Author Archive

Cerise Hunt

Colorado School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Practice – Community Project Development

cerisehunt-80x80Cerise Hunt, MSW- has served as a community outreach coordinator for Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice for over five years. In her role she has successfully developed and facilitated cultural competency, community partnerships and health equity trainings throughout the State. In addition to training she has demonstrated expertise in community mobilization for the promotion of health equity and was instrumental in the formation of the Colorado Black Health Collaborative and the Far Northeast Health Alliance.

Cerise taught a Health Disparities in the U.S. course at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Prior to her employment with the Colorado School of Public Health she was the Health Disparities Specialist at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Health Disparities, charged with developing and implementing state wide strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities. She has proven ability to successfully outreach and mobilize diverse populations in community health programs. Cerise’s areas of expertise include: racial and ethnic health disparities, social determinants of health, cultural competency, community engagement/partnerships and workforce diversity. She is a graduate of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (2007).

Leadership for Healthy Community Design Program

Norm Hartman

TMT Worldwide, Inc.

normhartman-80x80Hartman prepares people for a variety of communications opportunities including media interviews, crisis communication, public speaking and presentations and interacting with social media. He is a former major market broadcast news reporter and executive and spent several years in corporate public relations and as head of public affairs for the California Department of Health Services. Among his clients are the CDC, FDA, EPA, regional public health leadership institutes and many state and local public health organizations.

Norm has prepared clients for appearances on programs such as 60 Minutes, Today, Good Morning America, Nightline, Dateline and interviews with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and hundreds of other newspapers and magazines. His workshop includes an overview of current media and an excellent insight into working with reporters and editors. He introduces a formula for developing compelling and quotable messages and provides a unique on-camera opportunity for workshop participants. For more information, see his website,

Advanced Leadership Training Program

Jessica Garner, MURP, MUD


jessicagarner-80x80Jessica is a Senior Community Health Planner within the Health Policy and Planning Division at the Health System in San Mateo County, CA. Jessica is responsible for Get Healthy San Mateo County’s work in advancing health and equity within the built environment with a regional focus, including land use, transportation, and school wellness. Prior to her work in California, Jessica served as the Initiatives Director at the non-profit organization,GP RED, and project consultant for GreenPlay LLC. Jessica’s professional experience includes several years with CDPHE as the Built Environment Coordinator, where she provided statewide content expertise to communities. Jessica received a BA in Sociology from Colorado College, a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning and Urban Design from the University of Colorado.

Jessica was a city planner for the City of Commerce City, Colorado for over 6 years, and focused on a multitude of land use, transportation, and community development and redevelopment projects, including the award winning Derby Redevelopment project. Prior to CDPHE, Jessica joined the transportation and planning firm Glatting Jackson in 2008, and worked on corridor redevelopment and transit station area planning projects.

Jessica is also the former co-chair for the Built Environment Strategic Collaborative, a Colorado statewide group of advocates and professionals engaged in fostering health through the built environment.

Leadership for Healthy Community Design Program

Mark Bullock

City of Glendale – Director of Rugby/Recreation/Projects

markbullock-80x80Mark Bullock presently serves as the Director of Rugby for the City of Glendale. Mark is a graduate of Stanford University receiving his bachelors and masters in Human Biology and Education respectively. He received an additional Administrative Credential in Education at the University of Denver. He has been involved in teaching Biology and Chemistry at the secondary level and Community College level along with serving as a secondary school principal.

Mark has been involved in leadership and empowerment coaching since 1986 and has lead the USA U19 Rugby team in a World Cup, posted a National Championship, and lead mountaineering exhibitions in the Alaska and Yukon Ranges. Mark also had a hand in starting the USA National U19 Rugby team and three other programs that achieved national prominence and are still operating at an elevated competitive level. Mark was a secondary school principal when the City of Glendale recruited him to build and organize a comprehensive rugby complex and program, which ultimately resulted in the rebranding of Glendale to Rugby Town, USA.

Mark is a graduate of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (2012) and has been a coach with the ALTP since that time.

For excitement, Mark is helping his 3-year old daughter and 5-year old son run him ragged. It is so much easier to hide among the pack than being the lead dog. RIHEL nickname – Mr. Dos Equis.

