Español Search

Don Mares Appointed as Interim President & Chief Executive Officer of The Colorado Trust

Leer en español

The Colorado Trust, a foundation dedicated to creating fair and equal opportunities for Coloradans to lead healthy lives, announced today that Don Mares has been appointed as interim president & chief executive officer by The Colorado Trust Board of Trustees. Mares will assume this role effective Jan. 31, 2022.

Mares has served on The Colorado Trust Board of Trustees for the past nine years. In 2015, he was appointed executive director of Denver Human Services by Mayor Michael Hancock, and spent the next six years leading organizational change and culture transformation initiatives at the agency. Mares was also named deputy mayor of Denver by Hancock in 2016 and 2021. Prior to overseeing Denver Human Services, he served as the head of Denver’s Office of Behavioral Health Strategies. Mares previously was elected to both the Colorado State House of Representatives (1988-91) and Colorado State Senate (1991-95), where his record included vocal advocacy for universal health care. He left the state legislature in July 1995 to serve two terms as auditor for the City of Denver

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead The Colorado Trust during such an important period in the history of the foundation,” said Mares. “I look forward to working with our staff, grantees, communities and other partners to carry out our work of advancing the health and well-being of the people of Colorado.”

“We are thrilled to appoint Don to this role,” said Warren Johnson, MD, chair of The Colorado Trust Board of Trustees. “Don completely embraces our vision of all Coloradans having fair and equal opportunities to lead healthy, productive lives, regardless of race, ethnicity, income or where we live. His outstanding record of leadership at Denver Human Services, combined with nine years of experience as a trustee, make him the perfect fit for this important interim leadership position.”

Danielle Shoots, vice president & chief financial officer for The Colorado Trust, will continue to serve as interim president & chief executive officer until Mares assumes the role at the end of January. In fall 2021, Shoots announced she would depart The Colorado Trust in early 2022 to lead New Community Transformation Fund – Denver, a private venture fund that will invest growth capital in businesses and entrepreneurs of color statewide.

“The board and staff are incredibly grateful to Danielle for helping us through this transition period,” Johnson said. “We applaud her past achievements and look forward to supporting all that she will accomplish in this new endeavor.”

Mares is expected to serve as interim leader of The Colorado Trust through the end of 2022. The Colorado Trust Board of Trustees will conduct a nationwide search to identify a permanent president and chief executive officer of the foundation. For more information, please contact us.

About The Colorado Trust 
The Colorado Trust is a foundation dedicated to ensuring all Coloradans have the opportunity to thrive. We partner with people and organizations working to make positive changes in communities across Colorado. We provide funding and other resources so that all people have the power to make decisions that improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors. The Colorado Trust also believes local and statewide policies should have a positive impact on people’s well-being. We provide grants and support to organizations that advocate for policies that ensure all Coloradans live healthier lives. For more information, visit

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.