Meet Our Team

We think we have the greatest staff around, but don't take our word for it. Get to know the people behind the programming.
Click to skip to our staff, the board of directors or the Leadership Circle.
katie kramer

Dan Lewis
Executive Director
dan.lewis@denverleadership.org
303-620-8024

Dan Lewis is the Leadership Foundation’s fearless leader, joining the team as executive director in July 2015. As a former chair of the Leadership Foundation’s board of directors and an alumnus of several Leadership Foundation programs, Dan is passionate about the work of this organization and is committed to inspiring a diverse community of leadership to improve Colorado.

Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation team, Dan was responsible for corporate reputation, communications, corporate responsibility and employee engagement for the nearly 15,000 members of the Molson Coors team worldwide as the chief public affairs officer.

Fluent in German, Dan holds a Master of Communication degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.  He currently serves on the board of directors for the Mile High United Way and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Operations

nikki barta

Nikki Barta
Executive Assistant
nikki.barta@denverleadership.org
303-620-8024

Meet Nikki Barta, Denver native and executive assistant of the Leadership Foundation.  She takes on her ever-changing role with a smile and a double-jointed thumbs-up. It’s no wonder her spirit animal is a chameleon.  When she’s not taking care of our team or our board up here on the 5th Floor, you can find her walking/running/chasing after her (adorable) toddler or devouring the green chili at Burrito Giant, her Denver happy-place.  She’s also likes to get her Pinterest-inspired crafting on (half the projects are fails, but she tries) and ride horses, which she can mount in a single jump.
nikki barta

Wylia Sims
Manager of Finance and Operations
wylia.sims@denverleadership.org
303-620-8037

Wylia is responsible for managing the finances and operations of the Foundation. Most of her professional career has been devoted to bringing order from chaos, having developed multiple disciplines in all aspects of nonprofit management. She has worked for a range of organizations from a major national network of community based organizations to a start-up online philanthropic marketplace; a privately funded global foundation to a corporate foundation; to serving on several nonprofit Boards and volunteering – she hopes to match her broad experience with her passion to bring meaning and fun to worklife.

Raised in Denver and escaped to the east coast right after high school, Wylia recently returned, pleasantly surprised to see the former Cowtown transitioning into a vibrant hip hotspot. She now lives in the same neighborhood in which she grew-up and is happy to be in the same time-zone as her family again. A self-proclaimed foodie, mac n cheese connoisseur and cocktail mixologist, she loves trying new spots for unique dishes and happy hour specials.

Wylia received a BBA in International Business from Howard University and a MS in Nonprofit Management from The Milano Graduate School of Management at New School University. She currently serves on the board of directors for Metro Volunteers and volunteers with The Gathering Place and Africa Development Promise.

Programs

denise king

Denise King
Program Director
denise.king@denverleadership.org
303-620-8055

Denise King is program director for our flagship program, Leadership Denver, as well as Access Denver and Impact Denver. She also works with the program directors and students involved with the Colorado Leadership Alliance. If you have been in one of Denise’s classes you have probably learned her version of Roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) and know that the chimes will ring on time! A master’s degree in education kicked off a career in management and leadership development, including working at American Management Association’s Operation Enterprise, where learning to water ski and wrapping a toga were required parts of the curriculum. She likes this leadership stuff so much that she serves on the national board for the Association of Leadership Professionals as well as Colorado-based The Leadership Investment and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.
kirsten vermulen

Kirsten Vermulen
Program Director
kirsten.vermulen@denverleadership.org
303-620-8109

Kirsten is a program director at the Leadership Foundation. She currently manages the Leadership Exchange, Colorado Experience, Access Denver programs, the Civic Dna initiative and the Leadership Foundation’s role in the Civic Health Index partnership. As a military kid, she knocked out pilgrimages to several wonders of the world before the age of 5, sealing her affection for all things wonderful. She spent her formative years in Ohio and if she weren’t so darn Midwestern humble, she’d tell you she’s proud to hail from a part of the country where a hard-working DIY culture of ingenuity and self-sufficiency (e.g. homemade jam, knitting and chicken-raising) never went out of style.