Leadership for Healthy Community Design Program

Heidi Brinkman, PhD

Brinkman Consulting Inc. – President

heidibrinkman-80x80Heidi Brinkman, PhD is President of BCI, a management-consulting firm specializing in individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. She is former Academic Director of Leadership Programs for The Institute of Executive and Professional Development, Daniels College of Business. Heidi was a Clinical Professor/Lecturer in the department of management at Daniels for 10 years. She continues her affiliation as an adjunct professor. Her work centers on research, training, coaching, and development with subject matter expertise in interpersonal and organizational communication, conflict resolution, business writing and presentation, and human resource management.

Heidi received a B.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in organizational communication from the University of Denver. Dr. Brinkman has been serving as a corporate coach, consultant and trainer, as well as teaching courses at the University of Denver in communication and management for 15 years. She has conducted assessments, designed programs, facilitated workshops and change efforts, and given presentations and seminars for major corporations.

Dr. Brinkman has authored several journal articles, book chapters and conference papers on diversity and the influence of culture, gender and age on communication. She has co-authored a book chapter on conflict resolution. Her doctoral dissertation, nominated for the Mary McKinney Ware Excellence Award, addresses diversity in the work place. The extensive project included the development of the Diversity Survey, an assessment tool for measuring the effectiveness of an organization’s diversity management.


Gretchen Armijo

City and County of Denver, Environmental Health – Built Environment Administrator

gretchenarmijo-80x80Gretchen Armijo is a professional urban planner and public health practitioner working to improve public health through community design. She is currently the Built Environment Administrator for the City of Denver Department of Environmental Health, working with neighborhoods to implement evidence-based strategies to promote health and reduce chronic disease. Before that, she served in the same role at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Gretchen practiced urban planning at the City of Aurora, Colorado and Douglas County, Colorado, where she led multi-disciplinary project teams for developments including transit-oriented development with light rail. She also led the comprehensive planning process for a Recreation and Tourism Master Plan. Gretchen has been a member of the Healthy Places Research Group at the University of Washington – Seattle, sharing best practices in healthy community design.

She taught “Health in the Built Environment” at the University of Colorado-College of Architecture and Planning, and serves as a guest lecturer as well.

Gretchen has a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Wilson College, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado. She is a Certified Urban Planner (AICP), a LEED accredited professional, and a member of the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA). She is a graduate of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (2014).

Leadership for Healthy Community Design Program

Carl Larson, PHD

University of Denver – Professor Emeritus

carllarson-80x80Carl Larson is Professor Emeritus of Human Communication Studies and past Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Denver. He earned his B.A. degree (1961) in Speech and Drama at Idaho State University and both his M.A. degree (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) in Communication at the University of Kansas.

Larson’s main research activities have focused on groups and teams, and on negotiation and collaborative processes. His ten books have dealt with communication, negotiation, teamwork, collaboration, and leadership.

He has consulted for many entities in both the private and public sector on leadership, teamwork and collaboration. These organizations include including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Congress. He has received awards for research, community service and teaching, including the Driscoll Master Educator Award, given by the students of the University of Denver to the outstanding professor of the year.

Kathy Kennedy, DrPH, MA

RIHEL Director

kathykennedy-80x80Dr. Kathy Irene Kennedy has served as the Director of RIHEL since its inception in 1998. Her work since that time has been focused on public health workforce development either through the professional opportunities offered through RIHEL or through formal education at the Colorado School of Public Health. She is Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado – Colorado School of Public Health where she directs the master of public health program in maternal and child health and the certificate in global public health. There and elsewhere she has taught the Introduction to Public Health, Epidemiology, Global Public Health Health, Maternal and Child Health, and Injury Epidemiology.

By training, Dr. Kennedy is a public health scientist who has conducted many studies in reproductive health, especially in the areas of lactation, fertility and contraception. She has directed several multi-center international studies, and has written on women’s health, on human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) and on postpartum issues. Dr. Kennedy has worked in 20 countries and has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) Human Reproduction Program in Geneva, Switzerland, directing data analysis and report writing for a variety of projects, including large international prospective studies. She provides peer review of scientific papers to a number of journals, and reviews research proposals for several foundations and institutions.


Contact Me
Give me a call at 303-871-3483 or send me a message through the contact form below.

Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC

RIHEL – Program Director

leannejeffers-80x80Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC is the Director of RIHEL’s Coaching Services and the Leadership for Healthy Community Design (LHCD) Program at the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL). Leanne earned her Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles (1995), her Associate Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation (2018) and is a graduate of both the National Public Health Leadership Institute (2005), and the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (2007). She is the recipient of the Environmental Health Innovation Award (2018) from the Colorado Environmental Health Association and the Balderson Leadership Project Award (2006) from the National Public Health Leadership Development Network. Leanne is also a certified administrator of the EQi-2.0 emotional intelligence assessment. For 30 years, Leanne has worked in the health and public health sectors, with an emphasis on professional development, healthy community design, community health, and health promotion.

As the Director of the RIHEL’s Coaching Services, Leanne manages the coaching programs within RIHEL’s comprehensive leadership programs, and directs the Coaching Academy and RIHEL’s personal coaching services. Over the past 19 years, she has been coaching individuals and groups and training others to be peer and professional coaches. Since starting with RIHEL in 2003, Leanne has also managed the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP), coordinated Emergency Preparedness training for public and environmental health professionals, supported other leadership development activities through the Institute, and provided training, facilitation and coaching to build professional and community capacity in the area of healthy community design. Leanne served on the Denver Regional Council of Governments Metro Vision Planning Advisory Committee for two years (2012-2014), was on the Governing Board of Directors for WalkDenver for five years (2015 – 2019; Chair 2017-2019), and currently is the co-chair for the Built Environment Strategic Collaborative, a Colorado statewide group of advocates and professionals engaged in fostering health through the built environment.


Contact Me
Give me a call at 303-871-3550 or send me a message through the contact form below.

Effley N. Brooks III, MBA

Tiger Bee Consulting, LLC – President

effleybrooks-80x80Effley Brooks is President of Tiger Bee Consulting, LLC a company that he established in order to expand his opportunities in working toward positive social change. Effley specializes in leadership development workshops and seminars. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Business Administration. He is also certified in two models of Emotional Intelligence: Mayer- Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the BarOn EQ-i. He is also certified in the Intercultural Development Inventory instrument (IDI) – a developmental model of intercultural sensitivity.

Effley Brooks honed his public speaking and motivational talents through his work in the non-profit industry. During his tenure as program director for the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth, a youth suicide prevention organization, Effley became one of the most sought after speakers on teen suicide prevention in Colorado. In addition, Mr. Brooks has been the keynote speaker at graduations, as well as national and international conferences. He has also appeared as a guest on local television talk shows and the local news.

Effley has acted as Master of Ceremony at PeaceJam conferences throughout the United States and in South Africa. Mr. Brooks has also conducted workshops on communication, suicide prevention, and story telling at the PeaceJam conferences. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with inspiring individuals such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jose Ramos-Horta, Dr. Oscar Arias, Jody Williams, Willie O’Ree, Betty Williams, and Rigoberta Menchu Tum.

Through his work with the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, the Anti-Defamation League, NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force, Tiger Bee Consulting, LLC, and other local and national organizations, he has facilitated workshops on intercultural sensitivity and development for corporations, government agencies, universities, and schools.

Effley’s achievements have been recognized by honors and awards from Denver Mayor Wellington Webb for “fighting hate and discrimination and endeavoring to make Denver a Safe City;” Human Rights Award 2000 from the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference for promoting the ideals of peace and understanding to the youth of Colorado; from the Colorado School Counselor Association for “Outstanding Service,” and from the Contemporary Learning Academy for his volunteer work and commitment to children.

Effley uses humor, personal experiences, story-telling, and poetry in his messages to inspire others.


Judy Baxter, MA

University of Colorado

Judith (Judy) Baxter is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics-School of Medicine, Barbara Davis Center. She is recently retired as faculty and concentration director in the Dept. of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH), University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Judy is a graduate of the University of Denver, Denver, CO, where she earned her B.A. in Anthropology (1977) and her M.A. in Sociology (1981) with an emphasis in Community Studies and Demography.

Judy has taught and conducted research at the University of Colorado in the School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health Sciences Center since 1983. Her primary teaching is in the area of community health assessment, leadership and principles of evidence-based practice. She was course director for the Rocky Mountain Workshop on How to Practice Evidence-Based Health Care for 12 years. Her research focus is on planning, implementing, analyzing and sustaining population-based research studies designed to investigate the natural history and determinants of chronic disease in populations spanning the life course. Most recently this is as Project Manager and Investigator for the Colorado Center of the Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study. Judy has been part of the RIHEL team since its inception and continues to learn from fellows, alumni and colleagues.

