202308May1:00 pm5:00 pmThe Conversation Guide for Professionals on Substance Use, Children & Families Training1:00 pm - 5:00 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my timeNo more spaces leftVirtual Event45 Guests are attending
Ryan (he/him/his) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2020 and is currently the Director of Communications. In his role, Ryan leads the development and execution of strategic communication plans while promoting the organization's programs and educational opportunities. Passionate about communications work that leads to social change, Ryan knows that Illuminate’s work– and how it is communicated– is impacting lives and building better childhoods across our state. Ryan has a masters degree in Media & Public Communication from the University of Denver and comes to Illuminate with experience working with non-profit organizations, graphic design, videography, and photography.
Outside of work, Ryan enjoys snowboarding, watching NBA basketball (go OKC Thunder!), and spending evenings at home playing strategy board games with his husband. His favorite thing about living in Colorado is the great weather and snowboarding on the Western Slope!
Contact me about: Communications
Anna joined the Illuminate team in June of 2019 and serves as the Director of Evaluation and Strategic Learning. In her role, Anna leads the data collection, evaluation, and strategic learning efforts at Illuminate with the goal of advancing organizational functioning, reach, and impact. She also oversees the design and implementation of Illuminate's data systems and infrastructure in pursuit of this same goal.
Central to Anna's role is helping to foster an organizational culture of learning at Illuminate and promote the use of data as a tool for continuous growth and improvement. In her positions prior to Illuminate, Anna was able to pursue her passion for developing learning and evaluation strategies to advance programs and services that promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.
Anna’s favorite things about living in Colorado are her family, the mountains, and endless sunshine!
Contact me about: Evaluation & Strategic Learning
Joan (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in September of 2019 as the Director of Family Support. In her role, Joan oversees the development and implementation of the Illuminating Child Care and Circle of Parents programs. Joan came to Illuminate with over 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Education, always working to support children and families in their communities.
A big fan of the outdoors, her favorite thing to do during Colorado summers is take the trailer out for camping trips in the mountains!
Contact me about: Illuminating Child Care, Circle of Parents
Linda (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in November of 2021 as the Director of Finance and Human Resources, where she provides day-to-day oversight of her team’s functioning. Coming to Illuminate with over 20 years of experience in Nonprofit Finance and Human Resources Management, Linda has been instrumental in the startup of two nonprofits where she designed and implemented financial structures and human resource functions.
Linda loves living in Colorado because she gets to be close to family. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her grandbabies, reading, and singing!
Sadie Rose (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in January of 2021 as the Education Program Manager. In her role, Sadie Rose provides training and facilitator support for Illuminate’s Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training. Having spent a decade as a victim advocate, Sadie Rose knows that communication and education are essential to de-stigmatization and allows for open and honest conversations. “The more we talk about child maltreatment the better we can creatively problem solve and collaborate to prevent it from occurring.”
Born and raised in Southwest Colorado, Sadie Rose loves that she can drive two hours in any direction and be in a totally different climate. She enjoys spending time outside of work with her husband, dogs, and two retired equine therapy horses.
Contact me about: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention trainings
Sarah (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in December of 2019 as the Bloom Yoga Program Manager. In her role, Sarah brings healing centered, trauma informed yoga to children, families and professionals. Coming to Illuminate with over 15 years of experience in the field of child welfare, Sarah believes that everyone should have access to yoga and regulation practices. Sarah found yoga and mindfulness in her own healing and resilience and she can’t wait to share it with others. Sarah is a registered yoga teacher, children’s yoga teacher, and is trained in trauma informed yoga.
Sarah has 2 kids, a dog (Basil), and a cat (NASA). Outside of work, Sarah loves to enjoy the Colorado fall colors by getting outside for a hike. Sarah and her family love to cook– head over for some sushi or spaghetti (their specialities!)
