Ken Montera: Every child has the right to fulfill their dreams | SteamboatToday.com

Ken Montera: Every child has the right to fulfill their dreams

I am running for University of Colorado regent at large (state seat) because CU changed my life. It not only built the foundation for my career but my entire life, and now I want to give back to my alma mater and the state I love.

I am a third-generation Coloradan, whose grandparents immigrated to Pueblo in the early 1900s. I come from two generations of steelworkers and farmers. I had a working mother and a father that served on the USS Enterprise during WWII, they both taught me independence and self-reliance at a very early age. I was the first in my family to have the opportunity to go to a university through the help of the Presidents Leadership Class scholarship, offered by CU in conjunction with state business and civic leaders.

I graduated from the CU Leeds School of Business, studying marketing and international finance. My time at CU, my PLC scholarship mentors and my experiences while in Boulder significantly expanded my vision well beyond my degree — they exploded the possibilities that existed for me, not only in my state but the entire world.

Ken Montera

This vision launched a 33-year career where I worked in increasing levels of executive responsibility in four Fortune 200 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Baxter Healthcare, PepsiCo and LimtedBrands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, where I was the executive vice president of retail operations having responsibility for roughly 40,000 employees and a multibillion-dollar operating budget. My responsibilities included brand strategy development, direct budget/fiscal management, human resource planning and executive selection/development, and day-to-day operations of roughly 4,000 stores.

The priorities that I believe are most important for the University of Colorado's future growth both academically and fiscally are as follows:

  • Ensure that the cost of a CU education is affordable for all Colorado families. As our state’s flagship institution, this is a fundamental responsibility of the Board of Regents.
  • Foster and nurture an environment of free speech where critical thinking skills can be developed through vigorous fact-based debate.
  • Create an inclusive environment on the board where our overarching objectives will be driven by the success of our students and faculty not individual agendas.
  • Provide degree programs that enable our students to be competitive and successful in the open market once they leave CU.

The Board of Regents responsibility is to:

  • Set the strategies and policy that will drive the future success of the system it governs and its students, faculty and staff.
  • Fiscal oversight of budget and capital approval including tuition changes.
  • The selection and, if need be, termination of the university president. The Board of Regents does not make day-to-day academic decisions, set curriculum or select instructors or professors.

For the past 20 years, I have set strategy, established and managed large budgets, selected and developed senior executives, created and nurtured highly diverse and collaborative cultures for large decentralized complex organizations in three different industries.

My experience and consistent record of success uniquely qualifies me for the CU Board of Regents, where I have no doubt I can effectively help lead Colorado's third largest employer who contributes over $12 billion to our state economy into the future.

I want a future where all qualified Colorado students have the same opportunities I had. I believe every child has the right to fulfill their dreams regardless of where they started in life. Having lived that dream, I now want to help lead those dreams.

Ken Montera

University of Colorado regent at large Republican candidate

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