West Slope director changing organizations, but not advocacy role

Bonnie Petersen
Bonnie Petersen

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Bonnie Petersen expects to continue to advocate for Western Colorado interests, but also narrow her focus, as the new executive director of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

“I just think we can do some really good things for Western Colorado through AGNC,” Petersen said.

Petersen plans to begin working in her new position Jan. 13. She will succeed Scott McInnis, a former congressman who was elected in November to the Mesa County Commission.

The AGNC represents cities and counties in Northwest Colorado, including Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.

Petersen has served for nearly four years as executive director of Club 20, a coalition of businesses, individuals and government entities that advocates for the interests of Western Colorado at the state and national levels.

“Bonnie brings to our association a wealth of experience and a great familiarity with the issues that AGNC members are faced with,” said Mike Samson, a Garfield County commissioner who serves as chairman of the group. “We are very pleased to offer this position to her and are certain that the association will continue to flourish under her leadership.”

“The AGNC is extremely grateful to Scott for all that he has done for our association,” Samson added. “We knew going ahead that it would be a tall order to find someone capable of replacing him, so we are thrilled and confident that we found a candidate, Bonnie Petersen, who is up to the task.”

McInnis said he was proud of the AGNC and what the group has accomplished over the past few years. “I know that given her experience, dedication and work ethic, Bonnie will do a fantastic job of moving the association forward and advancing the interests of Western Slope communities at all levels.”

Petersen said her role with AGNC will be similar to that with Club 20. But with the AGNC, she’ll work with a smaller membership of local governments in a smaller geographic area. That will enable her to work more in depth on issues affecting governments in the region, she said.

Those issues include the high premiums for health insurance in Garfield County as well as the interactions among local, state and federal governments, she said.

But in dealing with issues affecting Northwest Colorado governments, Petersen also expects to continue to advocate on behalf of the Western Slope. Meanwhile, she said she also hopes to further strengthen the relationship between the AGNC and Club 20.

Petersen  said she plans to work with the executive committee of Club 20 to make sure the transition to a new director is as smooth as possible.

Petersen assumed the role of executive director of Club 20 in February 2011. She had served six years on the board of directors and more than 20 years as a member of the group.

Petersen also brings to her new duties experience as a public policy director for Qwest Communications, a role in which she worked with Western Slope communities to access high-speed telecommunications.

In addition, Petersen served as chairwoman of both the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and Grand Junction Economic Partnership boards of directors and treasurer of the Home and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado.

Petersen also has worked as a financial advisor and owner of a home construction business. A native of Western Colorado, Petersen holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from what is now Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.