Contact me about: Bloom Yoga
Eric (he/him/his) joined the Illuminate team in September of 2020 and is currently the Child Care Operations Manager. In his role, Eric works on RV Honey (part of the Illuminating Child Care program) providing child care and navigation services to families. Eric came to Illuminate with over 15 years of experience teaching and working with children, and is passionate about providing children and families with every opportunity to thrive. Eric has a degree in Human Development and has a Level 4 Certification through Colorado Shines.
Eric’s favorite part of living in Colorado is the sunshine and the mountains!
Jessica (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in September of 2020 as the Senior Circle of Parents Associate. In her role, Jessica supports the management of data and dissemination of materials for the Circle of Parents program, as well as leads the Learning and Development Committee. Prior to coming to Illuminate, Jessica spent two years as an AmeriCorps member, gaining experience managing data. Jessica knows that numbers can tell overlooked stories and are essential in the effort to help families, no matter where they are in life.
Also having earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice, Jessica spent two years working as a Beauty Advisor at Sephora!
Contact me about: Circle of Parents, Learning and Development Committee
Patsy (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2020 as the Child Care Manager and is currently the Core Values Committee leader. In her role, Patsy supervises lead teachers, plans ongoing professional development training, collaborates with community members to implement Illuminating Child Care in their neighborhoods, organizes daily on-site childcare services for parents, and partners with families to provide navigation services for long-term childcare. Caring deeply about the wellbeing of families and development of children, Patsy has been instrumental in the implementation of different types of early learning programs including Center Base and Home Base.
Patsy’s favorite things about living in Colorado are the open outdoor spaces and wonderful weather. She makes an effort to visit the mountains each year to reconnect with nature and take walks in the park to relax. Patsy is also always a fan of a fresh cup of ice cream!
Contact me about: Core Values Committee
Toni (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in 2018 and is currently the Circle of Parents Recovery Program Manager. Illuminate Colorado is the state intermediary for Circle of Parents and, in her role, Toni oversees the program, providing tools and resources to help families heal. As a parent in recovery who has been facilitating Circle of Parents in Recovery groups since 2014, Toni knows that every parent is a leader and needs support to discover that about themselves. In recognition of her work, Toni has received the Casey Excellence for Children Award.
Toni has three daughters and is a kinship care provider for three grandchildren– she points to her family as her source of strength and biggest cheer section. Her favorite thing about living in Colorado are the mountains!
Contact me about: Circle of Parents
Cassie (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2020 and is currently the Strategic Initiatives Manager. In her role, Cassie supports Illuminate's systems change efforts that are focused on organizational practice change and policy by offering backbone support to the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coalition and Infant Safe Sleep Partnership, supporting the CHoSEN Collaborative, and supporting Illuminate's efforts around state and federal legislative policy. Cassie came to Illuminate with experience providing services to children and families, and knows that creating a better world for children and families requires efforts at all levels of the Spectrum of Prevention and collaboration between individuals, families, and multisector professionals.
Having grown up in Louisiana and Texas, Cassie’s favorite thing about living in Colorado is being able to spend time outside in all four seasons, and how easy Colorado makes it to vote!
Contact me about: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coalition, Infant Safe Sleep Partnership, CHoSEN Collaborative, organizational legislative policy efforts
Dawn (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2022 as the Strategic Initiatives Manager. In her role, Dawn provides backbone support to ensure the successful implementation of Colorado Department of Early Childhood's (CDEC) Colorado Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Health Integration Prenatal to Three (CO-ECCS) Project as well as supporting the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (CPTF).
Through Dawn’s experience directly supporting children and their families in navigating services and supports, she has seen how important it is for families to feel heard and valued. She comes to systems building work in hopes to innovate and cultivate the conditions that ensure children are able to thrive, that their families are empowered and supported, and their communities are nurturing environments.
Outside of work, Dawn likes to cook and bake, as well as spend time with her two dogs, Rosie and Crosby. Her favorite thing about living in Colorado is that she doesn’t need to travel far to enjoy the solace of the outdoors, especially the backcountry!
