Two CSU staffers get Northern Colorado young professional award

Two CSU employees have been selected to receive BizWest’s Northern Colorado “40 Under Forty” award for young professionals: John Durkin, director of development for the College of Business, and Kimberly Stern, director of social and digital media for the Division of External Relations.

The annual list, now in its 12th year, recognizes the best and brightest emerging leaders in the region who make a difference in their companies, industries and communities. A panel of judges composed of 40 Under Forty alumni selected the honorees from numerous nominations. Those being honored had to be younger than age 40 by Dec. 31 of this year.

photo of Stern
Kimberly Stern

“It is my great honor to work at such special place like Colorado State surrounded by an amazing team in External Relations,” Stern said. “I love what I do for CSU — Green and Gold is in my blood — and am humbled to be recognized alongside rockstar professionals in Northern Colorado. I’m forever grateful to an incredible group of mentors, colleagues and friends who’ve come alongside me. No doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without their encouragement and support.”

‘Exceedingly fortunate’

“First, I want to say how grateful I am for this honor,” Durkin said. “I have been exceedingly fortunate to have worked with such talented teams. It’s always humbling and inspiring to be recognized for the team’s contributions, and it really makes me stop to appreciate the opportunities that Colorado State University has provided me, both in terms of my education and growing my career. A lot of colleagues and mentors, many who I am lucky to call friends,  have helped me along the way, and I’m very, very thankful for that.”

A ceremony celebrating the honorees will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Fort Collins Country Club, 1920 Country Club Road in Fort Collins. The program will feature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, networking and a program featuring the honorees and a keynote address by Richard Fagerlin, founder and president of Fort Collins-based Peak Solutions.

Early-bird tickets, at $49 until Oct. 27 and $59 thereafter, can be purchased online at For information on corporate tables or sponsorships, contact Sandy Powell at 970-218-0538 or

Fort Collins honorees

In addition to Durkin and Stern, this year’s Fort Collins area honorees include:
R. Clay Bartlett, associate attorney with Coan, Payton & Payne LLC
Heather Beckman, managing partner and head chef at Silver Grill Cafe
Joshua Birks, economic health director for the city of Fort Collins
Brandi Broadley, Realtor/broker at Coldwell Banker
Phil Canipe, president of Aire-Master
Mark Culloton, general manager of Austin’s American Grill

photo of Durkin
John Durkin

Mary Francis, marketing director for client relations at the Francis Team/Cornerstone Home Lending
Ariana Friedlander, founder and principal of Rosabella Consulting
Michael Guerriero, principal of Power Down LLC
Kate Hagdorn, vice president for marketing and communications at United Way of Larimer County
LJ Houska, vice president of Houska Automotive Services Inc.
Kendra Johnson, employee-benefits sales executive at Flood and Peterson
Korrie Johnston, fundraising and marketing coordinator for the city of Fort Collins’ Gardens on Spring Creek
Eric Knotts, head golf professional at Harmony Club
Kelly McBartlett, partner/broker associate at The Group, Inc., Real Estate
Adam Molzer, coordinator for the OtterCares Foundation
Lindsay Roselle, founder and co-owner of Mindstream Yoga and founder and chief executive of Women& Inc.
Andrea Schaefer, broker associate at The Group, Inc. Real Estate
Tiana Smith, customer accounts manager for the city of Fort Collins
Kristen Tatti, public-relations program manager at Otter Products
Stephane Tillman, executive director of The Family Center/La Familia
Tricia Vincent, employee engagement specialist at the OtterCares Foundation

Loveland and Johnstown honorees

Melissa Doherty, broker associate at The Group Inc., Real Estate, Loveland
Sara Seely, business-development professional at First National Bank, Loveland
Gretchen Stanford, customer relations manager for the city of Loveland
Jordan Austin, owner and financial counselor at Mountain Plains Group West/Thrivent Financial, Johnstown

Greeley honorees

Mary Bengford, managing broker at Re/Max Alliance
Sara Muth, branch manager at First National Bank
Brad Inhulsen, broker associate and owner of Sears Real Estate
Kelli Johnson, public information manager at the High Plains Library District
Melissa McDonald, agent and owner at State Farm Insurance
Elias Quiñonez, college counselor in the Colorado Department of Higher Education
Brian Seifried, president of Wing Shack Enterprises Inc.
Ryan Smith, financial adviser at Thrivent Financial
Ashley Valenzuela-Ruesgen, business outreach and internship coordinator at Aims Community College
Scott Warner, vice president for sales at Connecting Point
Tim Odil, senior litigation attorney at Otis Bedingfield & Peters LLC
Lee J. Morehead, associate attorney at Otis, Bedingfield & Peters LLC