I have a degree in Economics from the University of Colorado and a Certificate of Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. I have experience in economics, finance, financial analysis, management consulting, product development, small business development, business association leadership and government relations. In 1992, I assisted in setting up the Embassy of the United States of America in a newly independent Ukraine. I was the Executive Director of a USAID program, focused on small business development in a former Soviet environment. I was a co-organizer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and served as Executive Director and then President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for that organization for a number of years. I am currently President of the Board of Directors of the Federal Boulevard Corridor Improvement Partnership, a registered neighborhood association which brings together numerous community and business interests in the development of a major corridor in Denver, Colorado. I have worked for large corporations and in small business - from doing financial analysis and budgeting at Ford Motor Co. to running a family business in Denver and Wheat Ridge.
Wheat Ridge has a great natural environment. We have nice neighborhoods and inviting open spaces. When my family moved here in 1972, we did so because of the sweeping mountain views and the open, comfortable feel of the area. I enjoy riding my bicycle or walking along Clear Creek and Crown Hill Lake and taking in the view from Discovery Park. I like the convenience of easy access to Denver, to shopping, and, of course, to the mountains. I really appreciate the strong feeling of community. Although I have lived and worked in other cities and countries, Wheat Ridge is the place I love to call home.
The major issue facing Wheat Ridge is the pressure of development. We need to mitigate crowding and traffic. We need to ensure the stability of our neighborhoods.
We need to change our planning and zoning process. Residents must have a direct voice in what happens in their neighborhoods. We can manage change in a way that preserves and enhances our quality of life.
We need a change of attitude. The City must pay attention to what the residents want and put their needs first. The City needs to seek out citizen input. We should hold regular district meetings and establish citizen advisory groups that are open to all.
I am running for City Council because we need a change in the way Wheat Ridge is governed. When my neighborhood was threatened by high-density development, I helped to get my neighbors organized to oppose it. I have helped other neighborhoods participate more in our government, and I helped organize and collect signatures for the referendum petition.
I listen to and incorporate various viewpoints and analyze available information when making my decisions. My background in finance, business management, and community service give me the knowledge and experience to be an effective representative.
I was born and raised here in Wheat Ridge. I went to Kullerstrand, Everitt, and graduated from Wheat Ridge High School. I earned a degree in history with a minor in business from metro State University and I have a master's degree in organizational leadership and development. Growing up I learned the value of community service and involvement from my grandfather Hank Stites who is a three-term Mayor in Wheat Ridge and my father Mike who was a two-and-a-half term city councilman.Our family also owned the B & FTire Company on 38th Ave. for 65 years.
My wife Saraand I are raising our two children in the house that I grew up in and our daughter is now attending Kullerstrand Elem.We own Personal Achievement Martial Arts at 40th and Youngfield.Weinvest heavily back into our community by raising tens of thousands of dollars for local elementary schools.We partner with the Carnation Festival,Local Works, and the City to improve our community.
• In 2017 we were the Local Works Community Builder of the year
• In 2018 we were the best business entry for the Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival Parade
• And we were voted “Best of the Best” Martial Arts Schools in 2018 & 2019
• Also in 2018 we were voted Wheat Ridge Business of the year
When not with my family or in the business I give back to the community by serving on several boards and commissions including
• The Mayor’sCitizen Outreach Committee
• The Wheat Ridge Water District Board
• The JeffcoFutures Funding Committee
• The Wheat Ridge businessDistrict
• and most recently I was the co-chair for the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Steering Committee that earned the city council partnership award this morning
Citizens of District 3,I was born in District 3, I was raised in District 3, I own a business in District 3, and I'm raising my family in District 3. You should vote for me because I want to be your voice in being part of the solution not a roadblock.
I want to be someone who brings more people into the discussion and creates a proactive way for the city to engage with its citizens to decide what changes will come.We will make those changes fit us. I will work to implement the neighborhood revitalization strategy so that you have a more proactive voice in maintaining the character of our neighborhoods and the quality of our lives while wheat ridge changes.
I have a proven track record for being able to work with many different types of people, being the first person to reach out, seeking to understand all sides of the issues and standing up for the citizens in our community.
Wheat Ridge is one of the most unique cities out there. We are an inner ring suburb of Denver, but we have a rural feel of a small town. We have a people in this community that were here before Wheat Ridge became a city and actually helped pass the petitions to help us charter. There are families including mine, that have spent generations in the same neighborhoods and even the same house. Our citizens are passionate and take pride in who we are as a city. We have urban farmers with chickens, goats, turkeys, and even llamas. We have beautiful parks in most neighborhoods, and we are a tree city USA.
Wheat Ridge was formed without much planning, so we have many challenges. Older infrastructure, no main downtown center, and a lack of diversity in housing stock are all challenges. These create an issue for attracting new businesses and serving the existing ones. How Wheat Ridge deals with an influx of development and changes over the next few years will be our biggest challenge and opportunity.
The solution is laid out in the recently adopted Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. I was one of the chairs of the steering committee that helped to engage over 1,500 people in figuring out what we as citizens want think the city needs to get right over the next 10 years. We found that about 80% of people love living here, but we need to invest in our primary corridors (Wadsworth, Kipling, 32nd, 38th, and 44th). Protect our neighborhoods by giving the neighbors a real voice, and streamlining and improving customer service at city hall.
The biggest changes we need to make is to implement the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. Our citizens need to be engaged in the process and really listened to. Wheat Ridge needs to keep it's identity while allowing for some smart growth and change. While the city is investing in improving our corridors and making sure they are poised to attract and support businesses, we need to make sure our small town feel and character of our neighborhoods is protected. Our neighborhoods are the reason most people want to move here and why so many people love living here generation after generation. As a business owner I can attest that we need to improve the way the city works with it's businesses and it's citizens.
I was born in District 3, I was raised in District 3, I am raising my family in District 3, I own a business in District 3. This is my home! I love Wheat Ridge and I take a great deal of pride being able to tell people where I am from. Growing up I got to watch my Grandfather Hank Stites who is beloved in our community because of the way he worked with people as Mayor. Later my father Mike served on city council and he was also well respected. They taught me from a young age that service to your community is important. I am running, because this is my home and I want to protect it from becoming like every other city, but I don't want to do that by not allowing us to move forward. I want to make sure we will be economically viable for the next 50 years, so that more generations can enjoy this amazing city.