The Most Powerful People In Denver

Our list of the movers and shakers who are shaping the Mile High City—now. 

April 2014



redarrow 45. DOUG PRICE

 CEO and President, Rocky Mountain PBS (new)

When Dean Singleton—previously number two on our list—stepped down in December as executive chairman of MediaNews Group, which owns the Denver Post, he left a void in the Mile High City’s media landscape. There’s no doubt Singleton continues to be a serious player, especially as a sounding board for politicos, but Denver’s next great media personality is still TBD. That said, Doug Price dramatically overhauled the formerly sleepy Rocky Mountain PBS when he brokered a deal to merge with public radio station KUVO and I-News (an investigative news team) to create a new kind of multimedia company. Outside of the executive suite, reporters and pundits—including the Post’s Vincent Carroll and Lynn Bartels, the New York TimesJack Healy (who covers regional issues from Colorado), Fox31’s Eli Stokols (who’s also a 5280 contributor), and Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner—hold an increasing amount of power, especially in this election year.



redarrow 46. RYAN CALL

 State Party Chairman, Colorado Republican Committee (new)

Ryan Call is blessed with a narrower Senate margin than last year—but cursed with the ongoing presence and outsize influence of the GOP’s more extreme factions (see number 24). How well he navigates this election season will determine whether Colorado Republicans can turn the state red again—or remain stuck on the margins.



redarrow 47. LILLY MARKS

 Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Colorado; Executive Vice Chancellor, Anschutz Medical Campus (new)

marksLilly Marks oversees a medical campus that sustains more than 17,000 jobs and has an economic impact of more than $2 billion.
And the Anschutz Center’s facilities are feverishly setting the course—via patient care, advocacy, and research—for our entire nation’s future well-being. 



redarrow 48. STEVE ELLS

 Founder, Co-CEO, and Chairman, Chipotle Mexican Grill (new)

ellsMore than two decades ago, Steve Ells created a fast-casual concept, Chipotle, that would change the way we thought of fast food
(naturally raised meat, fewer genetically modified organisms...and it tastes good!) and launch an empire (Chipotle has more than 900 locations). Now, he’s paired up with Frasca Food and Wine’s Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson to take another fast-casual model, Pizzeria Locale, big. We’re ready. 



redarrow 49. SHARON LINHART

 Founder and Managing Partner, Linhart PR (new)

linhartAs the founder of Denver’s go-to PR firm for crisis management, Sharon Linhart has built an impressive client roster (Southwest Airlines, UnitedHealthCare, Crocs) that relies on the firm for PR counsel of all kinds.



redarrow 50. TOM BOASBERG

 DPS Superintendent (40)

boasbergIt’s nothing short of scandalous that a major American city’s public education leader is ranked this low. But Tom Boasberg is one of many in the education world who saw their fortunes fall in 2013. After last year’s humiliating defeat of Amendment 66, these folks just need a do-over, and they’re looking to Boasberg for inspiration. The national political hostility toward public education means they must rethink their traditional approaches. Fortunately, this is exactly what Colorado has been doing for the past several years; now Boasberg et al. must come up with creative ways to find the money that will enable them to realize their vision. But funding shortfalls and competition from private and charter schools alike won’t make it easy.