Colorado bar foundation


The Colorado Bar Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the CBA Board of Governors. Each Trustee agrees to serves a minimum three-year term; a second term may be completed immediately upon expiration of the first term. Otherwise, a Trustee may return to service only after the expiration of one year following such Trustee’s last term.

The Trustees generally meet every other month to govern the business affairs of the Foundation. This includes an annual meeting to review applications and grant awards to support worthy causes in furtherance of the Foundation's grant-making policies.

Additionally, the officers of the Foundation (including Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer and President of the Bar Fellows) are elected each year from the members of the Board of Trustees.

If you are interested in applying to become a Trustee, please contact foundation Manager Elizabeth Aklin at [email protected]

Click here for a link to the Foundation's current Bylaws 




Connie Talmage (Chairperson) is an experienced arbitrator, lawyer, nonprofit executive and strategic thinker and the founder of Talmage Consulting. She served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Lawyers Committee from  2000 to 2023. She received her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1978 and practiced for 10 years with the law firms of Holland & Hart and Ireland, Stapleton, Pryor and Pascoe. She has served since 2012 on the Alumni Council of the DU Sturm College of Law; she is on the Executive Committee of the Our Courts Program and was a Board member of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness from 2006 to 2023; she currently serves on the CLI Advisory Board. Connie was the 2009 recipient of the Colorado Bar Association's Award of Merit, the highest award the organization awards; in 2007 she received the Alumni Professionalism Award from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the Edwin P. Wolf Award from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.




Leia G. Ursery (Vice Chairperson) practice is centered around trust and estate and elder law matters, including estate and tax planning; estate and trust administration; protective proceedings; and probate-related litigation. Leia has been extensively involved in various Colorado Bar Association activities since 2004. She is a former Chair of the Colorado Bar Association – Trust and Estate Section and the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program and she participated as a voting member of the Colorado Bar Association - Legislative Policy Committee between 2014 and 2021. In 2019, Leia joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees based on her desire to assist and promote deserving legal-related organizations and programs throughout the State of Colorado.




Keith Lapuyade (Bar Fellows President) is a partner at Evans Case and has over 30 years of litigation experience. His practice focuses on trust, estate and fiduciary liability litigation. He also represents professionals as personal counsel in cases where claims exceed or fall outside of available insurance coverage. He has been recognized for many years by Colorado Super Lawyers, 5280 Top Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America. He was selected by Best Lawyers as 2020 Lawyer of the Year in Estate and Trust Litigation. He is active in Bar and community activities and is a Trustee for the Colorado Bar Foundation and a member of the COLTAF Board of Directors. He is a frequent presenter for CBA-CLE and other Bar-sponsored CLEs, having participated on over 20 programs over the years.



Adam Foster (Treasurer) is a business lawyer and founder of the Denver, Colorado firm Foster & Jones. He represents established businesses and startups in a wide range of transactions involving entity formation, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, cannabis and industrial hemp. Adam is past chair of the CBA ADR Section and the current co-Chair of the Section's Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity Committee. He also serves as liaison between the CBA Business Law and ADR Sections and has volunteered on a variety of initiatives sponsored by the Colorado Lawyers Committee. Adam is a member of the CBF Finance Committee and will take over as Chair of that Committee and CBF Treasurer beginning in January of 2021.









Charles Spence is a partner in the law firm of Maynes, Bradford, Shipps & Sheftel, LLP in Durango, Colorado. He concentrates his practice in estate, business, and tax planning, estate and trust administration, and probate-related litigation. Charles is a Bar Fellow and has served on the Executive Councils for the Trust and Estate, Elder, and Tax Law Sections of the Colorado Bar Association. A graduate of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program, Charles also serves on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Legal Regulation Committee that works with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. He joined the Colorado Bar Foundation to support its work aiding legal-related organizations throughout Colorado.




Craig Nuss is a shareholder in the Construction Defect Department at Burg Simpson. Craig is a native of Colorado who received his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado Boulder and his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law. Craig has been practicing law in Colorado since 1989. As a result of membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates, Craig developed a strong sense of devotion to non-profits that promote access to the legal system for all members of society. The Colorado Bar Foundation’s goal to promote the advancement of jurisprudence and the administration of justice across Colorado drew Craig to become a Colorado Bar Foundation Fellow and serve as a Trustee.




