Executive Leadership Team

Move Colorado is governed by a six-member Executive Board of Directors,
and provided professional management support through a contract Executive Director.

Executive Board, President

Johnny Olson, PE

Executive board, Past President

Carla Romero Perez

Executive Board, Vice President

Kara Swanson

Executive Board, Secretary

Galina Leiphart, PE, ENV-SP

Executive Board, Treasurer

Matt Christensen

Move Colorado Historian

Jeff Kullman

Executive Board, Executive Director

Tamra J. Ward

Executive Board, President

Johnny Olson, PE

Johnny is a proven leader in the transportation industry. After 29 years with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Johnny brings unique experience managing projects; leading teams, task forces, and committees; and building consensus among local, state, and federal agencies with varied interests and priorities. His expertise includes project management, transportation planning and project development, highway design, local agency work, construction management, contract management, and NEPA environmental studies

As Deputy Director, Johnny was recognized as one of CDOT’s top leaders, where he led approximately $800 million of projects from conception to construction completion. His ability to tie design, construction, and maintenance aspects into the project development process brings unique and tangible value. Johnny has excellent leadership skills, a thorough understanding of CDOT policies and procedures, understands how to form solid relationships with local government leaders, and has successfully collaborated with large teams on multiple efforts.

Email:johnny.olson@horrocks.com

Company:Horrocks Engineers

Executive board, Past President

Carla Romero Perez

Carla Romero Perez is a Senior Strategic Consultant with HDR and has more than 30 years of experience in executive management and advisory services specializing in transportation policy, finance, administration, governmental affairs, communications and program development. Ms. Perez gained her experience in both the public and private sector having served as Transportation Policy Advisor to Governor Ritter, Assistant General Manager for Administration at RTD, and Policy Director for CDOT. Ms. Perez has also provided consulting services to various corporate clients including JP Morgan, George K. Baum and various engineering firms. Carla recently served as project manager, leading the governance and policy efforts to advance the development of passenger rail along the Front Range, from Fort Collins to Pueblo, and serves as Past-President of the Move Colorado Board of Directors, COMTO Colorado Board of Directors, and the WTS Executive Advisory Committee.

Ms. Perez is a Denver native, has a B.A. from Colorado State University, her M.P.M. from University of Maryland College Park, with certificates in Public Policy from Harvard University, the Rand Corporation and S.U.N.Y. Stoney Brook.

Email:carla.perez@hdrinc.com

Company:HDR

Executive Board, Vice President

Kara Swanson

Kara Swanson has 20 years of experience as an environmental professional and currently serves as a project manager and client manager for David Evans and Associates, Inc. She has diverse experience, ranging from managing planning and environmental studies to conducting oversight of environmental compliance for large design-build projects. Kara brings a unique perspective to the transportation industry from her experience on transit and highway projects across the country and US territories. She served as a City Councilwoman for the City of Edgewater for four years, is currently on the Edgewater Redevelopment Authority, and serves as a Metro Director for the Colorado Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies. Kara has a BS in Environmental Science from Iowa State University and an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Email:kswanson@deainc.com

Company:David Evans and Associates, Inc.

Executive Board, Secretary

Galina Leiphart, PE, ENV-SP

Email:Galina.Leiphart@rsandh.com

Company:RS&H

Executive Board, Treasurer

Matt Christensen

Email:Matthew.Christensen@kiewit.com

Company:Kiewit Corporation

Move Colorado Historian

Jeff Kullman

Jeff is the Mountain Region Director for Michael Baker International leading a diverse team of professional architects, engineers and planners focused on delighting clients throughout a ten-state region. Following a 26-year stint with Colorado Department of Transportation, the last 8 as the Region 1 Director, Jeff brings a strong blend of private and public sector savvy and insight to the Board.  He has been a member of Move Colorado since 2008 and served as its President from 2011-2017.  Jeff also currently serves on the DRCOG Regional Transportation Committee, the CU Denver Engineering Leadership Council and is a member of WTS and ITE.

Email:Jeffery.Kullman@mbakerintl.com

Company:Michael Baker International

Executive Board, Executive Director

Tamra J. Ward

Tamra J. Ward is one of three principals of Taloma Partners, a full-service public affairs firm in Denver, Colorado that offers senior-level counsel to clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

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.

Prior to co-founding Taloma, Tamra served as the Chief External Relations Officer for Denver Zoo, the largest cultural and scientific guest attraction in Colorado. In this executive-level role she was responsible for visioning, managing and executing strategic local, state and federal government relations efforts, ballot issue and bond campaign engagement, community outreach and action, marketing, communications and public relations for the iconic and beloved 120-year-old organization.

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 successfully spearheaded a coalition focused on strengthening the fiscal transparency of the state’s ballot issue process with the passage of landmark legislation.

Before joining Colorado Concern, Tamra was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for the development and execution of a government relations and political strategy that met the needs of the organization’s 3,000 member businesses, as well as executing an organization-wide internal and external communications plan. 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 for successful campaigns to support or defeat measures viewed as helpful or harmful to Colorado’s economic climate.

A graduate of Baylor University, Tamra’s career began on Capitol Hill, where she served as Assistant Press Secretary for Sen. Alan Simpson, Press Secretary for Rep. Craig Thomas and Deputy Chief of Staff following Thomas’ election to the Senate. Prior to moving to Denver, the Wyoming native served as the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Columbia Hospital for Women, a private, not-for-profit hospital 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”—an annual list of Denver’s up and coming business leaders. She currently serves as the Chair of the History Colorado Board of Directors, and as a trustee of Mile High United Way and 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.

Email:tamra.ward@talomapartners.com

Company:Principal, Taloma Partners

The average Colorado driver burns an extra 19 gallons of gas each year by sitting in traffic.

Did You Know: Colorado Transportation Facts

47% of Colorado’s major roads are in poor or mediocre conditions.