Arron Mansika

RIHEL Executive Director

Arron Mansika is an accomplished executive director and social entrepreneur. Arron currently serves as Executive Director of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL), a nonprofit organization developing and connecting leaders who work collaboratively in diverse sectors and communities to create and sustain the health and well-being of people and the environment. Arron oversees leadership and development trainings for professionals in the health, environment, public and private sectors in the Rocky Mountain region, with 1,000+ graduates.

Previously, Arron led Naturally Boulder, a trade group of 1,000+ companies representing 69,000 employees pursuing a mission to nurture conscious growth, leadership and innovation in the Colorado natural products industry. He co-created Naturally Boulder in 2005 and developed the business community for 15 years, serving on the inaugural board of directors and leading as Executive Director before stepping down in early 2021. Leveraging that success, Arron co-created Naturally Network, a nationwide organization of interdependent Naturally affiliates with a mission to harness, accelerate and elevate the impact of conscious business practices in the natural and organic products ecosystem.

Arron founded and operated Boulder’s Best Organics, Inc., a pioneering internet-based gift-box company in 2006. The business was named “Colorado Success Story” by the Colorado Small Business Development Center and recognized as “Boulder Valley’s Second-Fastest Growing Company with Sales Under $2M” by BizWest Media. Arron was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He led the company through a successful acquisition in 2009.

Arron served as Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, an activist-oriented organization rooted in the spirit of unconditional nonviolence and dedicated to radically progressive personal and social change.

Arron is the founder of Mindful Your Business, launching in 2022 to deliver upon a simple and profound truth: awareness training enhances business success.

Arron aligns his professional life with the values of his personal life. He is passionate about delivering honed leadership skills to people advancing sound and progressive environmental and human health strategies and practices. He lives in Boulder, CO, with his entrepreneurial wife and young son.

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Kathy Kennedy, DrPH, MA

RIHEL Founding Director

kathykennedy-80x80Dr. Kathy Irene Kennedy served as the Executive Director of RIHEL since its inception in 1998 until 2021. Her work focused on workforce development either through the professional development opportunities offered through RIHEL or through formal education at the Colorado School of Public Health. She retired as Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado’s Colorado School of Public Health where she created two masters degree programs and two certificate programs and where she taught (among other courses)0 the Doctoral Leadership Seminar, Leadership in Public Health Practice for master’s degree students and Leadership Dialogues for postgraduate fellows in the School of Medicine.

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 public health and health care journals, and reviews research proposals for foundations and institutions.

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Connie Sorell

RIHEL – Program Manager, Advanced Leadership Training Program

head shot of Connie SorellConnie Sorell is the Program Manager for the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP). After completing a successful corporate career, she has turned her attention to serving her community and pursuing a second calling in non-profit development. Some of her expertise includes fundraising, community outreach, and data management. A long time Colorado resident, she is an avid gardener and lover of books.
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Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC

RIHEL – Program Director

leannejeffers-80x80Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC is the Director of 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 over 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 21 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.

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