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Press Release

Metro State Board of Trustees Elects New Chair and Vice Chair


Contact: Tim Carroll, 303-556-5136

Posted: July 30, 2010



(Denver, CO)— Metropolitan State College of Denver announces its newly elected Board of Trustees officers for its 2010-11 academic year. Rob Cohen, chair and CEO of IMA Financial Group, Inc., was elected board chair and Michelle Lucero, vice president of employee relations for Centura Health, as vice chair.

“We are quite fortunate to have someone as committed to higher education as Rob Cohen serve as Metro State’s new board chair, as there aren’t very many people with his depth of experience,” says Metro State President Stephen Jordan. “From heading his company to founding the Metro Denver Sports Commission and his substantial board experience with many local nonprofits, Rob’s leadership will help to propel Metro State on its journey to preeminence.”

Cohen was appointed to the board in January of 2008, assumed the vice chair role in July 2008 and now takes over as board chair. Cohen succeeds previous board chair Adele Phelan, who recently stepped down following more than 10 years of service, including as chair from June 2007 to June 2010.

 “This is an exciting time for Metro State, and I’m proud to be a part of the College’s strong leadership team and its vision for the future,” said Cohen.  “We’re leading the charge for Metro State to develop its own identity within the Auraria campus while enhancing the value of earning a degree from one of the nation’s preeminent public urban baccalaureate institutions.”

As a dedicated advocate and supporter of higher education, Cohen is no stranger to the issues and challenges facing higher education today. Previous to joining the Metro State Board of Trustees, Cohen was a member of the Metro State Foundation from 1999 to 2004, serving as chair the last two years of his term.  

Cohen’s other community involvement is substantial. He serves on the boards of Metro Denver Sports Commission, Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation, and Downtown Denver Partnership, among others. He is a former chairman of the board of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and he previously served on the boards for the Craig Hospital Foundation and the DPS Foundation. Cohen is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a B.S. in finance and risk management.

Appointed to the board in April 2007, Lucero is now assuming the role of vice chair. She is on Kroneke Sports’ Hispanic Advisory Council and the Littleton Public Schools Facility Task Force. Among her many accolades are 9News Leader of the Year finalist in 2006 and the 1992 Outstanding Young Lawyer from the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. Lucero obtained her bachelor’s degree from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Mo.

The chairman and vice chairman hold their respective offices for one-year terms until renewed or successors are elected. Other Metro State Board of Trustees include: Marica Garcia Berry, CEO of CRL Associates; Dawn P. Bookhardt, founding partner of Bookhardt & O’Toole; Antonio Esquibel, retired Metro State professor emeritus; William Hanzlik, CEO of the Gold Crown Foundation; Melody Harris, senior counsel of Home Roberts & Owen LLP; and Ellen Robinson.

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About Metropolitan State College of Denver


With more than 23,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans, and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, with the bulk of them remaining in Colorado after graduation.