Colo. Governor Recommends Three to Pinnacol’s Board

February 24, 2011

Colorado’s Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee has unanimously recommended the confirmation of John Cevette, Blair Richardson and John Plotkin to Pinnacol Assurance’s board of directors.

On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed executive orders to appoint John Plotkin and John Cevette to the quasi-governmental workers’ compensation insurer’s board. Hickenlooper also asked the Senate to confirm the earlier appointment of Blair Richardson to the board.

“These individuals are each uniquely qualified to provide the Pinnacol Board with expertise in business management, employment law governance and worker’s compensation insurance,” Hickenlooper said. “Clearly, some events in the past related to Pinnacol were inappropriate. We expect the addition of Blair Richardson, John Plotkin and John Cevette will help restore trust and accountability to the board.”

Last year, Pinnacol’s lavish spending was criticized, as some said spending $318,000 on a Pebble Beach golf trip, even if work-related, was excessive. The new appointees are expected to bring more “balance” to the insurer’s actions.

Cevette, who is chief of staff to the Colorado Senate Majority directing policy, communications, outreach and administration, has been especially critical of Pinnacol CEO Ken Ross, having posted comments that he disapproves of Ross on his blog. During the committee meeting, Cevette said transparency at Pinnacol is crucial, and that he will do what is in the best interest of the people of Colorado. In reference to legislation brought before the General Assembly, he said conflicts of interest exist everywhere, but that it is important to use good judgment when dealing with those situations. He added that the State Auditors Report for 2010 suggested that Pinnacol Assurance’s Board of Directors review the compensation of executive level employees.

Richardson is managing partner of Bow River Capital Partners in Denver and has held executive positions in international sales and trading of public equity and debt securities for nearly 25 years. Before forming Bow River Capital Partners, Richardson was managing partner of B.E. Richardson Investments, which invested in a variety of industries throughout North America.

Previously, Richardson was with Morgan Stanley & Co. from 1987 to 1995. During his time at Morgan Stanley, he served as president of Morgan Stanley Japan in Tokyo, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong, and managing director of the Equity and Fixed Income Department in New York.

Richardson was appointed to the Pinnacol Board of Directors last month by former Gov. Bill Ritter.

Plotkin is a member of the law firm Gregory & Plotkin LLC in Denver. He concentrates on business and commercial disputes and litigation in federal and state courts. His practice includes bankruptcy, real property valuation (including tax and condemnation), securities, corporate governance, construction, contract, general business and commercial disputes and litigation.

Plotkin has practiced law for more than 30 years and has experience in all phases of litigation in state and federal courts, including numerous first chair trials and appeals. He earlier worked with several other law firms in Denver, Boston and Seattle.

Cevette previously worked as an attorney in private practice, as the CEO of Colorado Corn, and as chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. Floyd Haskell.

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