Who We Are


Executive Committee


Laura Barton

Laura grew up in Tucson, Arizona and graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1982 with a degree in Comparative Literature. After graduation, Laura moved to Colorado to work in the cable television industry.

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She and her late husband Peter Barton raised three children, Kate, Jeff and Chris, during which time Laura began her lifelong commitment to the community as a volunteer and philanthropist for education, child health, reproductive health and human services.

A past trustee of The Denver Foundation, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Colorado Public Radio, Laura currently serves on Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Hospital and Foundation Boards, and as a co-chair of their comprehensive Courage is…Campaign. Laura also serves as board chair for Constellation Philanthropy, connecting with other early childhood investors. Laura lives in central Denver with her husband, artist William Matthews.


Rebecca Chopp

Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D., has been chancellor of the University of Denver since September 2014. Informed by a planning process that consulted thousands of community members, she developed the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan, focused on the 21st-century transformation of knowledge, the holistic education of students, and the University’s engagement in local and global organizations and communities. A visionary leader, Chopp emphasizes the importance of developing DU as an intentional community—among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University—and creating a welcoming and inclusive global community and a campus where people from all backgrounds can thrive.

See Chancellor Chopp's full biography here >>>


Tom Gougeon

Tom Gougeon became President of the Gates Family Foundation in August of 2010. For the prior ten years he was a Principal and Chief Development Officer for Continuum Partners, LLC. Continuum is a developer and operator of mixed use and transit oriented real estate projects. Prior to Continuum Tom ran a charitable foundation, was the CEO of the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation and served for eight years in the Mayor’s Office in the City and County of Denver.

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Tom has served on the boards of numerous housing, land conservation, urban redevelopment, environmental and historic preservation organizations. He is a former Chair of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, The Nature Conservancy and the Urban Land Conservancy. He is currently a Commissioner of the Denver Water Board and serves on the boards of Denver Civic Ventures, Gary Community Investment/the Piton Foundation, and the Real Estate Development Committee of the Urban Land Conservancy. Tom has a BA from the University of Denver and a MCRP from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.


Denise O’Leary

Ms. O’Leary is a private venture capital investor and a corporate director.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of American Airlines Group, Inc., (Chair, Compensation Committee) and Medtronic plc (Chair, Finance Committee), as well as Galvanize, Inc., a privately held company based in Denver.  She has also served on the boards of US Airways, Inc. until that company’s merger with American Airlines at the end of 2013, ALZA Corporation, America West Airlines Group, Inc., Calpine Corporation, Chiron Corporation, Del Monte Foods Company and numerous private companies. She also serves on the Advisory Council of the Colorado Impact Fund.

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Ms. O’Leary is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Denver and is a Trustee of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the Smithsonian National Board. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where she served as Chair of the Board, and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She was a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees for 15 years, during which time she was Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Committee on the Medical Center. She was a member of the Presidential Search Committee at Stanford in 2000 and was awarded the Gold Spike for distinguished volunteer leadership in 2014. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Connect for Health Colorado, the state health exchange, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she served as Chair of the Board.

A graduate of Stanford University (BS, Industrial Engineering, 1979) and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA, 1983), Ms. O’Leary was a General Partner at Menlo Ventures in Menlo Park, CA for 15 years. She and her husband, Kent Thiry, have two children: Matt, 30, and Christina, 28.

Advisory Board


Laura Barton

Laura grew up in Tucson, Arizona and graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1982 with a degree in Comparative Literature. After graduation, Laura moved to Colorado to work in the cable television industry.

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She and her late husband Peter Barton raised three children, Kate, Jeff and Chris, during which time Laura began her lifelong commitment to the community as a volunteer and philanthropist for education, child health, reproductive health and human services.

A past trustee of The Denver Foundation, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Colorado Public Radio, Laura currently serves on Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Hospital and Foundation Boards, and as a co-chair of their comprehensive Courage is…Campaign. Laura also serves as board chair for Constellation Philanthropy, connecting with other early childhood investors. Laura lives in central Denver with her husband, artist William Matthews.


