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Board Chair Message:

We continue to expand the scope, purpose, and our strategic direction by expanding the Bill Pickett invitational Rodeo Foundation (BPIRf).  The foundation takes our responsibility to our programs and supporters seriously.  Our foundation has continued to expand because of the generosity of our corporate partners. We would like to recognize CoBank for serving as our 2023 Scholarship Sponsor.

The philanthropic spirit of our corporate sponsors and individual donors provided the needed funding to help us increase our community involvement and programs.  Our charitable function continues to exceed expectations and achieve our strategic priorities.  We have expanded our capacity to provide additional health, educational and financial support for community programs and students pursuing further education. We continue to provide opportunities for youth and young adults to experience the Black Cowboy and Cowgirl through the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR).

This year, we will build on the incredible support furthering student education through our scholarship program by rolling out our College Internship Partnership.  We will connect our scholarship awardees majoring in agricultural science and business, marketing, finance, and accounting with corporate partners.  A college education is an extraordinarily profitable investment not only for the individual but to our community where Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo performs.

Many studies show that Investing in our communities and students, especially college graduates result in greater economic stability, security, greater community service and leadership.

The foundation will reinvigorate our efforts as we:

  • Honoring the legacy of our founder – Lu Vason, Black Cowboy, Black Cowgirl, and legendary contributors to the American West. 
  • Supporting diverse communities through our programs.
  • Provide more scholarships and grants throughout the country with a continuous distribution under the Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund (BPMSF) arm. 

Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board will continue to work on expanding our reach. Our primary goals for the future are to:

  • Secure a funding source or corporate sponsor for the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Traveling Museum 2023, 2024 and 2025
  • Identify a permanent location for the Museum.
  • Preserve and add archives and artifacts of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
  • Create and develop new initiatives, and advance our existing educational, health and wellness programs.
  • Provide support and resources to our communities.

I am extremely pleased with the support of our sponsors, partner, donors, volunteers, our talented cowboys and cowgirls, talented board, and our amazing audience who come to enjoy four generations of the Black Cowboy and Black Cowgirl. A special thanks for the critical role you play in our success!

 Let’s Rodeo and Continue Impacting Our Community! 

Kenneth “Ken” Johnson
Board Chair
Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation

Board Values

  • Integrity – We act with honesty and integrity in everything we do
  • Passion – We are driven by providing opportunities
  • Diversity – We value, appreciate, and respect all people for their uniqueness
  • Quality – We support the BPIR in providing a unique and meaningful rodeo experience
  • Stewardship – We operate a fiscally responsible organization built on providing financial support to the community
  • Community – We engage with regions where the BPIR is active
  • Partnership – We develop strong partnerships throughout the nation
  • Heritage – We honor culture and the contributions African Americans have made to the American West!

To be considered for board service please contact. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (720) 290-2778.

Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation
Board of Directors

  • Kenneth Johnson – Chairman of the BPIRF Board– President & Owner KennJohn, LLC
  • Honorable Angela Williams – Former State Senator, Colorado General Assembly &  Director with Strive Education
  • Valeria Cunningham – Treasurer -President & CEO Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
  • Margo Wade LaDrew –Community Liaison and Marketing – President & Owner Wade and Associates
  • Sheri Vason – Secretary - Event Planner
  • Allegra “Happy Haynes – Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreations
  • Jerome Blackwell – Consultant – Kaiser Permanente of Colorado

Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation Advisory Board of Directors

  • Reginald T. Dorsey
  • Obba Barbatunte
  • James Pickens, Jr.
  • Glynn Turman
  • Barbara Shannon Bannister
  • Terrance Carroll
  • Ronnie Cunningham
  • Stephanie Haynes
  • Maurice Wade
  • Peggy Wortham