A Panoramic Perspective
Tamra J Ward
“There is a point at which public and private sectors intersect. Being mindful of that dynamic, and preparing in advance, results in stronger outcomes. Looking to the horizon and planning ahead drives my work.”
With 30 years of experience in local, state and federal government affairs, issue management, communications and operational leadership and oversight, Tamra’s approach in both business and civic engagement include her ability to quickly assess situations and stakeholders; clearly define steps to meet a vision or goals; building and maintaining high-performing teams and coalitions; a successful track record in raising financial resources, and strong relationships in Colorado’s government, business and nonprofit communities.READ MORE
Prior to co-founding Taloma in 2017, Tamra served as the Chief External Relations Officer for Denver Zoo, the largest cultural and scientific guest attraction in Colorado. She was responsible for strategic local, state and federal government relations efforts, ballot issue and bond campaign engagement, community outreach and action, marketing, communications and public relations.
Tamra also served as the President and CEO of Colorado Concern, a business advocacy association of more than 115 chief executives. While in this role she grew membership revenue by 25 percent, strengthened the organization’s organizational and governance culture, and spearheaded a coalition focused on strengthening the fiscal transparency of the state’s ballot issue process with the passage of landmark legislation.
For more than a decade Tamra was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she led government relations and political strategy for the organization’s 3,000 member businesses, as well as executing organization-wide internal and external communications. Ward is also known for her work as the business community lead on statewide ballot measures. Since 2005 she led efforts to raise $28 million.
A graduate of Baylor University, Tamra’s career began on Capitol Hill where she served on the staffs of Senators Alan Simpson and Craig Thomas. She also served as the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C.
Tamra is a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Denver Program, and was named by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver’s “40 Under 40. She currently serves as the Chair of the History Colorado Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee of ARC Thrift Stores. She has been named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Mile High Chapter of the Girl Scouts, and one of the state’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Women” by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
“Navigating complex issues—from legislative and policy issues to corporate challenges—has been a constant in my work over the past 20 years. It’s part of my DNA.”
Lori has served in wide-ranging leadership roles for high-profile private and public organizations for more than two decades. Following her professional experience in Washington, DC—where she worked on Capitol Hill, at two cabinet agencies and in the White House—the Colorado native returned home. She has been an active member of the community, participating on numerous business and Nonprofit Boards, as well as being elected to serve on the Regional Transportation District Board of Directors.READ MORE
Lori was Regional Director of Corporate & Public Affairs for United Airlines for nearly a decade. In this role she represented the international airline, driving business and policy efforts, as well as corporate reputation and expansion campaigns.
Pinnacol Assurance brought Lori in to serve as Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. Her work helped the Workers’ Compensation insurer address reputational and legislative challenges while improving communications team operations.
An unexpected vacancy in the office of Governor John Hickenlooper resulted in Lori’s serving as his Interim Legislative Director. Working with both sides of the aisle, as well as with business and community advocates, she led some of the most controversial issues of the session.
Lori also served as an embedded policy and stakeholder engagement consultant for Panasonic’s CityNOW headquarters in Denver, where she supported their Smart Mobility and Smart City efforts.
Maren C Stewart, JD APR
“Identifying common goals and engaging stakeholders as partners is critical to the success of any major initiative. Collaboration is key and essential to my approach.”
Maren is an experienced and successful executive with a proven record of creating, directing, and executing successful public affairs and communications initiatives and campaigns over nearly three decades. She is highly competent in strategic development and integration; complex problem solving; reputation management; partner development and cultivation; public will-building and public engagement campaigns; public policy and advocacy. In addition, Maren is known as a respected and impactful leader with significant executive experience in the nonprofit sector, and strong community connections in the business and civic communities. She is admitted to the Colorado Bar and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America.READ MORE
Prior to co-founding Taloma Partners in 2017, Maren served as the first president and CEO of a start-up nonprofit, where she was responsible for everything from strategy development, branding and stakeholder engagement to board recruitment, fundraising, and hiring and directing a team from the ground up. She spearheaded state and federal policy changes, created a multi-media communications and marketing campaign, and led grantmaking focused on local communities. Under her leadership, LiveWell Colorado launched the first and only statewide, comprehensive, multi-sector obesity prevention movement in the nation.
