Architects. Guides. Facilitators. As a comprehensive and passionate team of thinkers and doers. We’re an essential, value-added consortium of public health experts for anyone and everyone connected to today’s public wellness sector.
At Trailhead, we are a sustaining force behind the “boots on the ground” for public health. Among our main priorities is helping to make “it” possible for our partners to achieve their significant and public health initiatives. We work with key organizations, communities and their leaders to augment their services while identifying critical health needs and meeting them head-on. We are the supportive administrators, the reliable facilitators and the organizational cement that bonds it all together.
Powered with invaluable expertise, critical resources and caring personnel, Trailhead serves as the stimulus, the hub and the facilitator that helps ensure greater success of every public health expedition.
The Trailhead Difference
Many voices. Infinite ideas. One goal. Trailhead is the leading, supportive and empowering catalyst that enables communities to make important decisions and enact critical initiatives aimed at delivering healthier futures and more positive environments. As a strategic partner, Trailhead allows users to leverage and to take full advantage of our personnel, our services and the full depth of our broad expertise while maintaining full control over their projects. Through fund management, program development and strategic support, we help people and organizations work together as a unified collective with the focused objective of realizing better public health for all.
Trailhead can mean something different for every partner. For some we are the fiscal sponsor and administrative partner helping develop internal fiscal capabilities. For others we’re the project manager that brings them in as a part of a larger collaboration. Some turn to us to find like-minded thinkers and others willing to share ideas and experiences. For all, one thing is constant: we are a starting point where they can map out a route to success.
The Work We Do
Thoughtful. Meaningful. Impactful. Through community engagement programs, active administrative partnerships, youth sexual health and education services, and food access and security initiatives like the Collaborative Leadership Initiatives, Trailhead enables us to realize the true and purpose-driven potential of public health in Colorado. Through a culture of conscious collaboration—a think tank of the possible—Trailhead provides the essential tools, platforms and the necessary personnel for realizing the complete and full potential of what public health in Colorado is truly meant to achieve.
Our Mission: Trailhead Institute advances innovation and collaboration in public and environmental health.
Our Vision: Everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and live in a healthy environment.
Our Drivers: Collaboration | Justice | Capacity
Our Values: Collaboration | Curiosity | Inclusion | Innovation | Reflection
Join the conversation! Check out our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan for more detail and let us know what you think.
Explore Our Work
Advisors. Navigators. Partners. Trailhead’s team of dedicated, hardworking and resourceful professionals truly is our greatest asset. We are passionately committed to every journey’s sustainable success. That’s why we work so hard each day—as your ally and strategic partner—putting our vast and varied collective of public health expertise to work collaborating, assisting and guiding diverse public health organizations toward a vibrant and healthy Colorado.
Our Staff & Interns
Senior Program Manager
Adrienne manages and maintains the progress and development of the Youth Sexual Health work, including all projects and initiatives (WISE, Youth Sexual Health Alliance and Mapping Resource), in addition to being responsive to gaps identified by partners and how to coordinate the work on a statewide level. Prior to joining Trailhead, Adrienne worked as a Health Educator at Denver Health in a School-Based Health Center. She provided direct reproductive health counseling and supported young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health, including how to navigate the services at the School-Based Health Center. She has a Master of Public Health degree. Adrienne enjoys hiking, biking, camping and kayaking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.
Andrew has filled a variety of roles here at Trailhead. Presently he is managing finances for Trailhead proper along with the finances of several smaller programs and projects. He spent three years in Morocco – two with the Peace Corps and one with the High Atlas Foundation, a Moroccan/American NGO focused on rural communities. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from St. Olaf College. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys traveling, reading, and playing with his son.
Ashley Loveless, MPH
Public Health Infrastructure Manager
Prior to joining Trailhead Ashley served as the CDC Foundation’s Public Health Analyst and Subject Matter Expert (SME) on opioid prevention which included educating the community, legislators, and other stakeholders about opioid fatality prevention efforts throughout the State of Colorado. She has also worked as the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator for the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment. She holds a Master’s in Public Health and is currently working on her DrPH with a focus on overdose prevention efforts through technology. In her free time, she can be found climbing, camping, hanging with her cats, and spending as much time outside as possible!
Director of Projects & Partnerships
Ben oversees the Administrative Partnership Program, supporting our various projects’ and programs’ development and operations. Additionally, Ben supports the Colorado Clinical Translational Sciences Institute’s Community Engagement Pilot Grants Program by providing technical assistance and administrative support. Before he joined the Trailhead team, Ben worked at Mile High United Way managing and writing grants for their internal programs. He has a Master of Social Work. In his free time, Ben likes to snowboard, rock climb, solve puzzles, and run.
