Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Juliet Abdel is President and CEO of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce. She is a Regent on the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management’s National Board of Trustees, on the Advisory Council for Front Range Community College, the cohort for Leadership Diversity & Inclusion through the ACCE, and the Leadership Program of the Rockies Advisory Council.

DeAndrea Arndt serves as an independent communications contractor for various non-profits and political entities. She previously served as high school and middle school teacher, as well as in various leadership positions in schools and boards. She is a graduate of Leadership Program of the Rockies. DeAndrea also enjoys attending political events and volunteering in her community.

Francoise Bergan serves as a Council Member with the City of Aurora. She serves on three city policy committees as well as the E-470 Authority Board, Aurora Economic Development Council and Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority. She has over 20 years of sales and management experience in the staffing industry. She attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Jennifer Churchfield has partnered with public and private organizations for over 20 years. She is currently co-chair of Front Range PharmaLogic. She has served Arapahoe County as the Communications Director for Arapahoe Responsible Energy Advocates. Jennifer previously served as President of the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education. She is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio.

Jill Cullis serves as a high school teacher in Aurora Public Schools. She has worked with the Center for teaching Quality and the Professional Association of Colorado Educators. She is a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow and was awarded Teacher of the Year. Jill has a BA from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s from Colorado Christian University.

Krista Kafer is a columnist for the Denver Post and host of a radio show on 630 KHOW, providing analysis on key issues from an independent woman’s perspective. A Colorado native, she returned after nine years in the nation’s capital where she served as an aide to two members of Congress and as senior expert on education policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Sue Kenfield is President of See It Thrive. She serves on the Board of the South Metro Denver Chamber, and as a member of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and the Opportunity Coalition advisory boards. Sue is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and a member of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco

Dawn Lamping currently serves as a teacher and private tutor in Aspen. She co-founded the Roaring Fork Valley Homeschool Network, and created the Roaring Fork Academy, a private umbrella school. Previously, Dawn served as a Master Trainer for Bank One, Motorola, USPS, and the Arizona Department of Economic Services. Dawn earned her honors B.S degree from University of MO-Columbia in Psychology and completed coursework for a Master’s at Arizona State University.

Kim Monson serves as Lone Tree City Councilwoman for District 2. For the last twenty years, Kim has worked as an independent business woman specializing as a clothier and fit specialist. She is also a co-host of the Radio Show “Heart of the Matter” on 560 KLZ and volunteers with the Mount Saint Vincent Home for Children, Lutheran Family Services, Junior Symphony Guild, and as President of the Alliance of Professional Women. Kim is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Stephanie Piko serves on Centennial’s City Council, representing District 4. For the past 10 years, she has worked for the Cherry Creek School District as a Computer Technician and a substitute teacher in Technology at Fox Hollow Elementary. Stephanie holds a B.S. from the University of Florida and a B.S. from the University of Michigan. Stephanie, along with her husband, Dr. James Piko and children Austin and Conner have called Colorado home since 2001.

Amy Sherman is the President of the Northwest Douglas County Economic Development Corporation. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board to the Chamber of Commerce Highlands Ranch and is the Chair of the Douglas County Business Alliance. Amy was one of Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 winners in 2012, Economic Development Rookie of the Year in 2013, and Denver Business Journal’s Top Women in Energy in 2015. Amy is a Douglas County native and lives in Roxborough with her husband, Steve, and boy/girl twins.

Antonette Smith is the Director of Marketing for the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. She also works with executives and elected officials on persuasion messaging through Engage to Win. Antonette is a graduate of Leadership Denver and the Leadership Program of the Rockies and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and the Job Creators Network Women’s Coalition. A Colorado native, she earned her BA from the Colorado College and her MBA from the University of Denver.

Kelind Thomas is a Colorado native and a graduate of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs where she majored in Rhetoric and Writing with an emphasis in Political Science. Kelind was a member of the Pi Beta Phi women’s fraternity and the Editor in Chief of the scholarly journal riverrun. Kelind established her own political consulting company while working on several local campaigns throughout the state of Colorado, as well as managing a State Representative race. She is currently the Director of Operations for the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Regina Thomson has expertise in Grassroots and Tea Party issues and activity in Colorado, and serves as the president of Colorado Issues Coalition. She is also president of Colorado Patriots Coalition, an umbrella organization to provide a central point of contact, communication and activity for the 70+ grassroots groups in Colorado, and is the project manager for Clarity Alliance. Regina was a Sales & Program Manager for DISH Network for 12 years, managing a network of over 500 independent businesses selling the company’s products.

