RIHEL Leadership

RIHEL's Staff

Ensures smooth operations of the organization and positive experiences for our participants.

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Arron Mansika

RIHEL Executive Director

Arron Mansika is the Executive Director of RIHEL, overseeing the organization’s leadership trainings for professionals in the health, environment, public and private sectors throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

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 the organization and developed the business community for 15 years. Leveraging that success, Arron co-created Naturally Network, a nationwide nonprofit of interdependent Naturally affiliates with a mission to harness, accelerate and elevate the impact of conscious business practices in the natural 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. He was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and led the company through a successful acquisition.

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, a professional development company emphasizing awareness as the fundamental business tool.

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

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Leanne Jeffers

MPH, PCC, RIHEL – Program Director

Leanne Jeffers, MPH, PCC 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).

For over 30 years, Leanne has worked in the health and public health sectors, with an emphasis on professional development, coaching, healthy community design, community health, and health promotion. Leanne earned her Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles, her Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coaching Federation and is a graduate of both the National Public Health Leadership Institute and the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program.

As the Director of RIHEL’s Coaching Services, Leanne manages the coaching programs within RIHEL’s comprehensive leadership programs, oversees RIHEL’s personal coaching services, and directs the Coaching Academy, an accredited coach training program.

Since 2000, she has been coaching individuals and groups and training others to be peer and professional coaches.

Additionally, Leanne is a core faculty member for RIHEL’s comprehensive leadership programs and a lead RIHEL trainer, delivering a variety of workshops for organizations and professional associations around the U.S. She is a a certified facilitator of The Leadership Challenge Workshop, and a certified administrator for both the EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence assessment and the Influence Style Indicator.

Leanne also offers mental fitness training and coaching through the Positive Intelligence (PQ) framework. 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, 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 is serving her second year as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with the Colorado Chapter of the International Coaching Federation.

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Connie Sorell

RIHEL Program Manager, Advanced Leadership Training Program

Connie 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.

RIHEL's Faculty

Highly regarded thought leaders, many of whom instruct at higher education institutions or lead their own practice.

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Judy Baxter

President, C3 Research Partners: Consultant/Coach/Trainer

Judith (Judy) Baxter, retired at the end of 2022 from the University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine and Colorado School of Public Health, after 40 years, where she was an Associate Professor focused on teaching community health assessment and leadership, as well as research conducting large epidemiological studies of type 1 and 2 diabetes.

As part of the RIHEL team since its inception, Judy continues to learn from participants, alumni and colleagues. Her most recent foci in RIHEL programs has been on leading the collaboration thread and supporting the emotional intelligence and coaching threads in ALTP, as well as co-leading workshops in Team Intelligence, Leading Team’s Virtually and The Emotionally Effective Leader.

Her growth edge is to look critically at how our leadership workshops can be infused with thoughtful application of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) mindset. In her Life Part 2, Judy continues to be part of the RIHEL team, as well as her established coaching practice focused on supporting individuals and organizations to find their highest goals and build/sustain high performance teams.

Her coaching philosophy embraces practices that support the development of mindful awareness, positive intelligence and emotional/social intelligence. She is active in the Denver community by serving on several boards and working as a volunteer therapy team with her dog Piper. Judy hopes to further her cooking, writing and fly-fishing skills that will combine with new travel adventures, all with family and friends.

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Chrissy Chard

RIHEL Director of Advanced Leadership Training Program

Dr. Chrissy Chard (she/her) is the Director of RIHEL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program. Between 2015-2022 she was a professor in the department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, as well as with the Department of Community and Behavioral Health with the Colorado School of Public Health.

Her public health practice and research interests include physical activity, self-esteem and body image in adolescent girls, as well as tailoring programming using Community-based Participatory Research. Dr. Chard has a strong interest in uncovering the ways that racism, structural bias, and social inequities continue to impact health disparities, as well as a commitment to exploring and disrupting how whiteness and white supremacy show up in public health.

Dr. Chard has taught various graduate courses including Social and Community Factors in Health, Public Health Leadership, and Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Public Health Practice and Research.

She also co-founded and runs a non-profit organization for middle school students called Smart Fit Girls, which is dedicated to supporting the social, emotional and physical health and well-being among adolescents. Most recently, Chrissy has also begun a parent coaching practice, whereby she supports and guides parents to show up as the conscious and intentional parents they want to be.