Eddie Koen

Eddie has a strong advocacy interest in education policy, criminal justice, and housing. He specializes in organizational turn-around. He strongly believes that the marriage of policy, advocacy, and planning are tools to expedite change and create structural inclusion. With a generally relaxed demeanor, Eddie prefers to work behind the scenes.

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He currently serves as Chief of Staff for Denver Public Schools. He is charged with overall coordination of Denver Public Schools, a District serving 92,000 students, 15,000 employees, and a roughly one-billion-dollar budget. He provides strategic leadership for the District's agenda at the federal, state, and city level.

He served as the Colorado State Policy Adviser for Lumina Foundation's Strategy Labs, a platform for connection and collaborating for system-level policymakers and higher education leaders to advance targeted initiatives on racial equity and increasing degree attainment in underrepresented groups.


Luis Duarte

Luis serves as investment director at Gary Community Investments (GCI) where he leads the areas of impact investing and innovation. Prior to joining GCI, Luis was a serial entrepreneur. His last venture continues to increase recycling rates in Mexico.

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Before that, Luis worked for the private and public sector, where he performed as consultant and engineer for the plastics and construction industry and led a 200 staff organization for the public health sector in Mexico. He is a Colorado Governors Fellow, and was also a Fellow at the Unreasonable Institute. He holds a BS, cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from Tec de Monterrey and an MBA, cum laude, from Babson College. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.


Peter Durst

Peter Durst has been a potter, ceramist, and sculptor for the past 45 years. He owns and operates Durst Studio, Gallery and Sculpture Garden on South Broadway in Denver, Colorado. Durst serves on the faculty of the Art Students League Denver where he teaches architectural ceramics. He also teaches at the Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa, Hawaii.


Andrew 'Rusty' Gonzales

Rusty has been the owner of St. Andrews since its inception in 1996, and has been in the electrical industry for over 35 years. Prior to founding St. Andrews, Rusty completed the Wyoming Joint Apprentice Training Program, and possesses a Colorado Master Electrician license. His project management expertise earned him an Alliance Project Management Certificate, in addition to a certificate from Howard University for the School of Business Executive Education in the Government Contracting Competency Program. 

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Rusty believes in his company being an open mentorship program and often educates smaller and less experienced companies through training, business development, and general advice. Through Rusty's many community connections he can reach hundreds of people who are in need of mentorship and always makes himself available to help less experienced companies.

Rusty serves on the board of the Hispanic Contractors of Colorado (HCC) which is the most diverse construction trade association in Colorado. The HCC aims to provide education, political advocacy, and networking for small and diverse organizations. Rusty serves on the ELECTRI International Council which provides educational grants and programs for companies and individuals in the electrical contracting industry. Rusty is the Vice President of the board of the Rocky Mountain National Electrical Contracting Association (NECA) and is on the Research Management and Development Committee, and the Labor Management Committee. NECA is the governing body for union organized electrical industry companies. Rusty is a founding member of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado and was also a fellow of the Latino Leadership Institute. Rusty was additionally a founding donor in the Gabriel Pando Endowment Scholarship Fund and was recently recognized as LCFC Philanthropist of the Year. In 22 years Rusty has grown St. Andrews Construction from $5,000 to nearly $12 million in annual revenue, has impacted countless individuals and businesses, and continues to relentlessly serve his family, community and company.


Ryan Heckman

Ryan has spent his entire 17-year career as a private equity investor. His passion for entrepreneurship, leadership and Colorado led him to join Quarterly Forum as its Chairman. 

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Ryan began his career as an investment professional for Booth Creek Management Corporation, a family-owned private equity firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, and then, as a principal of KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based, middle-market private equity firm. As a co-founder of Excellere Partners in 2006, Ryan and his partners raised a $265 million institutional private equity fund, and more recently, a $472 million second fund. Excellere is renowned for its entrepreneur service model and industry-leading investment returns.

