Employee of the Year logoDMVA Employee of the Year - Wall of Fame

Colorado’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs supports the Division of the Colorado National Guard in delivering land, air, space, and cyber power in support of state and federal operations; enables the Division of Veterans Affairs to deliver high quality service to the State’s Veterans and their families; and oversees the operations of the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in delivering aerospace education and emergency services. Our core values of Professionalism, Accountability, Character and Customer Service embody the attributes that all DMVA members strive for in serving and protecting the residents of our state and nation.

Each year, one DMVA employee is chosen as the Employee of the Year and embodies the organization's values while helping bring the DMVA closer to our vision. Below is a list of previous EotY winners dating back to 2015...




Angela Ingalls
Administrator, Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado

Angela has been nothing less than spectacular in every way. Under her leadership, the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado ranked in the top two percent of all national and state cemeteries operating under the oversight of the National Cemetery Administration. Angela has created and sustained an environment where her team members and customers alike feel welcomed, valued, respected, and heard. Her positive outlook, coupled with her professionalism and pursuit of excellence, has earned the trust and confidence of all those she serves and is making the VMC a final resting place of choice for more and more veterans and their families each and every year, exceeding over 400 internments during the past year. Angela's vision and can-do attitude has also increased cemetery capacity by over 1,300 spaces and eight new Columbarium. Her engagement and partnership with local, state and national agencies in honoring Colorado Veterans is clearly evident in the VMS's support of Vietnam Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and such programs like Wreaths Across America and Saluting Branches. Her outstanding service is appreciated by all, and serves as a shining star for all public servants to strive for. 



Mark Hague
Chief, Environmental Branch

During this rating period, and under the direct leadership of Mark Hague, the DMVA's Environmental Branch / Sustainability, Energy & Engineer Branch Team was recognized with two national awards: The Secretary of the Army 2022 Environmental Award for non-industrial installation “Environmental Quality” (EQ) and the 2021 Army National Guard, Environmental Security Awards, 1st Place Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installations. Both awards are the highest recognition a team can receive for the branch and program management. To achieve the Environmental Management System (EMS) objectives, the EQ program has taken a multi-faceted approach, blending initiatives like integration of photovoltaic solar resources to reduce energy use and establish renewable energy resources with an effort to create the infrastructure that will support a transition to electric fleets statewide. Over the past year, the statewide EQ program for the Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs has forged ahead on ambitious initiatives to transform the organization for long-term resilience and comprehensive compliance. Driven by the priorities of the state’s environmental management system, the EQ staff have integrated energy use reduction, waste minimization and greater diversion, and introduction of greener technologies, particularly for the Colorado Army National Guard vehicle fleet.


David Schmidt
Web Designer/
VI Manager

Employee of the Year - 2020

David has worked at Joint Force Headquarters at Revere for over 25 years (but only three as a State Employee) and his skills as a Web and Graphic Designer are a valuable asset to the Colorado National Guard and the DMVA. He has been the CONG Webmaster since 1998 and has completely redesigned and updated our public site five times since then. The public site alone brings in over 250 strong recruitment leads each year. David also manages the CONG Phone App and has been the subject matter expert in CONG history for almost two decades. His masterful skills as a graphic designer can be seen all across the state – from the beautiful brass memorial plaque honoring fallen CONG members in the plaza at state HQ to historical display cases and the many official brands found everywhere to include the DMVA, CONG, and COARNG official logos. He also runs the digital signage program and his designs are also on all the DS screens in most of our readiness centers across Colorado. Additionally, David is a valued member of the CONG Strategic Communications team, the Joint Diversity & Inclusion Group, and is one of the team leads on the DMVA's NEXGEN process improvement initiative. David is also an exemplary worker that people can count on to get the job done with a great attitude and friendly demeanor mixed with a bit of levity – he is always available, executes his projects on time and on target, and brings a level of professionalism rarely found in government settings.