Kirsten majored in English and Theater during her first round of scholastic endeavors. Don’t be alarmed if she asks you to share … (dramatic pause) your motivation. Now that she has completed her graduate studies in Nonprofit Management, she can finally fill her nightstand with non-academic enrichment for a while. If you know her, you know that she also leads a double life as a propagator of radical musical inclusion. That’s all we’ll say about that…

Elizabeth Norris

Elizabeth Norris Prutch
Alumni Engagement Manager
elizabeth.norris@denverleadership.org
303-620-8058

Elizabeth is the alumni engagement manager at the Leadership Foundation.  In this revitalized position she will work with alumni from all Foundation programs to ensure they stay connected and the Foundation stays relevant. Her professional background ranges from the National MS Society to The Denver Post where she’s spent 10+ years focused on community & corporate relations, event management and corporate responsibility. Elizabeth has been accused of being a social butterfly and overly energetic so just shoot her a glare if it’s too much and she’ll relax.

Elizabeth is a proud “built in Broncos fan” with orange hair and blue eyes.  If you haven’t seen her on the Jumbotron at a game then you haven’t been paying attention.  As a Denver native, her love for all things CO runs deeps; cycling, camping, golf, she’s new to fly fishing and she enjoys all those other CO activities natives like…when it’s not football season of course.  Her passion for our community is as strong as her love for the Broncos as she’s demonstrated through her board experience and volunteering.

Elizabeth is thrilled to join the amazing Leadership Foundation team in the same year she’s getting married and building a house, what a year it will be!

mikaela gibson

Mikaela Gibson
Program and Events Specialist
mikaela.gibson@denverleadership.org
303-620-8066

Mikaela Gibson is a program and events specialist for the Leadership Foundation. She juggles vendors, attendees and logistics with the greatest of ease. She has moved 15 times in the past four years, across two countries, three states and Washington D.C., so obviously she’s also a master at packing boxes, a.k.a. high-stakes Tetris. No word on if she’s a master at the actual game of Tetris, but we’ll tell you what she is good at: using at-home face masks. Yes, her skin may be caked and green at night, but it is glowing during the day. She is also good at having terrible handwriting (which is a more positive way of saying that she is bad at writing neatly). Last but not least, Mikaela is a champion couponer—the “coupon queen,” one might say. (Actually, she said it. That’s what she calls herself.) She never pays full price for anything, so nice try, beautiful $90 cashmere cardigan in her favorite color. See you on the clearance rack.
megan vivier

Megan Vivier
Program and Events Specialist
megan.vivier@denverleadership.org
303-620-8035

Megan is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver where she found her interest in leadership (and her husband) through the Urban Leadership Program. She enjoys daily walks to Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha to collect stars on the Starbucks app. Yay free drinks! One thing on her bucket list is to swim with her spirit animal, the great white shark, in South Africa. She loves all things tropical and spends all of her vacations near the ocean.

Megan lives in Littleton with her husband, their cat Ruby, and Spike the hedgehog.

Erica Rutledge

Erica Rutledge
Program and Events Coordinator
erica.rutledge@denverleadership.org
303-620-8116

Erica is the programs and events coordinator for the Leadership Foundation. She discovered a love for leadership development in high school and furthered her education in the President’s Leadership Program at CSU. She tried living in California after college but couldn’t handle the long commute and soon moved back to Colorado where she was born and raised. She considers herself a foodie, however, you would never know it by her social media since she usually is too excited to eat and forgets to take pictures. But you can be sure she has plenty of restaurant recommendations! In her spare time you can find her cheering on the Broncos, brunching, hiking to work off brunch and watching reruns of Friends.

Board of Directors

Darren Markley
Board Chair
Senior Vice President and Managing Director
U.S. Bank, The Private Client Reserve

Katie Kramer
Former Board Chair
CEO
Boettcher Foundation

Ivan Anaya
President
Astucia Ventures

Justin Ball
President
Bespoke Event Group

Donna Baros
Chief Benefits Officer
Colorado PERA

Kelly Brough
President and CEO
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Chang

Jennifer Chang
Regional Manager
Federal Civilian Scientific
Cisco Systems

Pat Cortez

Justin Cooper
Vice President
Saunders Construction

Josh Craver
Vice President
Global Talent Management
Western Union

Tara Dunn
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Ciber, Inc.

