Becky Miller Updike, Ph.D., Executive Director
Becky brings more than 25 years experience in advancing organizational interests through strategic communications, advocacy, and building relationships with government and industry leaders. Most recently, Becky served as Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center where she oversaw organizational strategy, drove community engagement efforts, and advocated for public policy reform. Prior to that, she served as Vice President Child & Family Services for Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, managing one of Colorado’s largest private foster care organizations. In 2011, Becky was selected to serve as Colorado’s 1st Child Protection Ombudsman, where she opened and established the legislatively-created office. Earlier in her career, Becky founded a government relations consultancy that specialized in health, education, and community initiatives and policy reform. She represented Tennyson Center for Children, Every Child Matters, Qualistar, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado Care Management and others. Becky began her career as an Aide to U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton in Washington, DC, and later served as a Legislative Aid in the Indiana General Assembly.
Becky holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University; an MA in Child & Family studies and a Ph.D. in Child & Family Leadership (focused on social work, education, and public policy) from University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. Becky serves on the Board of Directors for Colorado Children’s Alliance and was recently appointed to serve on the Delivery of Child Welfare Services Task Force. She was named a top 3 finalist for Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business in 2010 and 2012.
CAFCA contracts with Michael Best Strategies for association management and government affairs.
As a Principal at Michael Best Strategies, Wes helps clients protect and advance their business interests through political and legislative advocacy. He has considerable experience in lobbying, strategy, research, and coalition building, and he helps clients build strong relationships with policy makers and stakeholders. Wes analyzes the potential impact of pending legislation, and works closely with clients to deploy strategies that will produce favorable outcomes. He regularly works with regulatory bodies, including the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, as well as state and federal health agencies, on policy issues that affect Colorado businesses.
Wes’s Expertise: Government Relations, Public Affairs, Lobbying, Legislative Process, Healthcare
Before joining Strategies, Wes spent nearly eight years at managed healthcare leader Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the first three years as the company’s in-house lobbyist at the Colorado State Legislature, and the last four years as Director of Government Relations. During his tenure, Wes helped transform Kaiser’s approach to political advocacy from reactive to proactive and helped it shape health policy.
Earlier in his career, Wes worked in the Colorado State Legislature for more than five years, briefly serving as Press Secretary for the House Minority Office before becoming Legislative Director for the House Minority Leader where he served as primary political advisor and liaison to lobbyists, state agencies, officials, and the Office of the Governor. He led a team of policy analysts, legislative aides, and support staff to develop and execute the House Minority Caucus’ priorities and strategic vision. As Press Secretary he managed the Office’s communication strategy and handled all media relations.
ADDITIONAL KEY EXPERIENCE
- Political Analyst, CBS News4 – Denver: monitored political messaging, advertising, and upcoming elections and provided analysis for on-air news segments
- Web and Copy Editor, ColoradoBiz magazine: wrote articles on economic development and business issues statewide
- Metropolitan State University of Denver, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.); Public Relations and Political Science
Wes’s affiliations during his professional career:
- Former Board President, NAMI Arapahoe/Douglas Counties
- Former Health Care Council Chairman, The Colorado Chamber
Jennifer has nearly 20 years of association management and healthcare policy experience. She helps clients design and execute messaging strategies on key policy priorities to achieve successful outcomes.
Jennifer’s Expertise: Healthcare Policy Advocacy and Reform, Public Affairs, Stakeholder Engagement and Consensus Building, Government Relations, And Association Management
She has a strong track record in stakeholder education and engagement, consensus building, grassroots organizing, and fundraising initiatives. By leveraging these skills along with her considerable public affairs experience, Jennifer has helped clients effect policy change at the federal, state, and local levels.
In her previous role as Director of Government Relations for the Colorado Dental Association, Jennifer led the organization’s policy team and consultants in developing and implementing innovative policy reforms that transformed access to dental care across the state. During her 10 years leading the team, Jennifer spearheaded execution of multi-dimensional strategies to realize desired policy results, including issue prioritization, bill tracking and analysis, legislator and community education, coalition building, and strategic relationship building.
As Director of Regulatory Affairs for the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, Jennifer directed legislative and regulatory strategy nationwide, led two successful capital campaigns, and grew the association’s federal PAC with exponential results.
ADDITIONAL KEY EXPERIENCE
- Director of Government Relations, Colorado Dental Association
- Director of Regulatory Affairs, International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists
- Texas A&M University – College Station, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude – Sociology and Political Science
- Secretary, Hearth at Highlands Ranch Homeowners Board
Jennifer’s affiliations during her professional career:
Prior to joining Michael Best Strategies, Jeff founded Precision Policy Group and served as the company’s president. In this role, he led Precision’s team in political consulting, policy advising, and lobbying. He was first a lobbyist and then a partner with Mendez Steadman & Associates, a political consulting firm in Denver which became Mendez Consulting Inc. when Pat Steadman was appointed to the State Senate in 2009.
Jeff’s Expertise: Healthcare, Child Welfare, Oil & Gas, Hotels & Tourism, Telecom, Booze Law, and Developers
Previously, Jeff worked with the Colorado State Legislature as the legislative aide to the Chair of the Colorado House Education Committee. He began his political career in the legislative arena while residing in Alaska, where he was a legislative aide to two legislators and worked on education, labor, and natural resource committees. He has successfully managed a variety of campaigns, including candidate races, municipal bond initiatives, and defeating statewide ballot measures.
ADDITIONAL KEY EXPERIENCE
- Lobbied in 14 legislative sessions at the Colorado State Capitol.
- Orchestrated the unification of four regional AIDS project teams in a single unified entity and merged Colorado Health Network with Howard Dental to greatly improve access to oral healthcare.
- University of Colorado Boulder, Bachelor of Science – Political Science & Constitutional Law
- Volunteers personal time and business acumen towards improving health for the vulnerable, at-risk and underserved populations throughout Colorado, including youth, the chronically ill, and Coloradans living with HIV/AIDS.
- Provides training sessions to help non-profits understand the importance of their involvement in state government.
- Educates state legislative staff on the role lobbyists play in the political process.
- Mentors political science students from the University of Colorado.
CAFCA is a non-profit membership association founded in 1982. CAFCA is an active member of Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and National Association of State Associations for Children (NOSAC).
Email: [email protected]
Address: 1176 Lincoln Street, Ste. 1100, Denver, CO 80203