In 2014, Ryan co-founded the Colorado Impact Fund, a Denver-based private equity fund that provides growth capital to emerging Colorado companies and entrepreneurs and became the President of ICON, an emerging surgical eye care healthcare company. Ryan grew up in rural Colorado and his early years skiing led him to become the youngest member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. After a successful athletic career that included two Olympic Teams and four world championships, he graduated with honors from the University of Colorado. He resides in Denver with his wife, Katie, and their two young children.


Melanie Herrera Bortz

Melanie Herrera Bortz is a sought after expert on health equity and social justice issues. She is a program officer at The Colorado Health Foundation where she manages a portfolio of investments aimed at making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. Melanie co-founded the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights.

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She was honored with the Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award and the Faith and Freedom Award for her work on Latina reproductive justice. In 2016, she received the Alumni Service to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Award from the University of Denver (DU). Melanie has volunteered for many community initiatives and served on numerous boards. Currently, she is a member of the steering committees for the Center for Health Equity at Denver Health and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado - Latinas LEAD. She earned her her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Public Administration in Health Policy from the University of Colorado and is an alumna of the Latino Leadership Institute. She was born in Colorado's San Luis Valley. Her greatest joy is being Philip's mom and being married to Matt.


John Ikard

John started with FirstBank in 1981 and was elected President and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company in 1999. In early 2017, after 35 years with the company, the last 17 years as CEO, John stepped down as CEO but continues to serve on the FirstBank Board of Directors.

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John is an active community leader having served as past chairman of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Area Boy Scout Council, and Denver Economic Development Corporation. On a national level, John has served as Chairman of the American Bankers Association, the nation's largest financial services association, as well as serving on the Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City. In 2010, John was honored with the prestigious "Community Banker of Year" award by the American Banker magazine.


Kenzo Kawanabe

Kenzo Kawanabe is a commercial litigator who represents clients in a variety of matters relating to commercial disputes, mass torts, products liability, and intellectual property. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has significant litigation and trial experience in high-stakes cases. 

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Kawanabe was the DGS Pro Bono Partner and on the DGS Executive Committee. He teaches at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and dedicates significant time to volunteer work including serving on the Boards of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, CO Lawyers Committee (Chair), and CO Legal Services.

Kawanabe is a fourth-generation Coloradan who engages in community service. He was Board Chair of The Denver Foundation, one of the nation's largest community foundations which annually grants tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations. He also served on the Boards of the Boettcher Foundation, Sakura Foundation, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Community Resource Center, Stapleton Foundation, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C.


Adeeb Khan

Adeeb Khan is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Denver office of TIAA, a Fortune 100 company dedicated to serving the financial needs of people who work in the academic, government and nonprofit fields. Prior to serving at TIAA, Adeeb spent 10 years in the nonprofit sector developing a variety of programs and initiatives to advance the common good. Adeeb recently served as the Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement at Mile High United Way where he launched a number of evidence based programs designed to improve academic outcomes for Colorado's at-risk students.


Mike Kopp

Mike Kopp is the Executive Director of Colorado Concern, an alliance of top business executives with a mission of enhancing the Centennial State's business climate.

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Mike’s career began as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. In Ranger School he seized upon and never let go of the Ranger Creed’s line, “Surrender is not a Ranger word.” He often notes that that phrase has shaped him like none other. Mike also served as a hot shot firefighter.

After his undergraduate work he spent several years in executive leadership positions in ministry and nonprofit work. Mike put his experiences to work as a businessman and nearly a decade he provided organizational development consulting services around the US.

Mike served on the senior management team of Colorado’s largest electric cooperative where he oversaw the Corporate Affairs Division which provided leadership for its professional development, legislative and regulatory affairs, corporate communications, public affairs and member relations functions.

He won a highly competitive race for a Colorado state senate seat and was re-elected to a second term. During his tenure he was chosen by his peers to serve as Caucus Chairman and Senate Minority Leader. He later won his party’s state convention in a bid to become Governor in 2014.

