RMEOC’s mission is to change the current economic system to a system of inclusion by providing pathways to and advocating for employee ownership!
RMEOC takes an active leadership role in advancing employee-ownership in the Rocky Mountain region as a means of preserving & building strong local economies, and alleviating wealth & income inequities . We consistently seek out opportunities to galvanize the employee-ownership efforts in the region through engaging in education and outreach to key communities and stakeholders. We consult directly with business owners to assist them in transitioning their business to employee-owned. Additionally, we enact a government affairs program to stimulate favorable legislation. We are proud to work alongside several fantastic organizations in Colorado who share our dedication to employee-ownership.
Amy Beres, Executive Director
Amy brings a wealth of experience mobilizing diverse communities and building organizational capacity for strategic thinking and action to achieve a more inclusive and just society. Her work as a community organizer, researcher, consultant, and nonprofit leader has helped to catalyze community change in Colorado as well in communities around the country and internationally including Baltimore, Maryland, Central Appalachia, and southern Mexico. She has worked with start-up worker cooperatives since 2014 and was a 2015 Cooperative Development Fellow with the Democracy at Work Institute. Amy earned her bachelors in Social Work from Albright College, an MSW in community organizing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and holds a M.A. in International Development focusing on gender equity in economic development from the University of Denver. A native of Pennsylvania, Amy and her family reside in Denver and have called Colorado home since 1999.
Ashley Ortiz, Technical Assistance Specialist
Ashley Ortiz is the Statewide Technical Assistance Specialist with Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, with a background of more than 15 years in entrepreneurial business support and a passion for social justice and an equitable economy. Her previous work includes cooperative business development with the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in the Bay Area and work as a baker-owner at Arizmendi Bakery in San Rafael. Ashley co-founded the L.A. Co-op Lab, where she now serves as an Advisory Board Member, and she has taught classes about labor/power dynamics and worker-owned cooperatives. In 2019 she was selected for the inaugural cohort of start.coop’s business accelerator program designed to empower entrepreneurs to build transformative, scalable, cooperatively-owned businesses. Ashley earned her bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado and holds an M.A. in Urban Sustainability focused on social and economic justice from Antioch University.
Christopher Arnold, President (Chair)
Christopher believes in cultivating business as a force for good in the world. Having spent the first 17 years of his career working for large corporations, he has first-hand experience with the damaging effects of profit-centered business mindsets. Today, as founder of BRiiO Advisors, Christopher provides sensible leadership and business practices to leaders who care about the success of their team, their community, AND their business.
Ahad Ghadami, Vice Chair
Ahad Ghadimi is a corporate iconoclast, who has worked with organizations in over 30-countries with the objective of transforming them into highly engaged, employee ownership-cultures. From businesses coming out of bankruptcy or companies transitioning to employee-ownership, Ahad gets involved with companies in one or more of the following roles: adviser, investor, and/or operator.
Jennifer Briggs, Secretary
Jennifer was the lead cultural steward for New Belgium Brewing as the VP of Human Resources. In her 13 years with New Belgium, she shepherded the company through multiple growth phases driving value growth and an award-winning culture. She was a member of the executive leadership team and helped build a vision and grow the business from a small regional brewery to a national brand with over 900 employees, multiple locations and nearly 1,000,000 barrels of beer.
Greg Weiss, Treasurer
Greg Weiss is a CPA who works on the sexier side of accounting: valuation, fraud investigation and forensic accounting. With 7-years in the investment industry and 11-years in public accounting, Greg has a broad base of experience that helps him get to the bottom of the issues at hand and communicate his findings in a way that is easy to understand and truly provides value.
Bill Kirton is a retired Methodist minister with more than 40-years of experience in community-based, organizational development, including non-profits. He is an experienced writer and communicator. Bill’s interest in and involvement with local schools, local government and local business organizations have played a major role in his professional and service activities.
Formerly the executive director of RMEOC, Halisi brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong skill set developed through her work in business development, marketing, consulting and over half of a decade in the venture capital industry. Halisi spent over seven years as a strategic consultant and has worked extensively in and with large and small companies, non-profits, and faith-based organizations. Her pioneering ideas have led to the creation of innovative strategic plans, effective crisis communications messaging, and dynamic process optimization plans. More recently, Halisi was chosen to be a part of the Gubernatorial transition team for economic development. Halisi earned her Bachelors degree from Loyola Marymount University and her MBA from FW Olin School of Business at Babson College.
Dick Peterson spent most of his career as a real estate broker. During this time, he started three employee-owned companies, including Re/Max of Cherry Creek. In 2009 Dick realized the need for an organization that supported the creation of employee-owned companies so he — with the help of Bill Kirton and Larry Dunn — founded the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center. The rest is current history.
Abdi is a transportation entrepreneur. Since 2010, he has founded three employee-owned taxi companies: Union Taxi Cooperative in Denver with 262 driver owners; Union Taxi in Portland, OR; and Green Taxi Cooperative in Denver with 800 driver-owners. Abdi currently owns and manages Denver ABC Shuttle.
Ruben was the co-founder of the Huerfano County Ambulance Service in his town of Walsenburg, Colorado. He brings a spirit of servant leadership to RMEOC as he as worked as an EMT-1, a firefighter, and a search and rescue professional. Ruben also worked for the YMCA of Denver for 20 years in a variety of capacities. In addition to serving on many boards and committees, Ruben currently works for the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities as the Project Manager of the Northwest Aurora/ Montbello Community Engagement. He also has his own consulting company on community engagement and currently works with an NGO out of Nairobi, Kenya. Ruben is a fellow of the ABCD Institute out of DePaul University in Chicago.
Starting his career as a cubicle coder for ANR Freight Systems and the Colorado Department of Human Services, Larry has been an enthusiast of the cooperative nature of open source software for the last 15 years. He was recognized by the Denver Democrats for building and maintaining their website and automating meeting registration. Larry currently works as a freelance software developer.
George Tsai is a Member in the Employee Benefits Practice Group at Sherman & Howard. George assists all types of employers on employee benefits matters including qualified plans, health & welfare benefits, and executive & equity compensation.
Nikki Maloney is a member of the Business Support & Rural Prosperity team of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT). Nikki’s role is the operation & development of the Colorado Employee Ownership Network, a key initiative of Governor Polis. Prior to joining OEDIT, Nikki was a small business owner for 8 years. She understands the stresses and sacrifices business owners face. Nikki also worked at the Denver Office of Economic Development and CH2M Hill where she created and managed the Colorado Environmental Business Alliance and the StEPP Foundation. Nikki is a graduate of the University of Denver, School of Public Policy.