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The CRA’s team of legislative professionals has the experience and skills necessary to advocate for and achieve big wins on behalf of the local hospitality industry. The Government Affairs team works tirelessly to promote solutions to issues and regulations at all levels of government, making it easier for you to do business in Colorado.

Do you have a concern with a Colorado policy or issue affecting your business? The Government Affairs team would love to hear how they can help!

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CRA Government Affairs

Sonia Riggs

Sonia Riggs, CRA President & CEO

Sonia has been President and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the leading trade organization for the state’s dynamic restaurant industry, since 2014.

In 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, Sonia was appointed to serve on the Tourism Committee for the Governor’s Council for Economic Stabilization and Growth. She has also served as co-chair of the Restaurant Committee that reports to the Denver Economic Relief & Recovery Council. Sonia is the President of the Council of State Restaurant Associations and serves on the Boards of the National Restaurant Association, the Colorado Tourism Board, and Visit Denver.

Colin Larson, Director of Government Affairs

Colin Larson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Colorado College in 2009 and worked in public policy following graduation. In 2014, Larson founded and owned Atlas Coffee, a local coffee shop and cafe. In 2018, Larson was elected to serve as the representative for Colorado State House District 22; he was re-elected in 2020. During his four years in the Colorado legislature, Larson served on the education, public health, appropriations, and audit committees. Larson joined the CRA as Director of Government Affairs in 2023.

Our Partners at the Capitol

Mary Marchun

Mary Marchun, The Capstone Group

Mary grew up on her family’s farm on the Western Slope. While attending Colorado Mesa University, she had the opportunity to cross the Divide and work at the State Capitol, where she got hooked on public policy. Mary is now an expert in Colorado’s legislative process and getting things done under the gold dome.

As one of the founding partners of The Capstone Group, Mary’s victories include spearheading efforts to allow new, high-tech Transportation Network Companies (Lyft) to operate in Colorado; passage of legislation to streamline the permitting process for the construction industry, promoting economic development and protecting Colorado businesses; limiting fines assessed on business development and access; winning new money for Colorado’s infrastructure system; developing new rules for scooters; finding new opportunities in the energy field; and impacting change on the Colorado ballot process.

Samantha Neucherlein

Samantha Nuechterlein, The Capstone Group

Growing up on the move around the country, Samantha learned firsthand how state and local politics impact a community’s way of life. During her time at the University of Denver, where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor degree in English and Environmental Geography, Samantha started knocking on doors and testifying at the Capitol for stronger education funding and policy – and she hasn’t looked back since.

Samantha joined The Capstone Group as an Associate in July 2021, supporting a wide array of clients on several issue areas. She has been involved in the Denver community for more than a decade, working with Democrats for Education Reform Colorado, NCSL Foundation, and, most recently, founding the Young Professionals Board for Urban Peak, the only organization serving youth homeless in the city.

Patrick Boyle, Nexus Policy Group

Patrick C. Boyle is the President of Nexus Policy Group, Inc.. Boyle has over thirty years of experience lobbying before the Colorado General Assembly, local governments and the Colorado congressional delegation. He assists businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies with inter-governmental relations, strategic communications and business management concerns. Boyle, an attorney, served as executive vice president of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, where he directed the legislative program for the state’s largest business trade association. Prior to his twelve years of service with CACI, Boyle spent seven years with the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legal Services, where he drafted a wide range of Colorado legislation. With a strong foundation in all business issues, Boyle has particular expertise in insurance, telecommunications, health care and tax policy. A graduate of Regis University and the Creighton University School of Law, Boyle has been a frequent contributor to The Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Denver Business Journal.

Kayla Tibbals, Nexus Policy Group

Kayla Tibbals is a Partner with Nexus Policy Group. Kayla joined Nexus in the Fall of 2012 and assumed the role of Owner Partner in the Summer of 2018. She has extensive experience lobbying before the Colorado General Assembly for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include P-12 education, higher education, non-profit policy and advocacy, energy, and health care policy. She is also a skilled consultant and has worked on various projects for clients across her areas of expertise. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and Russian from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining Nexus, she worked as the Colorado state Advocacy Director for the national education advocacy organization, Stand for Children, where she lead their policy, political, and electoral strategy. Her background is in community organizing with a focus on empowering parents and networks to take action to improve their public schools at the local and state level. Her organizing experience also includes working on a U.S. Senate and Presidential campaign. Kayla is skilled at building relationships on both sides of the aisle with a strong reputation as a fierce and skilled advocate for her clients.

Action Center

Make an impact by adding your voice to the CRA’s periodic grassroots campaigns.

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Legislative Priorities

Learn about our advocacy goals and track current industry-related legislation.

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Get Involved

Support and influence our advocacy work on behalf of restaurants, and learn how to communicate effectively with representatives at all levels of government.

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