ph.D. in bioethics. Coors is Chairperson of the Ethical, Legal & Social Issues (ELSI) Working Group of the Alpha-1 Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board of the Alpha-1 Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the COPD Foundation Patient-Powered Research Network.

DON ELLIMAN, CO-CHAIR

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Chancellor of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus since 2012, Don Elliman boasts a successful track record in business and a high-quality reputation in higher education. 

A longtime executive in publishing, Elliman worked at Time Warner for 32 years, retiring as an executive vice president of Time Inc. Other positions he held include publisher of People magazine and president of Sports Illustrated.

After Time Warner, Elliman served for four years as CEO of Ascent Sports and then Kroenke Sports Enterprises, overseeing all activities of the Pepsi Center, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.

He then served four years in Colorado state government, the first two as executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the final two as chief operating officer for Colorado.

More recently, Elliman was executive director of the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Don Elliman became interim chancellor for the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus in April 2012 and chancellor in February 2013. He assumed responsibility exclusively for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in September 2014.

Elliman has served as chair of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Board of Directors and co-chair of the campaign to raise funds for the new hospital. He continues on that board as well as the boards of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Colorado Health, University of Colorado Hospital, Colorado Prevention Center, Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, National Mental Health Innovation Center, National Western Stock Show Association, and the Higher Learning Commission.

YVETTE PITA FRAMPTON

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Yvette grew up in Miami, FL as part of a large family of Cuban exiles. As a community leader, she has served as a board member for the Denver Health Foundation (Vice Chair), the Denver Health Volunteer Association Board (President), the Level One Society, the Davidson College Alumni Association Board (Vice President), and the Documentary Cinema Institute. She currently serves on the Davidson College Board of Trustees. Yvette has also been an active volunteer with Project C.U.R.E. and Graland Country Day School, where her children are students. She and her husband, Chris, whom she met in college, have three children.

Yvette is an award-winning filmmaker. Her work has screened on PBS and at film festivals across the world, including South by Southwest, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the HBO Urbanworld Film Festival, and the New York International Latino Film Festival. She has taught film theory, writing, editing, and production at Hollins University, the University of Colorado at Denver, and at the Colorado Film Video Institute at the Community College of Aurora.

She holds a B.A. in English from Davidson College and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

WILLIAM HIATT

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William R. Hiatt, MD, is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology with a clinical and research focus in vascular medicine.  He is president of CPC Clinical Research which is a university-affiliated, non-profit cardiovascular and clinical trials research organization.  Active in many national societies, Dr. Hiatt is a past-president of the Society for Vascular Medicine and is a fellow in the American Heart Association and the American College of Physicians.  He is a past chair of the American Heart Association Peripheral Vascular Disease Council.  Dr. Hiatt serves on the editorial board as an associate editor for the Journal of Vascular Medicine, the Cochrane Review Group and is guest editor for Circulation and a section editor for Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  Dr. Hiatt is a past chairman of the United States Food and Drug Administration Cardiovascular and Renal Advisory Committee (2003-08) and the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolism Advisory Committee (guest member 2010-2012 and full member 2013-2016).  He has received two outstanding medical student teacher awards and has been elected several times as Best Doctors in America (most recently in 2012).  In 2008 he received the Robert W. Schrier Award of Excellence from the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado and he received the Julius H. Jacobson II, MD Physician Excellence Award from the Vascular Disease Foundation.  In 2014 he received a Distinguished Scientist award from the American Heart Association and in 2018 he received the Clinical Research Prize from the AHA. Research activities include studies evaluating the pathophysiology and epidemiology of peripheral artery disease, mechanisms of supervised exercise as an effective treatment modality for claudication, and numerous clinical trials to develop new therapies for claudication and critical leg ischemia.  His research at the CPC has pioneered new methods to control endpoint variability in clinical trials.  Dr. Hiatt has over 300 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and reviews. 

Dr. Hiatt was born in Denver, Colorado in 1950, received his medical degree cum laude from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1976, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical society.  He completed his residence at Boston University Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1979.  He was a fellow in internal medicine and vascular medicine at the University of Colorado from 1979 to 1981, and then joined the University of Colorado faculty in 1981. 