Mike thrives on cycling, running, hunting, reading and fishing. He loves endurance sports having recently become an Ironman 70.3 racer. Mike and his wife Shannon live in Golden with three of their four children whom they are crazy about.

Mike earned a Masters of Public Administration at CU-Denver and serves on several nonprofit boards including the Griffith Centers for Children and EPIC (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children).


Amanda Moore McBride

Professor Amanda Moore McBride is the Morris Endowed Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work. She is an internationally recognized expert in civic and community engagement, and her scholarship focuses on promoting engagement through education, programs and policy, addressing issues of inclusion.

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McBride's prior research has focused on national service, service learning and international volunteering. She has authored or co-authored more than 70 books, special journal issues and articles.

A leader in the field of community engagement in higher education, McBride has convened conferences and written on the topic for The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Huffington Post. She has consulted with the United States Corporation for National and Community Service, the United Nations Volunteer Program and the Social Science Research Council. She has organized more than 15 conferences and symposia, including a recent think tank on the rise of social innovation in higher education and how to best apply the academy's human capital in addressing entrenched social issues. A recent piece on the connections between social innovation and civic engagement was the lead article in AACU's Diversity & Democracy journal.


David Padrino

David is currently a Special Advisor at the Colorado Impact Fund (CIF), a double bottom line venture capital fund which helps Colorado companies maximize community impact and financial returns.  David is currently helping CIF investigate opportunities to expand their impact in the workforce development space. 

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Prior to his role with CIF, David spent four years in Governor John Hickenlooper’s Administration in a number of roles, including as the state’s first Chief Performance Officer, and Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne. David helped design and implement a high performance government system which garnered Colorado national recognition as one of the top five states for using “data and evidence as decision making tools to achieve better outcomes,” according to the national non-partisan group Results for America. As part of this effort, David served as an advisor to the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, housed at the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver.

David also oversaw the portfolio of programs in the Lt. Governor’s Office covering healthcare, education, constituent support and community service. David led the work for the Education Leadership Council (ELC), a Governor appointed 25-member council, which was tasked with creating a vision and strategic plan to improve the education system, from early childhood to the workforce. After 18 months of work and engagement with thousands of Coloradans, the ELC unanimously approved the “State of Education” plan on December 10th, 2018.

Before joining the Administration, David was a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global strategy consulting firm. David spent seven years with BCG advising Fortune 500 companies and public sector organizations on topics such as strategy, operations, talent management and organizational transformation. Prior to BCG, David was a senior manager in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration in New York City, focused on workforce and economic development. David joined city government after completing a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.

David received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Mitchell Fellow and Morgenthau Award winner. He graduated with honors and a BA in history from Vassar College.

David aims to stay actively involved in the Denver community. He helps lead the Governors Fellowship Program, advises to the Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator program, and will start teaching a class on performance management and good government at the University of Colorado – Denver, School of Public Affairs in the Spring of 2019.

David lives in Denver with his wife Lindsey, a Colorado native and McKinsey Associate Partner, and their three young daughters.


Tamra Ryan

Tamra Ryan is the CEO of Women's Bean Project, a nationally-recognized social enterprise based in Denver, CO that provides transitional employment, while operating manufacturing businesses, to women attempting to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty. 

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She is a former board member of Social Venture Partners-Denver, currently chairs the Board of Directors for the Social Enterprise Alliance and was recently named one of the 2017 Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado. Ms. Ryan was a speaker at TEDxMilehigh and is the author of The Third Law, a book which highlights the societal obstacles and internal demons that must be overcome for marginalized women to change their lives. The Third Law has won multiple awards for women/minorities in business and social activism.


Kristin Strohm

Kristin Strohm is President & CEO of Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR), a non-profit free-enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of the economy. Strohm also serves as Board Chair of the Starboard Group, which she co-founded and is widely regarded as one of the most influential fundraising consulting firms in the West.

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Kristin volunteers her time in a range of philanthropic and community endeavors. Strohm serves on the Board of Trustees of Coe College, where she also founded the Tri Delta Leadership Scholarship. She is a past board chair of the Women's Bean Project, serves on the Denver Area Council Boy Scouts of America Executive Board and is on the board of the Strohm-Link Family Foundation. She is also part of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network's founding class.