Originally from Denver, she has many years of experience in health behavior change and wellness coaching. She deeply values her close community of family and friends, as well as moving her body in ways that feel good. She loves spending time with her partner and three kiddos, Lucy, Jack and Jordan.

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Leanne Jeffers

MPH, PCC – RIHEL Program Director

Leanne Jeffers, MPH, PCC 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).

For over 30 years, Leanne has worked in the health and public health sectors, with an emphasis on professional development, coaching, healthy community design, community health, and health promotion. Leanne earned her Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles, her Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coaching Federation and is a graduate of both the National Public Health Leadership Institute and the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program.

As the Director of RIHEL’s Coaching Services, Leanne manages the coaching programs within RIHEL’s comprehensive leadership programs, oversees RIHEL’s personal coaching services, and directs the Coaching Academy, an accredited coach training program.

Since 2000, she has been coaching individuals and groups and training others to be peer and professional coaches.

Additionally, Leanne is a core faculty member for RIHEL’s comprehensive leadership programs and a lead RIHEL trainer, delivering a variety of workshops for organizations and professional associations around the U.S. She is a a certified facilitator of The Leadership Challenge Workshop, and a certified administrator for both the EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence assessment and the Influence Style Indicator.

Leanne also offers mental fitness training and coaching through the Positive Intelligence (PQ) framework. 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, 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 is serving her second year as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with the Colorado Chapter of the International Coaching Federation.

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Franco Marini

Faculty

Franco Marini is president and creator of The NeuroTransology Institute which is dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations in enhancing their success. He is also Affiliated Executive Faculty at the Daniel’s College of Business at the University of Denver where he is involved with several educational experiential projects. 



He is the owner and director of Peak Empowerment, an organization committed to empowering individuals and organizations through exciting programs, activities and unique group challenges.

He also created and operates Global Journeys Inc., a travel-based company providing personal and professional growth through specialized travel offerings. One of Marini’s strongest attributes is his ability and knowledge of how to empower human development as it impacts the productivity and results of an organization. One of his primary focal points is working with the strengths and contributions of individuals and empowering each participant to effectively communicate and powerfully work with each other in ways that support highly productive and healthy organizations.

Franco is a certified trainer of Insights Discovery, a communications and personality preference assessment. 

He is also Certified in NeuroLeadership, a certified Yoga instructor in the Sampoorna tradition, a ceremonialist, a wellness coach, a massage therapist, a drum-maker, and a consultant. As director and president of the NeuroTransology Institute for the past eight years, Marini has a distinguished record of providing quality training to thousands of individuals. Some of the clients he has worked with include: Phillips Petroleum, McREL, BP, Kaiser Permanente, Novartis, Intermountain Health, Colgate Palmolive, F.M.I., Daniels College of Business, the U.S. Air Force and Army, DeVry University, BNP Paribas, South Pole Expedition Team, Spectrum Health, Rocky Mountain Orthodontists, Castlewood Fire Department, Vital Yoga and others.

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Nicole Tuitt

DrPH, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health

Nicole R. Tuitt, DrPH, MPH is an Assistant Professor at the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health (CBH) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH). Nicole received her DrPH from the ColoradoSPH in Community and Behavioral Health with a minor in Epidemiology (2018).

Nicole currently teaches at the ColoradoSPH, in the areas of Community and Behavioral Health, Latent Variable Methods, and Anti-Oppressive Research and Practice Methods in Public Health. Her research focuses on substance use, suicide prevention, and sexual risk reduction among Black and American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

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Janna West Kowalski

MS, ACC

Janna brings more than 25 years of experience leading, training, coaching, and facilitating in government, health, non-profit and education sectors. She currently serves as a faculty member and Coach with the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) and the Blue Mesa Transformational Coaching Program.

Additionally, Janna is an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited coach and works with individuals to achieve their personal and professional development goals.

Previously, Janna was an Action Learning Coach with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Janna provided strategic guidance to community leaders working to improve health and advance equity in counties across the country. She trained and coached communities, as well as facilitated virtual peer learning opportunities and communities of practice. Janna delivered numerous presentations and skill building sessions both in person and virtually to national, state and community audiences on topics such as population health, equity, and collaborative leadership.

Prior to joining County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, Janna was the Coordinator of Training and Professional Development in the Center for Public Health Practice and an Instructor for the Graduate Program at the Colorado School of Public Health. In addition to teaching, she was responsible for workforce development. This role included providing training, coaching, technical assistance, and consultation to public health professionals across six states.

