ENDORSEMENTS & TESTIMONIALS

I’m extremely excited that educator and the past chair of the Auraria Board of Trustees, Yolanda Ortega, is running for CU Regent. She has the right combination of leadership and life experiences to support the the Board of Regents and the
CU system. As chair Yolanda worked with chancellors and presidents from CU Denver, MSU and CCD, student and faculty representatives as well as government officials. Her ability to facilitate a shared decision making model for facilities, fiscal management, and strategic planning was outstanding. A true advocate for all students, Yolanda will support the necessary collaboration on the CU Board of Regents that will benefit future graduates!

Linda Shoemaker

Regent Emerita

A true servant leader, Yolanda Ortega has always put students first, serving as a fierce advocate ensuring they have the resources and support they need to achieve their higher education goals. She would make a fantastic CU Regent, utilizing lessons learned from her  25+ year career as a University administrator, a Trustee to the Auraria Campus and the numerous nonprofit boards she’s served. She has a keen understanding of complex budgets and always takes a smart, thoughtful and selfless approach towards a positive outcome. Yolanda would be a tremendous asset to the CU Regents, the citizens of Colorado, and most importantly the students.

Cathy Lucas

Founder and Chief Storyteller, Lucas Narratives

I’ve had the pleasure of being companeras and higher education colleagues with Yolanda Ortega for over 20 years. I’ve witnessed first-hand her compassion, dedication, and authenticity as she advocates for ALL students, especially for those who are historically excluded in our society. We at CU would be honored to have her outstanding higher education talents and expertise on the Board of Regents!
Adelante, Yolanda!
Dr. Johanna B. Maes

Associate Teaching Professor , CU-Boulder School of Education

I am supporting Yolanda Ortega for CU Regent-Congressional District 8 because she has the leadership and experience to excel in this role. Yolanda has 35 years of experience in higher education, and she was a Gubernatorial Appointment to the Auraria Higher Education Board of Trustees. Yolanda will be an outstanding advocate for students. She is highly qualified for this position.
VOTE FOR YOLANDA ON NOVEMBER, 8, 2022.
Veronica Barela

I started attending Metropolitan State College summer of 1989 having graduated from John F. Kennedy a Denver Public High School. Work study was an option as I was a full Pell 1st generation Colorado Native. I applied to work in the Counseling Center as a front desk receptionist to assist students navigate options or, came in for services. It was my first “professional” job and I remember meeting Yolanda Ortega hearing her story. At the time she served as the Vice-President of Student Affairs for MSCD before it became a University. Her role then, and  as a leader now goes beyond Denver Metropolitan areas in  the state of Colorado. She is respected also as a talented singer, actress, and a philanthropist. For me, she is a true role model both then, and now as I remain in higher education supporting students as a Denver Scholarship Foundation Campus Advisor. I try to demonstrate the same type of connection she extended to me.
I believe that Yolanda will continue her student advocacy as a CD 8 member of University of Colorado Board of Regents. I believe she remains a great advocate with the qualifications and first hand knowledge of how the budgeting works from her years of experience. Her ability to provide so much validation helped me remain on a college campus as a young emerging Mexicana student. I feel it was essential to my identity and many successes in life.
Yolanda- looked like my own Mother, mis Tias and even smiled at me with the same eyes of reassurance.
I stayed working in community organizations having learned important soft skills that continue to serve me well in my various roles.  I finally graduated after I having my son, and I would say we have both benefited from having her positive encouragement to seek out educational opportunities in state.
I fully and enthusiastically support Yolanda Ortega’s CD 8 candidacy for CU Board of Regents.

Cynthia R. Gallegos

Former Student

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Yolanda Ortega for the C.U. Board of Regents.  We need Yolanda’s knowledge, compassion, and 35 years of experience in higher education to represent us as a C.U. Regent.

