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2017 Board Candidate Biographies

Running for a Second Term:

Leslie Durgin

Leslie Durgin has an extensive career in public policy, advocacy, executive management, communications, and fundraising. She has developed and implemented comprehensive public policy and government affairs strategies in Colorado State Government including the Office of the Governor, Departments of Social Services, and Labor and Employment; and in local government where she served as a member of City Council and as the Mayor of Boulder from 1989-1997. Her career includes executive management in numerous non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the International Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Foundation, Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, and the Colorado Chautauqua Association, among others. She has researched and written several publications in historic preservation, a community needs assessment, and contributed to the Atlas of Human Development in Colorado. She worked at the University of Colorado Foundation as a fundraiser for the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to her volunteer service on the ACLU Board, on which she served as Vice Chair and on which is currently Treasurer, she has served on and continues to be on non-profit Boards of Directors too numerous to mention.

Loretta P. Martinez

At Metropolitan State University of Denver, Loretta P. Martinez has served as General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees since January of 2010.  Prior to joining MSU Denver, Martinez previously served as General Counsel for the Colorado State University System, maintaining legal offices and staff in Denver, Fort Collins, and Pueblo, and before that she was Legal Counsel and General Secretary to Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She began her legal career in higher education in 1995 at her alma mater Harvard University, where she was a Harvard Administrative Program Fellow while working in the General Counsel’s office. Recent projects and initiatives in which Martinez’s participation has been instrumental include implementation and defense of an affordable non-resident tuition rate for undocumented students at MSU Denver; assistance to the statewide coalition in crafting Dream Act legislation in Colorado passed in the 2013 legislative session; and the cofounding of a statewide coalition of Latino educators focused on improving recruitment, retention and graduation of Latino students.

Ben Hand-Bender

Ben Hand-Bender was born and raised in Denver. He has a life-long passion for the defense of civil rights and liberties. He believes fiercely in the mission of the ACLU and is honored to serve on the Board of Directors and as Secretary of the Executive Committee. Ben’s professional experiences include working as an educator, fundraiser, and organizer. As a second year law student, it has been his pleasure to connect students with the ACLU of Colorado, and he hopes to continue this network and to provide the Board with a millennial perspective. Ben is eager to continue working to ensure that the ACLU of Colorado has both success in the present and a secure future.

Running for a First Term:

Marcus Ollig

Marcus Ollig is a business veteran with over twenty years’ experience in senior management positions at Fortune 500 companies and his own companies, The Advocates & Targeted Legal Staffing Solutions (TLSS).  Marcus has a long history of passionate involvement in social causes in a variety of areas. He started his career working as Special Projects Director for the Lt. Governor of Colorado where, in addition to working on business matters, he worked on a variety of issues, including research on a major women’s health initiative, gun control and resolving a land rights dispute for the people of the San Luis Valley. More recently, serving on the leadership team of a board of trustees for a local school, he led the effort to overhaul the school’s bylaws and worked to expand diversity participation on the Board.  Marcus was instrumental in hiring the new Head of School and helped guide the school through a number of difficult transitions. At The Advocates, his practice focuses on partner-placements and group mergers for law firms, and he works with law firm leaders to achieve their strategic growth objectives.  Marcus has consulted on law firm management issues ranging from interviewing and retention to providing market insights and guidance. The Advocates has an active role in the community, allowing its employees to choose a charitable organization that the company gives both money and employee time to.

Catherine Sparkman

Catherine Sparkman (Cathy) has over 30 years’ experience in many aspects of federal and state law, emphasizing healthcare, corporate and regulatory law, managed care, and services for the medically underserved. She has extensive experience as a private practitioner, as outside counsel for several corporations, and as general counsel and chief legal officer of the Rocky Mountain Health Care Corporation. She has served as Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for two national healthcare associations located in the Denver area, and has extensive experience in the areas of media, regulatory, legislative, and governmental relations at both the state and federal levels. She has been active in numerous professional and civic organizations in both Colorado and Texas including the City of Boulder Human Relations Commission, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the Colorado Music Festival, Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Planned Parenthood Association of Northeast Texas, Dallas Women’s Shelter, and the Dallas Bar Association. A longtime resident of Boulder, Cathy has recently relocated to Denver where she sings in various chorales.

Allison M. Cotton

Dr. Allison M. Cotton is a tenured Full Professor of Criminology at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  A Colorado native, Dr. Cotton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991, a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002.  Dr. Cotton’s publications range in subject from issues related to the death penalty, eye-witness identifications, female offenders, and the perception of crime through the media to issues around race class gender and crime.  Her first book, Effigy: Images of Capital Defendants was released in the summer of 2008 by Lexington Books. Her second (co-authored) book, Class, Race, Gender & Crime: The Social Realities of Justi­­­ce in America (4th edition) was released in July 2014 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.  Dr. Cotton is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology.  A two-time Fulbright scholar, Dr. Cotton now serves as a board member of the Colorado Fulbright Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Maurice Scott

Dr. Maurice (Scotty) Scott was born and raised in northeast Denver.  After majoring in Biological Anthropology at Harvard College, he went on to medical school at UCLA, residency in family practice, and completed fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at The University of Chicago. He now practices palliative medicine at the University of Colorado Hospital and serves as medical director for a community hospice agency. Throughout his years of education, Maurice most enjoyed engaging with members of some of the most under-served communities in the country.  He spent college summers providing health education and emotional support to adolescent black men from Harlem, New York, who were born with HIV.  He worked at health fairs in south Los Angeles during medical school and spent his years in Chicago providing home hospice visits to patients and their families who lived throughout the south and west sides of the city.  He is happy to be back home now, working with and offering care to members of the same community that helped raise him.  Outside of work, Maurice enjoys staying active with running, weight training, and both snow- and water-skiing.  He likes to eat and takes advantage of the burgeoning restaurant scene that has only recently developed in Denver.  He is happily partnered and has a lovable large dog, Guffman.