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GenXYZ 2015: Melissa Kuipers


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The Negotiator

Melissa Kuipers

35 | Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP

Melissa Kuipers leads negotiations between the Colorado Senate, House of Representatives and the governor to achieve results for her clients. Though her Republican roots run deep, she is gifted in her ability to work across the aisle and build bipartisan stakeholder coalitions. She says lobbying is a year-round endeavor, not just something that occurs when the legislature is in session.

Biggest achievement

When General Motors and Chrysler filed for federal bankruptcy protection in 2009, nearly 40 Colorado auto dealerships were slated for closure. Kuipers spearheaded efforts to reinstate a majority of the franchises.

“The fact that we were able to respond to it was a pretty awesome thing,” she says. 

Making an impact

In 2009, Kuipers founded Baking for Troops, a Colorado-based nonprofit that prepares and sends homemade care packages of baked goods to members of the U.S. military deployed throughout the world.

“We like to focus on the personal impact and accomplish something that makes a difference in people’s everyday lives.”

Role model

William Rubin, president of The Rubin Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“He encouraged me to go to law school. You don’t need a law degree to be a lobbyist, but he was 100 percent right.”

Best advice

Immerse yourself in politics.

“It doesn’t happen fast, but if you invest the time and energy unlocking doors, you build relationships with elected officials who are ultimately the folks you work with.”

Off-duty

Enjoying her new role as a mother, country music, cooking, last-minute travel.

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Margaret Jackson

Margaret Jackson is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 25 years in the newspaper industry, including seven years as a business reporter for The Denver Post covering residential and commercial real estate. She can be reached at myjackson7@gmail.com.

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