Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado alum who persevered through great personal and business challenges to become a mother, wife, and founder of a doggie daycare business that she grew to more than 150 locations, was endorsed by the Denver Post for the at-large CU Regent position.
In Ganahl’s selection, the Post’s editorial board took a pass on career lawyer/politician/government worker Alice Madden, Ganahl’s Democrat opponent in the race.
This summer, Madden made waves by taking the controversial step of accepting a paid position at the University while a candidate for the Board of Regents. Ganahl immediately called her out on the conflict, and Madden went scrambling to find a lawyer to give an opinion that there was no conflict. When you are hunting down lawyers to figure out whether you have a conflict of interest in seeking a political office, it’s usually not a good sign.
Ganahl’s inspirational story is not without challenges. She lost her husband in an airplane crash at a young age, and, in 2000, as a single mother, invested what was most of her net worth into a new venture – Camp Bow Wow. Leveraging the marketing and branding experience that she developed at Dura Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ganahl grew the business into the largest pet daycare center of its kind, and sold the business to VCA in 2014.
Ganahl’s strong business acumen, love for her alma mater, and status as a political outsider not tied to special interests puts her in a great position to fight for a strong CU. This is a stark contrast to her opponent, who felt the need to seek out a legal opinion to tell her whether or not she had a conflict of interest running to become regent of a university where she just took a job. Oh, and Madden also is a pet of Tom Steyer, who will not stop until he destroys the oil and gas industry.