2023 Judging Panel

Meet Our 2023 Judges
Colorado Companies to Watch was born out of a unique partnership with the State of Colorado and the private sector who understood the importance of recognizing the valuable contribution of 2nd Stage Companies. Today this strong relationship continues. We are honored to have the particpation of these State and Industry Professionals in selecting our 2023 Finalists and Winners.
Erin Beckstein
Erin Beckstein
Judge Moderator
Melodie Reagan
Judge Facilitator
Finalist Judging

Crystal Walsh currently supports the operations of the Colorado Venture Capital Authority (VCA) program, a Special Purpose Authority subdivision, within the Office of Economic Development and International Trade Department (OEDIT). The VCA program supports access to venture capital for Colorado's entrepreneurs and startup businesses by partnering with professional fund managers to deploy federal and state funds.

Crystal is a Colorado native, third generation veteran and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Her experience includes 10 years in banking where she had the opportunity to service small businesses in person. With the VCA and OEDIT, she is following her passion to be part of economic development with seed and early-stage businesses on a larger scale and across Colorado.

Stephanie Veck
Stephanie Veck

Project Director

Maher & Maher

Stephanie Veck serves as a Project Director for Industry Engagement & Work-Based Learning and supports Maher’s technical assistance work.   Stephanie joined Maher & Maher in 2018, bringing over 30 years of business, education, economic and workforce development experience to the Maher team. Prior to joining Maher, Stephanie served as managing director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) where she was responsible for coalition building to create an integrated talent development system that met the needs of students, jobseekers, workers, and businesses. This work to align education, training, workforce, and economic development efforts with the needs of the industry, helped ensure that every person has access to education and training, and a path to a good job, great career and successful life. While at the CWDC she co-chaired the Governor’s Workforce and Education Cabinet, and led the establishment of TalentFOUND Colorado’s integrated talent development network, the Colorado model for Sector Partnerships, industry-led Career Pathways, and a statewide commitment to integrating a work-based learning continuum into education for youth and adult learners.
Renise Walker

Assistant Director of Systems Innovation

Colorado Workforce Development Council

Renise serves as the assistant director of systems innovation for the CWDC Office. Serving as an active leader for the CWDC Office, Renise represents the CWDC Office at state and national conferences and continues to innovate and be a thought leader in the talent development landscape in Colorado and nationally. She is responsible for critical relationship development with external partners and provides management and alignment of CWDC's efforts to lead and support industry-led networks, develop and strengthen career pathway systems, and implement stimulus-funded initiatives in support of Colorado's economic recovery. Prior to joining the CWDC in 2015, Renise led the backbone efforts of a collective impact initiative working to advance affordable housing, workforce development, and economic mobility for underserved populations in the nation’s capital.

Walker believes strongly that enacting large-scale social challenges requires a willingness to innovate, break down silos, and collaborate across traditional boundaries. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and a master’s in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. As a proud third-generation Coloradan, Renise cares deeply about the future of Colorado and creating and sustaining opportunities for Colorado residents.

As the Managing Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council Office, Lee manages the execution of strategies to develop and sustain an industry-led talent development system in Colorado. By forging relationships with industry and public partners at the local and state level, Lee helps to ensure the alignment of talent development efforts statewide. Lee has been with the CWDC since 2014 and brings extensive project management and leadership experience to this role. He previously worked as an independent consultant for mission-driven for-profit and nonprofit entities, as well as holding senior leadership positions with Hunger Free Colorado and Colorado Court Appointed Special Advocates. Lee holds an MBA with a concentration in social entrepreneurship from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and is an active coffee drinker at his local Edgewater coffee shop.
    Winner Judging
    Colorado Companies to Watch seeks a diverse group of business leaders throughout the State of Colorado to join our panel of judges who offer unique perspectives to the confidential judging process.
    Samuel L. Bishop, AICP

    Community Development Director

    City of Castle Pines

Sam Bishop is a professional planner with a focus on community development including complex development projects, public outreach, land use planning, zoning, annexation and subdivision. Sam currently serves as the Community Development Director for the City of Castle Pines.  Prior to joining the City of Castle Pines in 2008, he began his career in the private sector providing community development services through public – private partnerships to newly incorporated municipalities, specifically; the City of Centennial, CO (incorporated 2001) and the City of Johns Creek, GA (incorporated 2006).  Mr. Bishop is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and recipient of a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with an emphasis in Urban Design from the University of Colorado at Denver
Business leader and builder with 25 years of experience achieving results in the domains of sales, product management, marketing, strategy, business development, operations and accounting. Demonstrated success in a variety of industries from technology to food manufacturing. Degree in Economics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Shina Culberson, President of Quist Valuation, brings +25 years of financial and valuation experience to her leadership and guidance of the firm. Known for her direct style and laser focus, Shina specializes in business and securities valuation engagements.

