Former governor, NBA All-Star and sales executive take leadership roles

May 21, 2018

From left, Chauncey Billups, Jamie S. Gronowski, Bill Ritter

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups and retired food sales industry leader Jamie S. Gronowski have been elected to the Board of Trustees of Regis University in Denver.

The board oversees the region’s only Jesuit, Catholic university, which serves 11,000 students online and on its campuses in Northwest Denver, Thornton, Colorado Springs and the Denver Tech Center. Founded in 1877, Regis is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

“As a university committed to student success through caring, mission-based and transformational education for both traditional and adult students, Regis University understands the need to appoint trustees who have been life-long learners and leaders in their businesses and communities,” said board chairman Bob Engel, retired chief executive officer of CoBank. “We are delighted and honored that three individuals who deeply believe in, and have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to all that makes Regis University special, are joining our Board of Trustees.”

Ritter served as the 41st governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011 and previously was District Attorney for Denver. He created one of the nation’s first drug courts and worked extensively on the prosecution of sexual abuse and domestic violence crimes. Ritter, who attend a Catholic high school, served as a missionary for the Catholic Church with his wife Jeannie in Zambia, where they opened a food distribution and nutrition center. Ritter is currently the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University. The center works with state and federal policymakers to create clean energy policies.

Billups was known as “Mr. Big Shot” during his 17-year career in the NBA playing for the Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets and other teams. He was the NBA Finals MVP in 2004 and selected as an All-Star five times. His jersey was retired by the Pistons and by the University of Colorado, where he played for two seasons. Billups, now an ESPN NBA analyst, has been part of the Regis community since 2006 when he joined forces with retired Regis basketball coach Lonnie Porter, who had established a free academic program for disadvantaged urban Denver youth in 1996. Renamed the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, PBLA strives to put youth from grades 4th through 12 on a pathway toward success. More than 100 have graduated from college, including dozens who have attended Regis on scholarships from the University. 

Gronowski, a veteran in the food sales and marketing agency industry, is currently the CEO of Gronowski Advisory Services, where he privately consults in the health and wellness space with small consumer and packaged goods companies. He previously was CEO for two companies in the industry and created Natural/Specialty Sales Inc. for the international marketing and sales agency Acosta as well as managed all of Acosta’s North American operations teams. A trustee of The Food Institute, he and his wife Anne have generously supported the Anderson College of Business at Regis by funding the Gronowski Innovation Incubator Lab. A state-of-the-art design studio, the Gronowski lab offers workshops, work space and classes for the University community and local business leaders. 

“I could not be more pleased to welcome these outstanding new trustees to our Regis community,” said Regis President John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. “This is a big shot in the arm for Regis. All three men’s commitment to our university reflects that fact that Regis is rising and flourishing in its 141st year, and the years ahead are bright with promise.”

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Regis has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit www.regis.edu.