About the Board Members

Are you interested in serving on the State Personnel Board?

  • The Board is comprised of five members: two are elected by certified state employees and three are appointed by the Governor.
  • Each member of the Board must be a qualified elector of the state and may not be an officer or employee of the state or of any state employee organization.
  • Board members serve three-year, overlapping terms and may succeed themselves once.
  • Board terms conclude on the last day of the fiscal year, June 30, and new terms start on the first day of the new fiscal year, July 1.

Vacancies occurring for elected positions on the Board are announced in advance to employees in all departments of the State of Colorado and information is posted on the State Personnel Board web page. In order to be on the ballot for an elected position, eligible candidates must obtain a minimum of 100 verified signatures of certified state employees on official petitions. Certified employees vote electronically for their candidate of choice. The candidate obtaining the most votes is certified as elected to the Board.

Vacancies occurring for appointed positions on the Board are filled by the governor. Individuals interested in a gubernatorial appointment to the Board must submit an application to the Governor's office of Boards and Commissions. Gubernatorial appointees are confirmed by Senate committee when the legislature returns to session in January.

Board Member History

Membership

Gov. Appointment

Gov. Appointment

Gov. Appointment (Art. XII, § 14(2)(b))

Elected

Elected

Current Members

Karen Niparko
First term:
7/1/2020 to 6/30/2023

Roxane White
First term:
7/1/2020 to 6/30/2023

Sarah Wager
First term:
7/1/2019 to 6/30/2022

Patricia Bangert
First term:
7/1/2019 to 6/30/2022

Nora Kelly
Second term:
7/1/2018 to 6/30/2021

Previous Members

Michelle Palmquist
7/1/2014 to 6/30/2020

Maurice Knaizer
7/1/2017 to 6/30/2020

Neil Peck
Second term: 7/1/2016 to 6/30/2019

Vonda Hall
Second term: 7/1/2016 to 6/30/2019

Nora Kelly
First term:
7/1/2015 to 6/30/2018

Archived

Garth Lucero
7/1/2009 to 6/30/2014

Teresa Salerno
7/1/2012 to 6/30/2017

Neil Peck
First term:
7/1/2013 to 6/30/2016

Vonda Hall
First term:
7/1/2013 to 6/30/2016

Sally Yerger
7/1/2010 to 6/30/2015

 

Biographies

Patricia Bangert

On July 2, 2019, Patricia "Trish" Bangert was certified as the elected State Personnel Board member after an uncontested state wide nomination process concluded July 1, 2019. Trish's term expires on June 30, 2022.

Trish has been a State and a federal employee. She worked her way through law school as an intern at the Federal Trade Commission, doing anti-trust work and then went to the Department of the Interior, where she worked as an attorney for the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. Trish moved to Colorado and worked in the Attorney General's Office in various capacities including as Deputy Attorney General for Natural Resources.

For the past 20 years she has been in private practice as a civil rights attorney,representing individuals who have suffered violations of their constitutional and statutory rights or have been subjected to discrimination or other employment wrongs. Trish has represented employees before the State Personnel Board, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the EEOC, and Denver Career Services Board. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and off and on for the past 10 years has taught Administrative Law, Torts, Civil Rights and Environmental Law. Trish also created and taught the Animal Rights class at the University of Denver.

Nora Kelly

Nora has more than 22 years of legal experience in employment law. She started as a contract attorney for CAPE (Colorado Association of Public Employees) and was in private practice in Denver from 1992 until her retirement in May, 2014. She graduated from Colorado State University and the University of Denver School of Law.

During her legal career, Nora represented state employees before the State Personnel Board until her retirement. She successfully litigated Lawley vs. the Department of Higher Education, University of Northern Colorado from the Court of Appeals up to the Colorado Supreme Court. The case is still cited by the Board and judges when determining whether an agency's actions are considered "arbitrary and capricious".

Nora was first elected to the State Personnel Board July 24, 2015 and was certified for a second term on July 3, 2018 after being nominated in an uncontested state wide nomination. Her second term ends on June 30, 2021.

Karen Niparko

In June 2020, Governor Jared Polis appointed Karen L. Niparko to the State Personnel Board for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

From 2014 to the present, Karen has served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the City & County of Denver.  She also has extensive service as a senior human resources executive in the private sector.

Karen has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelor's degree in business from the University of Michigan.  She also completed the C-level Leadership Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Sarah Wager

In June 2019, Governor Jared Polis appointed Sarah K. Wager to the State Personnel Board for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

Sarah is currently the Director of Internal Audit for the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). She has 23 years of experience in state government having previously worked in the Colorado Department of Human Services as Interim Director/Deputy Director of the Office of Administrative Solutions and the Acting Director/Deputy Director of the Office of Community Access and Independence. Prior to DHS, she worked for the Colorado Office of the State Auditor as an Audit Manager.

A graduate of the University of Colorado-Denver with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting, Sarah is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. She is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2016 she was awarded the Leadership and Innovation Award from the Office of Community Access and Independence and in 2015 was a participant in the Governor's Performance Management Academy.

Roxane "Rox" White

In June 2020, Governor Jared Polis appointed Roxane White to the State Personnel Board for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Roxane ("Rox") is the Founder and CEO of Strategy with Rox, a small business that provides consulting to nonprofits and governmental entities.  Rox served as a Cabinet Secretary for the City & County of Denver, the Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Denver, and the Chief of Staff for Governor John Hickenlooper.  Rox has led local and national nonprofit organizations with a focus on helping the underserved including people experiencing homelessness and low income families.

Rox has a Bachelor's degree from Lewis and Clark College, a Masters in Divinity in counseling from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University.