Previously, Maren served as Vice President of External Affairs at Children’s Hospital Colorado for 12 years, where she led numerous external affairs strategies. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Maren directed efforts in the areas of public policy, advocacy, strategic communications, marketing, branding and community relations. Maren successfully developed nationally recognized advocacy campaigns and public will-building partnerships; created the hospital’s first-ever community benefit program; led communications in support of the move to the Anschutz campus and established the hospital as a national leader in child health policy and advocacy
Taloma in Our Commmunity
The Principals of Taloma Partners have had the privilege of serving as past or current board members of many leading Colorado organizations including:
- ARC Thrift Stores
- Aurora Chamber of Commerce
- Aurora Economic Development Council
- Colorado Business Committee for the Arts
- Colorado Community College System
- Colorado International Women’s Forum
- Colorado Nonprofit Association
- Colorado Succeeds
- Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- CU Denver School of Arts & Media
- Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
- Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs
- Denver Film
- Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
- Downtown Denver Partnership
- Global Livingston Institute
- History Colorado
- Komen Colorado
- Mile High United Way
- Porter Adventist Hospital Foundation
- Regional Transportation District
- SCL Health
- Share our Strength National Advisory Council
- Swallow Hill Music
- The Next Stage
- Transition Teams for Mayors Hancock and Hickenlooper and Governors Ritter and Hickenlooper
- Visit Denver
Awards and Recognition
- 40 Under 40 – Denver Business Journal
- 50 for the Future – Colorado Statesman
- Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce – Board Member of the Year
- Livingston Fellow – Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
“One to Watch” – Element Magazine
- Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Accreditation
- Top 25 Most Powerful Women – Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Women of Distinction – Colorado Girl Scouts
“The three leaders of Taloma Partners are among the most trusted thought partners in our community. They have led and left their fingerprints on the most important issues and initiatives in Colorado. Whether in the public, private or nonprofit sector, their counsel and advice has served Colorado for the better.”
“Taloma Partners provides a valuable complement to public policy and legislative efforts. When building a team to support clients’ public policy needs, Taloma Partners is top of mind because of their expertise in coalition-building, stakeholder engagement and strategic messaging.”
“I have known Tamra, Lori and Maren throughout their careers, and have admired the work they have done for their employers, as well as their civic engagement. When they launched Taloma Partners, CollegeInvest was pleased to secure their services to assist us in meeting our mission. They are skilled, strategic and deeply connected in the fabric of Colorado. We are proud to call them part of our team.”
“As someone with personal experience working in the private, nonprofit and public sectors, I can attest to the incredible value that Taloma Partners brings by understanding the intersections among the three. They have the ability to leverage those points for successful outcomes.”
“As a fellow communications professional, I am excited to have Taloma Partners launch in Denver. I have known and worked with the principals over the years and know the quality of their work and connections. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with them as Taloma and Aiello PR and Marketing both care deeply about the community we live and work in.”
“As a fellow woman-owned business owner, I appreciate all that Taloma Partners brings to our community. Their combined experience and expertise – the Power of 3 – are a tremendous asset to the success of so many important initiatives, and we’re proud to partner with them on shared client work.”
“I have known Tamra, Lori and Maren throughout their careers, and have admired the work they have done for their employers as well as their civic engagement. When they launched Taloma Partners, CollegeInvest was pleased to secure their services to assist us in meeting our mission. They are skilled, strategic and deeply connected in the fabric of Colorado. We are proud to call them part of our team.”
“These three talented women were a force individually, and a powerhouse when working together! I know Taloma Partners will continue to lead important work and collaborate with a wide variety of stakeholders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to strengthen our community."
“Tamra, Lori and Maren each care deeply about and serve our community in very thoughtful and impactful ways. Not only do they contribute as individual leaders and volunteers, they provide sound and strategic counsel to organizations wanting to broaden their community engagement. They walk the talk—and Denver and Colorado are better for their many contributions. When you put all three of them together, they are unstoppable!”
