As comfortable practicing her shot on the family ranch in Moffat County as she is on the campaign trail, Managing Partner Katie Behnke has never been one to mince words. This straight-shooting style has served Katie well as she executed a number of successful political and fundraising campaigns throughout her career.
Katie has advised a veritable who’s who of Colorado politics. Senator Elect Cory Gardner, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, Congressman Mike Coffman, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, State Senate Majority Leader Mark Hillman, Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer, U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Gov. Bill Owens have all, at one time or another, counted on Katie for her sage advice and hard work. Most recently, Katie served as the Finance Director and Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator Cory Gardner’s U.S. Senate race.
In addition to advising clients on financing their campaigns for public office, Katie is also a seasoned political communicator. She cut her teeth as press assistant to Gov. Bill Owens; she was then hired as deputy press secretary for U.S. Senate Candidate Pete Coors in 2004. Katie’s experience on the front lines with the political press corps gave her a unique ability to craft resonant messaging and manage productive relationships with members of the media. Katie then took this skill set and used it to benefit a number a clients from the private sector while she was employed at Phase Line Strategies, a leading public affairs firm in Colorado.
Katie’s independent Western spirit, combined with her love of Colorado, led her to co-found The Starboard Group in 2008. A fourth-generation Coloradan, Katie serves as the Denver board chair for the March of Dimes, the Regional Chair for Teneo, the Colorado Leadership Board for Maverick PAC and is on the National Thought Leaders Advisory Council for the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. She also volunteers her time with several non-profits in the region.
The genesis of the Starboard Group’s name comes in part from Katie’s background in sailing, a skill she picked up while regularly visiting her grandmother in North Carolina. She also imparted her sailing knowledge to children as a sailing instructor at a summer camp in the Tar Heel State. In addition to sailing, Katie enjoys rooting for her beloved University of Colorado Buffs and the Denver Broncos with her husband Joel Harris.