|Governor Jared Polis
Jared Polis is an entrepreneur, education leader, public servant, and Colorado native. He started his first business, American Information Systems, while in college out of his dorm room. By the time he was 30, he launched three successful companies, including ProFlowers, one of the world’s leading online flower retailers. Jared’s pioneering role in the internet economy earned him an “Entrepreneur of the Year” distinction from Ernst and Young.
Following these business successes, Jared committed himself to making sure other Coloradans had the opportunity to pursue their dreams. He co-founded Techstars, a startup accelerator that mentors entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and Patriot Boot Camp, which helps veterans start their own small businesses after coming home from their service.
In addition to his career as an entrepreneur, much of Jared’s adult life has been focused on improving public education. He served six years on the State Board of Education, where he worked to raise pay for teachers and reduce class size for students. He also founded several public charter schools for at-risk youth, and served as superintendent of one of them, the New America School, which helps immigrants earn their high school diploma.
Most recently, Jared served as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s Second Congressional District, which stretches from Larimer County and the Wyoming border, to the Central Mountains at the heart of Colorado’s tourism economy, to Boulder and the U.S. 36 high-tech corridor. During his time in Congress, the Center for Effective Lawmaking ranked Jared the most effective member of Colorado’s House delegation due to his success working across the aisle to improve Colorado’s schools, protect public lands, and support startups and small businesses.
Jared and his partner Marlon, and their two children are all avid Rockies fans.
Betsy Markey was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to his cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in January 2019.
She has over 30 years of leadership experience in government and the private sector. Betsy was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2008 from Colorado’s 4th Congressional District and served on the Transportation and Agriculture Committees. She has worked in four federal agencies – the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of State, and most recently as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, as the Regional Administrator for the Small Business Administration.
In the late-1980’s, Betsy and her husband launched a successful technology company, Syscom Services. The firm has been ranked in the Inc. 500 listing of America’s fastest-growing private companies. She also owned and later sold a coffee/ice cream shop in Fort Collins called Huckleberry’s.