All bios were provided to the Steamboat Today.
Executive Director, Golden Urban Renewal Authority
Mark Heller became GURA’s Executive Director in July 2004, bringing more than 15 years of experience in community planning, economic development, small business legal counseling, cultural organization management and community involvement. He has overseen significant positive changes in GURA and for downtown Golden and was the recipient along with the GURA Board of the Golden Chamber of Commerce’s 2005 Civic Award.
Mark developed a passion for community planning while living in Crested Butte, Colorado, where he served on the boards of some of the area’s leading environmental, cultural, and economic organizations. He was a board member of High Country Citizens’ Alliance and the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre and was counsel to the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival and the Crested Butte Music Festival among others. One of Heller’s objectives in working with such diverse groups was to balance sustainable economic development with environmental conservation and community vitality.
Mark began his legal career in 1991 as Assistant General Counsel with the Texas Ethics Commission, where he joined a team of six other attorneys in a new state agency designed to regulate lobbying, campaign financing, and political advertising.
Mark earned his undergraduate degree with honors in interdisciplinary studies (Plan II) in 1987 and a law degree in 1991, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2006. His varied educational background also includes study at Trinity College, Oxford, and at the University of San Diego School of Law in Paris, France
Transportation Engineer, Fehr and Peers
Carlos Hernandez professional experience includes a wide range of complete street implementation projects across the western United States. He has implemented multimodal street designs in diverse settings such as exclusive resorts in Hawaii, business parks in California, urban downtowns in the West, ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, and university towns in the Midwest.
Mr. Hernandez is known for his commitment to meaningful public process and community engagement. He regularly works with planning commissions, elected officials, and transit agencies to gain consensus on complex transportation planning issues.
Carlos is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder’ Environmental Design Program with an emphasis in City Planning. He has served as an appointed member of TBD Colorado and the City of Louisville, CO Revitalization Commission.
Vice President, Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc. (P.U.M.A.)
Anna Jones provides project management and lead support for P.U.M.A.’s downtown and strategic planning, community development, downtown and special district formation including Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) and others. Her specialties include project management, community outreach, plan development, consensus building and public policy formation.
Prior to joining P.U.M.A. Anna served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka where she taught English and worked in a sea-turtle hatchery.
Anna is currently serving her second term as a Mayoral-appointed member of the Denver Planning Board and serves as Chair of Downtown Colorado Inc. (DCI). Anna served as co-chair of the East Colfax planning process in Denver which led to the first comprehensive citywide rezoning in nearly fifty years, which was the precursor to Denver’s comprehensive form-based rezoning effort completed last year. Anna holds a BA in History from Western State College in Gunnison and has completed coursework in the MPA program at the University of Colorado at Denver.
FASLA, RLA, Program Manager, NV5
Richard Marshall provides Program Management services for streetscape and urban design improvement projects in NV5’s Denver Office. Dick recently managed NV5’s work on the successfully completed Capital Improvements Program for the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District, a 16 block area within the Cherry Creek neighborhood in southeast Denver.
Prior to joining NV5, Dick was a founding principal of a planning and design firm in historic Downtown Denver where he practiced for over 35 years. In addition to planning for new real estate development and urban design, Dick focused on the firm’s resort planning projects in Beaver Creek, Silverthorne, and Winter Park, CO.
For the Federal Government, Dick led interdisciplinary teams working on a variety of projects in Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Sequoia, and the Gateway National Recreation Area in NYC. Dick was also involved in the stakeholder outreach, and writing of the Built Environment Image Guide, the national Design Standard for the US Forest Service.
His specialties include project management, visioning, strategic planning, and stakeholder involvement to arrive at consensus based plans and policies. Dick serves on the Design Review Committees for Ridgegate in Lone Tree, CO and Lowry in Denver.
Dick was instrumental in the successful improvements to many pedestrian friendly streets in Downtown Denver through the implementation of Streetscape Guidelines for Denver and capital improvements in Lower Downtown. Dick received a Downtown Denver Partnership Award for his leadership of the new 14th “Ambassador Street” Initiative and for his participation on the 16th Street Mall Steering Committee and the Denver Partnership’s Transportation and Development Council.
Dick received his degree in Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University. He was awarded the distinction of Fellowship in the American Society of Landscape Architecture and is a Registered Landscape Architect in Colorado.
James M. DeFrancia
Mr. DeFrancia is a Principal of Lowe Enterprises, Inc., a national real estate development company engaged in residential, commercial and resort development activities and President of that company’s national Community Development division. He is also the President of Weston Capital Corporation, a privately held firm engaged in real estate asset management and development on behalf of private investors, banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Earlier, he held several positions with ITT Corp., including President of its Levitt home building subsidiary in Puerto Rico and responsibility for the restructuring and sale of ITT/Levitt’s international land assets. Before joining ITT, he held executive positions with an international investment group in Venezuela. Prior to his private sector experience, Mr. DeFrancia served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy. Posts included Naval Headquarters, Saigon; Aide to the commanding Rear Admiral NSC San Diego; Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and the U.S. Embassy, Caracas, Venezuela.
He recently served as the Receiver of the Dancing Bear project in Aspen, and is currently the Receiver of the Mountain Sage Townhomes in Carbondale, Beaver Run Ranch in Pitkin County, and a Managing Director for the corporate Receiver of Base Village in Snowmass, CO. He also served by British court appointment as the Receiver & Manager of Shanghai Links Executive Community Inc, a British company holding land use rights in China and actively engaged in community development in Shanghai. He held a Resident Visa in China.
Mr. DeFrancia is a Life Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a Director of Wynne/Jackson, Inc. He is a past Director of National Association of Homebuilders, former Virginia representative to the Southern Growth Policies Board and former member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. He served as a member of the Defense Department’s Marsh Panel, and was appointed by the Secretary of Defense specifically to contribute residential development expertise in restructuring the housing systems of the Department of Defense. He also served as a member of the Housing Advisory Group to the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs (U.S. House of Representatives), and has been a guest lecturer/panelist for the Urban Land Institute; the Bank Lending Institute; the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; George Mason University; and the George Washington University. He is fluent in Spanish and has lectured in that language.
He currently serves as an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy on maritime strategy in the Western Pacific, as well as US Navy energy policy. He has also served as an advisor on growth and development policies to the Governments of Bermuda, Mexico, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), and Saudi Arabia, as well as The Vatican. He has similarly advised several US cities and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. In addition, he has been a contributing writer to publications on urban growth, transportation and real estate development.
Mr. DeFrancia is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. Degree in Engineering and executive studies in business and finance at the University of Michigan and The Wharton School. He has also completed strategy and policy courses at the Naval War College. He is a member of The Atlantic Council and the US Naval Institute.
Jim is a part time resident of Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Vice President, Director of Development, Coburn Development
John is the company’s director of development, responsible for determining the economic viability of all projects. Additionally, John oversees overall project management and is actively engaged with each project throughout its lifecycle. He has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry with an emphasis on acquisitions, commercial brokerage, property management, development and construction.
John was recognized by Site Selection Magazine as a Young Leader in Corporate Real Estate, and has managed a portfolio of over 200 properties valued in excess of $150 million.
John has served in a variety of appointed civic capacities, including Chairman of the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District Board for two terms, member of the Boulder Valley School District Capital Improvement Committee, the City of Boulder’s Technical Review Group for Affordable Housing money allocation, the City of Boulder’s Economic Panel/Advisory Committee, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a City of Boulder Downtown Commissioner.
John received a degree in environmental design from the University of Colorado and is a licensed Colorado real estate broker.