Longmont Economic Development Partnership leads a comprehensive approach to building an economic ecosystem that not only supports, but champions, businesses and their owners.
Longmont EDP is a public/private partnership, governed by a Board of Directors made up of representatives from primary employers, the City of Longmont, and the business community at large.
Left Hand Brewing Company
Eric graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1984, served 8 years as a communications officer, and started Left Hand Brewing Company in 1993. Left Hand is one of the country’s most award-winning independent craft brewers and strives to “do the right thing”. Eric is a past chair of the Brewers Association Board and won their F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award in April 2009. He’s also past chair of the Colorado Brewers Guild Board, was inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame in 2012 and named an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Mountain Desert Region in 2014. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Longmont Economic Development Partnership and is a huge fan of Longmont.
Eric has been married to his wife Cinzia since 1992, moved to Longmont in 1993 and they have raised their three children here.
Lyons Gaddis Law Firm
Cameron Grant is Managing Shareholder of the Lyons Gaddis law firm, a primary employer in Longmont with offices in Louisville and Ft. Collins. Cameron represents real estate developers, property owners, and investors in all aspects of real estate and land use, as well as businesses and individuals with entity formation and other transactional matters. Cameron also manages the family land and real estate business. Cameron is a 4th generation Longmont native. He graduated from Colorado College in 1991 and, in 1995, from the University of Colorado School of Law, where he met his wife, Erika. They now have three sons, Caden who attends Georgetown Law School, Nicholas who studies engineering at C.U., and Connor, a Senior at Niwot High. Cameron is currently the Vice-Chair of the Longmont Housing Authority and has served on the boards of various non-profit entities, including the Longmont United Hospital Foundation, Longmont Council for the Arts, and the Imagine Foundation. In his free time, Cameron is an avid skier and an occasional classical singer.
Sun Construction & Facility Services Inc.
Andy Welch is the President of Sun Construction & Facility Services, Inc. where he has worked since 1998. Andy has started several companies in Longmont including, Auction Genius and Insight Automotive which he later sold. Andy’s passion remains with construction and development, as he owns and develops various real estate along the Front Range. Andy was raised on his family’s farm near Yoder, Wyoming, and moved to Colorado in high school attending Skyline High, which is where he met his wife Jenny, and they share two daughters. Andy is involved with and supports several non-profits in the area.
Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.
Melanie Bimson is a Business Development Officer for Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Melanie invests her time in several key local and national initiatives, with a focus on Start to Home partnerships. Melanie brings 15 years of combined experience in real estate, customer service, and management to Cornerstone, and is based in the Longmont branch. Having lived all over the country, and with a love of international travel (particularly her family’s country of origin, Germany) she’s chosen to make her home in Longmont with her husband John, two teenagers (Piper and Pierce), and a Havanese dog named Mocha. When not cheering Piper on in volleyball, Pierce in skiing or Ultimate Frisbee, or cruising the neighborhood with John and Mocha, Melanie would choose to be on the water.
High Plains Bank
John is the CEO of High Plains Bank, a community bank serving five Colorado markets with 6 branches. In addition to serving on the Longmont Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors, he also serves on the Boards of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority; the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley, and the Imagine! Foundation. He is past president of the St. Vrain Valley Board of Education. John and his wife, Joni, have called Longmont home since 2001, where they raised their children Emma, Joe and Ada Grace – all of whom are proud Jayhawks. John is a graduate of Kansas University and Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Bart Raspotnik is an Executive Director for Seagate Technology and has worked in the hard disk drive industry for 25 years. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1987 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He began his career in start-up companies designing software for projects ranging from automated robotics for CNC milling machines to RFID card readers used for secure building access. He joined Maxtor in 1995 and moved to Seagate in 2003 where leads a team of design engineers responsible for delivering the manufacturing test process for Seagate’s hard disk drives. His group spans Colorado, Minnesota and Singapore and he enjoys traveling to meet with his teams.
Bart and his wife Nicki have lived in Longmont since 1992 and have three children. They have enjoyed watching the city evolve and are excited about what the future holds.
