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 the top 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, became a partner in 2005, and now co-owns the Denver-based government affairs firm.  She has 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 a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs. Prior to that, she graduated from Colorado Christian University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Organizational Management.

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 mother to three and is an extreme athlete who has completed the Leadville 100 Ultra-Marathon, and has climbed all Colorado’s 14ers and numerous high-altitude mountains around the world. Her current undertaking is Pack Burro Racing, Colorado’s official heritage sport, with her two burros, Maverick and Goose.  Her dedication to these endeavors translates to the vision, planning and execution it takes to succeed in politics and advocacy.



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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Parnter, Lobbyist

Zoey DeWolf

Before joining the CLS team in December 2012, Zoey managed a successful campaign for a Colorado State Representative. Holding this very competitive seat helped return the House to Democrat-control after Republicans held the chamber in 2010 and 2011. As an Associate at the firm, she has added value by becoming a leader on pharmaceutical, biotech, higher education, human services, economic and workforce development issues and learning how to successfully lobby the state's powerful Joint Budget Committee. 

Prior to her work in Colorado, where she has deep roots, she was a fellow with the non-profit organization Running Start. In addition to learning the value of having women in public office, she spent time working on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. with the office of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Subsequently, her time in Washington was spend in the press shop of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson.

Beyond her budding passion for mountain climbing and her obsession with her rescued greyhound, Aldo, Zoey is a certified spin, yoga, and sculpt instructor who teaches at a local boutique fitness studio. At her core is the belief that nothing good comes without giving and with her time she is deeply invested in the Denver community. She is the Debate Coach at West High School, is a mentor and the Chairwoman of the governing board for the college access mentoring nonprofit - Minds Matter of Denver. She serves on an advisory team of the Institute for Science and Policy, is a member of the Denver Health Young Professionals Board - Next Generation Giving, and is a volunteer for the Denver Scholarship Foundation.


Communication Studies, Emphasis: Pre-Law

Activities & Affiliations

  • Board Chairwoman and Mentor, MINDS MATTER DENVER

  • Debate Coach, West High School

  • Next Generation Giving Board, Denver Health

  • Advisory Board, Institute of Science and Policy through the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

  • Board Secretary and Investor, Colorado BioScience Association Political Action Committee

  • Gala Planning Committee Member 2018 and 2019, Denver Scholarship Foundation

  • 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.