Janna spent nine years working in local public health prior to joining the Colorado School of Public Health. She managed a team that coordinated chronic disease and tobacco prevention and control initiatives. Janna is passionate about community and currently serves on the Larimer County Board of Health and CASA of Larimer County. Janna received a Master of Science from Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science from Colorado State University.

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Effley N. Brooks III

MBA, Tiger Bee Consulting, LLC – President

Effley 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.

Jordan White

Self-Leadership Coach, Jordan White Coaching

Jordan is an experienced leader based in Denver, Colorado. Recognized for his compassionate nature, ability to build trust, and commitment to fostering transformation and growth, Jordan’s dedication to helping others embrace their unique strengths is extraordinary. His past experiences as a collegiate athlete and high-level success in the corporate setting have provided him with the insight and skillset development to lead, coach, and inspire those he works with to discover and reach their greatest potential.
 
As a wisdom-seeker and lifelong learner, Jordan holds a Master’s in Communication and Leadership and is ICF trained. He holds an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential and is certified in Axiogenics®, MBTI®, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and PrinciplesYou, adding diverse tools to his coaching and training aptitude. In addition to his coaching and training practice, Jordan serves as the Communications Director for the ICF-CO chapter, staying active in the coaching community and current with the latest industry developments.
 
As a Denver, CO native, he and his wife, Heather, enjoy much of what Colorado offers, including camping, hiking, concerts at Red Rocks, and an occasional date night out.
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Sarah Roberts

MHA, PCC – Mentor Coach, RIHEL Coaching Academy

CEO, Clarity Matters Consulting LLC

Sarah Roberts is an experienced and accomplished leadership consultant and executive coach who integrates first-hand executive and government experience with cutting-edge bodymind skills and trauma-sensitive somatic coaching skills to provide clients with the guidance and support to tackle their most pressing issues. As the CEO of Clarity Matters Consulting LLC, Sarah leads and facilitates strategic initiatives and organizational change management, skills acquired as deputy director at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, where she led the implementation of numerous innovative programs that improved access to healthcare services for underserved communities. Sarah is a graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) and has served as a volunteer coach and board member for RIHEL. She is an ICF Professional Certified Coach and has helped train the next generation of coaches and leaders as faculty of the RIHEL Coaching Academy. Sarah holds a Master’s in Health Administration, a Bachelor’s in Communication, and numerous certifications. Sarah resides in Centennial, Colorado. 

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Beth Roome

MA, ACC – Guest Faculty, RIHEL Coaching Academy

Founder, Switchback Institute and Executive Director of the Switchback Foundation

Beth founded Switchback Institute to address the challenges of people in high impact careers. She is a coach, certified through the International Coaching Federation and has 30 years’ experience in strategic planning, leadership development and workforce resilience spanning government, private and faith-based communities. She spent 13 years in the Colorado Departments of Human Services, Public Health and Environment, and Public Safety (CDPS) working in disaster response. She served as Department Manager for Organizational Development, State Training Officer, Public Information Officer and Behavioral Health Specialist.

Beth created the CDPS Leadership Strategies Institute and co-led the development of a statewide system for standardized behavioral health response during disasters; she served as the state’s behavioral health lead during large-scale catastrophic incidents. Beth’s resilience material has been delivered in various formats to over 100 agencies and conferences nationally and internationally.

Beth has been married to Jim for 33 years and they have two daughters, Kate (31, a middle school teacher) and Carly (28, an artist and reiki master). She received her Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University and her B.A. in Sociology from The Colorado College.

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Curt Drennen

PhD – Guest Faculty, RIHEL Coaching Academy

Disaster Behavioral Health and Community Recovery Branch Chief, CDPHE Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Coming soon!

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Armando Herald

ACC – Guest Coaching Observer, RIHEL Coaching Academy

Drinking Water Local Assistance Unit Manager,Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Coming soon!

RIHEL's Board


A powerhouse of knowledge and caring, representing various aspects of public health. Many of our board members are graduates of RIHEL’s programs.