Genevieve Wooden is the Director of Leadership Jefferson County and also works at The West Metro Chamber as Events Manager.  She previously served on the Wheat Ridge City Council, was a board member of Wheat Ridge 2020, the Jefferson County Business Education Alliance, and volunteered on many local community committees.  Genevieve worked in the real estate industry for many years as an investor, sales broker, and rental property manager.  Originally from Fort Collins, she earned her BA from Colorado State University and has resided in Jefferson County for over 30 years.

Sherrie Gibson is a DC-trained political strategist, specializing in campaign management, and she was celebrated at the White House alongside the country’s top African American leaders. Sherrie most recently served as the State Party Vice Chair for the Colorado Republican Committee, and she has also served on the Colorado Springs Planning Commission, helping to improve economic vitality within the city and is currently an advisory board member of Concrete Couch.  Sherrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University San Bernardino and an MBA from Champlain College.  She is also a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies with additional training from the Leadership Institute. Sherrie hails from Colorado Springs and is a proud Navy Veteran.

The Honorable B.J. Nikkel served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2009 to 2013 and was elected by her peers to serve as the Republican House Majority Whip.  Prior to 2009, B.J. worked as District Director for Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave.  While in the legislature, she enjoyed working on government transparency issues, common sense criminal justice reforms and helping veterans and members of our Colorado National Guard.  Honors and awards B.J. received include: The Denver Post’s 2013 Colorado Woman of Influence, The Colorado Women’s Bar Association Legislative Champion Award, Colorado Jewish Community Relations Council’s Legislative Appreciation Award and United Veterans Committee of Colorado’s Distinguished Legislator Award.  B.J. lives in Larimer County with her husband Philip and enjoys spending time with her two sons and three grandchildren.

Sara Blackhurst became President of Action22 in June of 2017. She came to the organization as a Development Professional with more than a decade of experience in program development, fundraising, grant writing and nonprofit administration.  Sara began her career as the ED of The Greenhorn Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Currently she is a Packard Foundation Fellow and is highly sought after for organizational consulting.  Sara’s philosophy centers on the power of questions; her mantra is: “What matters most to those we serve?” and “What do our communities need from us?” Sara met and married her college sweetheart while attending Adams State University. Currently, Sara enjoys “living rural” in her hometown of Rye, Colorado with her Alaskan husband their three very outdoorsy sons.

Andrea Calhoon is the County Administrator for Yuma County, Colorado.  She is a former healthcare financial executive in the eastern plains region and is an intermittent adjunct business instructor for Morgan Community College.  She focuses her volunteer service as a volunteer EMT, a Victim’s Advocate and a Hospice Friend.  Andrea has a BS in Finance from the University of Wyoming and an MS in Organizational Management from Chadron State College.

Nancy Barlow is President of Barlow Advertising & Design, a strategic, creative marketing agency since 1991.  She has provided marketing, communication strategy and development services for candidates and ballot measures in Denver for the past 10 years.  Nancy has served as an active precinct leader and ran for Delegate for the Presidential election in 2016.  She is also co-founder and president of the East Evans Business Association, an organization formed to provide a voice to the Denver City government to inspire developmental change on the East Evans corridor.  Nancy is also president of Business Resource Alliance Group, a trusted business advisory group serving members across the front range in Colorado.

Dennie Talbott is a Realtor in Garfield County.  She currently serves on the Governmental Affairs committee for the Aspen/Glenwood Springs Board of Realtors,  Dennie has served in various non-profits in Garfield County including the Pregnancy Resource Center, Rifle Regional Economic Development Council and Liberty Classical Academy.  She is also a strong advocate for education, special needs children and adoptive families. Dennie is a Texas native but was grafted into the Talbott family in 1991 when she married husband Russell.  Dennie currently lives in Parachute, Colorado with 3 of her 5 children and her parents.