As part of the 2.5 Act in her life Judy is establishing a coaching practice focused on supporting organizations to build and sustain high performance teams, as well as well as continuing to be part of the RIHEL team. Her coaching philosophy is grounded in practices that support the development of mindful awareness and emotional/social intelligence. She has taken courses in Koru mindfulness, practiced Insight Meditation for 15 years and studied through retreat with Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzburg, Peter Williams and David Chernikoff. She is a certified coach for the Team Emotional and Social Intelligence (TESI) and Emotional Intelligence Inventory (EQi2) assessments.


Sandy Stavnes

EPA Region 8 Liaison to RIHEL

sandystavnes-80x80Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator – Office of Ecosystems Protection and Remediation
US Environmental Protection Agency Region 8
Term ends: 12-31-20

Sandy Stavnes has 20 years of experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Region 8. She has worked in regulatory and enforcement programs throughout her EPA career, managing staff performing surface and ground water regulatory and enforcement activities for the past eight years.

She currently serves as Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator for the Office of Ecosystems Protection and Remediation, an office of approximately 150 employees performing emergency response, superfund remediation, NEPA and water regulatory activities. Prior to management Sandy spent 10 years with the EPA as team leader and technical staff working on petroleum remediation of underground storage tank releases with specific focus on Indian country issues.

Prior to her EPA experience, Sandy worked in the private sector as an exploration geophysicist with the oil industry for nearly a decade in Alaska, California and North Dakota. Sandy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from the University of Illinois and two Master’s Degrees: University of Kansas in Geophysics and University of Colorado in Environmental Science and Engineering.

Sandy was a 2008 graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training program with the Regional Institute of Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL). She currently chairs the EPA RIHEL network comprised of former and current EPA RIHEL fellows.

On a personal note Sandy enjoys the desert and mountains. She is an avid hiker, cross country skier and pet owners currently with 2 horses, 2 cats, 1 dog and 2 goats.

Larry Volmert

larryvolmert-80x80Retired Attorney
Term ends: 12-31-21

Larry Volmert is a retired attorney. He has served on the RIHEL Board for many years and is an alumnus of the first RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program class in 1999. He practiced Environmental Law with the firm of Holland & Hart in Denver for more than twenty-five years before retiring, representing clients in the energy, oil and gas, mining and other industries regarding air quality, climate change, water quality, and other environmental matters. His lawyer peers named Larry a Colorado Super Lawyer for many years, specializing in Environmental Law.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, he practiced law for twenty years in California and Alaska before coming to Colorado.

Larry has been active with various pro bono and community service projects in Colorado, including serving on the Board of the Colorado Lawyers Committee and its Medicaid and disability task forces; chairing the Manual High School Collaborative Decision Making Committee; serving on the Board of a non-profit company that provides jobs to person with disabilities; and doing pro bono work in immigration matters.

Larry enjoys visiting kids and grandkids in Alaska and Washington D.C., traveling when possible, spending time in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado, and reading an eclectic assortment of books.

Mary Uhl

maryuhl-80x80Air Quality Specialist
Bureau of Land Management New Mexico State Office
Term ends: 12-31-15

Mary Uhl is the Air Quality Specialist for the BLM New Mexico State Office. She works on air quality issues on BLM lands in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Prior to joining the BLM in 2012, Mary worked for the State of New Mexico’s Environment Department Air Quality Bureau for 20 years, and was the Air Quality Bureau Chief for six years.

Mary received her B.S. with a math major and M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Mary enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons skiing, bicycling, swimming, running, boating, and playing volleyball.

Laurie Schneider

laurieschneider-80x80Deputy Chief, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Term ends: 12-31-17

Laurie Stroud Schneider earned her MPH from the University of Michigan/Ann Arbor and her BA from the University of Colorado/Boulder. She was the Coordinator of the Region VIII Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center at the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice. The RM-PHTC is responsible collaboratively working with others across the six state region to develop innovative learning opportunities to build the capacity of the people working in public health agencies, community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal nations. She has extensive experience in public health workforce development and program planning at the local, state, and national levels.

