Upcoming conference to connect Coloradans with government leaders

Lisa Mullen

Lisa Mullen is looking forward to attending an upcoming conference that will connect Coloradans with federal government leaders.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Mullen, the owner of Rocky Mountain Sanitation in Grand Junction. “As a business owner, I feel this is an important step to providing good business practices and procedures.”

Mullen is among 100 participants selected to attend the first Colorado Capital Conference, set for June 15 to 17 in Washington, D.C.

Out of the 100, 22 participants come from Mesa County. The remaining 78 come from 23 counties across Colorado. In addition to business owners, the group includes students and people involved in a variety of occupations.

The contingent from Mesa County also includes Diane Schwenke, president and chief executive officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, and Dean Massey, a retired regional bank president.

Mesa State College and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., organized the conference to give participants a better understanding of the federal legislative process by allowing them to interact with members of Congress, the cabinet and other government officials.

The conference will include a reception hosted by the Colorado congressional delegation as well as presentations by members of Congress and the cabinet. A luncheon will feature Charlie Cook, a political analyst for NBC News and columnist for the National Journal who’s considered a leading authority on U.S. politics and elections.

“Colorado has a rich history of civic engagement. Leaders in our state understand that Western issues are unique and sometimes wonder how they can affect policy,” said Mesa State President Tim Foster. “This is a great opportunity for those attending to get an insider’s view into national issues, and I’m excited we have folks from every corner of Colorado participating in this year’s conference.”

Udall said he’s “thrilled” to be a part of any effort that brings Colorado residents to the capital. “But I am especially proud of this effort because it will allow Washington to hear the thoughtful and innovative perspectives on legislative issues and government efficiency of our great state,” Udall said. “These citizens want their voices heard, and that input is what democracy is all about.”

“We hope that this is the first of many productive Capital Conferences and that more Coloradans will take part in this great opportunity in the years to come,” Udall added.

Said Mullen: “I am very excited to learn and connect with Colorado leaders at our nation’s capital.”