A native of Colorado, Chrissy began her career in nonprofits in 1997 at the Denver Art Museum, working first in the Education department and later in the Spanish Colonial & pre-Columbian art department. In 2004, her passion for working with college-age students led her to the Daniels Fund where she served as Program Officer for the Scholarship program until 2010. She is an alumna of the Circle of Latina Leadership and serves on the Denver County Cultural Council which allocates Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) funds to Tier III cultural organizations. Chrissy has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Northwestern University and earned her Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.
Daniel Escalante is an experienced diversity trainer and group facilitator. His focus is on staff development, strategic planning, community organizing and multicultural leadership development.
As a member of the Boulder Valley School District Equity Training Team, he has provided equity training for educators from over 25 schools. In addition, local municipalities, nonprofit organizations, schools and grassroots groups have contracted with him to provide training for staff, board members, faculty, students, and parents.
Daniel has helped coordinate numerous multicultural community events and projects such as El Diez y Seis De Septiembre Celebration/Protest, Multicultural Elders Conference, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Chipeta Park Pow Wow, Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration, Cesar Chavez Celebrations, and the Multicultural Action Coalition.
Daniel has served on numerous boards such as the Center For Diverse Communities, Reading to End Racism, Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, Dairy Center for the Arts, Sojourner School, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, City of Boulder Police Review Board, Boulder Valley Multi-Ethnic Action Committee, Lafayette Latino Advisory Board, Trabajando Unidos, and the Boulder County Community Action Program.
Daniel has presented numerous workshops at state and national conferences, focusing on Multicultural Leadership, Conflict Management, Gay Straight Alliances, Oppression, and Community Action.
Harold was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Civil Engineering. The first black student at OSU to serve in student government as the Engineering Senator, he also served as the National Youth President of the National Baptist Convention.
Harold came to Denver to work as a systems engineer for IBM. After 13 years at IBM, Harold worked at the original Frontier Airlines as the Project Director for Flight Operations, Engineering, and Maintenance. He then went to United Airlines and its subsidiaries for the next 16 years.
His community activities are a very important part of his life. He was a founder of Multi-Racial Families of Colorado, which grew to approximately 200 participating families. He is the facilitator for the monthly citywide racial dialogue in Denver that has been sponsored by the Tattered Cover bookstore for 12 years, as well as directing similar discussions at several churches in the metro area. Since 2001, he has been an active participant with a documetary about the triangle slave trade and the nation's most prominent slave trading family, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.
Harold sings with the Spirituals Project Choir, and is a music librarian for this 80-voice group. He has been a diversity consultant for the Colorado Psychological Association and numerous colleges. And he serves on the board of The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery, Inc., the national initiative Coming to the Table. Past board service includes The Conflict Center and Denver Victim Offender Reconciliation Program both restorative justice organizations.
Harold has worked and taught in Hawaii, Canada, England,Spain, Switzerland, France, Holland, Kenya, and India.
Mike is Executive Director for Project PAVE. The mission of Project PAVE is to empower youth to end the cycle of violence.
Mike grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where he went to school and college. His first job out of school was at Northwestern Bell. His job took him to New Jersey in 1982 working for AT&T and then in 1984 he and his family moved to Omaha, Nebraska to work for the newly formed US West. In 1990 Mike and his family moved to Denver where he worked for US West, AT&T and Fujitsu Consulting. During that time Mike became very interested in the work of nonprofits and served on the Board for Colorado Aids Project. He spent some time working with the staff at Project PAVE on a pro-Bono basis doing strategic planning work. He joined the Board of Project PAVE in 2005 and became the Executive Director June, 2006.
Carlo Kriekels is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the YESS Institute, a Denver nonprofit focusing on providing adolescents the tools to be successful in school and in life through the YESS emotional intelligence leadership - EmoSmartsTM - curriculum within a peer mentoring model. YESS empowers minority students to be leaders within their own community. The YESS Institute is the fulfillment of the vision he got while riding through the Andes.
