Mountain Mayhem: Eleven Years of Bella Sera |

Mountain Mayhem: Eleven Years of Bella Sera

2017 Bella Sera honorees Kristen and Marc Holtzman with their 8-year-old daughter, Ava, and 2016 Bella Sera honorees Deborah Newman Sharpe and Bob Sharpe. Alice Koelle Photo.
Alice Koelle Photography, Inc. |

Bella Sera, a benefit for National Jewish Health, took place Aug. 6 at Belly Up. Presented by Nancy and Richard Rogers, the 11th annual gala event featured drinks, dinner and a performance by award-winning musician Randy Newman. More than 170 guests took part, raising awareness and over $365,000 for the nonprofit.

Kristen and Marc Holtzman, longtime community leaders in Colorado and National Jewish Health National Trustees, received the National Jewish Health Humanitarian Award for their significant civic and charitable contributions.

“Our honorees tonight are truly deserving of this honor,” said Stuart Bernstein, a past recipient of the Humanitarian Award and former U.S. ambassador to Denmark. “Kristen and Marc Holtzman are known in Colorado and worldwide for their generosity to community and active involvement in finance and public service.”

Marc Holtzman serves as chairman of KazKommertsBank, Kazakhstan’s largest financial institution as well as chairman of Bank of Kigali, Rwanda’s largest financial institution. He previously served as vice chairman of Barclays Capital and ABN Amro Bank.

Colorado has been an important part of both Kristen’s and Marc’s professional and personal lives for many years — Marc Holtzman as president of the University of Denver and Colorado’s first secretary of technology under former Gov. Bill Owens and Kristen Holtzman as deputy press secretary for Gov. Owens and communications director for former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

Randy Newman, three-time Emmy winner, six-time Grammy winner and two-time Oscar winner, played a variety of songs spanning his nearly 50-year career, including “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Putin.” Kristen Holtzman and the Holtzmans’ 8-year-old daughter, Ava, partnered with Bella Sera Host Committee Member and Newman’s cousin Deborah Newman Sharpe onstage to introduce Newman.

National Jewish Health, recently named as the No. 1 respiratory hospital in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for the 16th year, has partnered with the Aspen Valley medical community to provide care to patients for over 20 years. Since 2007, Bella Sera has raised more than $2.4 million for the hospital. To learn more, visit

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