The Empowering Colorado Team


Mark Roberts, Executive Director and Publisher

Mark Roberts is an experienced journalist and news manager whose background includes serving as a television reporter, anchor and news manager in markets such as Houston, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C.. Mark also worked in the technology division of the Associated Press where he consulted with numerous television stations about the implementation of technology applications to improve newsroom operations. After moving home to Colorado, Mark served as coordinator of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Online News Association.

Dan England, Editorial Manager

Dan England spent 25 years in newspapers, 20 at the Greeley Tribune, before starting a freelance career. He now writes for NoCo Style, The Colorado Sun, Colorado Outdoors and many other publications. He has won more than 100 state and national writing awards, including Best of Show from the Colorado Press Association in 2015. Dan is an ultrarunner, dog owner and father to three children, including twin girls. Dan can be reached at

Board of Advisers

Empowering Colorado maintains a Project Board of Advisers made up of journalists and energy professionals. The Board provides leadership and guidance and helps to build relationships between Empowering Colorado and its stakeholders.

Empowering Colorado also maintains an Advisory Board made up of  key community leaders, professionals and advocates who support Empowering Colorado’s mission.

Doug Hock serves as Empowering Colorado’s Board Chairman. He is an experienced communications professional in the Oil and Gas industry.  Serving as Manager of Media Relations for a large energy corporation, Doug is a well-known media spokesperson with a long history of providing the information and insight necessary to help energy journalists effectively cover the energy industry.

Mark Stutz works as a public relations specialist employed at Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association. Mark has significant experience helping journalists understand the utility’s role in managing and distributing sources of energy throughout the western region.

Shehryar Akhtar is CEO of Cloutel — a world-class technology solutions company serving corporations and business.  A serial entrepreneur and an expert in international IT business management, Akhtar brings to the table a strong link between industry professionals and their audiences, international experience of navigating different foreign companies and cultures, deep understanding of critical business drivers in global markets, success in building relationships with decision makers and delivering on customer commitments. He has a knack for pushing startups to their full potential by predicting emerging opportunities.

Tom Currigan is a stakeholder relations leader focusing on optimizing an organization’s relationship assets to advance business, reputation and brand goals. Formerly the Senior Director of Stakeholder Relations for Kaiser-Permanente, Currigan is known for expanding and leveraging institutional relationships, managing external engagement and building strategic partnerships that support the achievement of business or mission objectives. The son of former Denver Mayor Tom Currigan Sr, Currigan is passionate about helping organizations grow their brand and reputation by ensuring effective, authentic engagement with key stakeholders across all sectors. 

Jacque Montgomery brings a wealth of experience in communications and stakeholder engagement to Empowering Colorado including working as Press Secretary in the Colorado Governor’s office and as a Communications/Media Relations Adviser and Manager for Kaiser Permanente and the Anschutz Medical Campus. She also served as Managing Editor at KCNC-TV. She currently serves as Director of Advancement and External Affairs at Colorado Academy.

Advisory Board

Dr. John Trefny is President Emeritus with the Colorado School of Mines.  Trefny, a well-known figure in academic circles and supporter of numerous community causes and organizations, served as President of the Colorado School of Mines from 2000 through 2006. He also served as Mines’ Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and Head of the Department of Physics.

Michael Kodas is the Former Deputy Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado.  An award-winning photojournalist and reporter, Michael’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek and The Denver Post.  Michael is the author of the bestselling book High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed and his newest effort Megafire.

George Douglas served as the Manager of Public Affairs for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.  Recently deceased, George worked to educate journalists and the public about the unique research projects underway at the laboratory and their potential impact on Colorado’s energy landscape.