Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Five questions with Barbara Ezyk

The here and now, and the future.




In 2011, Barbara Ezyk was named Executive Director of the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP). At the time, COLAP was a brand new initiative that Ezyk had to create from the ground up. Nearly eight years later, COLAP has become recognizable not only across the State of Colorado, but also nationally and internationally. We talked with Barbara about her time with COLAP, and what’s coming next, following her retirement on June 30, 2018.


What led you to the decision to retire this year?

On August 1 of this year, I’ll be 66. I never really thought about retirement until a few years ago when I was talking with Chuck Turner. He really got me thinking about retirement, I brought the idea to my husband, and we started talking about how to figure it out. Part of the plan was to sell our townhouse in Mesa, Arizona, and purchase a retirement home.

In March of last year [2017], we were in Arizona when we found it – a beautiful ranch-style retirement home on the first fairway of a golf course. We closed on the ranch in April, and closed on the townhouse in May of 2017. Once we secured that house, things really started moving fast. So I really have to thank Chuck Turner for making me think about retirement, and to start putting the steps in place to do so.

How do you feel about leaving a program you started?

I’m definitely going to miss my friends and my staff – and I know that they will come down and visit me. I think it’s phenomenal what we have done as COLAP. I’m leaving it in good hands, and I know my staff, and whoever they choose as my replacement, will go on to make COLAP bigger and better. I love my job. But you want to go out when you still love what you do, and you love going to work every day. And that’s how I feel. When I walk out of here on June 30, I’ll know that I gave it my heart and soul.

I know it’s hard to think back over a career spanning 28 years, but what do you think you’re most proud of from a professional standpoint?

I would say two things. I’m proud of the work I did as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I still bump into people whose children were in the Unit over 20 years ago. So, I’m very proud of the work I did there. I’m also very proud of the work I’ve done here for COLAP. I’ve also done a lot of volunteering outside of law and nursing, with the goal of making my little corner of the world a better place.

And what about from a personal standpoint?

My husband and I have been married for 41 years, this July. I’m very proud of the fact that we’re still together, and all the things we’ve done together to help others. He’s always been so supportive of the changes I’ve pursued in my life. After all these years, I’m excited to finally be home with him and our two dogs.

The truth is, every morning I get up and I practice gratitude. I’m grateful that I have another day to do the best I can. Then, when I go to bed at night, I practice gratitude again. I am grateful for the day, even if I didn’t have my best day. “Let it be enough, what you did today.” That’s a quote from Sophia Bush, that’s how I feel and that’s what I live by.

What’s next for Barbara Ezyk?

I’m excited for the next chapter. At some point, I might volunteer but I won’t be doing anything for a year – I want to take a year off. We will do some light remodeling to the new house but I really just want to decompress. I’ve been going full-speed for so many years between nursing and law, I’m ready to just relax and play some golf. My husband and I have a fully restored ’65 Corvette, so we’re looking forward to taking her out for a spin, a lot!