Denver, Colo. — JEWISHcolorado (Jco) announced today that during its upcoming 2016 annual meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at Infinity Park Event Center in Glendale, Colo., at 7:00 pm, it will honor various community members as it also celebrates its 70th year in operation.
This year’s honorees include:
Ben Lusher, recipient of the Ruth & Warren Toltz Young Leadership Award
As the chair of JCRC, Lusher’s major initiative was to aid in the passing of Colorado’s anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) legislation, which was completed with bipartisan support on March 9, 2016. Colorado was the fourth state in the country to pass anti-BDS legislation. This award is recognizing his extraordinary guidance and perseverance in accomplishing this goal.
Lusher, 32, currently serves as chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), representing the Denver and Boulder metropolitan area. He is also a current board member of JEWISHcolorado, an incoming national board member for Moishe House, and an alumni of the Anti-Defamation League’s Robert B. Sturm Mountain States Leadership Fellows Program.
Lusher is director of business development for Nexus BSP, where he oversees all business development operations, government relations, and internal and external communications. Prior, he spent four years with the Office of Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., most recently as a senior policy advisor for economic development. As part of the governor’s economic team, Lusher worked closely with the Governor’s Energy Office and the Department of Natural Resources to implement new sustainability and renewable energy initiatives. He also played an integral role in setting economic policy and strategy, specifically leading the day-to-day policy creation and stakeholder outreach process. His work contributed to the passage of 20+ individual pieces of legislation, which resulted in the creation of more than 4,000 new jobs and $310 million in direct capital investment. Prior to returning to graduate school, Lusher spent six months in Nairobi, Kenya, where he worked as a pro-bono consultant for Carolina For Kibera, an organization that focuses on economic empowerment initiatives in Nairobi’s Kibera Slum. Leveraging his background in economic development, he led the strategic planning process and helped establish new monitoring and evaluation systems for the organization.
Lusher graduated Phi Kappa Phi from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, earning an Master’s degree in Business Administration with Distinction and a Master’s in Public Policy. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Culture from the University of Michigan. He resides in the Stapleton area of Denver.
Adriane Greenberg, recipient of the Charlotte B., Tucker Youn Leadership Award
Greenberg was a driving force behind the creation of the Young Adult Department (YAD) Family Shabbat, now one of Jco’s most well-attended and successful programs. She has a long history of involvement in the Jewish community and is committed, through YAD Shabbat and other avenues, to continually supporting the local Jewish community.
Greenberg, 32, has been engaged in the Denver Jewish community since an early age. She was involved in BBYO, NFTY and a counselor at Shwayder Camp. Currently, Greenberg sits on the Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Committee, and was involved with Jco’s annual Christmas Mitzvah project. She volunteers on the PJ Library Committee, Shwayder Camp Committee, is an ambassador for Temple Sinai’s Preschool and a co-chair of JEWISHcolorado’s YAD Family Shabbat program.
Greenberg has played a vital role in the fundraising and development of the YAD Family Shabbat program, which she helped to create. She and her husband were regular attendees at the YAD Shabbat programs, but as her own family grew, she identified the need for a young family Shabbat program that included children. She envisioned a program in which young families could celebrate Shabbat together and explore their Judaism. This fall, Greenberg plans to help launch the Jewish Women’s International Young Leadership Network in Denver, an initiative that brings together and encourages young professional Jewish women in their 20s and 30s to build meaningful relationships, connect to their Judaism and accomplish their professional and personal goals. The program is currently in Washington DC and New York City.
Greenberg, a resident of Greenwood Village, Colo., earned a degree in business administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The Capstone Group, LLC, Partner of the Year Award
Jco and The Capstone Group have worked together for more than a decade. The group’s extraordinary efforts also helped Jco accomplish the passage of Colorado’s anti-BDS legislation.
The Capstone Group of Denver, a full-service public affairs and government relations firm, was founded in 2003 by partners Moira, Cullen, Mary Marchun and Christine Staberg. Senior associate Jeannie Vanderburg joined the team in 2011 and together. The company provides lobbying, strategic planning, policy research and development services along with public affairs and public relations, communications, media relations and effective grassroots efforts to raise visibility and secure support for myriad policy issues. Since its inception, the Capstone Group has built and maintained a diverse client base representing an impressive mix of nonprofit, Fortune 500 companies, public agency, and private business interests which ensures an ability to work effectively with legislators on both sides of the aisle. The breadth of experience, diverse client base and bipartisan balance continue to place Capstone as the forefront of leading issues. Successes on behalf of clients include passing the first bill in the nation to authorize the operation of Transportation Network Companies (Lyft and Uber) in Colorado, spearheading legislation to help ensure that 3rd graders in Colorado are literate, prohibiting life insurance companies from discriminating on basis of foreign travel, creating the largest tax credit for purchasers of alternative fuel vehicles in the nation, and securing strong bipartisan support for a bill that made Colorado the fourth state in the USA to prohibit investments in companies that engaged in the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement against the state of Israel. The Capstone Group has worked with the Jewish Community Relations Council since 2004.
The annual meeting serves as a time when each year, Jco takes the opportunity to reflect upon its past successes and experiences and looks forward to seizing those that lay ahead for the future. Perhaps the most important events of 2016 include, among others, the passing of the anti-BDS legislation, the success of Jco’s annual CHOICES program and its recent merger with CAJE.
This year, the non-profit will welcome new leadership as Diana Zeff Anderson of Denver, who took the reins as board chair in July 2016, is recognized and Amy Toltz Miller’s contributions during her two-year service as board chair is acknowledged.
“The annual meeting is truly a time for reflection, appreciation and opportunity as we are fortunate to honor pillars within the community that are truly making a difference in Jewish life across the entire Front Range. During the event, we will honor leadership, cherish our history and embrace the future as we welcome Diana into her new role as board chair and thank Amy for her dedication over the past two years,” stated Doug Seserman, president and chief executive officer at Jco.
“This year, the annual meeting, which is typically a very rewarding time, will be an even more memorable one as Jco celebrates 70 years of positively impacting the Jewish community across the Front Range, through our unrelenting mission to secure, mobilize, engage, care and advocate (SMECA). For decades, we have worked hard as an organization to appropriately deploy efforts in these areas and remain steadfast in our commitment. We are grateful for our loyal donors and devoted volunteers who walk alongside us in our path to affect Jewish life.”
Founded in 1946, JEWISHcolorado is inspired by the collective responsibility to build and sustain Jewish life in Colorado, Israel, and around the world. Our mission is to secure, steward, and share philanthropic and human resources in support of vibrant Jewish life as well as mobilize the community in times of need. JEWISHcolorado is a proud member of Jewish Federations of North America, which is collectively ranked among the top ten charities on the continent. Last year, JEWISHcolorado’s Annual Campaign raised $11.2 million and the Endowment and Planned Giving arm house more than $60 million in long term assets.