Laura English
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region

E. Martin Enriquez
Partner
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Renny Fagan
President and CEO
Colorado Nonprofit Association

Steven Foster
CEO of Connect13
Founder of Convercent

Norm Franke
Regional President
Alpine Bank

Andrea Fulton
Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer
Denver Art Museum

Bill Fulton
Founder and Executive Director
Civic Canopy

Brent Geist
Vice President of Investments
FirstBank Holding Company

Anthony E. Graves
Director of Regional Affairs
City and County of Denver

Gino Greco
CEO
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter

Kenneth Ho
Development Manager
Lennar Multifamily

Kittie Hook
Managing Director
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Bob Hottman
Audit Partner, CEO
EKS&H

Barb Jahn
Chief Operating Officer
SCL Health – Saint Joseph Hospital

Tasha Jones
Director of Marketing
Forest City Stapleton, Inc

Dave Law
Directors of Student Activites and Leadership
Regis University

Jon Lehmann
Senior Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs
Comcast

Michelle Lucero
CAO and General Counsel
Children’s Hospital Colorado

Jason Maples
Executive Vice President
Lockton Companies, LLC

Bill Myers
VP, Communications & Corp. Social Responsibility
DaVita HealthCare Partners, Inc.

Jennifer Nealson
Chief Marketing & Sales Officer
Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Michael Niyompong
COO
Clayton Early Learning

James Pinto
Partner
Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP

Lorii Rabinowitz
Executive Director
Denver Center for Arts and Technology

Ramonna Robinson
President
GroundFloor Media

Ruth Rohs
VP Corporate Communications / Executive Director of the IMA Foundation
The IMA Financial Group, Inc.

Maja Rosenquist
VP and General Manager
Mortenson Construction

Holly Shilliday
Managing Attorney
McCarthy & Holthus, LLC

Jamie Van Leeuwen
Senior Policy Advisor/Director, Community Partnerships, Governor Hickenlooper,
State of Colorado

Amy Venturi
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor

Celso White
Global Chief Supply Chain Officer
Molson Coors Brewing Company

Leadership Circle

The Leadership Circle consists of past chairs of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s board of directors and selected individuals who have worked to make a difference in the Leadership Foundation at critical times in the organization’s growth.

Jandel Allen-Davis, M.D.
Vice President, Government and External Relations
Kaiser Permanente

Larry Atler
Attorney
Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein

Carrie Besnette-Hauser, Ph.D.
President
Colorado Mountain College

Deborah Dale Brackney
Vice President
Mountain States Employers Council, Inc.

Jeffrey M. Campos
Principal
DNS Solutions

Rob Cohen
Chairman and CEO, Executive Vice President
IMA Financial Group, Inc.

Rebecca Cordes
Director of Human Capital
First Western Financial, Inc.

Jerome Davis
Regional Vice President
Xcel Energy

Steve Farber
President
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Patty Fontneau
President, Private Exchange Business
Cigna

David H. Goldberg
2nd Judicial District Judge

 

Dan A. Lewis
Executive Director
Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation

Sharon Haley Linhart
Managing Partner
Linhart Public Relations

Bob Malone
Chairman and CEO
Steele Street State Bank

Ned Minor
President and CEO
Minor & Brown, P.C.

Ron E. Montoya
Chairman
PlastiComm

David G. Palmer
Managing Shareholder
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Dick Robinson
Co-CEO
Robinson Dairy

Willie E. Shephard
Legal Counsel
Shepherd Hosking, PLLC

Mark Sullivan
CEO
Renew Strategies, LLC

Charlie Walling
CEO
Colorado Produce Company

Carolyn Schaefer Wollard
Retired

David Wollard
Founding Chair Emeritus
Exempla Healthcare

Al Yates
President Emeritus, Colorado State University
Colorado State University, Fort Collins