In 2018, Kristin was honored by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado. She has also been awarded Denver Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award and the Ally Award from the pro-LGTBQ organization One Colorado in recognition of her advocacy for gay rights among Republicans. Kristin is a graduate of Coe College and obtained her MBA from the University of Denver. She’s married to Josh Penry and they make their home in Greenwood Village, Colorado with their four children.



David Miller

Executive Director
Email  |  david.j.miller@du.edu

In March 2016, David Miller joined the University of Denver, as the Executive Director of the new Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise.

Prior to joining the University of Denver, David was the President and CEO of The Denver Foundation from 1996 until 2016.

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The Denver Foundation is the oldest and largest community foundation in the Rocky Mountain region. Under David’s leadership, the assets of The Denver Foundation grew from $58 million to over $700 million. During David's tenure, generous donors contributed more than $1 billion to The Denver Foundation as a vehicle for their charitable giving.

In addition to David’s tenure at The Denver Foundation, David was a principal in Greenberg, Baron, Simon & Miller (GBSM), a strategic communications consulting firm and for ten years prior, he served in Colorado state and local government, as Executive Director of the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting under Governor Richard Lamm and Chief of Staff for Denver Mayor Federico Peña.

David is a native of Denver and a fifth generation Denverite. He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School. David is married to Lisa Farber Miller. They have two children and four grandchildren.


Rebecca Arno

Email  |  rebecca.arno@du.edu

Rebecca Arno, joins us as Director of the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise. She previously served as the University of Denver’s Executive Director of Foundation Relations.

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Before coming to DU, Rebecca was Vice President of Communications and Operations at The Denver Foundation, where she and David Miller worked together for fifteen years. Rebecca served as the first vice president of communications for The Daniels Fund and the first communications officer for Peninsula Community Foundation, now part of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the United States. Rebecca has extensive fundraising experience as well as experience working for nonprofits in the health and environmental sectors.

During her twenty-five years of philanthropic sector service, Rebecca has provided volunteer leadership to numerous causes, including serving on the boards and as board chair for local, statewide, and national organizations. Her relationships throughout Metro Denver and across the United States will greatly benefit the Barton Institute as we develop our programs.


Kristin Klopfenstein

Director, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Email  |  kristin.klopfenstein@du.edu

A noted economist, Kristin Klopfenstein most recently served as founding Executive Director of the Education Innovation Institute at the University of Northern Colorado. The Institute was established by the Colorado General Assembly to leverage applied research to solve practical problems in educational reform.

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Prior to joining UNC, Kristin was interim director of the Education Research Center at the University of Texas, Dallas, a state repository for educational data. She also served as an associate professor of economics at Texas Christian University. She earned her doctorate in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her undergraduate degree from George Washington University.


Elysia Clemens

Deputy Director, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Email  |  elysia.clemens@du.edu

Elysia is a highly-experienced researcher and academic. She has been a tenured professor at the University of Northern Colorado and Faculty Fellow with the Education Innovation Institute. She is an expert in school counseling, child adolescent mental health, and improving the educational outcomes of at-risk populations, including students in foster care.


Whitney LeBoeuf

Director of Integrated Data and Analytics, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Email  |  whitney.lebouf@du.edu

Whitney is an expert in social policy research and data sharing, having worked with the well-known national group Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania. As Director of Data Integration and Analytics for the Colorado Lab, she will be working with partners at all levels of state government to foster interagency data sharing for research to inform program and policy improvement.

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Prior to joining the Colorado Lab, Whitney worked with both University of Colorado Boulder School of Education and University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education as a Senior Research Associate. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy, and has a Masters degree in Quantitative Research Methods from the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. Her undergraduate degree is in Communications, earned at Northwestern University.


