2023 Partner Retreat

Partner Meeting

Zermatt Room | August 19, 2023, 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. 

2023 Partner Meeting


7:15 – 7:30 a.m. – Grab coffee + snack + settle in 

7:30 a.m. – Welcoming Remarks + Objectives 

8:00 a.m. – Keynote Address – Gene Commander 

9:00 a.m. – Keynote Address Introduction

9:02 a.m. – Keynote Address – Dr. Rick Perea and Heidi Hughes 

Partner Meeting Guest Speaker

Gene Commander

Gene began his legal career in 1977 with a small general practice law firm in Iowa before moving his family to Denver in 1981 to join a growing mid-sized insurance litigation firm. He became an owner of the business, served on its management committee, and learned many valuable lessons about the challenges of operating a law firm while building his own construction law practice.

Learn More About Gene

He boosted his career by joining the Denver office of a regional litigation firm in 2000 to become a shareholder and leader in its rapidly growing national construction law practice group. His practice expanded greatly by providing a unique blend of general counsel and commercial litigation services to a broad segment of the Colorado construction industry.

In 2009, Gene’s firm merged with another to form a dynamic Am Law 100 national law firm with nearly 500 attorneys, which became known as Polsinelli. The expanded geographic footprint and diverse subject matter expertise of the combined firm positioned his construction law practice for further significant growth.

Gene served as the managing shareholder in Polsinelli’s Denver office from 2011 to 2015, while the firm prospered and the office achieved dramatic growth in number of attorneys, breadth of legal services, revenue and facilities. Polsinelli’s clients thrived as the firm helped to position them at the intersection of law, industry, community and public affairs.

He stepped away from the practice of law in 2015 to form Gene Commander, Inc., a commercial ADR business, where he has provided customized mediation and arbitration services to hundreds of Colorado businesses and their law firms to help them avoid the expense and uncertainty of civil litigation. Gene has learned to be an effective consensus builder and problem solver through his legal and ADR experience resolving complex construction and commercial disputes in an amicable and business-like manner.

Since 2020, Gene’s business has been primarily focused on providing proactive business counsel to law firm leaders and C-suite executives to help them implement successful business growth strategies.

Gene regularly pursues his passion for the business of law and construction by engaging in professional development efforts to bolster client growth strategies through his ongoing education, research and networking. For example, he is an associate member of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) – Colorado Chapter, which allows him to provide clients access to the latest industry financial insights and information. He is also a member of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, which allows him to introduce clients to the best practices that will create inclusive workplaces and advance diversity in the legal profession.

Partner Meeting Guest Speaker

Dr. Rick Perea 

Dr. Rick Perea, Ph.D., (Dr.P.) is one of the nation’s most energetic and dynamic practitioners in Performance Psychology. His work as a Motivational Speaker and Executive, Life and Performance Coach is truly unique; equipped with endless energy, passion and knowledge, he has spoken to many of the top performing organizations in the world. Companies like Ultimate Software, Apple, Google, Noodles & CO., Denver Fire Department and other nationally prominent businesses have benefited from his competency and acumen regarding Organizational Performance. In addition, he also works with many of the top NFL, NBA, MLB teams and many High-Profile Division 1 College programs. Dr. Perea was the Performance Psychologist for the World Champion Denver Broncos in 2015/2016.

Partner Meeting Guest Speaker

Heidi Hughes

Heidi Hughes, B.A., M.S. is one of the most magnetic and diverse Performance and Instructional Change Agents in Colorado. Ms. Hughes received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and subsequently acquired her Master of Education in Pedagogical Studies from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Hughes held Professional Teaching Licenses in the states of Pennsylvania and Colorado where she worked with diverse learners ranging from preschool age to adults, including professional educators, principals, administrators, and entrepreneurs. Being a Master Teacher and certified in International Baccalaureate, English Language Acquisition, and Curriculum/Instruction through the Arts; Ms. Hughes is a highly skilled professional who is passionate about teaching, learning, and facilitating Leadership and Professional Performance through cognitive, technical, and humanistic approaches.

Heidi is the proprietor for West Wind Stables, located in Morrison, Colorado, an Equine Therapy Retreat that also hosts Horsemanship camps for pre and current adolescents. West Wind also teaches Adults Equine Therapy and Riding lessons for all ages from 4 to 94.