Prior to joining the Center for Public Health Practice, Ms. Schneider worked at the Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education where she directed the Colorado K-12 Tobacco Prevention Initiative, the Alaska Tobacco Prevention and School Health Training and Technical Assistance Project, and the Utah Tobacco Control Training and Technical Assistance Project.

Her public health experience also includes work with Strategic Health Consultants, the AMC Cancer Research Center, the Detroit Health Department, and the U.S. Peace Corps. Laurie is a 2012 graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program.

Sheryl Roub

sherylroub-80x80Manager, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Unit
Wyoming Department of Health
Term ends: 12-31-20

Sheryl Roub is an Advanced Leadership Training Program alumna, class of 2008. Sheryl was born in the heart of Appalachia, in Spencer, West Virginia, and attended Eastern Kentucky University. Her work background includes a variety of private and government positions related to information technology, network security and emergency preparedness. Sheryl is the manager for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Unit, Wyoming Department of Health, and coordinated the strategic planning process for the program, which produced the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Five Year Strategic Plan 2011-2016.

After joining the Wyoming Department of Health, Sheryl’s ‘ah ha moment’ was the realization that information technology is a utility (much like electricity) to support the advancement of preparedness efforts, instead of IT as an elite stand-alone unit consuming valuable financial and personnel resources. Sheryl has a strong personal interest in breast cancer awareness in young women.

Mauricio Palacio

mauriciopalacio-80x80Health Equity Consultant
Term ends: 12-31-17

Mauricio Palacio served as the founding director of the Office of Health Disparities at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment from 2005-2015, and was with the Department for more than 20 years. He has a master’s degree in health education and a bachelor’s degree in health care management from Southern Illinois University.

His experience in minority health projects, task forces and initiatives throughout his public health career includes work in HIV/STD field investigations, HIV/STD education and training, AIDS-Ryan White Care Act administration and viral hepatitis prevention. Mauricio served as Colorado’s hepatitis C coordinator for four years prior to assuming his current position as director of the Office of Health Disparities.

His most recent work focuses on eliminating health disparities in Colorado by fostering systems change and capacity building through collaborations with agencies and sectors impacting the determinants of health. Mauricio is an alumnus of the Advanced Leadership Training Program, class of 2004.

Luke J Esch

lukeesch-80x80Administrator – Department of Environmental Quality, Solid and Hazardous Waste Division
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Term ends: 12-31-21

Luke Esch is the Administrator of the Industrial Siting Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Prior to joining the Department of Environmental Quality, Luke was a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Luke has a B.S. in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University and a J.D. from the University of Wyoming.

Luke currently resides in Cheyenne with his wife and son. Luke’s interests include skiing, hiking, fly fishing, agriculture, western history, and Denver Broncos Football.

Bryan Clode

bryanclode-80x80Senior Production Engineer
Ovintiv Service Inc.
Term ends: 12-31-20

Bryan Clode is a Senior Production Engineer for Ovintiv Service Inc.’s Permian Operations team. In this position, he is responsible for meeting environmental health and safety and production goals for oil and gas wells in the Permian basin.

Mr. Clode earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University in 1996. He received his Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering, focusing to atmospheric sciences in 1997, also from Washington State University.

Mr. Clode is a 2012 graduate of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership’s Advanced Leadership Training Program and served as a coach and coaching team lead for three years following graduating from the program.

Christine Billings

christinebillings-80x80Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator
Jefferson County Public Health
Term ends: 12-31-20

Christine Billings, MPH, is the Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator for Jefferson County Public Health. She has been in that role since 2012, and prior to that served Jefferson County as an Emergency Response Planner and an Epidemiologist. She is a 2012 graduate of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program.

Christine received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan in 2002, and Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Denver in 1999. It was at the University of Denver that Mrs. Billings found her passion for leadership. She served on the Student Senate for all four of her undergraduate years, followed by a leadership position on the Public Health Student Association at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. She has continued that passion into her professional career through continued personal development, in addition to the development of her staff.

Christine is married to Donald Billings and they have three active children (Alexander, Catelyn, and Zachary). Mrs. Billings is also an active participant in her church by volunteering her time in the choral and emergency preparedness ministries. Christine also leads the emergency preparedness team at her children’s school. While not running between public health emergencies, soccer practices, and basketball games, Christine enjoys watching Broadway musicals, camping, graphic design, running, and board games with her family. The Billings family has made it a goal to visit all 50 states in the United Sates by the time their youngest child graduates from high school.