Contact me about: CO-ECCS Project & the ECCS Working Group, The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families
Theo (they/them/theirs) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2022 as the Community Initiatives Associate. In their role, Theo provides administrative support to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families. Coming to Illuminate with experience in child welfare, supervising Court Appointed Special Advocates for youth with open Dependency and Neglect cases, Theo is passionate about prevention work and systems change to strengthen families. In addition to having earned their Masters of Social Work, Theo has also been published in The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work!
Outside of work, you can find Theo crafting, playing board games with their partner (their high school sweetheart!), watching RuPaul's Drag Race, or walking their dog, Louise. Theo’s favorite thing about living in Colorado is the beautiful scenery and being able to spend time outdoors!
Contact me about: Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families
Justine (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in June of 2021 and is currently the Communications Manager. In her role, Justine supports Illuminate Colorado’s work to strengthen families, organizations, and communities by connecting community members and professionals to its vision and mission through strategic communications. Coming to Illuminate with experience communicating with stakeholders such as students, families, educators, donors, board members, and community members, Justine is passionate about meaningful, transformative storytelling. She knows the importance of encouraging others to use their voices to share their own stories and inspire curiosity, growth, and equity. Justine has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Colorado Denver and a Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida.
Outside of work Justine enjoys spending time outdoors, specifically going for hikes!
Hayley (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in January of 2022 as the Evaluation and Strategic Learning Manager. In addition to the development, maintenance, and refinement of Illuminate’s data collection and database infrastructures for its diverse programming, Hayley also supports the Director of Evaluation and Strategic Learning in monitoring and optimizing the implementation of program evaluation plans. Hayley enjoys collaborating with Illuminate’s staff and partners to continuously improve programs and is driven by the ever-growing need for family and child-focused, evidence-based supports in Colorado.
Outside of work, Hayley has fun trying to improve her downhill skiing skills, cheering for the Colorado Avalanche, and caring for a 100 lb. therapy dog named Sully.
Jade has served as the Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado since its inception in 2015, following 7 years as the Executive Director of founding partner agency, the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Prior to this work, she provided family support services in a variety of settings to families impacted by homelessness, domestic violence, and substance use disorders. Jade has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
As the Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado, she has participated in and led many state level initiatives related to child maltreatment, substance use, child maltreatment prevention, public awareness, and collaborative community approaches. Jade has dedicated her career to creating a Colorado in which all children and families have access to the support, resources, and conditions they need to thrive, when, where, and how they need them.
Currently, Jade serves on the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families Steering Committee, SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee, Delivery of Child Welfare Services Task Force, Home Visitation Investment Task Force, Essentials for Childhood Steering Committee, Early Childhood Department Transition Advisory Group, Safe Child Care Task Force, Plans of Safe Care Rule Writing Group, and Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
Angelica (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in April of 2022 as the Director of Family Connects and is currently the Director of Home Visitation. Under the guidance of the Executive Director, Angelica leads the intermediary functions of planning and implementation of the Family Connects program in Colorado. Additionally, she works in partnership with local communities to coordinate, facilitate, and lead the planning, installation, and sustainability of the program. Coming to Illuminate with over 15 years of experience in the Early Childhood sector, Angelica is passionate about providing families with support and connecting them with resources when they need them most. Angelica knows that all parents need support and believes in the importance of investing in resources and support– early and for everyone.
Angelica was born in Bogota, Colombia, has two teenage sons, and loves to hike, ride bikes, and paddle board. Her favorite thing about living in Colorado is the outdoors and the liberal mindset!
Contact me about: Family Connects
Kelli (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2022 as the Strategic Initiatives Manager. In her role, Kelli facilitates coalitions and work groups with an emphasis on behavioral health system efforts. Kelli is passionate about strengthening families and organizations in order to improve well-being for families. Coming to Illuminate with experience as a Problem Solving Court and Child Welfare professional specializing in working with families impacted by substance use, she believes in the collaborative process to enhance organizational practice in order to support families and prevent child maltreatment.
Kelli’s favorite part of living in Colorado are the seasons and the ability to travel to beautiful places across the state!
