The authoritative source on Colorado Governor Bill Ritter brought to you by the Editors at the Cherry Creek News and Denver Community Newspapers
Thursday, December 28, 2006
RITTER NAMES FIRST CABINET DIRECTORS
RITTER NAMES FIRST CABINET DIRECTORS
David Skaggs to head Department of Higher Education and CCHE
Don Mares to run Department of Labor and Employment
Michael Locatis also named state Chief Information Officer
Gov.-electBill Rittertoday announced his first two Cabinet appointees, giving shape to the top-level administration that will overseeColoradostate government and the departments that directly serve the public.
Ritter named former Congressman David Skaggs as executive director of the Department of Higher Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and former Denver Auditor Don Mares as executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment. Both require state Senate confirmation.
Ritter also named Michael Locatis as the state's Chief Information Officer. Locatis will direct the Office of Information Technology and provide overall technology strategy direction for the state. He is currently the Chief Information Officer for the city andcountyofDenver.
"Coloradois blessed with some of the brightest, most energetic and innovative-minded people in the country," Ritter said. "This trio is no exception. They will play key roles in helping to fulfill the Colorado Promise."
"Rep. Skaggs distinguished himself as a thoughtful, engaging and forward-looking member of Congress," Ritter added. "I know he will bring his passion for higher education to this new assignment. A thriving higher-education system is central to fulfilling the Colorado Promise, particularly for our families and rural communities."
The Department of Higher Education is home to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.The department oversees 28 public institutions of higher learning, two key loan programs and several artistic and cultural programs.
"PreparingColorado's young people to succeed in a global economy and an extremely competitive workforce is vital,"Skaggssaid. "It's central to every part of fulfilling the Colorado Promise. I look forward to doing everything possible to keep college affordable and accessible for allColoradansand to help realize the full potential ofColorado's extraordinary system of higher education."
Ritter said he's excited Mares will be the next executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment. "Don has demonstrated his commitment to serving the public in numerous capacities, and he has always done so with the utmost of professionalism," Ritter said. "He will bring a wealth of experience to the Department of Labor and Employment. We're fortunate to have him."
The department provides key economic and workforce data to current and prospective employers. It assists injured or unemployed workers and ensures fair labor practices. It oversees the divisions of Labor, Employment & Training, Workers' Compensation and Oil & Public Safety.
"I look forward to engaging the labor and business communities so that together we can fulfill the Colorado Promise," Mares said. "Working families and employers large and small are the engine that will driveColoradoforward and keep us competitive globally."
Additional biographical information about Skaggs, Mares and Locatis:
Skaggsserved as the 2ndCongressional District representative for 12 years (1987-99). Before that he served in the Colorado House from 1981-87, and was chief-of-staff to then-Congressman Timothy Wirth from 1974-77.
He is the founder and executive director of the Center for Democracy & Citizenship at the Council for Excellence in Government. The Center works to strengthen American democracy through several projects and activities, many of them school-based. He earned a bachelor's degree fromWesleyanUniversityin 1964 and his law degree fromYaleLawSchoolin 1967. Skaggs is a decorated Marine who served inVietnam. He is of-counsel with the firm Hogan & Hartson.
Maresserved asDenver's auditor from 1995 to 2003 and in the state House and Senate from 1989 to 1995. He currently serves on the Colorado State Personnel Board, the leadership council for Escuela de Guadalupe and the board of the Latin American Educational Foundation.
Mares earned his bachelor's degree in psychology fromStanfordUniversityin 1979 and his law degree from theUniversityofPennsylvaniain 1982. Since leaving office in 2003, he has been special counsel with Fleishman & Shapiro.
LocatisbecameDenver's first Chief Information Officer in March 2004, where his office providesdata network, telephone, application development, software support, and electronically delivered communication services to internal and external customers of the City andCountyofDenvergovernment.
Before joining the city, he spent two years with Time Warner Inc. as Senior Director of Enterprise Technology Strategy. Previous employers include Texas Instruments, MobileForce Technologies and ConferTech International. He earned his bachelor's degree in business from theUniversityofNebraskaand his MBA fromColoradoStateUniversity.