I am an executive with business expertise in management with a proven track record delivering high stakes, high profile, leading edge programs, as well as legal experience advising business clients in a Fortune 200 company. As a corporate executive, elected official and Governor appointee, I focused on operating excellence and delivering results to benefit customers, businesses, and the public.
My strengths include a strategic mindset towards company growth and business success, while successfully navigating changing regulatory environments; an ability to comprehend complex technology and deliver technology transformations; and a focus on addressing customer needs. I have worked with boards and commissions on setting executive compensation, performing executive searches, governance and oversight of pension trust investments, operational improvements, union management, customer service, and diversity.
Corporate Leadership / Professional Experience
B J Brohl Strategies, Principal – Denver, CO 2017 – Present
- Government Affairs consulting for the legal cannabis industry, addressing regulatory design, crisis management, development & implementation of appropriate government affairs strategy, harm reduction, and community outreach.
Colorado Department of Revenue – Denver, CO 2011 – 2017
Executive Director and State Licensing Authority with responsibility for:
- Leading a multi-level organization of approximately 1,400 employees with an annual budget of approximately $500 million. Internal organizations included internal audit group, hearings division,
- and program management office.
- Ensuring the financial integrity in collecting and disbursing $12 – 14 billion in state tax revenues; integrity of all products and services provided to customers; demonstrated through internal and external annual audits.
- Ensure that regulatory programs are implemented using education, workshops, compliance, and criminal enforcement, in a manner that balances public safety with burden on the industries.
Qwest Communications International – Denver, CO 1978 – 2011
- Corporate Counsel, Corporate Law Department
- Regulatory Director / Expert Witness, Information Technologies
- Software Developer, Systems Architect, Project Manager, Information Technologies
Reorganization and Innovation: I championed extensive process and system improvements throughout the Department of Revenue, resulting in streamlined tax processing for taxpayers, with the number of online filing of sales tax returns more than doubling to a rate of 82%, on-line filing of corporate returns nearly doubling to a rate of 56%, and technology projects delivered with quality, on time and on budget. In addition, I successfully obtained funding from the Colorado Legislature Joint Technology and Budget Committees to replace the obsolete driver and vehicle systems with a configurable off-the-shelf software system. This $94M project was completed in two phases spanning three years, on time and under budget. Reorganization in addition to process and system improvements significantly reduced wait times and increased online capabilities with a 37% increase in online driver license renewals.
Business Development and Marketing: During my tenure, through effective marketing strategies, evaluation of profitability of Lottery games, and strong financial management, the Lottery Division increased its profitability by more than 25%, distributing more than $770M to its beneficiaries.
Governance: I successfully managed outside legal counsel to represent Qwest before 23 state Public Utility Commissions, addressing all regulatory issues, including regulatory approvals for mergers & acquisitions, corporate entity consolidations, and authority to do business in those states. Responsible for providing legal and regulatory advice on non-discrimination and compliance obligations, I developed the legal strategy and direction regarding Qwest’s general Regulatory Compliance requirements and ensured that company’s product strategy direction complied with all federal and state regulatory obligations while furthering corporate product and service goals.
Regulatory Policy: I worked extensively with the Colorado State Legislature for six years in developing policy and statutes to implement that policy. I testified at state and federal agencies to demonstrate compliance with state and federal requirements, and represented the company before state agencies regarding rate cases, complaints, and certification to do business in the state.
Strategy Development of Cannabis Regulation: My most significant and historic responsibility was the development and implementation of the first-in-the-world regulatory program for adult-use marijuana, known globally as “The Colorado Model”. I was appointed by the Governor to co-chair the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, which was charged with creating the regulatory program and guardrails for this nascent industry. As the State Licensing Authority for cannabis regulation, I ensured appropriate licensing requirements were met, that rigorous rules were established, and developed a regulatory program that balanced public safety and burden on the industry.
An expert in Cannabis Regulation, I have consulted with governments on both national and international levels to present “The Colorado Model.” Most notably I spoke at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, was a keynote speaker at The Transparent Chain Conference in the Netherlands advising government and key stakeholders regarding their move toward full regulation of cannabis, and most recently, I was a member of the expert review panel for the 2018 Report on Regulation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Latinas First Foundation Board (February 2018 – present)
- Grant scholarships to women, and oversee comprehensive networking and mentoring program
Statewide Internet Portal Authority – Finance Committee, Executive Director (ED) Selection Committee (2011 – 2017)
- Appointed by the Governor
- Perform Executive Search for the Executive Director, evaluated his performance, and set Executive Compensation based on goal achievement and technology innovation deliverables
- Evaluate all financial documents to ensure appropriate board actions / decisions and to ensure profitability of technology portal projects and appropriate fee structures for state, local, and schools board governmental entities
Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board – Executive Committee, General Manager (GM) Compensation Committee, Operations & Customer Service Committee; Pension Trustee (2004 – 2011)
- Elected public official
- Perform Executive Search for the General Manager, evaluated his performance, and set Executive Compensation, based on goal achievement and innovative strategic transit deliverables
- Evaluate all financial documents to ensure appropriate board actions / decisions
- Manage conflict with union in negotiations and continuing operations during Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) strike
- As Trustee for Salaried Employees Pension Trust – oversight and approval of trust investment financial documents to ensure ROI to support pension financial health, which ensured full funding of Pension Trust
Denver Employee Retirement Program (DERP) (2011 – 2011)
- Appointed by the Mayor
- Oversight and approval of trust investment financial documents to ensure ROI to support pension financial health, which ensured full funding of Pension Trust
Education / Awards
- J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 1995
- B.S., with honors, Regis University – Business Management, with minor in Computer Science
- Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 2019
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, 2019
- State Executive of the Year Award, National Association of State CIOs, 2017
- Outstanding Women in Business – Finance, Accounting, & Banking Award, Denver Business Journal, 2015
- Outstanding Lawyer Award, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, 2008
Publications / Public Speaking / Media
- Co-Author, If New Yorkers Join The Recreational Cannabis Bandwagon, What Could They Learn From Colorado? (Forbes Magazine, Jan 25, 2019)
- Expert Review Panel, 2018 - REGULATION - THE RESPONSIBLE CONTROL OF DRUGS, Global Commission on Drug Policy Report (September, 2018)
- Expert Advisor, 2018 AN EXPERIMENT WITH A CLOSED CANNABIS CHAIN, Advisory Committee to Dutch Government (June, 2018)
- Frequently requested speaker about cannabis to local, national, and international audiences addressing regulatory, financial, enforcement, and legal matters
- Keynote speaker at numerous local, national, and international conferences, notably:
- Uruguay, Switzerland, Germany (Berlin and Frankfurt), the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Utrecht), New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and the Biennial of the Americas
- United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs –Vienna, Austria
- Plenary Session before Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, comprised of 34 countries in the western hemisphere
Media / Interviews
- Have been extensively interviewed by local, national, and international media, notably:
- Nieuwsuur from the Netherlands, Calgary TV News, Fortune Magazine, The Economist, CNN with Ana Cabrera, CBS This Morning, CNN with Fredricka Whitfield, Brookings, and ABC News Nightline.