Contact me about: Supporting Perinatal Substance Use Prevention, Recovery and Treatment (SuPPoRT) in Colorado. SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee, working/advisory groups and the SuPPoRT Colorado Family Advisory Board
Hattie (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in December of 2018 as the Senior Community Initiatives Manager. In her role, Hattie provides backbone support to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families, leads Illuminate's family engagement efforts, and manages community capacity-building initiatives. Passionate about primary prevention, Hattie came to Illuminate with experience in reproductive health policy, advocacy, and community organizing as well as sexual assault prevention programming. Hattie knows that community and family voices are essential to making long-term impacts in the field of Public Health.
Outside of work, Hattie likes to take advantage of the Colorado sunshine and mountains by backpacking, cross-country skiing, and backcountry skiing!
Contact me about: Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families; family engagement; community capacity-building
Anne (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in November of 2015, and currently serves as Deputy Director. In her role, Anne leads development and implementation for organizational program growth, including but not limited to new curricula, programs, expansion, and leverageable opportunities. She also supervises Family Support Programs, Home Visitation Programs, and Education Programs.
Additionally, Anne is trained as a facilitator in a variety of areas including substance use and families, protective factors, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), abusive head trauma, and child sexual abuse prevention.
Anne's career choice, like many people who serve in the field of strengthening children, families, and communities, was influenced by personal reasons from past experiences or environments. “I personally do this work because I believe I have the opportunity through my experiences and knowledge to partner with others to make a positive change in the lives of families.”
Having lived in many states and overseas, Anne eventually decided to return home to Colorado– there is no place like home, she says!
Jillian (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2017 and is currently Deputy Director. In her role, Jillian leads development and implementation of systems changes strategies, responds to shifting conditions, and supports organizational and program sustainability. She also directly supervises Communications, Evaluation, Grants & Development, Policy, and Strategic Initiatives. With a background in organizing community members around opportunities to affect health policy, Jillian is passionate about her work because she wants to live a happier, healthier, and more just world where families have what they need to thrive.
Jillian lives in Denver with her husband and dog, Max. She enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening– especially growing food to share! Jillian’s favorite part about living in Colorado is the beautiful sunshine!
Jason (he/him/his) joined the Illuminate team in January of 2018 and is currently a Senior Education Program Manager. In his role, Jason develops evidence-based curricula and delivers trainings focused on strengths-based prevention and intervention concepts. With a background in serving individuals, families, and children in a variety of education and human services roles for 25 years, Jason is passionate about work that strengthens families and changes lives. Jason is Illuminate Colorado’s resident expert on substance use and families, leading the Child Welfare Training System and Smart Choices Safe Kids programs.
Jason, his wife, and their three daughters live in the foothills of the Rockies. They love many things about Colorado: blue skies, green forests, clean air, big mountains, deep snow, good concerts, rivers, hot springs, huts– the list goes on!
Contact me about: Child Welfare Training System and Smart Choices Safe Kids
Missy (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2020 and is currently a Senior Education Program Manager. In her role, Missy builds relationships with people and organizations that shift their perspective and practices in ways that benefit the long term outcomes for children and youth within communities. Her work includes developing curriculum, training and group facilitation, individual or group coaching, program planning and development, and supporting organizational implementation.
With nearly 20 years of experience in local and national child welfare, treatment, and prevention programs, Missy knows that every person needs connection to thrive. She is driven by her passion for ensuring everyone has a village around them, walking beside them through the good and the difficult parts of life.
Born and raised in Colorado, Missy says she must love everything about her home state because she refuses to leave! Missy has three incredible children that are growing up way too fast– “they keep me and my life partner on our toes, out of money, and exhausted, but I wouldn't have it any other way!”
Contact me about: Strengthening Families and Protective Factors Trainer Network, Healthy Outcomes thru Positive Experiences, Youth Thrive
Marissa (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2022 as the Finance & Human Resources Manager. In her role, Marissa supports the Director of Finance & Human Resources in various accounting and HR duties. Marissa is passionate about the Human Services field and loves to use her accounting and HR background to contribute to and support Illuminate’s amazing work. After earning her Associates degree in Criminal Justice, Marissa worked in accounting before leaving to pursue her interest in HR and non-profit work.
