The CESR Advisory Board champions the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility (CESR) programs and activities which support students and facilitate collaboration across strategic programs at the Leeds School of Business, including:
- Student access to businesses for purposes of internships, mentoring, student interview opportunities, and student projects;
- Review of CESR activities and priorities, including the strategic plan, programs, and opportunities for campus and corporate collaboration;
- Program effectiveness assessment, advice and guidance on quality improvement; and,
- Fund development, including the expectation that each member of the Board participates financially at a level that is meaningful to him/her.
Bernee Strom, Chair
Entrepreneur & Corporate Director
Senior Advisor, Cascadia Capital
Bernee Strom has more than 25 years’ experience in media and technology businesses. Bernee is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or run a number of companies, including Gemstar International, Priceline.com, WebTuner Corp., Infospace, Inc., and USA Digital Radio (currently HD Radio). She was Executive Chairman of Ensequence, which delivers interactive television advertising solutions.
An experienced board member, she is a current or former member of the board of directors of Benchmark Electronics, Hughes Electronics/DirecTV, Polaroid Corporation, and Software Publishing Corp., as well as other public and private companies. She serves as a Trustee of the National Public Radio (NPR) Foundation.
Bernee was recently awarded a "Lead Where you Land Award" from the Center for Women and Democracy and the Governor or the State of Washington. She was named one of the "100 Most Inspiring Alumni" of the Anderson School of UCLA. She received a Luminary Award from the Committee of 200, and was named a “Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World”, where she also received the Technology Award from IBM. The Forum of Women Entrepreneurs also named her “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Former CFO & Executive Vice President
Venture Capital and Nonprofit
In 2015, Marc Prisant and his wife, Heidi Heltzel, established a scholarship for students actively pursuing CESR’s SRE Certificate (the “Marc Prisant and Heidi Heltzel Scholarship for Ethics and Social Responsibility”). In establishing this scholarship, Marc and Heidi hope it will attract future generations of students to the business school and CESR. They have not only committed to supporting this scholarship with an annual gift, but have also made it a significant part of their estate planning, thereby creating a legacy at Leeds.
Marc and Heidi have been guided in their lives and careers by ethics and social responsibility. When they met in 2007, they found these traits were just another part of their lives which they could share. They hope that their scholarship will bring students to understand the importance of ethics and social responsibility.
Marc has now wound down his long career, where he has served primarily as a chief financial officer. Having successfully completed over 115 annual financial audits in his career, Marc has tirelessly focused on maintaining transparency, accountability, fairness, and ethics in all business transactions and day-to-day operations. His numerous roles as corporate secretary of the portfolio companies also provide him with a strong background in governance.
While neither Marc or Heidi attended CU, through his friendship with Michael Leeds, he became acquainted with the work being done at the Leeds School of Business and appreciated the focus and direction that the business school and, in particular, the CESR program were taking. It soon became a goal of theirs to establish the scholarship and for Marc to take a more in-depth role by serving on the CESR Advisory Board.
Prime Office Systems
Tom LaMotte, '63 Management, has been a long-time supporter of the Leeds School of Business and the Center for Ethics on Social Responsibility (CESR). Tom says, "I have always been interested in establishing an ethics emphasis program at our business school. Today's headlines are full of breaches of ethical business practices. I feel students need to be more sensitive to the ethical 'rights and wrongs' of the business world. Leeds' CESR has gone a long way toward answering that need. We need to continue to expand this wonderful program.”
Tom is retired from his position as President/Owner of Prime Office Systems in White Plains, NY. Prime Office Systems was an executive suites business, providing office space, phones, secretarial services, etc. to business people on short-term rentals. The company was sold in 1997 to a national chain of executive office suites.
In the past Tom has served as a member of the Business Advisory Council (now the Leeds Board of Alumni and Friends). He has also participated on the Bedford Town Republican Committee. A long-time resident of Westchester County, New York, Tom and wife, Ursula, have three children and six grandchildren.
Michael S. Leeds
Michael Leeds served as Chairperson of the Leeds School of Business Advisory Board (newly renamed “The Board”) from 2002 to 2007. In 2001 he led his family’s endowment of the University of Colorado’s College of Business efforts to increase academic excellence, expand its curriculum emphasis on social responsibility and increase diversity.
Michael is the president and founder of FlightStar, Inc., a Long Island (NY) aircraft management firm. Until 1999 Michael was president and CEO of CMP Media, Inc., one of the leading media companies focused on technology, computers and the Internet. CMP was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Michael led the company from 1988 through 1999 including taking the company public and reaching nearly $500 million in sales.
He earned his BS in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1974. Michael is a regular speaker in BCOR 1010: Introduction to Business, a required first-year course taught by CESR. He also speaks regularly in CESR’s flagship course, the highly acclaimed senior-level class Leadership Challenges: Exercises in Moral Courage.
