Silverthorne woman heads to Washington to meet leaders |

Silverthorne woman heads to Washington to meet leaders

SILVERTHORNE – Liz Finn will spend four days in Washington, D.C., this month hobnobbing with the likes of President Bush’s Cabinet members and some of the congressmen who are most influential in establishing national policy.

The Silverthorne woman heads east as part of the sixth annual Sen. Wayne Allard Capital Conference, in which 100 Coloradans get the opportunity to interact with public policy makers and gain a better understanding of how the federal government functions.

Finn, who works at the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) in Silverthorne, heard about the conference through a coworker.

“He said it was an incredible learning experience and a great opportunity to make some high-level contacts,” Finn said. “It might be helpful in the future to help us on some issues like housing. And when issues like this come up, it would be nice to know where to start to get some questions answered. I expect to learn a lot.”

Finn hopes to learn how things work at the federal level and see how she might be able to use ideas at a regional level. She specifically would like to find information pertaining to affordable housing and learn how to maneuver through the bureaucracy to increase minimum income levels so more people can participate in programs.

Although she’s excited about meeting a wide array of politicians, she particularly hopes to meet Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Allard himself.

Finn is the director of member services for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and coordinator for the Rural Resort Region. She also is working toward her master’s degree in technology management and project management certification from the University of Denver.

A Madison, Wis., native, Finn moved to Summit County in 1989 and worked with the National Repertory Orchestra, managing operations and logistics, coordinating auditions, planning events and raising funds for the nonprofit organization.

Later, she worked in medical office management before accepting a position with the Keystone Center and then as an administrative aide for the Summit County Commissioners.

She has no aspirations for national office.

“I don’t even have local political aspirations,” she said. “I have no desire to be an elected official.”

Conference participants will meet with six cabinet officials: Secretary of Agriculture Anne Veneman, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Secretary of the Treasury John Snow. Others in attendance include Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Edwin Meese III, who served as the U.S. Attorney General in the Reagan administration.

Among the senators Finn will meet are Edward Kennedy, D-Mass; Carl Levin, D-Mich.; John Warner, R-Va.; Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Trent Lott, R-Miss.; Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo.; Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; John Ensign, R-Nev.; and Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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