Marissa has two dogs, Daisy and Bandit, and she loves spending time with family– preferably while also enjoying outdoor activities like fishing and camping. Her favorite things about living in Colorado are all of the seasons and the colorful environment!
Contact me about: Finance & Human Resources
Jordan Davis (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in January of 2023 as an Early Childhood Teacher. In her role, Jordan works with Illuminating Child Care team members Patsy and Eric on the mobile child care units, providing child care for families while caregivers receive treatment and support. After earning a degree in Sociology and Psychology, Jordan gained experience working with at-risk youth in a residential facility setting. Kids are always bringing excitement to Jordan’s life, and she loves working with children because of how unique each child is and the joy they bring to her life every day.
Jordan is a big fan of spending time with friends, listening to and talking about music, and learning to cook! “When I grow up I want to be like Julia Child and be able to cook more than pizza rolls.”
Her favorite part of living in Colorado are the beautiful summers and enjoying time outside.
Lex Loutzenhiser (she/they) joined the Illuminate team in January of 2023 as the Policy Manager. In their role, Lex supports organizational policy activities, including conducting policy research and analysis, engaging stakeholders, and advocating for policies that support Illuminate's mission and the communities we serve. Lex came to Illuminate with a background in social work, providing direct services to individuals who use substances and people living with HIV in rural Colorado. She also has experience conducting public health outreach and education, with a focus on youth and adult behavioral health, access to low barrier health services, and harm reduction.
Lex is passionate about this work because, through personal and work experience, they have witnessed the ways in which community supports can strengthen families and empower people to thrive. She enjoys engaging in innovative, evidence-informed, community-driven policy work that creates happier, healthier communities. As Congresswoman Ayanna Presley put it, "Policy is my love language."
Lex lives in Northern Colorado with their two cats and loves to cook, hike, and explore nature photography in her free time. Their favorite part of living in Colorado is the access to nature and the outdoors!
Contact me about: Policy Work
Cristina Bejarano (she/her/ella) joined the Illuminate team in February of 2023 as the Director of Strategic Initiatives. In her role, Cristina oversees the strategic planning, facilitation, and ongoing coordination of multiple coalitions and community-based efforts working to positively impact children and families across Colorado. As a public health professional working to increase health equity, Cristina has worked with local communities, philanthropy, federal and state governments, and international organizations to build collaborative relationships for collective impact.
Cristina’s lifelong passion is working with systemic structures to increase the communities' capacity for wellbeing, and she is thrilled to be working in a role that allows her to contribute to brighter futures for kids and families.
Outside of work, you can find Cristina running around with her two kids and partner and supporting community efforts. Her favorite part about living in Colorado is the four seasons that allow for fun outside activities all year long!
Contact me about: Strategic Initiatives and the Colorado Infant Safe Sleep Partnership (ISSP)
Mike Robbins (he/him/his) joined the Illuminate team in March of 2023 as the Grants & Development Manager. In his role, Mike is responsible for shepherding Illuminate's fundraising efforts through individual giving, grants, events, and sponsorships. Before joining Illuminate, Mike studied at The Institute for Leaders in Development at Denver University, and worked in nonprofit communications, resource development, grant writing, donor stewardship, event planning, and volunteer management. Mike is passionate about the health and wellbeing of children, youth and families, and loves that he is able to use his experience in mission-driven storytelling and development to grow Illuminate’s community of donors and grant funders.
In his free time, Mike enjoys hiking, yardwork, cheering on the Nuggets and Kansas State Wildcats, plus checking out great restaurants with friends. His favorite part about living in Colorado is the generosity, grit and tenacity of Coloradans!
Contact me about: Grants & Development
Karci Lockwood (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate Colorado team in April of 2023 as the Community Initiatives Associate. In her role, Karci provides administrative support to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families.
