Leslie Bethel

In Memoriam

Leslie was the founding Chair of the Community Builders Board of Directors. A Denver native, she went on to receive an MLA in Design and Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design before becoming a renowned urban designer. Leslie has been awarded the Governor’s Top Award for Downtown Excellence and two notable American Institute of Architects Awards, one for her home run placemaking urban design leadership work on Coors Field in Denver.

Leslie’s outstanding urban planning and design career spanned more than 35 years. She was the Principal-in-Charge at RNL Design (currently named Stantec) before becoming the Executive Director of the Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority, where she established successful public-private partnerships—catalyzing downtown development for many years to come.

Leslie served on the Community Builders Board until she passed away in 2018.  She cared deeply about Community Builders’ work and mission. She believed strongly in the power of design to create better places to improve people’s lives and create a more sustainable future. A staunch advocate for shifting communities away from sprawl and towards building strong, livable places, Leslie was a fiery advocate for making great places and doing it right. She brought both a light-hearted and dogged attitude to everything she did, and has left behind a legacy of vibrant, transformational projects that will benefit generations to come. We are forever grateful to Leslie, and are honored that she is forever a part of the Community Builders story.