The CPC is a global, full service clinical trials organization in cardiovascular medicine that directs study design and provides academic oversight of trials of drugs, biologic agents and device therapies for peripheral artery disease.  Current funded work includes several initiatives to evaluate the safety and efficacy of stem cells in the treatment of severe peripheral artery disease.  The CPC also has funding from the State of Colorado to screen and navigate citizens at high risk for cardiovascular disease into appropriate preventive health care. 

WAYNE HUTCHENS

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Wayne Hutchens served as president and CEO of the University of Colorado Foundation, April 2006 – March 2012 and executive director for the CU Real Estate Foundation, April 2009 – March 2012. Prior to these positions, Hutchens spent 29 years in the banking industry where he oversaw two successful mergers, and retired as chairman of Chase Bank Colorado. He is a 1967 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Business and has done graduate study at Syracuse University and the University of Colorado. He is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Wayne has been active in community service and has chaired the boards of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado Council for Economic Education, and the Colorado Outward Bound School. He also has served as a board member of the Boulder Community Hospital, the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, and the Samaritan Institute, and he served a four-year term on the city council for the City of Boulder. He is currently a member of the Colorado Forum, a trustee of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and ALPS Series Trust (Mutual Funds), a director of Children’s Colorado Hospital, a director of AMG National Trust Bank, board member of Cherry Hills Country Club and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

An avid climber, Wayne is a member of the Colorado Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club. He has scaled all 54 Fourteeners in Colorado and numerous other peaks around the world, including Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt. Elbrus in Russia. He and his wife Joyce, also a CU-Boulder graduate, have been married for 47 years and have two grown sons, both CU-Boulder graduates.

KEVIN REIDY

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Kevin is a Colorado native and a long-time member of the Denver business community having worked at Price Waterhouse and RBC Capital Markets (formerly Daniels & Associates) for the past 25 years.  While at RBC Capital Markets, Mr. Reidy provided investment banking advisory services to the telecom industry with a focus on wireless communications.  He facilitated more than 70 telecom transactions with an aggregate deal values exceeding $3 billion.

Mr. Reidy is a graduate of the business school at the University of Colorado, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1987.   His community leadership roles include a very active member of the board of directors of Children’s Hospital Colorado and a trustee of the University of Colorado Foundation.

Kevin lives in Denver with his wife Ann and their four children. He and his family are avid skiers and enjoy numerous activities afforded by the Colorado lifestyle.

DAN RITCHIE, CO-CHAIR

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Daniel L. Ritchie has served as President of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation since 1993.  The Foundation focuses on early childhood education and development.  He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Daniels Fund, which supports programs that encourage personal responsibility and achievement by funding college scholarships and community programs.

Ritchie was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from January 2007 until May of 2015. He served as the 16th Chancellor of the University of Denver for 16 years from 1989 to 2005. He was Chairman of the Board of the University from 2005 to 2007. Ritchie’s involvement with the University of Denver began in 1983 when he became a trustee. He served as vice chairman of the board and chaired the development committee before becoming Chancellor.  In his 24 years of involvement with DU, the school steadily gained stature and strengthened academic programs.

Ritchie was CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting for eight years before moving to Colorado in 1987. The move to Colorado capped a career of nearly 30 years spent in executive positions with MCA, Inc. and Westinghouse.

He co-chairs the Advisory Committee for the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center since 2013.

Some of Ritchie’s awards include: The Citizen of the West Award given by the National Western Stock Show to an individual who exemplifies the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer; the National Samaritan Institute Award; the Gold Medal Award of the Poor Richard Club; Outstanding Philanthropist and Lifetime Achievement Awards at National Philanthropy Day; the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee; and membership in the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. He received the Evans Award, the highest award of the University of Denver, as well as DU’s Ethical Leadership Award.

He holds both undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard.

DENNIS ROOP

advisory board Advisory Board advisor roop 2016

Dennis Roop, Ph.D. is a professor of dermatology and the director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. Recruited to Colorado from the Baylor College of Medicine in 2006, where he was professor of molecular and cellular biology and dermatology and director of the Center for Cutaneous Molecular Biology for 18 years, Roop previously worked at the National Cancer Institute.