Before joining Illuminate, Karci worked as the Program Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mesa County, training and supporting volunteers to be the voice for children with open child abuse and neglect cases.
Karci has always gravitated towards prevention work. Through her experience working with children who have been victims of child abuse, she always wondered: “how do we get up stream and keep this from ever happening?” As a new parent herself, Karci knows how important it is to feel supported and connected.
In her free time, Karci enjoys rafting, mountain biking, and camping with her family. Her favorite part about living in Colorado is how outdoor adventures wait right outside her backdoor!
Contact me about: The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families
Sreena (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate Colorado team in April of 2023 as an Infant Child Care Teacher. Sreena is a member of the Illuminating Child Care team, working on on-site child care classron Honey to provide child care for families while caregivers receive treatment and support. In her role, Sreena reads to infants, assists them in recognizing images and sounds, and helps kids to form positive relationships with their peers.
After graduating as a first generation scholar from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Communications, Sreena continued her work with school-age children in child care, providing the support and resources that kids and families need to thrive. Ever since she was young, Sreena has dreamt of becoming a teacher. She finds joy in the opportunity to both teach and learn from tomorrow’s leaders every day.
In her free time, Sreena likes to play board games with friends, cook at home, hike with her dog, and listen to audiobooks. Her favorite part about living in Colorado is enjoying the beautiful mountains!
Megan White (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in July of 2023 as the Home Visitation Program Manager. In her role, Megan leads and supports the State Intermediary functions related to planning, implementing, and monitoring the Family Connects model and Healthy Families America.
Before joining Illuminate, Megan worked on the implementation and management of grant-funded programs and community partnerships in the areas of children and families, housing, and immigrant and refugee services.
With over a decade of experience in direct services and on-the-ground problem solving, Megan is committed to building a world where even our most vulnerable neighbors have a place and voice in their communities.
Megan’s favorite part about living in Colorado is the variety of cultures and landscapes, from red dirt and green chili to old mining towns and European style castles!
Outside of work, Megan loves sewing, needlework, and treating her dogs like children.
Mary Houlihan (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as a Strategic Initiatives Associate. In her role, Mary supports the coordination of the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Grant, Colorado Infant Safe Sleep Partnership, and additional Strategic Initiatives team projects as needed.
Before joining Illuminate, Mary worked in direct care and care coordination in the behavioral health space. Mary’s focus has been on supporting youth and their families through prevention and early intervention, in-home trauma systems therapy, and working with statewide youth suicide prevention.
Mary is passionate about ensuring that people feel seen, supported, and nourished. She understands that supporting children’s capacity to grow in a world where they feel safe and valued has many positive impacts in society, and she strives to be part of that impact.
Outside of work, Mary loves reading fantasy books, walking her dog Shylo, and competing in sprint triathlons with her partner. She also enjoys experimenting with cooking, baking, and brewing coffee! Mary’s favorite part of living in Colorado is the beautiful weather in the spring and fall seasons.
Genevieve Peek (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as the Finance Manager. In her role, Genevieve supports the finance and administrative responsibilities of the organization, contributing to accounts payable, receivable, and ongoing financial processes and procedures.
Genevieve comes to Illuminate with a degree in Business Administration and a career in personal finance where she completed her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. She also has experience in office management, managing finance, accounting, and human resources duties.
Having benefited from programs designed to support children and families as a child, Genevieve understands the immense impact that support can have on families and communities. At Illuminate, Genevieve finds tremendous purpose in contributing her skillset to a mission so close to her heart.
Outside of work, Genevieve is a singer and songwriter for a local alternative rock band. Her favorite part about living in Colorado is the vibrant music scene in Denver. “We have artists of every genre performing every night of the week, if you just know where to look!"
Shannon Day (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as an Education Program Manager. In her role, Shannon works with the Senior Education Program Manager to facilitate trainings focused on strengths-based practices to improve outcomes for families. She also works to develop and enhance training curricula on topics such as safe storage and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Additionally, Shannon supports the coordination of the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference.