Michael is a trustee of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital System, one of the largest healthcare systems in the world, Vice Chairman of the Institute for Student Achievement, an organization dedicated to the success of youth at risk, and a director of the Kenya Education Fund as well as Karma 411.
Michael's awards and recognition include 2000 Commencement Speaker at the University of Colorado Graduate School of Business, 1998 Master Entrepreneur of the Year at Ernst and Young, People under 40 to Watch in Newsday magazine, and an Industry Leader in Folio Magazine.
Presidio Graduate School (PGS)
Walt Pounds consults with social enterprise entrepreneurs on strategy, operations, finance, leadership and organizational development. He had an extensive career in high tech working with Fortune 500 and early stage companies. Most recently Walt was Founder/President of Solbourne, an IT services company which was sold to Deloitte Consulting. Taking active roles in Social Venture Partners, Investor Circle, Slow Money and Unreasonable Institute, Walt consults for both domestic and international business projects. Walt serves on several boards including California Safe Soils and Imagine, an organization serving people with intellectual disabilities in Boulder County.
He received an MBA from the University of Colorado. An entrepreneur at heart, he now assists socially responsible enterprises achieve success.
Horizon Organic Dairy
Mark Retzloff is a pioneer in the organic and natural foods industry with a 48-year career starting and managing successful companies. He co-founded Aurora Organic Dairy in 2003 as President and Chief Organic Officer, leading the company’s organic industry and sustainability initiatives, and now serves as Chairman of the Board.
Mark started his career in 1969 as a co-founder of Eden Foods, a natural food store in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he attended the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. He went on to co-found Rainbow Grocery, which was eventually acquired by United Natural Foods, and he was a founder, CEO and Chairman of Alfalfa’s Market, a regional chain of natural foods stores that merged with Wild Oats Markets in 1996, eventually being acquired by Whole Foods Market. Mark became the Chairman of the Organic Alliance in 1990, and was instrumental in lobbying Congress for a federal standard for organic agricultural production, which resulted in the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act.
After spending the early part of his career in natural foods retail, Mark became one of the co-founders of Horizon Organic Dairy, which continues to be one of the leading organic consumer brands in the U.S. There he served in several senior management, sales and marketing roles, including Chairman, CEO and President International before Horizon was acquired by Dean Foods. He then became Chairman of Rudi’s Organic Bakery – the largest organic baked goods company in the U.S. – where he helped execute a successful turn-around of the business.
Mark continues to actively share his knowledge and experience as a board member and partner to emerging organic products companies, which have included Blue Horizon Organic Seafood, Living Harvest Hemp Milk, Under the Canopy, Boulder Ice Cream, BlueSun BioDiesel, Traditional Medicinals and Crocs Footwear. He is one of the co-founders and venture partners of Greenmont Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to sustainable businesses. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Organic Center, RSF Social Finance, The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, and serves on both the Center for Sustainable Systems Board and the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan.
He received his B.S. degree in Conservation & Resource Planning from the University of Michigan and has received several leadership awards, including the Organic Trade Association's Lifetime Achievement award and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mark was recently named one of the “Icons of Boulder” by the Boulder County Business Report for the City’s 150th Anniversary, and he was credited with helping to nurture Boulder’s positioning as the cradle of the natural products industry.
Director of Analytics and Business Management
Breakthru Beverage Colorado
Michelle Ried graduated from the Leeds School of Business in 2010. She was an active CESR student and was the first graduate to receive the Socially Responsible Enterprise (SRE) Certificate. Michelle has remained involved with CESR through the Alumni Board, and now through the Advisory Board. She brings a passion for ethical leadership and workplace equality, combined with a unique "young alumni" perspective to the board.
Michelle started her career with E&J Gallo Winery's Management Development Program, and currently works for Breakthru Beverage Colorado as the Director of Analytics and Business Management.
Director of Communications and Culture-sumUX
Diane joined Google in June 2012 and is the Director of Communications and Culture for the sumUX team. sumUX provides user experience research and design for some of Google’s most prominent products such as Search, Assistant, the daily Google Doodle and Maps. Prior to this role she lead Google’s global employee giving and volunteering programs. Diane joined Google with over 25 years in the not for profit sector, and spent 13 years leading a consultancy that helped companies design and implement corporate social responsibility programs. Diane is passionate about purpose driven work and ensuring that the workplace is an inclusive environment where employees can thrive and grow professionally. Diane is a mother of two young adults, an avid runner, a pretty good cook and really enjoys being with interesting, smart people who have a good sense of humor. She’s an alumna of the University of Colorado, Boulder, has a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship from Boston College and is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. She is the recipient of the Hoffman Prize from the California Governor’s Office, a Jefferson Award winner for Public Service and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Currently Diane serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association for Volunteer Effort and the Advisory Board for the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.