Commissioners & Director

Group of five commissioners touring sherman creek ranch in July 2019

Our Board is made up of five citizen volunteers, chosen by the Governor and confirmed by the Colorado State Legislature. Commissioners are appointed to four-year terms, and are limited to two consecutive terms.

The Colorado Constitution requires that four of our five Commissioners have substantial experience in four separate areas. However, they do not represent the interest of a particular sector, they represent the interest of the beneficiaries.

  • Public K-12 education
  • Production agriculture
  • Local government
  • Nature resources
  • Citizen-at-large

Our Commissioners regularly tour trust land properties across the state. In July 2019 they toured Sherman Creek Ranch in Jackson County. The tour included a stop at the renovated cabins for sportsmen/women at the ranch, pictured right (left to right: Josie Heath, Gary Butterworth, Christine Scanlan, John Shaw, Tyler Karney).

Join us!

We host monthly, public board meetings.

We strive to make our public meetings as accessible as possible and we welcome public comment. Join our Youtube Playlist so that you can stream meetings in real time.Streaming is subject to connectivity and may not be available. We also host our summer meetings in alternating locations throughout the state to make them more accessible for rural Coloradans.

Our leadership

Gary Butterworth, Natural Resources, President 
Gary Butterworth

Gary is the CEO of Pikes Peak Community Foundation. Gary has served as a senior vice president at El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs, directing the Fellowship program focused on leadership development for young professionals. Having served on the Board of Colorado State Parks and Outdoor Recreation and as vice-chair of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission during the State Parks / Division of Wildlife merger, Gary has worked with key stakeholders and citizens on challenging land management issues. He has also been involved with several statewide and civic organizations, such as Colorado Springs Youth Sports, Inc., the Broadmoor World Arena, and the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership. Gary earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology with a Political Science focus from Yale University and an MBA from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. 

Appointed 7/1/2013, term expired in 2017. Appointed to second term on 7/1/2017, current term expires 2021.

Josie Heath, Local Government
Josie Heath

Josie has extensive experience in public service. She served more than 20 years (1995 - 2017) as CEO and President of the Community Foundation for Boulder County and was a Boulder County Commissioner (1982 - 1990). She was a founder of the Mile High Youth Corps and the former assistant to the director of the White House Office of National Service for establishment of Americorps in 1993. In the mid-1990s, she was a teaching fellow at the Kennedy School and served as a consultant for Harvard University’s Project Liberty that provided leadership programs for locally elected officials in Central and Eastern Europe. She was the Colorado Democratic 1990 and 1992 candidate for United States Senate. Josie has been the recipient of many local and national service awards, including being inducted into the Colorado Womens Hall of Fame.  

Appointed 7/1/2019, current term expires in 2023.

Tyler Karney, Agriculture
tyler karney commissioner v

Tyler is the General Manager of Ordway Cattle Feeders, LLC, a 55,000-head beef cattle feed yard in Ordway.  Agriculture has been a vital part of Tyler’s life since birth.  He was born and raised in the Arkansas River Valley of southeast Colorado where his family has managed a cow/calf operation for many years.  Today, he and his wife and their three children have a cow/calf operation of their own.  Additionally, Tyler serves as the Vice President of the Crowley County RE-1J School Board and is a Director on the board for the Colorado Water Protective and Development Association.  He is also an active member in the River of Life Church-Ordway, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Livestock Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.   Tyler was a Fellow in the Colorado Ranching Legacy program, and he was selected to participate in the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association Young Cattlemen’s Conference, which is a leadership program for young ranchers. Tyler received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from West Texas A&M.

Appointed 7/1/2017, current term expires in 2021.

Christine Scanlan, Education
Christine Scanlan

Christine Scanlan is President and CEO of the Keystone Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that over the past 40 years has built a portfolio of substantive work in energy, environment, education, health, and agriculture. Keystone has accomplished this work with a series of complementary approaches that reflect the diverse strategies utilized in leadership and successful issue resolution. Christine joined the Keystone Policy Center from her role as Director of Legislative Affairs and Strategic Initiatives and Senior Education Policy Advisor to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Prior to her senior staff role in the Governor’s Office, Christine was a Colorado State Representative for House District 56 and served in leadership as Majority Whip. In earlier years, Christine had previously been at Keystone as Senior Vice President and COO. Christine has extensive public policy experience as a seasoned facilitator, negotiator and policy expert and is a respected leader in finding policy solutions through collaborative dialogue to complicated issues of urgency and import. Christine received both her MA Nonprofit Management and BA History from Regis University, Denver, Colorado. 

Appointed 7/1/2019, current term expires in 2023.

John M. Shaw, Citizen-at-large
John Shaw

John is a real estate consultant and advisor, portfolio manager for the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, and board member of the Confluent Development Group. He serves on the Advisory Board of Vectra Bank and lives in Denver. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President of Development for the McWhinney Organization, where he managed the Centerra and Northpark Projects, and the redevelopment of Denver Union Station. From 1995 until 2007, John was responsible for Opus operations and execution of development in its Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis offices. He has also served as Senior Vice President of both the Rancon Financial Corporation and the Denver Technology Center. During the past 35 years, John has been responsible for the development of more than 20 million square feet of commercial properties located throughout the western United States.

Appointed 7/1/2016, term expired in 2017. Appointed to second term on 7/1/2017, current term expires 2021.

Bill Ryan, Agency Director
Bill Ryan

With the consent of the Governor, the Commissioners hire a Director and the Director hires staff to perform the administrative activities of the State Land Board. The State Land Board is housed within the Department of Natural Resources and has close cooperative relationships with many state agencies in order to help serve the State Land Board’s beneficiaries.

Bill Ryan joined the State Land Board as the Director in 2011. Prior to this public sector position, Bill’s professional background was in commercial real estate development and finance. He spent 10 years with Trammell Crow Company, a national commercial real estate and development firm, where as a Principal he developed and acquired projects, including mixed use, TOD, office, industrial, retail, and land projects. He also spent more than 12 years with the commercial real estate divisions on several national banks.

Community involvement is also an important focus for Bill. He is a past Trustee and Board Chair of The Denver Foundation, Colorado’s largest community foundation, with more than $700 million in assets. Bill also combines his interests in real estate and local community as a Board member of the Urban Land Conservancy, which acquires, develops, and preserves real estate assets in urban areas to meet community needs including affordable housing and non‐profit workspace. Bill was also a founding partner and Board Chair of Social Venture Partners Denver, a venture philanthropy partnership that invests time, money, and expertise in collaborative relationships with non‐profits.

Becoming a Commissioner

Anyone may apply to join our Board. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the legislature.

As noted above, there are five positions that come from different professional backgrounds and geographic regions.

Serving on this Board is voluntary and requires a significant time commitment. Commissioners must attend monthly, public meetings that are often two full days during the business week. These meetings take place at assorted locations throughout the state (i.e. over-night travel is required). Prior to each meeting, Commissioners must read the Board packet, which can be 100-500 pages of material to help Commissioners make informed decisions. Commissioners have a fiduciary duty to make decisions on behalf of Trust beneficiaries, namely Colorado public schools.