Polly Baca

Former State Senator

Yolanda Ortega is someone I’ve known and worked with for over 30 years.  Her experience, integrity and ability to build relationships are values that are integral to being a Regent.  Yolanda can organize and bring folks together to have honest conversations while maintaining respect and honor within the group.  Her over 40 year career in the Higher Ed industry gives her insight on all levels when it comes to policies, legislations, students and the University.

JESSE OGAS

Public Figure

Yolanda and I serve on the board of Firefly Autism together.  Below are some things I have learned about Yolanda by working closely with her over the past five years: 

Yolanda has a true passion for education. She is a servant-leader that has the gift of inspiring and  bringing people together for a common cause. Her passion is infectious.

Yolanda is a keen strategic thinker.  She is an asset to the board at Firefly Autism and has been instrumental in helping us craft a path forward that enables us to serve more children and adults on the spectrum.

Yolanda gets things done. When Yolanda commits to something, she truly commits and is not afraid to roll up her sleeves. You can ALWAYS count on her!

It has been a privilege to serve on Firefly’s Board with Yolanda and I wholeheartedly endorse her for The University of Colorado Board of Regents.

Sandra Gudat

Chair, Board of Directors, Firefly Autism

I have known Yolanda throughout her decades-long career in Higher Ed. and she is ready to stand up for our children and ensure their success! 

Adrienne Benavidez

Colorado State Representative

We support Yolanda Ortega for University of Colorado Regent.  We have known her for many decades now as a university administrator, community advocate, and voice of reason.  We encourage you to support her election as Regent.

Lorenzo A. Trujillo, Ed.D., J.D. & Ellen Alires-Trujillo, J.D.

University of Colorado Law School (Assistant Dean and Professor of Law Ret.) & Attorney, Colorado Legal Services (Ret.)

Yolanda Ortega has demonstrated her fierce commitment to community, youth and families through action, engagement and expression. Yolanda uplifts perspectives in ways that shine light on experiences often overlooked at decision making tables, not because she’s read about them or followed through the work of community colleagues, but because her experience and the way she listens and leads allows for it. Her body of work and depth of knowledge, coupled with the gift of connection and expression helps ensure thoughtful conversation and more informed outcomes.

Camila Lara

Philanthropy Professional, Community Partner and Colorado Native

Ms. Ortega can relate to many students who are breaking barriers within their family-being the first gen, representing, and earning degrees. I believe that Yolanda Ortega will advocate for all & for more barriers to be broken down. She is truly a role model to students & in fact one of my heroes who I look up to.

Jeremy Medina

Graduate Student, MPA, CU Denver

Yolanda Ortega has a career’s worth of experience in higher education, working hard for students! She is the most qualified person for the job and she has my full support! Please vote for Yolanda!

Nolbert Chavez

CU Regent CD7

Yolanda Ortega has dedicated her life to public service. She has always cared about others, especially our children and their future. Yolanda serving on the CU Board of Regents will guarantee that we have an individual who will always put our students first and represent all of us. Her lifelong experiences will bring a refreshing voice to CU. We need thoughtful and collaborative leaders like Yolanda.

Irene Griego, Ph.D.

Regent Emerita

I have known Yolanda for 50 years and during that time I have witnessed her skillfully administer programs and departments at Metropolitan State University at Denver as well with her small business and on the Board of Trustees for numerous organizations in our state.  An important aspect of Yolanda’s success is her leadership skills that are always people/student centered.

Always present, available and transparent, Yolanda will bring a thoughtful and forward-thinking perspective to the CU Board of Regents position.

Debra Gallegos

Former Director of The Center for Equal Opportunity for CDOT, Community Advocate

Working with Yolanda and the student services team at MSU gave me valuable tools to navigate through and progress in my professional life.

She made ALL students feel heard, welcomed, and cared for.

Olivia Martinez Nuanez

Program Assistant, State of Colorado

A special thank you to everyone who stands behind Yolanda’s 35+ years of experience in Higher Education and has reached out to be added to our endorsement list, especially: Judy Solano – State Representative, Manuel Solano – Attorney, Callie Rennison – CU Regent, and Rebecca McClellan – Colorado State Board of Education.