Kristin Strohm

Kristin Strohm, president and CEO of the Common Sense Policy Institute, speaks at an organization breakfast in 2019.

The Common Sense Policy Roundtable announced Wednesday morning it's changing its name to the Common Sense Institute.

The nonpartisan organization, which works with members of both parties at the state level, provides economic analysis of public policy proposals and decisions.

The name change includes a new brand, though the organization said Wednesday its mission is unchanged: examining the cost and impacts of policies, initiatives and proposed laws to better inform Coloradans.

The organization was founded a decade ago with two firms usually associated with moderate Republicans, The Starboard Group and EIS Solutions. The president and CEO is Kristin Strohm.

“Ten years ago, we realized that divisive partisanship and political rhetoric was overwhelming facts, data and sensible policy debate,” said CSI's board chairman Earl Wright, the CEO and chairman of AMG National Trust Bank Board of Directors. “We founded an organization dedicated to fact-based economic analysis to help Coloradans make informed, common sense decisions.”

Board member Buz Koelbel, the president of Koelbel & Company, said that since its launch, the organization has been at the forefront of policy debates on energy, affordable housing "and everything in between." 

In 2017, the coalition of business leaders hired economist and analyst Chris Brown from Regional Economic Modeling Inc. as its director of policy and research and employs Simon Lomax, a former journalist and energy policy expert. Brown is a go-to analyst on the state budget among other fiscal matters facing Colorado, and Lomax is a prolific pundit and contributor to Colorado Politics.

“Our contribution to public policy is critical and we look forward to many more years of providing analysis and helping Coloradans fully understand the impacts of policies and initiatives,” Koelbel said Wednesday.

Board member Heidi Ganahl, the regent at-large for the University of Colorado and CEO of SheFactor, said, “We are committed to a non-partisan approach and will continue to work with both sides of the aisle to advance impactful legislation because we know the best solutions for Colorado.”

Added CSI Board Member Robin Wise, president and CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain: “Our team is built around some of the best and brightest economic minds in our state, and at the heart of our mission is our board of directors with a combined 200 years of private sector experience. We provide economic analysis and tools that can set up Colorado’s next leaders for success. CSI is a tremendous resource for Colorado, and I’m proud to be involved.”

The rest of the institute's board is:

  • Dave Davia, Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors
  • Don Childears, Colorado Bankers Association
  • Jack Graham, Two Trees Partners
  • Byron Haselden, Haselden Construction
  • Jim Johnson, GE Johnson Holdings Inc.
  • T. Scott Martin, Rivercrest Capital Management.
  • Charlie McNeil, NexGen Resource Corp.
  • Elizabeth Peetz, Colorado Association of Realtors
  • Terry J. Stevinson, Stevinson Group Inc.

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