Hon. Frances R. Johnson is a district court judge in the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso County in Colorado Springs) and has been a judicial officer since 2013 beginning as a probate and mental health magistrate in 2013. Judge Johnson served or has served on other non-profit organizations including Interfaith Hospitality Network (now known as Family Promise of Colorado Springs), Court Care and the El Paso County Bar Association. Judge Johnson participates with multiple organizations committed to improving the wellbeing of the community and legal professionals.





Gary Blum has practiced as a lawyer since 1971 and is currently a dispute resolver with the JAMS Denver Panel. He enjoys assisting parties with mediations, arbitrations, facilitations and being a special master. Prior to this Gary was with the Public Defender's office, the Colorado Attorney General's office, and then two small litigation firms where he did both plaintiff and defense work. Gary is a member of various bar organizations including the Colorado Bar Association Ethics committee for roughly 45 years, the Federal Committee on Conduct, and for both groups he has served as chair of the committees. Gary is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has served as president and board member for a number of years. He is a long-time member of the Colorado Bar Foundation. Gary is honored to serve as a member of the Foundation's Board of Trustees in hopes of furthering the good work that is done especially in light of the generous bequest by my friend and colleague Ben Aisenberg.


Jackie Booker is the managing shareholder at Sutton | Booker | PC. Jackie has tried over 30 jury trials to verdict in federal and state district courts across Colorado. Jackie’s practice is devoted to defending individuals and corporations from pre-litigation investigation through appeals. Jackie organizes and leads her firm’s community service projects and enjoys working on amicus curiae briefing when those opportunities arise.


Jennie Wray is one of The Harris Law Firm’s most accomplished attorneys, achieving both a position as partner at the firm as well as being named a Super Lawyers® Rising Starâ„  seven years running. For perspective, an attorney who is named to the Super Lawyers list is considered a top attorney in their field—they must undergo review under 12 different criteria, and the list only represents the top 5% of all lawyers in that state. For someone to be a Rising Star, they must either be under 40 years old or have been practicing for less than a decade, while fulfilling the Super Lawyer requirements. The list has confirmed that Ms. Wray is among the top 2.5% of attorneys in her state, as rated by her colleagues. She also has a BV® rating on Martindale-Hubbell® and was nominated for Denver Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 list for 2016 and 2017.


John M. Lebsack is of counsel at White & Steele in Denver. He has practiced there since 1979, doing a wide variety of civil litigation, with an emphasis on appeals, coverage disputes, and professional liability. He is a member of the CBA Ethics Committee and the Civil Rules Committee. John is excited to support the Colorado Bar Foundation’s work to assist and promote deserving legal-related organizations and programs throughout Colorado.


Joseph G. Hodges Jr. is a solo practitioner with offices in Denver, Colorado and Dillon, Colorado. He concentrates his law practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable planned giving, foundations, and general non-profit corporate matters. He is a graduate of Lake Forest College (B.A. 1965) and the University of Colorado School of Law (J.D. 1968). He is a Fellow and Past Regent of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a past Council member of the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section (RPTE), and a former Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Colorado Bar Association. In ACTEC he currently serves as a member of the ACTEC Foundation’s Board and on the Technology in the Practice, State Laws, Communications and Artificial Intelligence Committees. In RPTE he helped build the first Website for the Section. In addition he Co-Chaired the Section’s Technology Committee for ten years. Currently he serves on the Non-Tax Considerations Committee. In addition, he was the Section’s liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems (SCOTIS) from 1998 to 2020. At the CBA level he was the co-moderator of the CBA-TES Listserv from its inception in 1995 until its demise in 2021 when it was replaced by the CBA’s current Community system. He also is a member of the Denver Estate Planning Council, the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, and the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning). He has written and spoken extensively about technology and related issues in the law practice, particularly as they relate to estate and gift planners, including four presentations at the annual Heckerling Institute for Estate Planning, the last one being in 2012, and five presentations at the ABA RPTE Section’s annual STEP program, the last one being in 2016. He also authored many articles for CCH’s Estate Planning Journal for several years.


