Faculty at the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program include accomplished practitioners, leadership experts and nationally renowned educators. A sample of RMLP faculty is included below.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Bill Barker has been interested in Thomas Jefferson since his youth. Barker attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Villanova University. Attracted to the stage at an early age, he became a professional actor, director and producer. He was cast as Jefferson in many different venues including the musical, 1776. Barker is the same height, weight and general appearance as the man who has so long interested him.
Over the years, Barker has evolved a repertoire of Jefferson presentations tailored to corporate and government audience, as well as school, societies and festivals. He performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain and France. He presented for Chautauqua and has been featured as Jefferson in several magazines including Time, People, Atlantic, Philadelphia, Southern Living, Reader’s Digest and the Colonial Williamsburg Journal. Bill has been cited in various newsletters and reports, among them those of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, The Remnant Trust, The Jefferson Legacy Foundation and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He appeared as Jefferson in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and C-SPANN. He has received commendations from the City of Philadelphia, The City of St. Louis, and the Hellenic Ideals Foundation. He enjoys historical research, archaeology and traveling.
Over the course of a decade, Luis Benitez has emerged as one of the most experienced and respected adventure guides, leadership development consultants and outdoor recreation professionals in the world. To date, Benitez has summited the top of the famed “Seven Summits” a cumulative 32 times, including being a six-time summiteer of Mt. Everest.
Early in his career, Benitez was hired by Outward Bound where he conducted courses in mountaineering, climbing and skiing techniques with the underlying goal of teaching leadership, communication, and problem solving to participants. He led expeditions and was Director of Operations USA for Adventure Consultants (AC), a highly respected New Zealand-based firm with a long history of trips to summit Mt. Everest.
Benitez first summit of Everest was to climb with the blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer on his historic 2001 Everest summit, chronicled in the feature film “Farther Than the Eye Can See” and also in Erik’s book Touch the Top of the World. He also has led disabled veterans to the top of Mt. Lobuje, out of which was born the Soldiers to the Summits non-profit organization. He has been featured in films such as “Visions of Everest” (2002) and “Shadow of the Condor” (2002), has reported from Mt. Everest for ABC-TV News, and has filmed segments for an episode of National Geographic’s weekly TV series “Wild Chronicles”. In 2006 while guiding a group in Tibet, his witness of a tragic and historic attack by Chinese soldiers on Tibetan refugees led to Benitez’s firm commitment to dedicate his time to educating and helping people be their own leader. He is featured in a BBC documentary about that tragic event, “Murder in the Snow.”
Benitez championed Talent Management and Leadership Development for Vail Resorts and served as a town Councilman in Eagle, Colorado.
In 2015, he was appointed to his current position by Governor Hickenlooper, leading the brand new Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry for the state of Colorado. In addition, Benitez is the founder of Endeavor Consulting. He manages and leads an annual critical thinking and leadership development seminar in Ecuador and Chile for the Wharton School of Business and volunteers his time as a guide for the nonprofit Trekking for Kids. Regardless of the constituent, Benitez’ primary message is the same: “If you really challenge yourself, you can truly change your world.”
Wendy Bolyard, PhD
Dr. Wendy Bolyard currently serves as faculty program director for the Bachelor of Arts in Public Service program and as senior instructor in the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver. She has worked in higher education for more than 20 years and founded her own consulting company, K-20 Consulting. As a champion for higher education, Wendy works with colleges and universities to develop best practices in recruiting and admissions, model business processes, and create financial aid leveraging strategies. She also works to solidify the technology infrastructure to support automation of routine tasks and report on performance.
Wendy has consulted with numerous higher education institutions on performance management and constituent relationship management. She has worked for three public universities, a private urban university, a Fortune 500 company, a small non-profit organization, she sat on the Nonprofit Advisory Board at the University of Central Florida, and served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Colorado. She currently serves as treasurer for a nonprofit evangelism and discipleship ministry. Emergenetics International, an organizational consulting company specializing in workplace assessments, certified Wendy in 2016 as a trained Associate in the proprietary Emergenetics psychometric assessment and methodology.
Mr. Brooks owns his own consulting firm, Tiger Bee specializing in leadership training. In addition to leadership training, he specializes in the areas of cultural diversity, tolerance, suicide prevention and intervention, self-esteem issues, and violence prevention training for adolescents and adults.
He has worked with a number of organizations nationwide, in Colorado, in New York City, and in South Africa, including the Spring Institute for International Studies, the Anti-Defamation League, PeaceJam, and the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth.
His achievements have been recognized by honors and awards from Denver Mayor Wellington Webb for fighting hate and discrimination; from the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference for promoting the ideals of peace and understanding among the youth of Colorado; from the Colorado School Counselor Association for "Outstanding Service"; and from the Contemporary Learning Academy for his volunteer work and commitment to children.
Additional faculty biographies coming soon!