“The principals of Taloma Partners are insightful and well respected. Their connections to top business, civic and nonprofit leaders are comprehensive and they know how to solve client problems though a collaborative process. Taloma will be a good partner in helping you navigate the uncertainty of today’s business climate."
“Tamra, Lori and Maren are all leaders in their own right; known for their individual skills and ability to deliver on initiatives and projects they have managed in their careers. These three forces, coming together to form Taloma Partners, will be of great benefit to the clients they choose to serve.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Tamra, Lori and Maren. Time and again, I’ve seen them successfully navigate complex and challenging situations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Their smart, strategic, collaborative approach is complemented by their deep commitment to the success of our state. Their collective values, talent, expertise and network connections make them a truly effective team.”
“Colorado’s business and nonprofit community have benefited greatly from the talents and expertise of Tamra, Lori and Maren. For more than two decades, the three remarkable professionals who constitute Taloma Partners have helped create the Colorado we all are honored to call home.”
"The principals of Taloma Partners are three of the most capable, connected and community-minded people in Colorado. They understand what it takes to move from an idea to action, and all the steps along the way that are required to be successful. It’s for these reasons the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has chosen to work with Tamra, Lori and Maren on key initiatives underway within our institution."
“I have known Tamra, Lori and Maren throughout their careers, and have worked along-side them over the past couple of decades on a number of the most important initiatives Colorado’s business community has undertaken. Each brings their own special talents and approach, but all are strategic, knowledgeable, and focused on achieving results. When building a team to get you across the finish line, add Taloma Partners to your list.”
“J. Walter Thompson had the pleasure of partnering with Taloma Partners for an international client that required local market expertise. We were impressed with Taloma’s ability to understand the clients’ business immediately and execute flawlessly. Lori, Tamra and Maren are a powerhouse with their depth of community connections, strength of relationships with leading civic influencers and a genuine pleasure to work with. We would happily recommend them to anyone seeking strategic counsel, communications expertise or outreach services in Colorado.”
“I have had the great pleasure of working with the talented women of Taloma Partners on a recent project. Their deep connections to the community, combined with their top-notch professional expertise in communications delivered an outcome beyond our expectations. I would recommend their services to anyone looking to strengthen their presence and reputation in Colorado.”
“Taloma Partners engaged with Aetna a CVS Company to help us perform a community assessment, identify and engage as a thoughtful community and civic partner, and amplify our efforts as we deliver heart and health to the communities we serve. The Taloma team has helped us engage with key constituents and are helping us lay out a strategic roadmap to maximize our efforts. They are a joy to work with and bring their passion and commitment as an extension of our team.”
“Move Colorado was at a pivotal point. With a new executive board and a renewed focus on transportation in Colorado, we recognized we needed a contract Executive Director to help us think both strategically and tactically about where the organization was headed, and the steps needed to achieve the organization’s goals. Taloma Partners took on that role and has helped us re-establish our position as a leader in transportation advocacy and education. They have also established best practices in our operations and member engagement approach. We’re lucky to have them as part of Move Colorado.”
“Taloma Partners skill-set and reach is vast. From association management and day-to-day leadership to legislative strategy, advocacy planning and coalition building Taloma has the brains and knowledge to cover all the bases required for a successful organization to grow and thrive. With Taloma’s help we’re putting Coloradans Protecting Patient Access on the map.”
“Taloma Partners serves at HDR’s Colorado Advocate, serving as eye and ears for the company around key project opportunities, and providing counsel and strategy around our community engagement approach and efforts. Taloma quickly became part of our team, jumping in to learn about our business and our needs. We consider them a critical piece of our formula for success.”
"Taloma Partners has provided significant value to our company’s external affairs efforts in their role as a fractional executive. Working in partnership with us as an embedded executive consultant and member of our Executive Leadership Team, Taloma Partners contributes not only with their expertise in community relations, corporate philanthropy, strategic communications and government affairs, but also through their enviable network of contacts and stellar reputation in our community. McWhinney is poised for continued growth and success with Taloma Partners as a critical member of our team.”
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