Get to know the Puksta Team

John Mulstay, Executive Director

John Mulstay is a Senior Vice President with Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management division.  John began his practice with Morgan Stanley in 1995 and currently manages over $650 million in assets and operates out of their Denver, CO office.  John’s practice is focused on assisting high net worth families, foundations and endowments with all aspects of their wealth management.  He specializes in creating and managing customized investment portfolios for his clients utilizing the capital markets group and the alternative investment team at Morgan Stanley.  Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, John was coaching the snowboard program for Team Summit.  John founded the Team Summit snowboard program in 1993 for a handful of very talented young men and women living in Summit County, CO.  The program is now one of the largest and most successful snowboard programs in the country.

John’s initial involvement with The Puksta Foundation began at the very beginning.  Harry and Eva Puksta were clients of John’s at Morgan Stanley.  While working with Harry and Eva on their estate planning and wealth transfer the idea of a scholarship program for “good kids” in the community began to take shape.  In the early part of 1999, Eva was diagnosed with an untreatable form of cancer.  At this point, Harry and Eva asked John, that should anything happen to them, if he would create this foundation for them.  Harry and Eva Puksta passed away just hours apart from each other on July 3rd and July 4th of 1999.  With the assets that Harry and Eva left behind, John built the Puksta Foundation and it was incorporated in the state of Colorado in 2000.  The first gifts to the Puksta Scholar program were made in 2001 and those scholarship grants continue through to this day.

John grew up in New York and earned his B.A. degree in Business and Economics at the State University of New York at Oneonta.  Upon graduation he made his way to Colorado and currently lives in the city of  Denver with his girlfriend and his little dog named Molly.  He is still passionate about snowboarding and also loves to scuba dive.

Development Team


NiChel Meis, Director of Development

NiChel is a first generation graduate with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is currently enrolled in a non-profit management graduate program at the same university. Before becoming Director of Development with The Puksta Foundation she volunteered with the development committee for 3 years. Falling in love with the genuinely inspiring stories she is passionate about working with the Puksta Scholars and watching them succeed in life and through the scholarship program. A Colorado native, NiChel enjoys snowboarding, hiking & camping but must travel for her love of scuba diving.





Investment Team

Marc Friedman

Mr. Friedman currently serves as the Director of Research for Mount Yale Capital Group, a Registered Investment Advisor with approximately $1.5 billion of assets under management. Prior to joining Mount Yale, Mr. Friedman was with Bard Capital Group, a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyouts of middle market operating companies. Previously, he was an investment banker in the Corporate Finance Department of Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc. Mr. Friedman for acquisition due diligence and execution as well as various financial initiatives with portfolio companies Friedman focused on middle-market mergers & acquisitions and public and private placements of equity and debt. He has experience across a broad range of industries and has led the execution of many M&A and financing transactions. Prior to Stifel, he spent two years as an Associate with Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Friedman is on the Board of Directors and Investment Committee of the Puksta Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation providing financial resources to upstanding, civic and socially minded Colorado students attending college in the state of Colorado.

Mr. Friedman received a B.S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned an MBA and M.S. in Finance from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.



Richard “Chip” Mower

Chip is Co-Founder, LPL Financial Registered Principal and Managing Partner of Meridian Wealth Management located in Boulder and Denver, Colorado. As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, he specializes in family wealth planning and investment management utilizing hedging, monetizing and diversification strategies designed to accumulate, protect and transfer wealth.

Richard began his career as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. And prior to co-founding Meridian Wealth Management in 2005, he spent nine years as a Financial Consultant in the Private Client Group of Wells Fargo Bank assisting corporate executives, business owners and wealthy families with strategic and alternative wealth planning. Richard has been entrusted in managing client assets in confidence for sixteen years.

Richard volunteers for the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) helping children with physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral challenges, serves as an advisory council member of Hope House of Colorado and is a director of the Puksta Foundation. Richard enjoys skiing, golf, tennis and biking.

Advisory Committee

Bland, Michael – Estate planning attorney HRO Bryan Cave

Carroll , Kevin - Dean of marketing and communications DU

Close ,DJ – Puksta Scholar alumni representative United Way

Friedman, Marc – Investment advisor council member Mt. Yale Capital

Keller ,Victoria – Retired from CSU but developed their service learning institute

Menjivar, Aminta – Puksta Scholar representative  graduating now from DU

Mower, Richard – Investment advisor council   meridian wealth management

Nash, Andy – Nationwide financial VP regional sales

Nealson, Jennifer - Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Potter, PhD, Mark – Community outreach coordinator Metro State Univ                        

Risch, Tina – Denver center for the performing arts community outreach

Simons, Todd – GM Earl’s restaurant downtown Denver

Simons, Peter – Retired 12 years CU Puksta Scholar program coordinator

Whitcher, PhD   Jenny – Professor Illiff school of theology and former Puksta Scholar program coordinator DU















facebook marketing