Harold Smethills, Founder, Sterling Ranch
Ron Redd, District Manager, Parker Water & Sanitation District
Rebecca Tejada, Director of Engineering, Parker Water & Sanitation District
Abe Laydon, District 1 County Commissioner, Douglas County
James Eklund, Attorney, Sherman & Howard
Greg Brophy, Political Activist and Farmer
Harold and his partner, Diane, both multi-generation Colorado residents, were inspired to bring Sterling Ranch to life as a legacy project for present and future generations to enjoy. With their extensive experience in real estate and business, these two are no strangers to innovation. They were blessed to acquire a location that truly embodies what it means to live in Colorado, and with that, their vision of a twenty-first-century community was born.
Today, Harold and Diane remain active in the day-to-day operations at Sterling Ranch, alongside their son, Brock. With real estate in his blood and an engineering background, Brock is well suited to sustain the community vision and lead Sterling Ranch’s development well into the future.
Ron has been with Parker Water & Sanitation District since 2013. Prior to coming to PWSD, he worked for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for 14 years and the Town of Castle Rock for 13 years.
In addition to managing PWSD, Ron also sits on the Board of Directors for the South Metro Water Supply Authority and the WISE Authority.
Ron is a Montana native and is a graduate of Montana State University. He enjoys the outdoor lifestyle offered by Colorado
Rebecca started at Parker Water & Sanitation District in 2013 and has been the Director of Engineering since September 2018.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Rebecca made Colorado her home in 2005. Rebecca enjoys camping, hiking, and rock climbing with her husband and three kids.
Abe Laydon was elected Douglas County Commissioner, District I, in November 2018 and began serving his first term in January 2019. Commissioner Laydon rotates as the Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chair and Vice-Chair monthly through January 2023.
Laydon’s top priorities as County Commissioner include cutting taxes, providing real transportation solutions, ensuring responsible growth, working collaboratively with law enforcement and the school board to make sure we have proven safety solutions ready and in place to protect our kids, and making certain we have clean and abundant air and water for generations to come.
As County Commissioner, Laydon seeks to collaborate with everyone in Douglas County – citizens, the press, business leaders, civic servants and nonprofits – to deliver good things for the community. He has an open-door policy and invites the opportunity to connect with all constituents and collaborators.
Prior to being elected as County Commissioner, Laydon served as a Douglas County Planning Commissioner for two terms, and as the Douglas County Republican Party’s first vice-chairman and treasurer. A graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, Laydon has been involved in philanthropy and civic service his entire life. He sits on the board of many local nonprofits, was an officer and member of Denver Active 20-30 and the Metro Denver Board of Christian Legal Society.
A 15-year land use and business attorney, Laydon was a senior partner at Coan, Payton & Payne, LLC. He is a member of the Denver Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
Laydon is a proud fifth-generation Coloradan and graduate of Colorado State University and the University of Colorado School of Law. Laydon and his wife reside in Lone Tree with their three children. The family attends and are members of Cherry Hills Community Church.
James Eklund leads the Water & Natural Resources practice at Sherman & Howard, where he is a strong advocate for smart water infrastructure and a recognized authority on water management in the American West.
In addition to advising and managing Norse Sky Ranch, his family’s Western Colorado ranch (homesteaded in 1888), James works with sovereign governments, multi-state authorities, state agencies, and private interests to deliver critical water infrastructure projects and to design policy regarding water law, natural resources, infrastructure, and environmental protection. He uses his depth of policy-making experience and notable connections with federal, state, and local decision makers to assist clients on a wide variety of matters including environmental, regulatory and legislative issues, and matters involving the use of public-private partnerships.
James served as served as Colorado’s lead negotiator and signatory on the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan and as Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board where he built a reputation as a leader in negotiation and diplomacy. He is recognized for bringing together numerous stakeholders with opposing goals to collaboratively craft binding solutions to common problems. James was the architect of Colorado’s Water Plan, the largest civic engagement process in state history, and served as legal counsel to Colorado’s Governor.
Many many years ago, James attended Stanford University, the University of Denver College of Law, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Now he teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs, and the University of Denver.
Greg Brophy is a political activist and fourth generation family farmer from Wray. He served 9 years in the Colorado State Senate and 3 years in the Colorado House. Greg also spent a year as Chief of Staff in the US House of Representatives. Greg is a frequent guest commentator on 9News, Channel 7, KOA and KHOW. Greg is currently farming and consulting. Greg is especially adept at organizing rural, center-right and activist conservatives. He and Angela have been married for thirty two years. They have three kids and five grandchildren.