Betty Bechtel graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.S. in Business in 1967. While her husband, Joel, attended medical school, she worked as a statistician for the telephone company, then attended Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law, attaining her J.D., cum laude, in 1978. From 1979-1980, she worked in the employment law section of Dykema Gossett law firm in Detroit, Michigan. Returning home to Colorado in 1980, she practiced primarily employment law for 25 years with Dufford, Waldeck, Milburn & Krohn in Grand Junction. In 2005, she and Michael Santo founded Bechtel & Santo, emphasizing employment law for businesses. Betty retired from active practice in 2011, but still contributes to the firm’s quarterly newsletter, The Employer’s Advisory, published since 1994.
Betty’s list of positions in service to the Western Colorado community is extensive. She has served as board member and chair of Mesa County Economic Development Council (n/k/a Grand Junction Economic Partnership); Mesa County Pro Bono Association; Business Incubator Center; Cinema at the Avalon; Hilltop Rehabilitation Hospital; Hospice of the Grand Valley; Western Colorado Area Health Education Center; Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, The Art Center, Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees, and Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
In 2013, Betty was honored by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce when they named her Citizen of the Year.