Shannon comes to Illuminate with over a decade of experience volunteering and working in domestic violence shelters, as a Legal Advocate for domestic violence survivors, a Training Manager for a statewide domestic violence coalition, a Forensic Interviewer at a Child Advocacy Center, and as a Training Facilitator for child welfare workers who work with families impacted by domestic violence.
Shannon’s favorite question is “Why are we doing it this way?” and her least favorite answer is “Because we have always done it that way.” She loves to engage in conversations about how professions can better interact with families to not only help families and communities thrive, but also to help professionals find more joy and satisfaction in their work.
Shannon found that when she opens herself up to a willingness to learn and be uncomfortable, she is able to grow personally and professionally. “When I facilitate training for adults, my hope is that they are willing to take that deep dive and experience the positive impact it can have on both their professional and personal lives.”
Outside of work, Shannon can be found trail running, backpacking, and spending time with family and friends. She also co-hosts the podcast “Evolving Truths” with her daughter. Her favorite part about living in Colorado are the seasons and mountains filled with trails!
Shira Shump (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as the FASD Program Manager. In her role, Shira guides families, youth, professionals, and community members in accessing best practices and raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
Shira comes to Illuminate with over three decades of experience and is passionate about empowering families, youth, professionals, and community members to build knowledge and best practices surrounding FASD. She has earned her joint Masters of Education and Special Education, and has spent her career working with children, teens, and young adults with medical, mental health, and educational needs through challenging and rewarding experiences.
Shira has two teenage sons and two furry pups, who keep her busy and bring her lots of joy. Her favorite part of living in Colorado are the mountains– even if she is looking at them from afar in Denver!
Ask me about: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) programming
Christina Ambrose (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as the Grants & Events Manager. In her role, Christina manages grants, fundraising and community events, and volunteer opportunities.
Christina comes to Illuminate with over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector, specifically in Volunteer and Event Management and Program Development. Her previous roles include working for the United Service Organizations (USO), where she implemented many new programs for deployed service members and their families.
Christina can connect to Illuminate’s mission, which is why working in this position is such a natural fit for her. At illuminate, her passion, empathy, and heart for service can shine through.
Outside of work, Christina enjoys traveling, cooking, scouring the aisles at Costco, and of course, spoiling her cat. Her favorite part about living in Colorado are the people and the beautiful weather– and she is looking forward to becoming more outdoorsy!
Ask me about: Fundraising, Volunteer Opportunities, Events
JoAnn Garbiso (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in September of 2023 as the Lead Teacher on mobile child care classroom Caramel in Pueblo, Colorado. In her position JoAnn plans, organizes, implements, and delivers an early childhood program curriculum to enrolled children’s individual and group educational, intellectual, physical, social, and emotional needs.
JoAnn has an associates degree in early childhood education, is director qualified with a certificate in the State of Colorado, and comes to Illuminate with 16 years of experience as an early childhood educator. She is passionate about being part of the beginning stages of a child’s education, and is always excited to see their successes as they grow up! JoAnn loves when past students remember their time together and refer to her as one of their favorite teachers.
Outside of work, JoAnn can be found spending time with her three children, three grandchildren, and Ken, her love and best friend of 13 years. JoAnn’s favorite parts about living in Colorado are the beauty, the mountains, and the lakes!
Trisha Halencak (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in October of 2023 at the Circle of Parents General Program Manager. In her role, Trisha provides technical assistance and support to Circle of Parents facilitators across Colorado.
Trisha comes to Illuminate with experience as a teacher, home visitor, and parent support group facilitator. She has also spent time as a child forensic interviewer for a child advocacy center, supporting child abuse investigations.
Trisha knows that we all need support but learning how to find it can be hard. She believes in the power of protective factors to improve outcomes when times are challenging, and loves to guide others to find their own personal strengths and supports.
Outside of work, Trisha enjoys camping, biking, swimming, paddle boarding, and hunting with her spouse and two children. Her favorite parts about living in Colorado are the beautiful scenery and access to outdoor recreation activities!
