Metro Region

Counties:  Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Jefferson

Cities:  Aurora, Castle Rock, Golden, Denver, Lakewood

The Metro Council has been working to identify specific needs in the densely populated Denver-Metro region.  The Council started with an interest in education, specifically early childhood education and high school graduation rates, however after conducting research, realized that the greatest need lies within the middle school population.  By narrowing the focus, the Council gathered information on organizations in the metro region that are working to address the needs of middle school students.  Summer programs and after-school programs seem to be the most common and effective way to serve the population and the Council is in the process of identifying specific organizations and learning more about potentially creating an impactful partnership.  The Metro Regional Council intends to be able to work closely with these organizations to develop goals and objectives and make a grant that will have a lasting impact on the lives of middle school students. 

Grant Highlight The Metro Council’s commitment to middle school education led the Council to support Escuela de Guadalupe, Compass Academy, The Challenge Foundation, and St. Elizabeth’s School in 2017. In2016, the Council provided a $60,000 general operating support grant to The Challenge Foundation, which supports high-achieving, at-risk youth from middle school through college with partnerships with independent schools in Denver. Last year, the Council granted an additional $150,000 over three years to provide tuition support to Challenge Foundation Scholars.
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Meet Our Regional Council Members

William “Bill” Ward is Vice Chair of El Pomar Foundation. He is the retired President of Ward Transport, Inc., a family-owned trucking company, and is a past chairman of the American Trucking Association. Bill’s activity in the nonprofit sector includes serving as chair of the Colorado College board of trustees. In that capacity, he was actively involved in a record-setting capital campaign of $93 million and provided leadership during a successful presidential transition. He has also served on the board of trustees of Denver Seminary, twice serving as its chair.

Bill grew up in Pueblo and attended Colorado College, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He received a juris doctor from the University of Colorado in 1967.

William Ward

Vice Chairman, El Pomar Foundation

General Charles “Chuck” Jacoby, Jr. (Ret.) has over 36 years of leading military, government, and international organizations. He has commanded at all levels in airborne infantry and joint assignments from company to combatant commander. Following corps command, Chuck served as the director of strategy, plans and policy, J5 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he led planning for coalition and NATO operations in Libya and assisted in the Middle East Peace Process. He also served as the U.S. military representative to the United Nations. In his final assignment, Chuck served as the first Army officer to command the North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command. General Jacoby has served as a Trustee of El Pomar Foundation since 2015.

General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., USA (Ret.)

Trustee, El Pomar Foundation

Bob Manning is a founder and managing principal of M2P Capital LLC, a Denver based private equity firm. He is a Trustee for the Metro Regional Council and a member of the El Pomar Investment Committee. Bob is also a Trustee of Colorado College and a Trustee and past chairman of the Denver Area Council of Boy Scouts. He is a director of FirstBank and Cheyenne Capital Fund. Bob is a graduate of Colorado College and lives in Denver.

Bob Manning

Trustee Emeritus, El Pomar Foundation

Ashley Buderus, a Colorado native, is Chief Executive Officer of Quarterly Forum, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit leadership organization that inspires, empowers and connects Colorado’s most influential community leaders. She previously served Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and University of Denver, in major and planned gift fundraising roles. Ashley was a Fellow with El Pomar Foundation from 2005 to 2008, and served as the Alumni Representative to the Trustees in 2011.

Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Denver and her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University.

Ashley Buderus

Chief Executive Officer, Quarterly Forum

Toti Cadavid, a native of Colombia, is President of U-Fulfilled, providing executive and life coaching, training and speaking services. Previously, Toti was a seasoned multicultural communications strategist with far-reaching experience in both domestic and international arenas. After a successful career in corporate America, she launched and, until 2012, led Xcelente Marketing, a top-notch Hispanic marketing agency. Toti currently sits on the boards of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Health Foundation, Denver International Airport Management Advisory Council, and Junior Achievement.

Toti Cadavid

President, U-Fulfilled

David Card worked as the Director of Development for Regis Jesuit High School from 1999 to 2003, before returning in 2016 as President. Prior to his return to RJHS, David served as President of Escuela de Guadalupe, a dual language Catholic grade school in northwest Denver from 2003 to 2016. David became a Trustee of Regis Jesuit High School in June 2015 and continues to serves as an ex-officio member. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver and an undergraduate degree in political science from Regis University.

David Card

President of Regis Jesuit High School

Craig Harrison is Managing Director of Arrowhead Partners, an investment firm focused on operating businesses and water resources. Craig also serves as managing director of West Creek Partners, a closely held investment firm. Prior to Arrowhead and West Creek Partners, Craig co-founded and sold Hydro Advisors–a water infrastructure firm, HouseFront–a mobile real estate technology company, US Capital–a financial services firm and Scout Cleaning–a residential and commercial cleaning company. Craig serves on the University of Denver board of trustees, the advisory council for the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver, and the advisory board for Denver Active 20/30.

Craig received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Denver with a major in finance and a minor in leadership.

Craig Harrison

Managing Director, Arrowhead Partners

Rebecca Holmes began her education career as a teacher in Denver’s Cole Neighborhood and she is a proud alumna of Colorado’s public school system. She is a graduate of Yale University, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), Rebecca worked as the Senior Program Officer for the Gates Family Foundation. Rebecca also served as the Associate Commissioner for Innovation, Choice, and Engagement at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), in addition to completing the El Pomar Fellowship. As the CEO of a public charter school network she helped serve over ninety percent low-income students. Rebecca has also worked in the private-sector, and brings experience in change management, talent strategies, and organizational design.

Rebecca Holmes

President and CEO of Colorado Education Initiative

Emily Robinson currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for FirstBank. She has worked with FirstBank for the past 25 years, also serving as regional president and president of the Arvada and West Markets. Emily was appointed in 2011 by Governor Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado State Banking Board, and has an extensive history of community involvement, including her current role as board chair of Community First Foundation.

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University and received a graduate degree in banking from the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Banking.

Emily Robinson

COO, FirstBank

Walker Stapleton's roots run deep in Colorado, as his family has been actively involved in Colorado since the early 1900s. Prior to being sworn in as Colorado’s 43rd state treasurer January 2011, Walker served as chief executive officer and chief financial officer of various private and publicly traded companies. He is now serving in his second term as state treasurer. Walker’s community service includes serving on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver and is also a member of the Denver Southeast Rotary Club.

Walker graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and holds a graduate degree in business economics from the London School of Economics and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Walker Stapleton

Colorado State Treasurer

Debbie Ward is a professional real estate broker. Previously, Debbie spent 10 years as a product development manager in the financial services industry and seven years at The Broadmoor Hotel. Debbie currently serves on the board of Book Trust. Debbie served as board chair for Mile High United Way, was a member of the associate board for Big Brothers Big Sisters and served on the Jackson National Community Fund Advisory Board.

Debbie is a Colorado native with an undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in finance, from the University of Denver.

Debbie Ward

Vice President, Ward Enterprises

Associate Vice President of the Fellowship, Metro Regional Council
Contact Devanie:

Devanie Helman

Associate Vice President of the Fellowship, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Emily:

Emily Padgett

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Andrew:

Andrew Schwartz

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation