Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director
Dan Prenzlow received his BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1985. Following in the footsteps of his father, Prenzlow joined the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Castle Rock area. He was then promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 1992 based in Meeker, where he served until 2005 when he became Southeast Regional Manager based in Colorado Springs. He is married to Brenda Prenzlow and has two daughters, Danika and Alaura.
Carlee Koutnik, Deputy Director
Carlee Koutnik is a Colorado native from La Veta who grew up with a wide appreciation for Colorado’s public lands and wildlife. She graduated from the US Air Force Academy with an undergraduate degree in biology and shortly after, earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida in forest resources and conservation. Carlee joined CPW in 2020 following eight years in the Air Force. While serving, she specialized in occupational and environmental health management, sexual assault victim advocacy in Florida and Alaska, and she proudly finished her military service in Colorado as an instructor of biology at her alma mater. Among Carlee’s repertoire of interests, she's a lifelong hunter and enjoys hiking, triathlons, snowmobiling, pottery, and snowboarding.
Reid DeWalt, Assistant Director for Aquatic, Terrestrial and Natural Resources
Reid DeWalt is the Assistant Director for Wildlife and Natural Resources for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Reid oversees the Terrestrial, Aquatic, Water, and Real Estate sections. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Fish Biology. Reid was first employed in 1997 as a temporary creel clerk at Turquoise Lake near Leadville. He began his permanent career as a District Wildlife Manager in 1998 and served in the Colorado Springs NE district for 8 years. He was promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 2006 and oversaw area field operations in Park, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Jefferson Counties. Reid also served as Acting Chief of Hatcheries for a six month period in 2012. Reid is a Colorado native having been born and raised in the Buena Vista area. He is married with three wonderful children. In his spare time, Reid enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking, studying western history, as well as being a dad to three very active children. Reid was honored in 2013 with the Jim Jones Outstanding Employee of the Year award.
Heather Dugan, Assistant Director for Field Services
Heather Dugan is the Assistant Director for Law Enforcement and Public Safety for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Heather oversees the boating registration program and law enforcement-related operations including training and investigations associated with protecting Colorado's wildlife and providing a safe and enjoyable recreational experience for visitors at Colorado's state parks. Heather worked for six seasons in state parks while working to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology. After graduating from Colorado State University in 1992, Heather was hired as a full-time ranger and has since worked in several parks, as a training coordinator and instructor, and most recently as a region manager.
Justin Rutter, Assistant Director for Financial Services
Justin Rutter is the assistant director for Financial Services and oversees the accounting, budgeting, procurement, and grant processes for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He joined the agency as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer in January 2016. He was selected to lead the financial services group as Chief Financial Officer in June 2016. Justin loves the outdoors and is, more often than not, likely to be found outdoors with his wife Cassie. They enjoy camping, fishing, boating, hiking, gardening, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Justin moved to Colorado at the age of eight and considers himself a native, even if he isn't allowed to buy the bumper sticker. Prior to joining Colorado Parks and Wildlife he graduated with a bachelors of finance degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver and served as a budget and policy analyst in the Executive Director's Office of the Department of Natural Resources for 10 years. In his role in the Executive Director's Office he had a broad portfolio of responsibilities that spanned across many natural resource issues.
Lauren Truitt, Assistant Director for Information and Education
Lauren Truitt is the Assistant Director for Information and Education for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Lauren oversees Organizational Development; Marketing and Creative Services; Public Relations and Communication; Education, Partnerships and Volunteers; Licensing, Passes and Reservations as well as Information Technology. Lauren joined the agency as the Partnership Coordinator and most recently served as the Public Relations and Communications Manager. She has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Northern Colorado. With a life-long passion for Colorado's natural resources and recreation opportunities, working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a dream job. A good friend put it best, "If you are passionate about the work you do, you will never truly work a day in your life." Working for the state and staff of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is invigorating and inspiring. You don't just work for this agency, the passion for our mission is a part of who you are as a person.
Jeff Ver Steeg, Assistant Director for Research, Policy & Planning
Jeff Ver Steeg is the Assistant Director for Research, Policy and Planning. He was the Assistant Director for Wildlife Programs for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (and subsequently Colorado Parks and Wildlife) from 2003-2012. He joined the agency as the Terrestrial Section Manager in 2001. Prior to that he served 12 years as the Chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He began his career in 1979 as a District Wildlife Manager for what was then known as the Illinois Department of Conservation. He has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Zoology (wildlife emphasis) from Southern Illinois University and a Master's Degree in Environmental Biology from Eastern Illinois University.
Cory Chick, Southwest Region Manager
After working for nearly 20 years at a variety of positions for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Cory Chick was named Southwest Region Manager in February 2019. A native of Texas, Cory served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining CPW in the late 1990s. He started his career working as a technician in the aquatics section in the San Luis Valley. While working for CPW he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis on wildlife from Adams State University in Alamosa. Following college graduation in 2004, he was selected for CPW’s wildlife officer academy. In 2005, he started working in Kit Carson on the eastern plains as a district wildlife officer. After six years he was promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in Colorado Springs where he served for more than three years. He was then promoted and served as Manager for the Licenses, Passes and Reservations section for three years. “I’ve been fortunate to work at a range of positions for CPW to learn all aspects of the agency. I’m happy to be working again with field staff in the beautiful Southwest Region.”
Brett Ackerman, Southeast Region Manager
Ackerman joined the former Colorado Division of Wildlife in 2000 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Rifle area after working for a private environmental engineering firm and for the National Park Service following his graduation from Brigham Young University in Utah. In 2005, he became CPW’s Regulations Manager based in Denver and spent a decade directing the state’s parks and wildlife regulations program, serving as the primary author of parks and wildlife law. He also attended the University of Colorado, earning a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in environmental policy, management and law. In 2014, he became Deputy Southeast Region Manager where he managed the regional land use, energy, water, education, volunteer, and engineering programs and a multimillion-dollar annual budget.Ackerman lives in Monument with his wife, Tara, and their five children.
JT Romatzke, Northwest Region Manager
JT Romatzke graduated from Northern Arizona University before beginning his career in 1998 with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, where he worked in fisheries. In 2002, he entered into the District Wildlife Manager ranks and spent two years in Eagle. He then transferred to the Parachute district and worked closely with the oil and gas industry and ensured wildlife management was a high priority. In 2008, Mr. Romatzke promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in Grand Junction. Romatzke was awarded the Public Service Award in 2015 by the Colorado Cattlemans Association. He was also awarded the Association of Midwest Fish and Wildlife Officers law enforcement officer of the year. In 2017, Mr. Romatzke joined the Leadership Team as the Northwest Regional Manager.
Mark Leslie, Northeast Region Manager
Mark is a Colorado native, born in Boulder and raised in Fruita. Mark holds degrees in Geology and Wildlife Biology and was hired by the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager. His first assignment was the La Junta District, followed by Fort Collins. In 1998, Mark promoted to the Statewide Game Damage/Commercial Park Coordinator position. In 2002, he promoted to the Area Wildlife Manager position in the Loveland/Boulder area, followed again by Fort Collins in 2008. In 2015, Mark promoted to the Deputy Regional Manager for the Northeast Region managing the capital and trails program. In May of 2016, he promoted to the Northeast Regional Manager position in Denver. When he is not working, Mark enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and playing music.