Recap of 2016-17 Season of First Friday Breakfasts

The School of Public Affairs hosted a very successful season of First Friday Breakfasts during the 2016-17 academic year. Attendance at the breakfasts set new records, and a growing online audience followed the live stream video.

Listed below are the topics, panelists and moderators for each of the eight breakfasts hosted in 2016-17. The hyperlink for each topic leads to a brief summary on the School’s Views from the West blog and includes a link to a video recording of that event.

Thanks to everyone who attended a breakfast in 2016-17, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

If you’d like to receive email invitations to First Friday Breakfasts and other School of Public Affairs events, please visit our signup form.

September 2016: “Do We Need to Fix the State Budget?”


  • Henry Sobanet, Director, Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting
  • Phyllis Resnick, Lead Economist, Colorado Futures Center, Colorado State University
  • Lisa Weil, Director, Great Education Colorado
  • Linda Gorman, Director, Health Care Policy Institute, Independence Institute
  • Moderator: Paul Teske, Dean of School of Public Affairs, CU Denver

October 2016: “The Science of Hydraulic Fracturing and Lessons for Colorado”


  • Jana Milford, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
  • John L. Adgate, PhD, MSPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Harihar Rajaram, Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Kathryn Mutz, Attorney and Director of the Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP (Best Management Practices) Project
  • Owen Sherwood, Research Associate, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado Boulder
  • Moderators: Professors Tanya Heikkila and Chris Weible, CU Denver School of Public Affairs

November 2016: “America’s Post-Election Landscape”


  • Dennis Johnson, SPA lecturer, author of numerous books on American politics, former Associate Dean and Professor at George Washington University’s unique Graduate School of Political Management
  • Eric Sondermann, independent political analyst and pundit, Colorado Inside Out commentator (Channel 12), founder and former CEO of SE2
  • Sean Walsh, President of Sean Walsh Consulting, political and issues consultant
  • Tyler Chaffee, Senior Vice President, Strategies 360, political and issues consultant
  • Moderator: Paul Teske, Dean of School of Public Affairs, CU Denver

December 2016: “What Should We Expect From Colorado’s 2017 Legislative Session?”


  • Doug Friednash, Chief of Staff, Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Alec Garnett, Democrat State Representative, District 2
  • Bob Rankin, Republican State Representative, District 57
  • Tanya Kelly-Bowry, Vice President for Government Relations, CU Denver
  • Moderator: Associate Professor Tony Robinson, Chair of the Department of Political Science, CU Denver

January 2017: “Affordable Housing: What Comes Next?”


  • Albus Brooks, Denver City Council President, District 9 Representative
  • Pat Coyle, Deputy Executive Director, Colorado Department of Local Affairs
  • Steven Johnson, Director of Community Development, Colorado Housing Finance Authority
  • Mike Zoellner, President and Chief Operating Officer, RedPeak Apartments
  • Moderator: Todd Ely, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center on Local Government, School of Public Affairs, CU Denver

February 2017: “Anchor Institutions and Community Wealth Building”


  • Dorothy Horrell, Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver
  • Patrick Horvath, Senior VP for Economic Opportunity, Denver Foundation
  • Dace West, Executive Director, Mile High Connects
  • Robert McGranaghan, MPH, Director, Community-Campus Partnership and Senior Instructor, Department of Family Medicine, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Paul Casey, Lead Community Organizer at the Institute on the Common Good, Regis University
  • Moderator: Danielle Varda, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, CU Denver

March 2017: “Raising the Brand of Government in Colorado”


  • Lauren Larson, Deputy Director for Operations at Office of the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Operating Officer, State of Colorado
  • Meegan Moszynski, President, Quarterly Forum/The Leaders Initiative
  • Brian Elms, Director, Denver Peak Academy and Analytics
  • Brad Revare, GELA Program Head and Director of Business Partnerships, CareerWise Colorado
  • Moderator: Paul Teske, Dean of School of Public Affairs, CU Denver

April 2017: “Colorado’s Transportation Future”


  • Marc Williams, Mayor, City of Arvada and Executive Committee Member, Metro Mayors Caucus
  • Sandra Hagen Solin, Fix Colorado Roads
  • Maria Garcia Berry, CEO, CRL Associates
  • Michael Lewis, Deputy Executive Director, CDOT
  • David Foster, Attorney, Foster Graham Milstein Calisher LLP
  • Moderator: Don Hunt, Senior Fellow at the School of Public Affairs Institute and Retired Executive Director of CDOT


Categories: Events, Features

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