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Jim Beaudry

MBA
Special Projects Coordinator to the President, Craig Hospital
RIHEL Board President

Jim Beaudry has nearly 30 years of experience in health care and health services and policy research as a researcher, administrator, and business leader. Prior to joining Craig Hospital, he established a successful consulting practice and held multiple leadership roles in Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) from 2009-2018, where he served as Director of Community Benefit & Relations and Senior Director of Business Operations and Strategy for KPCO Government, External Relations & Research. He also was Director of Research Administration at KPCO’s Institute for Health Research.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, he held a variety of research, programmatic, and administrative positions at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus over a period of 17 years. His work focused on improving the quality of care provided to individuals in long-term care settings, including contributing to the development of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS), which, since 1999 has been used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to monitor and improve the quality of care delivered to home health care patients throughout the United States. Jim also served as the program manager for the CCTSI Community Engagement core and PACT Council as well as finance administrator for the overall CCTSI program. He later returned to serve as a PACT Council member and Chair of the Council.

Jim and his wife, Amber, grew up in San Diego and have lived in the Denver area since 1992. They have two children (one recent CU Boulder grad and another studying there). Jim loves hiking and bike riding and enjoys listening to his collection of music on vinyl, CDs, and cassettes on vintage stereo equipment that he restores.

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Richard Maerquez

Justice Services Program Director
RIHEL Board Secretary

Rich Marquez is the Justice Services Program Director with the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership. He provides organizational capacity building and technical assistance to community-based and faith-based organizations in marginalized communities whose services meet the needs of individuals and families.

Prior to joining the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership in 2021, Rich worked in the Primary Care Office at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment where he administered the Colorado Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

Rich participated in RIEHL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) in 2018. Rich served as an ALTP fellows coach in 2019 and 2020 and is a member of RIHEL’s 2021 Coaching Academy. He received a bachelor’s degree in Chicano Studies from the University of California Berkeley in 1997 and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Northern Colorado in 2003.

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Joseph Badalpour

MBA, MSA
Accounting Supervisor, Jefferson County Public Health
RIHEL Board Treasurer

Joe Badalpour is the Senior Accounting Supervisor at Jefferson County Public Health and has been in this role since 2013. He finds that he best serves others from an administrative role while crafting a message and a strategy buried in the numbers. His passion and dedication extend through the programs he supports by ensuring that resources are supported, contracts are not overly burdensome, and regulatory compliance remain in sight.

Mr. Badalpour earned his Masters in Business Administration and his Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of Colorado at Denver. His studies included abroad courses in China, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. He graduated from the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program in 2019. He is a proud father of four very energetic young boys and husband to a very patient wife. He enjoys running marathons, fishing and catching any Chicago Cubs game.

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Gordon Duvall

BA, BSN, MSN-PNP, DNP
Medical Operations Coordinator

Gordon Duvall is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Medical Operations Coordinator for the State of Colorado Division of Youth Services. He also serves as Community Research Liaison for the University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute’s Partnership for Academicians and Communities in Translation which mission is to transform the way communities and researchers work together to design and conduct research.

Gordon is also Didactic & Clinical Faculty at the Platt College School of Nursing, where he teaches core nursing classes as well as instruction in clinical settings, provides mentorship to nursing instructors and identifies and provides clinical experiences to nursing students in the Denver Metro area. He also works as a consultant to provide education, facilitation and public speaking on health, safety and fatherhood.

Among many services and contributions to the community, Gordon is a member of 100 Black Men of Colorado, the founder of Denver Public Schools Mentorship Program, and is a licensed minister in the Restoration Christian Fellowship in Aurora, Colorado.

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Micah Jones

In-house Counsel, Director of Compliance
Contexture

Micah Jones is in-house counsel and serves as the Director of Compliance at Contexture, the umbrella organization of two Health Information Exchanges (Arizona’s Health Current and Colorado’s CORHIO). Contexture’s mission is “Advancing individual and community health and wellness through the delivery of actionable information and analysis.”

Before joining Contexture, Micah served Coloradans as the Medicaid Health IT Coordinator with the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Colorado Medicaid). There he managed Colorado Medicaid’s HIT and Health Information Exchange and Colorado Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. He also served as a subject matter expert for Colorado Medicaid’s criminal justice-involved and homeless population programs. Before working for the state, Micah was in private practice as a health care attorney for Miles & Peters, PC.

Micah received his law degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When he’s not working, Micah enjoys working out, reading, traveling, Twitter, and spending time with his partner, Bruce, and their dog, Katie.

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Deb Kleinman

Director, Collaboration Program in Natural Resources at University of Wyoming, Owner Lupine Collaborative

Deb is a consultant based in Laramie, Wyoming with twenty years of experience as a facilitator, trainer, program designer and evaluator, and nonprofit executive in a wide range of settings. She is also a professional coach, certified through the International Coach Federation, and in the EQi2.0 (emotional and social intelligence), with additional training in conflict coaching.

