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- Halana Hiatt
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Bernie Buescher is a renowned statesman and regulatory attorney with Ireland Stapleton.
Now in private practice, Mr. Buescher assists clients in dealing with energy, healthcare, and election issues. He also represents foundations regarding organization and governance matters.
Prior to joining Ireland Stapleton, Mr. Buescher served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Colorado, in charge of the State Services Section. In that position, he had responsibility for the individual Units which represented State Elected Officials, the Public Utilities Commission and the Departments of Human Services, Health Care Policy and Financing, and Personnel and Administration.
In January of 2009, Mr. Buescher was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Bill Ritter. During his two years in office, he substantially reduced expenses in the office, improved customer service and expanded ballot access. The results of his efforts made it possible for the Department of State to return over three million dollars of unspent funds to the State Treasury.
Mr. Buescher was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2004 and was immediately appointed to the Joint Budget Committee, where he worked on behalf of Colorado to find innovative bipartisan solutions to the difficult issues facing Colorado. In the legislature, Mr. Buescher helped craft four budgets that restored many of the cuts that were made during the economic downturn following Sept. 11. Key legislative accomplishments include working on SB 235 to protect PERA, legislation promoting Colorado’s wineries, and legislation promoting the use of renewable energy for Colorado. In 2007, Bernie was the principal house sponsor of 51 separate bills, 49 of which were ultimately signed by Governor Ritter.
Buescher was a key architect of Referenda Y and Z, which passed overwhelmingly in 2018 and created independent commissions for Redistricting in Colorado. In 2020, Buescher helped lead the successful effort to repeal Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment.
Prior to his election, Mr. Buescher served as Chair of the St. Mary’s Hospital Board. Previously, he was responsible for implementing the Children’s Basic Health Plan while working as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance. For nearly ten years, he served as President of West Star Aviation, where he grew the company from 28 employees to 220 employees. He also served terms on the Colorado Transportation Commission and the Colorado Economic Development Council.
- J.D., University of Colorado, 1974
- B.B.A., Business Administration and Accounting, University of Notre Dame, 1971
Honors & Awards
- Maurice Knaizer Distinguished Service Award, Colorado Department of Law, 2014
- University of Notre Dame, Distinguished Service Award, 2010
- John K. Inglehart Award from the Colorado Health Institute, Lifetime Achievement Award, health care policy and reform, 2009
- University of Colorado School of Law Distinguished Alumni in Public Service Award, 2009
- National Multiple Sclerosis Hope Award 2005
- Bernie and his wife, Mary Beth, were named “Citizens of the Year” in 2004 by the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce in honor of their extensive community involvement
- Deputy Attorney General 2010 – 2014, in charge of the State Services Section
- Partner, Shareholder and Officer with the Grand Junction law firm, Williams, Turner, and Holmes, P.C., focusing on ERISA (retirement plans) and transactional law (1978-1989)
What the Election Results Mean for Your Business
Solving Challenges and Passed Reform
- Keystone Policy Center, Senior Policy Affiliate
- Colorado Bar Association, Member
- Mesa County Bar Association, Member
- Rocky Mountain Health Foundation, Board Member
- Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Board Member
Bernie is an assiduous member of the community. Since 1975, he has served on the boards of approximately 25 nonprofit organizations. Currently, he serves as:
- Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, Board Member
- Colorado Children’s Campaign, Board Chair
- Colorado Healing Fund, Member
- Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Board Member
- Mesa County Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), Board Chair
- State Board of Human Services, Member
- “Nicolais: An extraordinary group of supporters have proclaimed Amendment B the right thing for Colorado”, The Colorado Sun, October 18, 2020
- “Repealing the Gallagher Amendment is a business issue, but not a simple one”, The Denver Business Journal, October 7, 2020
- “How Colorado Solved Redistricting Challenges and Passed Reform”, TEDx Grand Junction, June 15, 2020
- “How pledges block moderate solutions to pressing issues,” The Daily Sentinel Grand Junction, June 12, 2016
- “Needed: the emergence of a ‘vibrant center’ in politics” The Daily Sentinel Grand Junction, May 15, 2016
- “Incivility reaching point of mutually assured destruction” The Daily Sentinel Grand Junction, March 27, 2016
- Quoted in Denver Business Journal, “Bipartisan group proposes major change to how Colorado election districts are drawn,” Neil Westergaard, November 17, 2015
- “A needed plan to bar partisan maps,” The Post Editorials, The Denver Post, November 20, 2015
- “Bernie Buescher’s next career,” Bartles, Lynn, Denver Post, May 29, 2015
- “Despite early cynicism, task force found common ground,” The Daily Sentinel Grand Junction, March 1, 2015
- “Democrat Bernie Buescher set to leave state government,” Bartles, Lynn, Denver Post, August 19, 2014
- “Bernie Buescher,” Wikipedia, wikipedia.org