As CEO of H2 Solutions, Heidi has led development and strategic partnership efforts for many businesses and municipalities with over 20 years of experience in manufacturing leadership, technical sales, marketing and operations. She is a Colorado manufacturing industry evangelist, bringing her partnership expertise to public-private collaborations. She is regarded as a state-of-the-art expert in high precision machining/manufacturing solutions. Heidi has been a part of world class teams that have manufactured key components in NASA’s Kepler space telescope, U.S. F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet projects and more. Heidi co-founded the Northern Colorado Manufacturers (NoCo) industry group, and led the creation of a unique public-private-university partnership testbed, the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT), at Colorado School of Mines.
During the pandemic, Heidi organized the Colorado Manufacturing taskforce that was able to accomplish much in 10 months: the creation of the marketplace for Energize Colorado, distributed thousands of 3d printed reusable face respirators for shelters that were deemed critical and essential but front line workers didn’t have access to the much needed medical supplies. Heidi helped manufacturers pivot so that their business could remain as robust and relevant as possible during the pandemic months while she created a covid safety system certification for businesses that later led to the Five Star Certification and Variance program for Denver, Boulder and San Miguel counties.
Last but not least, Heidi holds a patent for her semi-customizable lightweight aluminum vehicle rooftop hydraulic assist paddle board rack. Where this will lead no one knows but Heidi felt it important she design something and experience the nuances of patent law and she did.
Longs Peak Hospital & Broomfield Hospital
Lonnie R. Cramer is President of Longs Peak Hospital and Broomfield Hospital. Mr. Cramer is also a member of the UCHealth Ambulatory Surgery Center Board of Directors. Mr. Cramer was formally the Chief Operating Officer for Penrose St. Francis Health Services. Penrose St. Francis is made up of two acute care hospitals located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While serving at Penrose St. Francis Health Services, Mr. Cramer held the positions of SVP/Chief Administrative Officer for Penrose Hospital, Chief Operating Officer for Penrose Hospital and Vice President of Operations for Penrose Hospital. From 2011 to 2013, he served as the Administrative Director for surgical services, imaging services and the orthopedic and neurosurgery service lines for Penrose-St. Francis. As the COO for the system, Mr. Cramer was responsible for all aspects of operations, spearheaded hospital joint ventures and business development initiatives.
Mr. Cramer has over 25 years of operations health care experience. He served as Chief Operating Officer at MDiagnostics Inc., a company based in Metairie, LA., specializing in outpatient imaging with five centers in multiple states and Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Florida. He began his health care career in the U.S. Army, serving eight years. Mr. Cramer holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Practice Management, Bachelors in Healthcare Administration and is certified in Angiography, Cardiac Cath, Radiology, Cat Scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
When Mr. Cramer isn’t working he enjoys the Colorado outdoors and spending time with his family. Lonnie and his wife Janet have been married for 27 years and have three children and two grandchildren.
Adams Bank & Trust
Allison Closson is Vice President for Adams Bank & Trust. Over the course of 28 years she has established her well-rounded career in the banking industry, with her experience ranging from fraud investigation, to branch management and commercial lending. 20 years ago, Allison moved from Arizona to her current home in Longmont, Colorado. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. Her community activities include being a board member for the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, volunteering with her local church, and supporting her kids high school and college athletic events. Allison enjoys the many outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer and can’t imagine raising her two children, Carter and Lauren, anywhere else.
Gust Family Enterprises Inc./Ace Hardware
Dan Gust along with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Kirsten Pellicer, are founders and owners of Gust Family Enterprises, Inc., a company founded in 1990 primarily to own and operate Ace Hardware locations. Dan holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University and an MBA from Texas Tech University. Prior to starting the family business he held engineering and executive positions with Winnebago Industries, Texas Instruments and MiniScribe Corporation. He also served on the Ace Hardware Corporation Board of Directors from 1998 through 2007. Dan has been actively involved in the Longmont community serving as Chair of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce and the Longmont United Hospital Board. He is Past President of the Longmont Rotary Club and has served on many other boards including the YMCA, EDAL, the Longmont Industrial Park Board, FNB, Front Range State Bank, Wells Fargo Boulder County Community Board and the Skyline Education Foundation.