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Jeff Lara

Interim Division Director- Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health

Jeff Lara is the Interim Director of the Public Health Division for the New Mexico Department of Health, and Deputy Division Director of Regions. Jeff has immersed himself as a Public Health advocate for over 25 years in the great state of New Mexico.

He has served in multiple leadership roles within the New Mexico Department of Health for over 20 years, which have included Emergency Preparedness, Health Promotion Program Manager and Southeast Region Director.

Currently, Jeff provides the Public Health Division strategic leadership, direction, and management. He oversees Public Health programming statewide and implements Public Health activities across the state for 52 local public health offices.

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Tim Lopez

Bureau Chief, Population and Community Health Bureau

Coming soon.

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Valerie Quintana

MA, PTP, Director of Community & Clinical Linkages at Community Healthy Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Valerie V. Quintana, MA, PTP is the Director of Community & Clinical Linkages at Community Health, with Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Her skills are proficient in the psychology of human interaction and human communication. They have been instrumental in the implementation of Change Theory within healthcare systems by strengthening and developing relationships, facilitating collaborations, ensuring clear communication, and building consensus. Valerie orchestrates linkages between Presbyterian, FQHCs, and community wellness programs to create a shared operations model that improves access to nutritional food and safer physical activity opportunities for Hispanic, Latin, and Native American residents of Bernalillo County. She is leading a team that is building out the Community Health Worker and Peer Support Specialist models, as Presbyterian strengthens how it addresses health related social needs and behavioral health.

Valerie was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has a Master’s Degree of Arts, in Communication Studies from NMSU. With fifteen years of experience in the field of behavioral health, she created her own business providing on-site wholistic care for social workers. Valerie is an award-winning Rosary Artist who is Internationally Certified as a Polarity Therapy Professional. She holds certifications in Herbalism, Essential Oils, and Cranial Sacral Therapy.

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Rosalyn Reese

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Alzheimer’s Association

Rosalyn serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association. Rosalyn strategically supports five regional chapters with a focus on advancing health equity through community partnership and engagement in diverse communities. Alzheimer’s disease is a public health crisis. The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.

Rosalyn earned an undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, and Master’s certificate in Health Policy from the University of Denver. She graduated from RIHEL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program in 2008.

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Andrew Yale

MA, PTP, Administrative Director, Public Health Institute at Denver Health

Andrew Yale is the Administrative Director for the Public Health Institute at Denver Health (PHIDH) and has over 23 years of experience working in healthcare. He relishes the variety of experiences his various positions have offered and is dedicated to, and thankful for, the wonderful staff at PHIDH. Andrew is widely known for his robust financial skills and empathetic people skills and uses both in working with diverse teams and individuals to uplift and drive new initiatives. He has served on numerous committees to successfully rollout new strategies and plans of action for both clinical and non-clinical programs within PHIDH and Denver Health. Andrew is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree in contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa University.

Andrew was born and raised in Gunnison, CO and completed his undergraduate work in Bemidji, MN. Although he’s lived in the ‘coldest spots’ in the country, he prefers warmer weather activities and enjoys hiking, biking, and strolling through the Botanical Gardens. He and his husband, Troy, also enjoy home remodeling projects, of which there are many in their century old Denver home.

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Melissa Toledo-Ontiveros

Esq, M.Ed, Legislative Momentum, co-founder

Melissa is a Native New Mexican who has devoted her life to serving people throughout the state, region, and country. Melissa’s work includes Director of Thriving Families at Community Action Agency Southern New Mexico. Where she is working on developing a hybrid community wide navigating program. Working through a trauma informed systemic approach to break down barriers and help families and communities thrive.

Melissa has lead by serving as chair of LC3 Behavioral Health, Co-Chair of Las Cruces Resilience Housing Taskforce, Presbyterian Community Health Advisory Committee, NM First Executive board member, Vice-Chair of Democratic Party New Mexico Forenza Unidas Metro Rep., American Public Health boards and committees: Council of Affiliates, Climate, Health and Equity board, Community Health Planning and Policy Development Committee, and the Rural Health Taskforce. “My goal is to facilitate collaboration and partnerships with NM’s state and local representatives, NM’s state departments, colleges and universities, for profit and non-profit agencies to create systemic change.

She leads by advocating for policies that support and influence health equity for all families and communities in New Mexico.”

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Lisa Wordeman

Bureau Chief, Population and Community Health Bureau

Coming soon.

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