Pueblo Hall of Fame to Induct Three on February 10, 2018
PUEBLO – Three outstanding contributors to the community’s business, civic and educational efforts will be honored at the 28th annual Pueblo Hall of Fame event next month.
Businesswoman Dee Rogers Brown, sports and education patron Dan DeRose and retired Chief District Judge Dennis Maes will be inducted Feb. 10 at the Pueblo Community College Fortino Ballroom, 900 W. Orman Ave. The event is put on by the Pueblo Community College Foundation.
In her 17 years as a Puebloan, Brown has become a well-known community supporter. She came to the Steel City from Albuquerque, N.M., in 2000 as project manager for W.L. Enterprises Ltd.
Through her role, Brown has overseen notable local real estate projects such as the expansion of the North Side from Eagleridge Boulevard to Dillon Drive and west of the city limits. Under her leadership, total construction in that area is in excess of $100 million and the businesses built there employ more than 1,000 people.
She has been heavily involved in W.L. Enterprises’ corporate citizenship efforts, overseeing the donation of more than $3 million worth of land for projects such as the animal shelter, the new CDOT and Colorado State Patrol offices and a future regional park. She has served on the boards of numerous local organizations, including the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, YMCA, Parkview Medical Center, Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Foundation of Colorado.
“It’s very humbling and such an honor,” Brown said of her induction. “The people are the most important reason Pueblo’s such a great community. It’s important for all of us to contribute our resources, our time and energy.”
DeRose is a Pueblo native and graduate of East High School and the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State University-Pueblo). He is the co-founder and president of DD Marketing, which represents K-12 school districts, universities, nonprofit organizations and other entities in revenue generation projects.
His staunch commitment to CSU-Pueblo includes time as an instructor, athletic director, football and track coach and foundation president. Most notably, DeRose is founder and president of Friends of Football, the organization that raised $14 million in 2006 to bring back football, wrestling and women’s track. FOF also is responsible for construction of the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, introduction of the school’s 120-member marching band, and continuing support for CSU-Pueblo’s athletic programs.
DeRose was an outstanding athlete at East and USC. He was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos in 1984 and in 1987 was defensive team captain and starting middle linebacker for the New York Giants replacement team. He also founded the Minor League Football System, serving as coach and player for the Pueblo Crusaders.
He currently sits on the board of the Southern Colorado Community Foundation, Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, National Football Foundation and Colorado Forum.
His family established its roots in Pueblo in 1897, when DeRose’s great-great-grandfather, Joseph, arrived from Italy. DeRose is the second generation to be invited to join the Pueblo Hall of Fame, following the 2015 induction of his parents, Neta and Eddie.
“My entire life, my parents instilled a pride of Pueblo in me and my brothers and sisters,” DeRose said. “This town has been important to us for a long time and to have this generational legacy is an honor.”
Maes, after whom the Pueblo Justice Center is named, graduated from Southern Colorado State College (now CSU-Pueblo) and obtained his law degree at the University of Colorado in 1972. He worked as a teacher in the Huerfano School District prior to beginning his legal career.
He served as the deputy state public defender in Pueblo from 1976 to 1979, then had a private law practice until being appointed district judge of the Tenth Judicial District in 1988. He was named chief district judge in 1995.
Maes retired in 2012 but has remained tireless in his community involvement. Last November, he was elected to the Pueblo City Schools board of education.
In addition to many professional activities and awards, he serves as a Colorado State Lottery commissioner and has been involved with numerous local and state organizations, including United Way, Pueblo County Legal Services, El Pomar Foundation, Mental Health of America, Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Pueblo Regional Planning Commission.
Maes considers his greatest professional accomplishments to be the truancy reduction and school mental health programs that were established during his time as chief judge.
“Judge Joe Ulibarri taught me that there were other needs besides legal needs,” said Maes. “As a community, we have the responsibility to carry others on our shoulders. I’m honored and humbled by this.”
The Pueblo Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to recognize individuals whose efforts have contributed to the betterment of Pueblo. Any member of the Pueblo community may nominate an individual for inclusion.
The ceremony is one of the approved fundraising activities of the PCC Foundation, whose mission is to fund student scholarships or the college’s special needs that are not available through its general fund.
Tickets for the event are $100 per person; $60 of each reservation is tax deductible. Sponsorship packages also are available. To RSVP, call 719-544-0677 or email OfficeMgr@puebloccfoundation.org. The deadline for reservations is Friday, Jan. 26.