Front Range State Bank
Bruce A. Hellbaum is the President/CEO of RNB State Bank and Front Range State Bank, a division of RNB State Bank. The community-oriented bank operates in Colorado and Wyoming. The bank was chartered in 1899 and has operated in the Longmont market for over ten years. Bruce became the President/CEO in September of 2015. Bruce lives in Longmont and primarily offices out of the Longmont branch, but also spends time each month visiting the other locations. In addition to being the President and CEO of RNB/Front Range State Bank, Bruce serves on the Board of Directors of the bank and its holding company. Bruce is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bankers’ Bank of the West in Denver Colorado.
Bruce is married to his wife Catherine of 34 years. Catherine currently works as a school secretary in Erie.
Longmont City Mayor
“I grew up in Yuma, Arizona on the San Luis, Mexico border. I am the 7th sibling of 12. There was always a lot of work to do, but time for fun too. Having 8 brothers made playing baseball a must. We spent a lot of time with friends on both sides of the border. My father was a carpenter and learned Spanish from his peers. They brought culture and music into our home.
In 1971, I drove to Boulder, Colorado from Flagstaff, Arizona after graduating from Northern Arizona University. My degree was in Computer Science but my heart was in skiing.
Weekends were spent on the slopes of Summit County but weekdays I was at United Bank of Boulder, where I held many positions over a six year span which included teller, teller manager, commercial loan department and collections. Weekday evenings I spent programing code for a small startup.
After a short stint in Littleton, Colorado working for United Bank, our little family moved to Longmont in 1977. Family life was fast paced with working for the St. Vrain Valley School District for thirteen years, then owning a home daycare business. I could not find before and after school care for my kindergartner or reliable care for our baby, so I opened my own licensed day care. Once my children were grown, I worked seven years at IBM in server support and back-up and recovery. After retirement, I returned to St. Vrain Valley School District as a substitute teacher.” After a second at-large term on Longmont City Council, Joan is now currently serving as Longmont City Mayor.
Longmont City Council
Tim Waters, EdD, represents Ward 1 on Longmont’s the City Council. Tim was elected initially in February 2018 and was re-elected in November 2019.
Prior to election to Longmont’s City Council, Tim served as President and CEO of McREL International from April 7, 1995 until September 30, 2014. He joined McREL in 1993 following 23 years in K-12 education as a teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, education policy advisor to Arizona’s Governor, and Superintendent of the Greeley/Evans School District #6. During his tenure at McREL, Dr. Waters served on a variety of national boards and commissions. He was appointed by Governor Roy Romer to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education on which he served from 1993 – 2001.
During his 44+ year career in the field of education, Tim authored numerous articles on the topic of education leadership. He co-authored School Leadership That Works; from research to results (ASCD 2005), and District Leadership That Works; striking the right balance, (Solution Tree Pres 2009).
Tim earned a BA from the University of Denver, with Masters and Doctoral degrees from Arizona State University.
As provided for by City Charter, the City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the City and is responsible for the efficient administration of all affairs of the City. The City Manager directs the work of all City departments and subsidiary divisions.
The City Manager’s office is part of the Department of Administration and is responsible for: assisting citizens, tracking legislation, providing public information services, providing administrative support for the Sister Cities program, providing intergovernmental support and services, leading customer service efforts for the City, administration and development of the city’s web site, developing city-wide policies and procedures, resolving complaints, coordinating community activities, planning coordination of City Council agendas, and providing staff support to the Mayor, City Council members, and other City departments.
Executive Director, NextLight at City of Longmont
Valerie Dodd is a customer-focused and results-driven marketing and operations executive with 25 years of experience in the telecom industry. She started her telecom career in 1995 with Windstream (formerly Alltel) creating and marketing wireless rate plans. In 1998 she helped launch one of the first internet broadband offerings. She left Windstream to work for a start-up CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) and later landed at CenturyLink (now Lumen) where she spent eighteen years in marketing and operations leadership promoting and provisioning broadband and other telecom services.
Dodd brought her private-industry telecom experience to the City of Longmont in 2019 to serve as the Executive Director of NextLight, responsible for the resident-owned and city-run gigabit fiber internet enterprise launched over seven years ago. She is thrilled to be part of such a successful endeavor with a 100% fiber network that provides fiber-fast internet to over 24,000 households and businesses. She is focused on ensuring that ALL of Longmont has the opportunity to connect to a world of possibilities via gigabit fiber internet.