Roop is one of the first investigators to begin using molecular techniques to study how the skin forms during normal embryonic development.  He has identified many of the genes required for normal skin development and discovered that defects in some of these genes cause inherited skin diseases characterized by a very fragile skin, which blisters easily and may result in neonatal death.

His current, primary research focuses on generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patients with inherited skin diseases, genetically correcting these cells and differentiating them into a skin stem cell lineage, which can be returned to the same patient.  This seminal research led to the 2016 formation of the EB iPS Cell Consortium with research teams from Colorado, Stanford and Columbia Universities uniting to fight the rare and debilitating genetic skin blistering disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).  EB affects thousands across the US and worldwide with chronic skin wounds similar in property to thermal burns and indistinguishable from burns induced by chemical agents such as mustard gas.  Many children afflicted with Recessive Dystrophic EB (RDEB), one of the most painful and disfiguring forms of the condition, do not survive their teens after lives compromised by chronic, debilitating pain and suffering. The EB iPS Cell Consortium firmly believes in the concept of collaborative research as the most efficient and cost-effective way to bring new research discoveries to the clinic, and it is poised to help translate the first FDA approved iPSC-based clinical trial for the most serious form of the disease into the clinic, which would be one of the first iPSC-based clinical trials in the US.

Roop is the recipient of several awards including:  a Max Plank Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1991), the William Montagna Award from the Society for Investigative Dermatology (1992), the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award (2001), the CE.R.I.E.S. Research Award (2002), the Tanioku Kihei Memorial Award from the Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology (2003), the Rene Touraine Foundation Award (2005), and the Stephen Rothman Memorial Award from the Society for Investigative Dermatology (2010), the Society’s highest award presented annually to an individual who has distinctly altered the course and image of dermatology or its allied fields. He has served on the Advisory Council at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and he is a former President of the Society for Investigative Dermatology.  He was elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees in October 2009.  The NIH has continuously supported his research efforts since 1989.  He is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed publications.

He received a B.A. in Biology from Berea College, Berea, KY in 1969 and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN in 1972 and 1977, respectively.

WAGNER SCHORR

advisory board Advisory Board advisor schorr 2016

Wagner (Wag) J. Schorr, MD received his B.S. from the University of Arizona, and earned his M.D. at the University of Colorado, where he studied under transplant pioneer, Thomas Starzl, MD, who performed the first successful human liver transplant in 1963. Dr. Schorr in 1967-68, was instrumental in introducing kidney transplant in the United Kingdom. Among his numerous appointments include Senior Registrar, Renal Unit, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K.; Chief of Medicine, Presbyterian Medical Center, Denver, CO; President, Medical Advisory Board, National Kidney Foundation; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado; Founder, Colorado Organ Recovery System; Medical Director/Consultant, Columbia/HealthOne; the University of Colorado Medical School Admissions Committee, on which he currently serves; and President, University of Colorado Medical School Alumni Association. Dr. Schorr has also held a number of Board positions, including HealthOne, Colorado Health Foundation, Arts Students’ League of Denver, Denver Country Club, Third Way and the Axion Medical Advisory Board.

GEOFF “DUFFY” SOLICH

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Geoff “Duffy” Solich joined the Gates Advisory Board in December, 2016. As Executive Vice President of E & P Resources LLC, Duffy serves on the management team of a newly formed upstream oil and gas company focused in the Rockies, Texas and the Mid-Continent regions. This follows a succession of positions he has held focused on the energy business: managing director and founding partner of SFC Energy Partners, a private equity energy fund; vice president Land & Corporate Development of Medicine Bow Energy Corporation; vice president Land & Business Development at Cody Energy, LLC; vice president of Wildhorse Energy, a gathering/processing/marketing company; along with varied positions in companies including Tenneco Oil Company, Grace Petroleum and Snyder Oil Company.

