Join the Forum on Family

Please Note: Parking is free on the Colorado Mesa University campus during summer in all lots except pay-to-park and faculty staff lots (each lot is marked). The most convenient place to park will be the parking garage located off of 12th and Elm street. Please park on the second floor and above as the first floor is pay-to-park.

Bernie Buescher is “Of Counsel” with the law firm of Ireland Stapleton Pryor and Pascoe, P.C., and is a Senior Policy Advisor for the
Keystone Policy Center. A lifetime resident of Grand Junction, Bernie practiced law in Grand Junction with Williams Turner and Holmes for
14 years, and served as President and CEO of West Star Aviation from 1986 through 1995. He served two terms in the Colorado General
Assembly and for two years served as Secretary of State for Colorado. For four years Bernie was a Deputy Attorney General, managing
the State Services Section of the office. He has served on approximately 40 non-profit boards.


Lisa Martin is the Senior Director of Human Resources at Hilltop Community Resources, a role she has been in since December of 2003. She
oversees all aspects of Human Resources, as well as the Payroll, Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, Employee Health, and Wellness functions.
Lisa’s prior experience includes work as a Human Resource Analyst for Mesa County Government for 5 years, owning and operating a local restaurant
for 10 years, and social casework for the Department of Human Services for 11 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of
Northern Colorado, and has earned both PHR and SPHR certification.
Lisa was honored with the Colorado Society for Human Resource Management and Colorado Human Resource Association Summit Award in 2012,
was named the Human Resource Professional of the Year by the Western Colorado Human Resource Association (WCHRA) in 2009, and was the
Colorado Employment First Program Employee of the Year in 1995.


Michael C. Santo, Co-founder and Managing Attorney of Bechtel & Santo, Michael began practicing law in his home state of Michigan in 1992 after
receiving his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from the University of Detroit. After graduating from law
school, he fulfilled a life-long dream of moving to Colorado when he accepted a position with Dufford, Waldeck, Milburn & Krohn and later co-founded
the firm of Bechtel & Santo with Betty Bechtel. Since 1994, Michael has focused his practice on defending companies in employment litigation,
including race, sex, age, national origin, religious, and disability discrimination lawsuits; wrongful discharge; and wage and hour matters. In addition,
he regularly represents employers in prosecuting and defending claims of trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and employee raiding.
Counseling companies on day-to-day employment issues is also an important part of Michael’s practice. This includes advising employers on hiring,
discipline, and termination decisions; on leave and disability issues; and on preparing and revising employee handbooks. By helping employers develop
sound personnel policies, Michael assists many Colorado companies, large and small, in minimizing the risk of employment-related litigation.


Sarah Shrader is a co-founder and owner of Bonsai Design, a world-class aerial adventure firm based in Grand Junction. With her husband and
brother, she turned a dream into a business in a basement office with 3 boxes of receipts, a flip phone, a tiny Macbook, and an iron will for success.
Sarah’s attention to detail and profitability has facilitated Bonsai’s exponential growth over the last twelve years, helping to position Bonsai as an
industry leader in sustainable outdoor aerial adventure. From treetop canopy tours to 3000 foot ziplines, Bonsai pushes the edges of the industry
with their innovative designs that captivate the hundreds of thousands of participants who experience their courses each year.
Sarah is also a founder of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley, a group of local businesses and organizations committed to economic
development in the outdoor recreation industry in Western Colorado. The ORC has had statewide recognition as a leader of the grassroots effort to
bring economic diversity through the outdoor recreation industry.