Marcy Glenn has spent her entire career as a practicing lawyer at Holland & Hart, LLP, resident in the firm’s Denver office. She specializes in appellate litigation and legal ethics. Marcy is a former chair and current member of the CBA Ethics Committee, a former chair and member of The Colorado Lawyer Editorial Board, and a current member of the Amicus Brief Committee. Marcy became a Bar Fellow in 2002 and she and her husband Tom Goulet joined the Aisenberg Society in 2014. She received the CBA Award of Merit in 2017. Throughout her legal career, Marcy has provided pro bono legal service in both large “impact” cases and smaller matters for individual clients; she also strives to support judges, lawyers, and the courts by serving on court committees and the MPRE National Drafting Committee. Marcy is eager to help the Foundation Board manage its expanded endowment, after Ben Aisenberg’s generous bequest, as meaningfully as possible in the coming years.



Rob Zentner is a prosecutor in the 21st Judicial District based in Grand Junction and Mesa County. He is currently a member of CDAC's Training Committee, Mesa County's Community Services Block Grant Committee, and is honored to be a Trustee of the Colorado Bar Foundation. He has been involved in many other local volunteer and service boards and committees including the Monterey Park Senior Living Community, Mesa County Red Cross, and United Way of Mesa County. Through his service to these entities, Rob has found rewarding the process of vetting very impressive organizations and helping them secure needed financial assistance. Rob's prior exposure to raising money and allocating limited funds to many deserving entities has made his current experience on the Colorado Bar Foundation Board of Trustees much more meaningful. While he wishes more money could be allocated to the many fine organizations that are ultimately partially funded by the CBF's grants, Rob will not lose sight of the CBF's primary goal: to support justice through legal services and law-related education.




Sarah Steinbeck Adelson  is a conflicts staff attorney at Cooley LLP. She became a Fellow early in her career and has continuously supported it even after becoming a Fellow Emeritus. Sarah believes strongly in the Foundation's ability to aggregated donations small and large to provide a meaningful impact to each year's grant recipients.






Hon. Ted C. Tow has served on the Colorado Court of Appeals since February 2018.  Before joining the appellate court, Judge Tow served on the trial bench for seven years as a District Judge in the 17th Judicial District (Adams County).  Prior to his judicial service, he spent three years as the Executive Director of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council, following several years as a deputy district attorney.  He began his legal career in private practice, working as an associate primarily in labor and employment for three different law firms in Chicago and Denver.  In addition to being a Foundation trustee, Judge Tow advances the cause of access to justice and legal education through his service on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Pathways to Access committee and the Our Courts Executive Committee.  Judge Tow, a graduate, faculty member, and co-director of the Colorado Institute for Faculty Excellence in Judicial Education, is also a frequent presenter at CLE events.



Hon. William G. Meyer (Ret.) was a general jurisdiction judge from 1984 to 2000 in Denver, CO. In 2000, Bill joined Judicial Arbiter Group; a mediation/arbitration firm comprised of 26 former judges and became majority owner in 2011. For the last 8 years, Bill has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America”, in the field of Mediation, by US News and World Report. In 2020, Judge Meyer received “Colorado Lawyer of the Year” honors from Best Lawyers. Bill also received Colorado’s “Barrister Best” awards in both Mediation (2011, 2014 & 2016) and Arbitration (2017, 2019 & 2020). In addition, Bill serves as the Senior Judicial Fellow for the National Drug Court Institute and provides training and curriculum development for over 3700 drug courts. Bill was the Chair of the Committee that wrote the Drug Court Key Components. (DOJ 1997) Judge Meyer is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and is on the NJC’s Wall of Honor and in 2017 received the NADCP Stanley Goldstein Award for pre-eminent service to the drug court field. He authored “Drug Courts Work”, Federal Sentencing Reporter (Summer 2002). His book “Colorado Rules of Evidence with Objections” was republished in 2020, as a 6th edition. He was a contributing author and co-editor of “The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook” (2011- DOJ/NDCI). In 2019, Bill published an article in the Journal for Advancing Justice, analyzing cases involving access to MAT and “drug free” conditions of probation. Judge Meyer established and maintains a national webliography, which is published on-line and updated regularly that compiles case-law on Constitutional and other legal issues arising in the drug court field.