Lydia Prado

Director of Community Partnerships
Email  |  lydia.prado@du.edu

Dr. Prado, a psychologist who earned her doctorate from the University of Denver in 1994, has been with the Mental Health Center of Denver for 17 years and is currently Vice President of Strategic Community Partnerships. She is the visionary behind the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-being, an international award-winning community center providing an array of mental health services co-located with an urban farm, a preschool, a children's dental clinic, and extensive space for community gatherings.

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As Director of Community Partnerships for the Barton Institute, Dr. Prado will foster, guide, and direct innovative public-private-nonprofit-academic partnerships that will address complex social issues (such as affordable housing, social determinants of health, and economic development) in collaboration with local communities.


Alison Sheesley

Staff Researcher, Colorado Evaluation & Action Lab
Email  |  Alison.Sheesley@du.edu

Alison Sheesley is a writer and researcher who is passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice. She is skilled in developing comprehensive reports and presentations addressing a variety of complex health, education, and social sciences topics. As a licensed professional counselor, she is particularly knowledgeable about the mental health field.

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She earned her PhD from the University of Northern Colorado in counselor education and supervision and has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Loyola University New Orleans. Alison’s undergraduate degree is in political science from Tulane University.


Natalia Sullivan

Program  Manager, Community Partnerships
Email  |  natalia.sullivan@du.edu

Natalia joins the Barton Institute as a Program Manager supporting Community Partnerships.  She brings 6 years of experience in product and project management after previously serving as a program coordinator at the Mental Health Center of Denver and assistant general manager for a local food company. 

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Natalia adapts to the task at hand, from organizing a 700-person event to rebranding and reformulating an entire food line, with organization, intention, and grace. Natalia is a Denver native who attended the University of Colorado and graduated with a Bachelors in Evolutionary and Ecology Biology.


Anne (Janney) Carpenter

Email  |  anne.carpenter@du.edu

Janney is an independent consultant and adjunct faculty at the University of Denver, with nearly 20 years of experience helping organizations and investors design and strengthen their social enterprise strategies. She is Faculty Director of the Social Enterprise Fellowship at the Barton Institute of Philanthropy & Social Enterprise.  Janney has taught microfinance, financial inclusion, and social enterprise to DU graduate students at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies since 2008. As a consultant, she has worked with international NGOs, US-based community development finance institutions, local government, and funders to help them achieve their social impact and financial goals.

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Previously in her career, Janney worked for ShoreBank Advisory Services, a Chicago-based development finance consulting firm, and JP Morgan, a global bank. She was adjunct faculty at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University from 1995-1999. She has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She lives in Denver with her family and has had a Winter Park ski pass since 1996.


John Hokkanen

Sr. Data Integration Specialist, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Email | john.hokkanen@state.co.us

John is a data scientist with many years of experience in merging datasets, analytics, and statistical modeling.  John has worked in both the private sector (banking, law) and public sector (Dept. of Health and Human Services) in addition to being an entrepreneur.  John holds a JD law degree from UVA (1990) and an MSPA degree from Northwestern (2018).


Shannon Willis

Office Manager, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Email  |  shannon.willis@du.edu

Shannon brings with her extensive skills in the software industry and in project management. She most recently served as a Software Application Administrator for MARRS Services in Los Angeles, and prior to this worked in document control, procurement, and project delivery for companies in the Phoenix area. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University.


Heidi Vosekas

Executive Assistant
Email  |  heidi.vosekas@du.edu

Heidi brings extensive experience in administrative and programmatic leadership and support. Heidi’s background is in the nonprofit sector, having worked 17 years in educational nonprofits. Prior to joining the Barton Institute, Heidi served as the National Coordinator at School Reform Initiative where she focused on project management, budgeting and bookkeeping, organizational development and event planning.

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Through her work in education, Heidi’s understanding of issues of racial equity and social justice has grown and deepened into both a professional and personal call to action. She is beyond thrilled to join the Barton Institute and be part of work that prioritizes the needs of vulnerable populations in our community.

Heidi is originally from Bloomington, Indiana and has lived in Denver since 2011 with her husband and daughter. She received her BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College.