Shina’s passion is working with company owners to help them understand the value drivers of their business and to provide actionable insights in order to improve performance, valuation, and management decision making.

Prior to joining Quist, Shina was an Equity Analyst for Cohen Independent Research Group where she provided security valuation and investment recommendations on public companies in the biotech, high-tech, and entertainment industries. Additionally, she served as a Director at Charles Schwab Investment Management where she managed the International Credit Research team covering international financial institutions and emerging market Asia and Latin America sovereign investments.

Shina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, holds the CFA designation and is a member of the Society of Analysts in Denver. Shina is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor and a faculty member for the Exit Planning Institute.

Morgan Honea

Executive Vice President and COO



Morgan Honea serves as the Executive Vice President and COO for Contexture.  Contexture was established as the merged entity between the previous Colorado and Arizona HIEs (CORHIO and Health Current) providing HIE services to over 200 hospital facilities and hundreds of healthcare organizations across both states.

Prior to his role at Contexture, Morgan served as the CEO of CORHIO since 2014.  Under his leadership, CORHIO experienced tremendous growth and positioned itself as a national leader in health information exchange.

Prior to joining the CORHIO, Honea served as CEO of Plains Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving more than 10,000 patients in rural and frontier eastern Colorado.  In this role, he helped the organization achieve meaningful use, NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home status, and consistent profitability.

Honea lives in Centennial with his wife, Henny, and his two children, Andrew and Emma.  He received a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Missouri State University and a Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Tulsa.

Kay Martin

Founder, Owner, and CEO


Kay Martin is the founder, owner, and CEO of BOCO Gear, the global leader in performance hats for endurance athletes. Beginning with a fully-customizable sublimated visor elastic in 2014, and followed by the introduction of the first Technical Trucker® at the Ironman World Championships that same year, the company’s innovative customized hats have transformed the endurance headwear market.  Drawing from both her 30+ years in the endurance apparel and accessories business with leadership positions at Pearl Izumi, Moving Comfort and other industry leaders, and her deep experience as an endurance athlete, having completed multiple marathons and finishing three Ironman triathlons, she saw the need for modernizing what was a staid and boring category, as well as updating the manufacturing process to provide truly custom product that could be delivered faster and with dramatically lower minimums than the existing suppliers.  With employees in 7 states and customers worldwide, BOCO Gear continues to grow and innovate under her leadership.
Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agricultural Economics, Co-Director of the Regional Economic Development Institute and supports Engaged Research under the Office of Engagement and Extension at Colorado State University.  She has over 110 peer-reviewed publications and given over 500 industry, government and academic presentations on topics related to food systems and rural economic development, primarily focused on opportunities related to value-added food market supply chains, market access and financial viability of underserved food enterprises such as beginning farmers, food consumer behavior and economic diversification such as agritourism and entrepreneurship. She is on the Colorado Food System Advisory Council and collaborates with several Colorado state agencies, the EDA and USDA on programs and initiatives that support rural regions of the Western US
David Thompson
David Thomson

Vice President of Private Client Services

Kairoi Residential

With over 30 years in real estate development experience, David Thomson was selected in the Who’s Who in Real Estate by the Denver Business Journal for many years and then the 40 under 40, Denver Business Journal in 2002. Thomson was responsible for bringing the likes of GE, Arrow Electronics, and NBH to Colorado as the Global Business Development Director for Governor Hickenlooper. Thomson has been associated with large scale development projects that include the base village of Winter Park Ski Resort, base village-River Run of Keystone Ski Resort, and Cordillera in Vail, Colorado. As COO and a partner to East West Partners, Thomson was jointly responsible for bringing the Riverfront Park Community to Denver.

Thomson serves on various boards including The Winter Park Ski Resort Trust, Denver Colfax Marathon, and The Burns Society DU Real Estate School, CU Denver College of Arts and Media, as well as serving as the founder and President of The Nathan Yip Foundation and the Honor Connor Pledge. He is a graduate of The University of Denver and Thunderbird University and enjoys the outdoors of Colorado with his son and is an active skier and runner.