Shana Shaw (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in October of 2023 as the Circle of Parents Specialty Program Manager. In her role, Shana oversees the promotion, development, implementation, and expansion of the Circle of Parents model in Colorado, with a focus on Specialized Parenting and Caregiving.
Shana comes to Illuminate with a degree in Criminal Justice and Human Service, and has dedicated her life to the service of others. Shana is currently the CEO of Compound of Compassion, a nonprofit organization that offers empowerment programs and services that address needs within the community. Shana believes that her purpose in life is to build safe havens where people can heal from their trauma(s) and learn to pay it forward.
Colorado is home for Shana. She and her four siblings were born and raised here, and she now has 17 nieces and nephews who call Colorado home. Shana’s favorite parts about living in Colorado are her family, the diversity, the clean air, and the mountains. She loves that there is always so much to do, even if you choose to do nothing!
Danielle McQueen (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in August of 2023 as an Evaluation & Strategic Learning Manager. In her role, Danielle works closely with the Education, Policy, and Strategic Initiatives teams, focusing on strategic learning and continuous quality improvement.
Danielle comes to Illuminate with a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising and program evaluation. She is passionate about using data and participant engagement to learn about and advocate for the community's needs, understand health disparities, guide and improve programming, and evaluate outcomes. Knowing firsthand the impact of both positive and adverse childhood experiences, she understands that together, we can build brighter childhoods and strengthen our communities by making sure everyone has the knowledge, resources, and support they need to thrive.
Danielle’s favorite part about living in Colorado are the wild, untamed spaces!
Meghan Bellamy (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in September of 2023 as a Strategic Initiatives Associate. In her role, Meghan provides support to the Strategic Initiatives team on SuPPoRT Colorado efforts.
Before coming to Illuminate, Meghan earned her Masters of Public Health with a focus on maternal and child health. She also gained experience in clinical and research settings, then utilized her diverse skillset to provide care to patients at the Denver Health methadone clinic.
Meghan understands that collaboration and connection is critical to creating lasting change, and it excited to be at an organization that values these methods. She is passionate about child and family wellness, and creating equity for those with more complex needs.
In her free time, Meghan enjoys spending time with her dog Homer, going to concerts, knitting, and writing. Her favorite parts of living in Colorado are the warm people, the diverse community she has built, and the magnificent mountains!
Nicole Leung (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in October of 2023 as a Communications Manger: Web & Design. In her role, Nicole manages Illuminate Colorado’s websites, focusing on creating visually appealing and user-friendly web experiences that align with Illuminate's mission and goals. Additionally, she works on various graphic design projects, both digital and print, to support Illuminate’s initiatives and outreach efforts.
Nicole comes to Illuminate with a degree in Integrated Design and Architecture and experience in web and graphic design, outdoor education programming, and wildlife conservation education and training. With a background in the arts, higher education, and outdoor education, Nicole is passionate about providing families with the building blocks they need to have access to similar positive experiences.
Outside of work, Nicole loves spending time with her two fluffy and hilarious Siberian kitties, Willow and Kowak’hoya. She lives in Colorado Springs, where she is active in the dance and aerial silks community. One of her favorite things about living in Colorado are the clear, seemingly endless expanses of sky.
Tani Korb (she/her/hers) joined the Illuminate team in October 2023 as the Executive Assistant. In her role, Tani supports the Executive Director through calendar management and organization, scheduling, travel planning, note taking, and general office support.
Tani comes to Illuminate with a degree in Communication and Sociology. She has experience as an executive assistant in the nonprofit sector, working with organizations who are committed to advancing social development. Tani deeply resonates with Illuminate’s values and mission, and is grateful to be able to contribute to the growth of the organization.
Outside of work, Tani can be found spending time with her husband and her dog, Lila. She enjoys circus arts, viticulture, and snowboarding. Having previously lived in California, one of Tani’s favorite things about living in Colorado are the different seasons!