AVH candidate David Missner: ‘I tell it like it is’ | AspenTimes.com

AVH candidate David Missner: ‘I tell it like it is’

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” As a retired bankruptcy attorney with experience in the construction business, David Missner believes he is the right man for a seat on Aspen Valley Hospital’s board of directors.

Missner, 67, has worked for 43 years as a bankruptcy attorney for Chicago law firm DLA Piper LLC, said to be one of the largest in the world with some 3,700 attorneys, and one of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign contributors, according to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia.

Missner is one of seven candidates for two open seats on the board. The others are real estate broker Chuck Frias, paramedic and businesswoman Deborah Hutchinson, doctors Barry Mink and Mindy Nagle, attorney and developer Mark Rothman, and attorney Albert Slap.

Missner, who has lived in the Aspen area for about five years, is here roughly 80 percent of his time, he said. The rest is spent working and living in Chicago.

“I have the time, and I thought it would be an interesting thing to do,” Missner said. “I wanted to do something for the community.”

As the son of a contractor, he said, he has sufficient knowledge of the construction industry to be helpful as the district embarks on a $100 million expansion and renovation of the 31-year-old hospital. The project, as planned, would basically triple the size of the hospital, from its current 71,000 square feet to roughly 214,000 square feet, and add a three-story, underground parking garage to the space between the hospital and Castle Creek Road.

“The technology is changing so much, I think it’s a terrific idea,” Missner said of the expansion plan, adding that “construction is probably the worst business in the world” because of the difficulties in dealing with the many issues that inevitably arise.

But, he conceded, “I’m no expert in health-care issues. I know a lot about business.”

Missner said he is a business partner with one of the current board members, John Jellinek. The two of them own Aspen Earthmoving, which they bought three years ago, and the Aspen Labor Source temporary employment firm.

The pair bought the Garfield County Airport near Rifle in 2005, but sold it a year or so later. Missner also is an investor in Zenith Administrators, said to be America’s largest third-party employee-benefit program administrator.

He said he is a firm believer in providing employees with a strong, well-backed benefits program, and claimed that Aspen Earthmoving has “the best benefits of any company in the valley, because you have to ” it’s the right thing to do.”

Missner’s goal for the hospital, should he be elected, he said, is “to make it accessible to people, to make it a first-rate facility.”

And the most critical component of that goal, he said, is the realization that “you want to get good people. If you get good people, it’s going to take care of itself.”

Calling himself “a total realist” whose view is that “facts are everything,” Missner said: “I don’t have biases. I look at things straight up. I’ve got no problem saying exactly what I’ve got on my mind. I’m not a political person, I’m a very direct person. I tell it like it is.”


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