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Tish Maes, a voice at the table
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By Joseph Rios

After wrapping up her communications degree at Regis University, Tish Maes began working for an insurance broker.

At the time, Maes was volunteering for Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s campaign for Colorado’s 1st congressional district in 1997. One of Maes’ friends, Rosemary Rodriguez, State Director for Senator Michael Bennet, asked her for her resume.

“Then a little later down the line, Carol Boigon called and said she was starting (Denver Mayor Wellington Webb’s Office of Education and Advocacy) and if I wanted to work for her,” said Maes. Boigon served on Denver City Council. “We interviewed and the rest is history.”

Maes began her career in 1997 with the City and County of Denver under former Denver Mayor Webb’s Office of Education and Advocacy. While working under the city’s Office of Education and Advocacy, Maes ran numerous programs like Mile High Scholars, a program that recognizes Denver Public Schools students who were nominated by their teachers and principals for being all-around good students. Through the program, students are celebrated in a ceremony with Denver’s mayor and get tickets to sporting events and cultural venues.

By 2002, Maes represented Webb’s administration by serving as his special assistant. She said she learned a lot from Webb and added that he always made sure she was at the table with him. There were times when she was the only woman and the only Latina in the room during her time with the city.

“I learned the importance of being involved in your community. I learned how to manage events, I learned about trusting other people on your time in the work place, and I learned a lot about loyalty,” said Maes. “Working in the Webb administration, you were a very big family. We worked together very closely, and you’re all like brothers and sisters in some form. You learn to respect and love those people you work with.”

In 2008, 5280 Magazine named Maes one of the four most “Politically Influential Professionals Under 40.” Throughout her career Maes has served as advance staff to former Vice President Al Gore, has observed voting practices that polling sites in the country, and worked with NBC during Winter Olympics XIX and XX. Her career has taken her to more than 300 cities, 22 countries and to every Democratic Convention since 2001.

Today, Maes does consulting, community outreach and government relations while working on campaigns during campaign season. Throughout her life, Maes has served on numerous nonprofit boards. She has on the Board of Trustees for the Denver Botanic Gardens, the First Lady of Denver’s Bringing Back The Arts Foundation and the Latinas First Foundation.

“I’ve been on a lot of different nonprofit boards and sometimes there are no Latinos and maybe no one that has your experience or where you came from. It’s just important to be at the table,” said Maes. That’s part of what I do as a consultant is trying to get our community involved in issues so that they’re at the table. I’m not there to tell them to please support this or not. I work to get them at the table so that they have a voice and they are representing their part of the community.”

“Many times, in a lot of different industries, in a lot of different places, there is no representation for Latinos or Latinas. I’m always striving to make sure there is a voice at the table,” Maes added.

Maes’ father worked as an insurance agent and her mother worked for the State’s unemployment division. Aside from the work she enjoys, Maes loves traveling, live sporting events, cooking, music and concerts.





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