Carlo, a Belgian native who emigrated to Denver in 1999, followed an unusual path. He graduated law school at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium and continued to study international corporate law in Heidelberg, Germany where he received his Magister Legum. After studying Spanish in Madrid, Spain he left with a friend on a motorbike trip from California to Chile. This 18-month journey changed dramatically his outlook on life and ignited his passion to care for the well-being of children. Upon returning home, he educated himself in emotional intelligence and leadership on his quest to providing youth the tools to be successful in their life. In 1998 he graduated and taught at The People Development Centre, a leadership and personal development centre for EU and American business leaders in the heart of the international community of Brussels.
By living abroad in Holland, Germany, Madrid, Barcelona, England and Denver, Carlo experienced first-hand the difficulties to immerse in different cultures. As a result he learned six languages and acquired a deeper understanding of cultural similarities.
Carlo came to America after he fell in love with an American girl to whom he is now married with two fabulous sons.
On December 28, 2006, Governor Bill Ritter appointed Don Mares to his cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The Department of Labor and Employment provides job seekers with employment and training opportunities, monitors the state's economy, oversees Colorado's labor laws and administers the Unemployment Insurance program and the Workers' Compensation Act. As executive director of the 1100-person agency, Mares oversees the divisions of Labor, Employment & Training, Workers' Compensation and Oil & Public Safety.
Prior to his appointment to Governor Ritter's cabinet, from 2003 to 2006 Mares served as special counsel with Fleishman & Shapiro, P.C. In this role, Mares concentrated on business law, government relations and litigation. He provided general legal guidance, representation and counsel to small and large businesses, including general management and operations advice.
With nearly 15 years of experience in elected office, Mares has taken the reigns in issues of education, health care, disability rights, employment and workforce development.
His elected office positions include two terms as Denver Auditor from 1995 to 2003 and Colorado State Senator and Representative from 1989 to 1995.
During his tenure as Denver Auditor - the second highest elected position in the City and County of Denver - Mares made significant technological advancements which included implementation of a citywide accounting and financial reporting system, the creation of the City's first Internet homepage and electronic family support wage garnishment.
Mr. Mares currently serves on the leadership council for Escuela de Guadalupe, the board of the Latin American Educational Foundation, the Wells Center Board of Directors, the State's Government Efficiency Management Executive Committee and the SafeHouse Denver Board of Directors.
In 2005, he was named one of 20 Champions for Children by the Colorado Children's Campaign during the group's 20th Anniversary celebration and in 2008, he was honored by Jobs for America's Graduates for his extraordinary commitment to helping high-risk young people succeed in school. He formerly served as an elected member of the Colorado Personnel Board.
Mares has received numerous awards for his work as an elected leader, including the Junior League Legislative Champion for Children award (1996), Labor's Community Agency's Community Service Award (1999), the Mental Health Corporation of Denver Outstanding Political Figure award (1995), and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Government Advocate of the Year award (2000).
Mares earned his bachelor's degree in psychology, with honors, from Stanford University in 1979 and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982.
A Denver native, Mares and his wife Ruth live on the north side of Sloan Lake with their three children, Melissa, D.J. and Emily.
Suzy Shimasaki is the Co-Director for the Equality in Health (EIH) Initiative at The Partnership for Families & Children. Through EIH, she provides trainings and technical assistance in the areas of cultural competency, health disparities, and evaluation to 26 health service organizations across the state of Colorado. Suzy is also involed in various community organizations, serving as the President for the Mile Hi Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Development Center.
Suzy was born in Okayama, Japan and grew up in San Diego, California before attending the University of California, Davis where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned her Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management. Prior to her work at The Partnership, Suzy worked at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center providing cancer education and outreach services to the Deaf community as well as the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities of San Diego through the Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research.
Kai is one of the newest members of the Inclusiveness Project Committee. He was born in China and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. He grew up in Denver's Westwood area neighborhoods, and at a young age, became deeply involved with nonpforit organizations. After completing high school, he earned a Daniels Fund scholarship, an achievement he is deeply proud of. Now, a recent business graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Kai is an accountant at the United States Department of Interior. Currently, Kai serves on the University of Denver's Bridge Project, an organization seeking to improve the lives of underserved inner-city project youth.