Renee Pace
Veteran Service Officer 

Employee of the Year - 2019

Renee’s 26-years of service as a Veteran Service Officer has exemplified the highest levels of bold, consistent, and joyous service to Colorado veterans, families, and their survivors.  Her most recent and notable initiatives are best demonstrated through her efforts in spearheading property tax exemptions for our state’s veterans , and partnering with other state departments and the Veteran’s Administration in identifying opportunities to reduce healthcare costs for our veterans, while simultaneously reducing state Medicaid costs.  Renee has earned a reputation for consistently enhancing the customer experience and improving the lives of all the veterans she serves.  She is the recognized subject matter expert, and mentor of choice for many Veteran Service Officers.  Perhaps her most infectious and uplifting attribute would be her attitude and way she makes life better for all those she engages with on a daily basis.  Bold, Consistent, and Joyous are just a few of the many qualities that best describe Renee’s public service to our fellow Coloradans and the Department of Military Affairs.



James Seymour
Pipe Mechanic Trades II 
Employee of the Year - 2018

In December 2017 the North Springs Readiness Center had an incident where a civilian crashed through the barrier gate, causing a significant amount of damage and placing vulnerability to our Force Protection efforts.  Estimates for repairs were over $105,000 to fully repair this gate. Jim took it upon himself to investigate ways for his team to perform the repairs. He dedicated much time and effort to ensure his team could properly repair the damage. Through much initiative, motivation and professional knowledge his team was able to complete the repairs themselves. His professionalism and teamwork is an excellent example of a dedicated DMVA employee. By completing the repairs for less than $5,000 he directly saved State of Colorado taxpayers over $100,000. The gate is now in better working condition than it had been prior to the incident. Jim is a valuable asset to the DMVA and Southern Region Team. No matter the project Jim and his team go out of their way to complete tasks and any challenges that they confront.  



Todd Smith
Electronics Engineer

Employee of the Year 2017

Todd’s leadership has been absolutely critical in supporting the Colorado National Guard's goals on the growth of new infrastructure. His contributions over 10 years to the $100 million Centennial Training Center project directly enabled the successful design, planning, and construction of the facility. His expertise in audio/visual systems, network infrastructure, and wireless data technology has led to profound improvements in operations at locations throughout the state. Todd earned his Project Management Professional certification and serves as the IT Project Manager for the G6. He has skillfully applied that knowledge to improve overall G6 operations. He continues to work tirelessly to establish and enforce industry standards in order to ensure the Colorado National Guard continuously improves and maximizes its return on investment for all projects he works on. Todd’s mentorship and expertise is sought out by others within the organization and he advises project managers nationwide. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the Colorado National Guard, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the State of Colorado.



James Poteet
Veterans Service Officer

James Poteet

James Poteet is a senior State Veteran’s Service Officer for the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs in Denver, Colorado. James is directly responsible for improving the economic development of nine thousand veterans and their families.  He is also tasked with the organization and training of newly-hired County Veteran Service Officers in a two-day boot camp that includes exposure to an on-line data system, use of reference materials to include United States Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims decisions, as well as scholarly and scientific research materials utilized to establish Veteran entitlements for the entire State.  James is considered a subject matter expert in the field of Veteran Affairs and is called upon by Federal government employees, Colorado County Veteran Service Officers, non-profits, and Veteran service organizations for educational and strategic assistance to help them fulfill their duties.  James’ superior performance and devotion to Colorado’s veterans and their families is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.



William (Bill) Conroy
Director of Division of Veterans Affairs

Bill Conroy, Employee of the Year 2015

William (Bill) Conroy has a lifetime of service which significantly advanced the status of veterans throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Bill started his career in January 1975 with the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) in Denver. He helped develop the National DAV Training Academy based in Denver. He completed his career at DAV as the Supervisor of its Denver based office which covered Colorado, and Wyoming. In 2000, he became the Supervisor of Paralyzed Veterans of America Denver office which included veterans in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. In 2007, Bill was selected as the Director of the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs, where along with increasing the number of claims three-fold; his steadfast integrity, maturity, and sound judgment has earned him the respect and loyalty of those with whom he serves. When he formally retires in July 2014, after thirty-nine-and-one-half years of service, it can be said that Bill has made a significant and indelible contribution by advocating for the needs of all veterans and their families.