Sabor attendee: Secretary Williams “cares about our community”

The Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Sabor on Friday night at the Denver Botanic Gardens attracted plenty of people. From left to right, state GOP chairman Jeff Hays, with his back to the camera, Maria Del Carmen Guzman-Weese, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton and Rocío Pérez, the CEO of Inventíva. (SOS photo)
Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis. (SOS Photo).

Secretary of State Wayne Williams attended the 11th annual Sabor last week hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver at the Denver Botanical Gardens.

“Sabor,” the Spanish word for flavor, was the theme of the night, which included a “sensory exploration of the Americas.”

The event featured an impressive array of food and drink, along with traditional Peruvian outfits and live Spanish music. encompassing the Latin American culture.

“Colorado has a rich Hispanic heritage and our office has a great partnership with Denver’s Hispanic Chamber, including working together to make a welcome video for new businesses,” Williams said.

Saida Perez and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

Local businesses came out to celebrate.

Saida Perez, owner of Tru Services insurance agency, stopped Secretary Williams to thank him for his work and take a picture with him.

“The Sabor was a great event for networking and allowing the government and business to work together. I have a lot of clientele that need to have things notarized and Secretary Williams has made this process easy and efficient,” Perez said.

It was an experience repeated throughout the evening.

“It was a lot of fun to sample some great food, experience awesome culture and visit with so many friends,” Williams said.

“The best thing, though, was being stopped by folks I’d never met who wanted to let me know how easy it was to use our website to register a business or nonprofit, become a notary, or register to vote,” Williams said.

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All about U: Ritter & Stapleton

Olivia Stapleton, the 4-year-old daughter of gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, decorated his U.
Former Gov. Bill Ritter, who now works at his alma mater, Colorado State University, chose school colors.

A former Colorado governor and the state treasurer who wants to move across the hall into the governor’s office joined in a campaign to decorate wooden U’s to highlight the automatic participation of unaffiliated voters in the primary election for the first time in state history.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign, which stresses to unaffiliated voters that they will receive both the Democratic and Republican ballots but they have to pick just one ballot. If they vote two, neither will count.

Every day between now and the June 26 primary we will highlight a U or two. Recipients were asked to consider their values when decorating or to just have fun. Some clerks highlighted their counties.

Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

From deputy clerk to deputy treasurer: Ryan Parsell’s new job

Ryan Parsell.

It looks like Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams might have a new carpool buddy: Today state Treasurer Walker Stapleton announced he hired Ryan Parsell to serve as his deputy treasurer.

Both Parsell and Williams live in Colorado Springs. The treasurer’s office is located at the state Capitol in  Denver, the secretary of state’s office is two blocks north, on Broadway.

The two will have plenty to talk about. Williams hired Parsell as his public information officer when he served as the El Paso County clerk and recorder. Williams’ successor in that job, Chuck Broerman, added deputy clerk duties to Parsell’s job.

Williams was thrilled with the appointment.

“Walker Stapleton’s selection of Ryan Parsell as his deputy treasurer demonstrates the quality of individuals who work for Colorado’s county clerks and recorders,” Williams said. “Coloradans trust our county clerks and I know Ryan will carry that trust forward.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams holds Gracelynn Parsell, the daughter of his former staffer Ryan Parsell, at a recent event in Colorado Springs. (FB photo)

Parsell was equally complimentary.

“Serving in the clerk’s office — especially with great clerks like Chuck Broerman and Wayne Williams — has taught me much and has prepared me for this role,” he said. “I appreciate all that they have taught me about good government, transparency and fiscal responsibility.”

Kudos to reporter Joey Bunch with Colorado Politics for this great gem when writing about Stapleton’s appointment of Parsell:

He doesn’t have to be sworn in, which is good, since the last guy swore himself out of a job.

Parsell replaces Jon Forbes, who turned in his resignation after cursing, including the f bomb, at the state PERA board last month.

I met Parsell in person in 2013 when covering the election to recall two seated Democratic state senators, John Morse of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron of Pueblo, over their votes on gun bills.  I couldn’t get over then how much Parsell looked like my former boss at The Denver Post, Curtis Hubbard.

I remember when Parsell was supposed to help Williams when the secretary and his wife, Holly, moved into a smaller home. Williams loved ribbing Parsell about the “excuse” he used to get out of the move: “My wife Christiana is in labor.”

Oh yeah, they’re going to have plenty to talk about.

Colorado’s nonprofits: “You inspire us all to make America kind again”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is flanked by two award winners, Bruce Deboskey and Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Grand Junction, at the Colorado Nonprofit Association lunch today. (SOS )

By Lynn Bartels
and Julia Sunny

One of the most touching events every year is the Colorado Nonprofit Association lunch and awards ceremony, where it becomes evident the kind of impact nonprofit groups make in our state.

“They truly help us remember what is important in the community,” Treasurer Walker Stapleton said.

He handed out one of the awards recognizing nonprofit work. Several recipients, including Nancy Sundeen, the director of the Pitkin County Health and Human Services, choked up when accepting their honors. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presented Sundeen with the Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Renny Fagan, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, before the start of today’s award ceremony. (SOS photo)

Today’s lunch kicked off Colorado NonProfit Week. The agenda includes a day at the legislature, trips to the Western Slope and “Pay it Forward Friday.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former brewpub owner, said when he ran for Denver mayor in 2003 he didn’t have any “traditional constituencies” but he had served on 42 nonprofit boards and committees in the previous 12 years. Members often met in a room at the brewery, he said.

“I think that constituency is amazingly powerful and I think all of you need to recognize that with social media you do have a voice,” the governor said. “We are in tumultuous times but you inspire us all to make America kind again.”

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Denver Rustlers: another great Colorado tradition

Businessman Eddie Robinson, Secretary of State Wayne Williams and philanthropist and businessman Larry Mizel at this year's Denver Rustlers event. (SOS photo)
Businessman Eddie Robinson, Secretary of State Wayne Williams and philanthropist and businessman Larry Mizel at this year’s Denver Rustlers event. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams considers it a privilege to attend the Denver Rustlers event, which raises money to buy livestock from the kids showing animals at the Colorado State Fair.

Democrats, Republicans and business leaders come together every year for a light lunch at Del Frisco’s Grille, donated by the restaurant. They then head down to Pueblo to bid on livestock and mingle and eat some more. The event began 32 years ago, when an economic downturn threatened to shut down the Junior Livestock Sale at the State Fair. Since then, Denver Rustlers has raised nearly $3 million.

Among those attending the Denver Rustlers event this year were U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner; U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, Mike Coffman and Diana DeGette, legislators, city council members and various chiefs of staffs. That means you Doug Friednash.

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