Board Members

Melanie Griffin

Melanie is a longtime CASA volunteer and expert advocate on behalf of children in Denver’s foster system. Melanie has been a CASA volunteer for over five years and a Peer Coordinator for three years. Prior to working with CASA, Melanie had a career working in elementary-aged education. She is originally... Read more

Shelley Banker

Shelley Banker is a visionary leader passionate about changing inequities in education for Colorado youth, disrupting social injustice, and organizing and empowering communities. Shelley is the Director of the Colorado Trustee Network (CTN) – a project of the Colorado Education Initiative – that seeks to expand partnerships with trustees of... Read more

Donna Schmalberger

Judge Donna Schmalberger was appointed to the Denver Juvenile Court bench in October 2007, and served until her retirement in April 2020. During that time, she established the Denver ICWA Court in January 2017, for which she was awarded the Impact of the Year Award from the National Council of... Read more

Robert Statton

Board Member

Ryan Gensler

Board Member

Ryan Gensler is the Director of National Partnerships for CareerWise Colorado, working to expand modern youth apprenticeship across the US. His career in workforce began after his time as Marketing Manager and Director of Community Engagement for Intertech Plastics. Ryan was contracted by the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to build... Read more

Colin Ware

Board Member

Colin Ware is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience working in the arts, higher education, academic medicine, and non-profit consulting. Colin holds an M.B.A. from UCLA and served as a major gift or planned giving officer for University of Washington and University of Montana prior to... Read more

Bek Coelho

Board Member

Bek Coelho has been closely involved with the CASA organization since 2014 – serving on a multi-child case with Boston CASA and as a Development Committee member with Denver CASA. Bek, a Colorado native, spent nearly a decade on the East Coast, working in research at Boston Children’s Hospital and... Read more

Caitlin McHugh

Past Board President

Caitlin McHugh is an attorney in Denver at the firm Lewis Roca Rothergerber Christie LLP. Her practice is focused on commercial litigation.  In her work, Cait enjoys finding creative solutions to address her clients’ short and long term needs.  Cait has been on the Board of Child Advocates Denver CASA... Read more

Kirsten Stewart

Board Secretary

Kirsten Stewart has been a member of the Child Advocates – Denver CASA Board since November 2015. She is a member of Sherman & Howard LLC and specializes in employee benefits law.  Kirsten’s interest in helping children in the child protection system began in 1996 when she was a law clerk... Read more

Michael Holland

Board Treasurer

Michael Holland joined the Child Advocates – Denver CASA Board in 2014. In addition to serving on the Executive Board, he also serves as Treasurer. Michael is a Colorado native and graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Michael strongly believes that every child... Read more

Roy Banes

Board Member

Roy Banes is the Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis at Ball Corporation where he has worked since 2010.  At Ball, Roy is a Finance leader focusing on strategic partnership in support of other business leads, and serves as the Finance lead on the Global Beverage Leadership Team.  ... Read more

Melissa Cizmorris

Board Member

Melissa Cizmorris is an associate attorney with Akerman LLP, where she has been since 2011.  Melissa’s law practice centers around labor and employment, with a focus on multiple and joint employers.  Melissa also serves on Akerman’s Philanthropic Initiative team and is involved in numerous pro bono projects in Akerman’s Racial... Read more

Suzanne Sanchez

Board President

Suzanne Sanchez is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Empower Retirement. Sanchez is responsible for all human resources functions. In her role, she leads the company’s efforts to attract, engage and retain top talent in support of the company’s long-term strategic roadmap. This includes providing attractive benefits, competitive compensation and... Read more

Alexander Savinar

Board Member

Kendra Smith

Board Member

Kendra Smith is a Senior Director at TIAA and has been with the financial services firm for over 25 years in various client facing, business management and product development roles.  Currently, she manages the health savings account (HSA) product offer.  She is also a member of the TIAA Denver Leadership Council. Kendra... Read more

Chris Vandall

Board Member

Chris Vandall is an Associate Principal and Sr. Project Manager at OZ Architecture where he has worked since 2005.  At OZ, Chris is a leader in the Resort/Hospitality/Mixed Use Practice Area, leads Social Responsibility and OZ Gives initiatives, and serves on the Sustainability Committee. Chris has been serving on the... Read more

Wendy Withee


Associate Product Manager, Fixed and Fixed Index Annuities, Jackson National Life Insurance Company

Jack Weixel

Board Member

Jack Weixel is a Senior Director with IHS Markit and plays a key role in product development and client support focused on modeling real-time, short-term and long-term forecasts of natural gas supply, demand and storage. Jack comes to IHS Markit from OPIS where he helped build that company’s first ever... Read more