Duffy received his bachelor of science degree from CU Boulder in business administration – minerals land management as a four-year recipient of the Eisenhower Evans Scholarship awarded to deserving caddies. He now serves on the boards of the Western Energy Alliance, Coachman Energy, the Colorado Golf Foundation, and the Solich Foundation (George and Carol Solich). He is also co-founder of the Solich Caddy & Leadership Academy and director and Colorado State Chairman of the Western Golf Association. Duffy is also passionate about medicine and its potential for amazing new therapies and cures, having recently worked with his brother George and his Foundation to endow a chair on the Anschutz Medical Campus in honor of their mother, Doni Solich. This chair will be held by Valeria Canto-Soler, PhD, the director of the newly formed Ocular Stem Cell and Regeneration (OSCAR) program, in which the Department of Ophthalmology and the Gates Center are partners in an effort to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among Americans age 50 and older.

Duffy and his wife Anita have four children.

ANN SPERLING

advisory board Advisory Board Ann Sperling 2019

Ann Sperling returned to Trammell Crow Company in 2013 as Senior Director, focused on development and capital markets in Colorado, for this nationally renowned commercial real estate investment and development firm, where she spent twenty-five years earlier in her career, with her prior service concluding as Senior Managing Director and Area Director for the Rocky Mountain Region.  Prior to that, Sperling was in two successive roles at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated; first as Chief Operating Officer for the Americas region and then as President, Markets West.  Sperling also served as Managing Director and the chief operating executive at Catellus Development Group, a wholly owned company of ProLogis during the previous several years. Over her career, she has been involved in most core real estate services for corporate and investor clients, and as an investor and developer.

She serves as an Independent Director for Apartment Investment and Management company, a publicly traded multi-family REIT as well as on the Board of Advisors for a private investment company, Cadence Capital.

Sperling has also committed herself to a number of civic and community activities.  She previously served as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and was recently named to the Child Health Research Committee of Childrens Hospital Colorado. Sperling was named to the Board of Advisors of Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences and the National Advisory Board of the University of Colorado Real Estate Center.  She has also held leadership roles with the Colorado Outward Bound School, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She has been honored by the National Association of University Women, and she received the 2008 Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Denver’s Women of Influence Award.

A graduate of Tufts University with a degree in biology and psychology, Sperling earned her MBA at Harvard University.

RICK STODDARD

advisory board Advisory Board Rick Stoddard 2019

Rick is the immediate past Chair of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation where he has served on the Board of Trustees for 24 years. He also serves as a member of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Board Research Committee.

After a twelve-year legal career as a merger and acquisition attorney in Denver, in 1988 Rick became the Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Steel Corporation and successfully brought Kaiser out of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and restored the medical benefits of 7,500 Kaiser Steel retirees. Kaiser (then called Kaiser Ventures) developed several new businesses including real estate and water development, NASCAR Speedways, recycling and waste management, private prisons, military training and landfill development.  Rick remains the Managing Liquidation Director of Kaiser whose final projects include a pumped storage hydroelectric project and mining.

Rick received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1972 from the University of Iowa and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976.  In 1992, Rick was named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Turnaround Category in Southern California by INC. Magazine, Merrill Lynch and Ernst & Young.

Rick lives in Denver with his wife Janie and together they have six adult children.

DIANE WALLACH, CO-CHAIR

advisory board Advisory Board Diane Wallach 2019

Diane G. Wallach is Managing Partner of Cody Resources Management LLC, a real asset investment company that focuses on energy, agribusiness, and real estate.  Previously, she worked for Gates Rubber Company, Gould Deltec, and Citibank.

On a professional level, she serves on the boards of Gates Capital Management, Cody Overlook (ranching & real estate), Hat Creek Energy (domestic oil & gas), Gates Capital Partners (private equity funds), and Second Century LLC (public equity investments).

Wallach’s community service includes current board positions on the Gates Frontiers Fund; IAALS (University of Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System); Cardigan Mountain School (Emerita); Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine; and Gates Bio-manufacturing Facility.  Previously, Wallach served on the boards of Gates Family Foundation; Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Outward Bound School and Outward Bound USA, Denver Art Museum Foundation, and Colorado Zoological Trust.