Colorado Firm for Lobbying, Government Relations, Association

About CLS

Advocacy. Prowess. Innovation. 


At Colorado Legislative Services, we go above and beyond the immediate. With our unique expertise and lobbying savvy, we offer insights and perspectives that other firms cannot. As one of Colorado’s most-experienced lobbying groups, we have established ourselves as trusted partners with legislators and clients alike. We have formed strategic alliances with government officials at all levels, legislators and industry leaders within the state. Our collaborative approach means that we are able to represent our clients’ best interests with both legislative and executive branches of government. And as a result, we are consistently noted as one of top the firms in Colorado.


Get in touch

We at Colorado Legislative Services know that finding the right team to represent you is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we encourage you to consult with us. We can help define the scope of  your needs, your goals, and your budget.

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Partner/Owner, Lobbyist

Jim Cole

Jim has been lobbying the state legislature for over 30 years and has provided leadership on some of the most difficult public policy issues affecting energy and higher education. He has been involved in lobbying tax reduction issues and redefining the guiding statutes for these policy areas.  Prior to joining CLS, Jim was a Management Analyst for the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.  As a result, he is very familiar with the state budgetary process and has the ability to use the budget process to the advantage of his clients.  Perhaps Jim’s greatest asset is his ability to think several steps ahead and recognize how amendments to legislation might positively or negatively impact a client.  He then recommends steps to promote or counter those effects.

Jim has a passion for long-distance bicycling, having completed nine years of Ride the Rockies and other long-distance events, like Iowa's RAGBRAI. 


Activities and Affiliations

  • Former Member, Vice Chair and Chair Jefferson County Planning Commission
  • Chairman of Arvada YMCA Partners for People Campaign
  • Former Participant, Arvada YMCA Youth Campaign
  • Former Northwest Family YMCA Board of Directors
  • Former Member, North Area Schools Special Project Fund Allocation Committee
  • Former Chairman, Little Elementary School Accountability Committee, Jefferson County Schools
  • Member of Board of Directors, National Ski Patrol at Ski Estes Park.


GRADUATE STUDIES,  Resource Management



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Melanie Layton

 Melanie joined Colorado Legislative Services in 2000 and became a partner in 2005. She now has nearly 20 years of public policy experience lobbying a variety of business issues at the Capitol including banking, economic development and tax policy. She also has vast experience lobbying K-12 education, higher education, and health care issues with a high success rate. Before joining CLS, Melanie was the State Affairs Director for Colorado Farm Bureau and Public Relations Director for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, concentrating on legislative and media relations; all while obtaining Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs. Melanie has a strong network of relationships with legislators, as well as leaders in the government and public policy arena; ensuring CLS clients have access to key people in Colorado politics.

In addition to her success as a lobbyist, Melanie is a successful extreme athlete who has completed the Leadville 100 Ultra-Marathon, over 20 other marathons around the country, and numerous annual Ride the Rockies bicycle tours. Her dedication to these events translates to the vision, planning and execution it takes to perform at the Capitol. 



Public Administration

BACHELORS OF SCIENCE, Organizational Managment

Activities & Affiliations

  • Former President; Adams County Young Democrats
  • Former Speaker; Western Insurance Information Services Speakers Bureau & Toastmasters
  • Assistant Instructor; Colorado Mountain Club



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Partner, Lobbyist

Garin Vorthmann 

Garin has extensive policy knowledge on issues involving agriculture, water, energy, property rights, higher education and business. She has a strong work ethic that she developed growing up on a ranch in southwest Colorado. This combined with a dedication to detail has not only made her an expert in many policy areas, but also a trusted resource for legislators on both sides of the aisle. She has been recognized for her work bolstering the Colorado business climate by working to align agriculture and energy, two of the top five drivers of the Colorado economy, on a variety of issues. This work gained her recognition as one of Colorado’s "Top Women in Energy" by the Denver Business Journal in 2017.

Garin began her political career in Washington D.C. working for Senator Wayne Allard and was the in-house lobbyist for Colorado Farm Bureau before joining Colorado Legislative Services in 2007. She is a proud graduate of Colorado State University.

In her free time, Garin enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, cooking, reading and taking in the beautiful state of Colorado.



Agricultural Business

Activities & Affiliations

  • Member, Arapahoe County Extension Advisory Committee
  • Treasurer, Executive Committee, Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP)
  • Former Participant, Colorado Agricultural & Rural Leadership Program (CARL), Class III
  • Chair, Lawton-Taylor Academy Parent Partnership Group



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Associate, Lobbyist

Zoey DeWolf

Zoey joined the CLS team in December 2012 after managing a successful campaign for State Representative Cherylin Peniston. Relationships she cultivated on the campaign trail continue to grow as she has been actively lobbying legislation dealing with higher education, bioscience, health care, business, energy and the state budget. Zoey graduated magna cum laude from Northern Arizona University where she was a nationally ranked debater. Post-graduation and prior to her work in Colorado where she has deep roots, she spent time working on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. in the office of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and in the press shop of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. Translating complex issues into simple messages, strong resolve and extensive knowledge of Colorado’s political performance index are a few of the many talents she brings to CLS.

In addition to a budding passion for mountain climbing, Zoey is the debate coach at West Leadership Academy and a fitness instructor. 


Communication Studies

Activities & Affiliations

  • Board Secretary and Mentor, MINDS MATTER DENVER
  • Debate Coach, West Leadership Academy
  • Young Professional Board Member, Red Cross Colorado
  • Board Secretary and Investor, Colorado BioScience Association Political Action Committee
  • Alumni, Denver Metro Leadership Foundation - IMPACTDenver


Office manager

Connie Grider

Connie has been a valued member of the CLS team since 1999 and excels at keeping our lobby team in top form by interacting with our clients, managing all administrative operations for the business that includes bookkeeping, human resources, research, legislation tracking, campaign finance compliance, event planning and a host of other tasks and projects.  Her experience, resourcefulness and information literacy are an asset to the firm and the clients alike.