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Press Release: Gov. Polis Announces Appointments to Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission

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(DENVER) – This week Governor Polis announced six appointments and four reappointments to the Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission, which serves to integrate experiential learning opportunities into Colorado's talent development network.

The appointees will play an important role in helping the BEL Commission to accelerate the adoption of apprenticeships and work-based learning across the state. 

“Creating valuable experiential learning opportunities for Coloradans requires innovative leadership from our business community and meaningful collaboration with education, workforce, and government partners,” said Noel Ginsburg, co-chair of the BEL Commission and founder and CEO of CareerWise. “I am excited to work with these new and appointed members who bring a wealth of diverse experience to advance our work to support Colorado businesses, learners, and workers.”

The appointed and reappointed members include the following:

For terms expiring at the pleasure of the Governor:

  • Susana Cordova of Denver, Colorado, to serve as the Colorado Commissioner of Education, appointed;
  • Eve Lieberman of Denver, Colorado, to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, appointed;

For a term expiring June 9, 2024:

  • Lawrence Wagner (Spark Mindset) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, to serve as a business member from the Colorado Workforce Development Council, appointed;

For terms expiring August 9, 2025:

  • Ken Glenn Haptonstall (Colorado River Boces) of Grand Junction, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the education sector, reappointed;
  • Don Haddad (St. Vrain Valley School District) of Broomfield, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the education sector, appointed;
  • Binh Diep (Slalom Consulting) of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the business or industrial community, appointed;
  • Karen Perham-Lippman (Jensen Hughes) of Northglenn, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the business or industrial community, reappointed;
  • Wes Parham (Pinnacol Assurance) of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the business or industrial community, appointed;
  • Dharam Patel (The Patel Group LLC) of Englewood, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the business or industrial community, reappointed;
  • Gerald Lee Arnold (Denver Pipefitters Local #208) of Englewood, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the Colorado AFL-CIO, reappointed.

“Industry-led collaboration is at the core of everything that we do at the BEL Commission. This outstanding slate of appointees will enhance our ability to advance quality work-based learning activities that benefit businesses, individuals, and our economy,” said Joe Barela, co-chair of the BEL Commission and Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “I look forward to engaging with these members as the Commission works to remove barriers to experiential learning and create opportunities for all Colorado businesses and workers to prosper.”

The BEL Commission is grateful to the outgoing members, listed below, for their contributions to the state of Colorado. 

  • Dr. Katy Anthes
  • Dr. Alex Marrero
  • Greg Meyers
  • Yvonne Myers

To learn more about the BEL Commission, visit cwdc.colorado.gov/bel-commission