Human Resources Administrative Coordinator
As the Human Resources Administrative Coordinator Caitlin is responsible for facilitating and coordinating all aspects of the organization’s onboarding and people management processes. With a background in Horticulture, Caitlin possesses a keen eye for detail and strong organizational skills, which she brings to her work every day. She is passionate about regenerative practices and works collaboratively with others to achieve shared goals and objectives. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys spending time in the garden with her dog, as well as exploring botanic gardens and nature preserves, where she learns about different plant species and takes inspiration from the beauty and resilience of nature.
Senior Project Manager
Holding a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, Gabe joins Trailhead as a member of the Administrative Partnership Program team supporting community partners with project development, administrative support, and programmatic technical assistance. Prior to joining Trailhead, Gabe founded La Conextion, a program co-creating (sober) spaces for the individual and collective healing of Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Outside of work, Gabe co-hosts a podcast with her bestie and has an excellent sense of work/life balance. She is often exploring near and far places for coffee shops, food, activities, and meeting new people with fresh perspectives.
Senior Program Manager
Gillian manages the Regional Health Connectors (RHC) and Community Research Liaisons (CRL) programs at Trailhead. Working with a variety of partners across public health she contributes to the implementation, coordination and evaluation of these programs. Prior to joining Trailhead, Gillian worked at Caring for Colorado Foundation supporting the implementation of a statewide initiative focused on reproductive health equity. She has held a variety of roles throughout her career at nonprofits and the state health department. She values the building of connections and relationships in public health across organizations and individuals. When Gillian isn’t at Trailhead, you can find her enjoying the 300+ days of Colorado sunshine hiking with her golden retriever or at happy hour with friends. She also loves her family, coffee, French fries, hugs, and texting with emoji or gifs.
Program & Brand Narrative Manager
In her dual role, Hannah supports the overall implementation of Trailhead’s Regional Health Connector (RHC) program as well as supporting strategic communications for the organization. During her time at Trailhead, Hannah has led a storytelling initiative both identifying and producing stories of impact highlighting RHCs’ work across Colorado and is supporting storytelling across Trailhead’s projects, programs, and initiatives. Prior to joining Trailhead, Hannah worked in public health in Montana as both a Registered Sanitarian (health inspector) and in community health improvement. In her free time, Hannah can be found adventuring outside with friends, playing volleyball, immersed in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, or attempting to find the best brunch spot.
Director of Community Engagement and Philanthropy
Holly advises on community engagement best practices within programs across the organization and maintains high-level oversight of the Youth Sexual Health Program. Prior to joining Trailhead, Holly served as the Director of Community Programs at Colorado Youth Matter. Holly earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from James Madison University. She completed a capstone project and a fellowship related to global development and equity in Washington, DC and in Davos, Switzerland. When Holly isn’t overseeing programs at Trailhead, she enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, and playing tennis.
Ida supports the APP team after originally joining Trailhead’s Finance team. Prior to joining Trailhead, Ida worked with American Indian organizations and local entrepreneurs to build financial capacities. She also owns her own small business beautifying Coloradoans. From paintbrushes to power tools, Ida loves learning and trying out new skills and crafts. When she’s not working on something, Ida can be found spending time with her big family.
Jennifer Edwards, PhD
Director of Workforce Programs & Initiatives
Jennifer leads equitable workforce programs and initiatives in support of public and environmental health. Through collaborative capacity building and partnerships, she designs data-inspired efforts to energize the new and evolving public health workforce. She is an expert in developing public health strategies, learning design, and impact-oriented applied research. Jennifer served on undergraduate and graduate health sciences research faculty; and has served as a reviewer for five national journals including Public Health Reports, the peer-reviewed journal of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. Throughout her career, she has led CDC and RWJF-funded workforce and evaluation projects, including evaluating the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training. Jennifer also received NIH-funded training, wrote U.S. presidential appointee testimony submitted to the Congressional Record, and has served as a committee co-chair for a World Health Organization (WHO) non-state actor. Jennifer was integral to collaboratively leading several national convenings in support of health administrators’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Juan Carlos Machuca
Juan joins our Finance team as manager of Trailhead’s finances where he supports program and project budgeting; ensures contract compliance; and manages Accounts Receivable Billings. Prior to joining Trailhead, Juan worked for North Colorado Health Alliance as an accountant where he excelled in collaboratively working with regional, statewide, and national
grantors/partners such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Colorado Department of Public Health Environment, and United Way of Weld and Larimer County. The opportunity to work closely on grant revenues and budgets allowed Juan to understand how such funding is utilized to create sustainable programming that leads to increased healthy outcomes and stronger and healthier communities. In his spare time, Juan enjoys watching Star Wars, Marvel, and D.C. movies and spending time with his family and my two dogs.
As a Finance Manager at Trailhead Institute, Kari is the financial liaison for multiple portfolios of projects and partnerships. Kari has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and comes from a diverse background working in hospitality, accounting and healthcare. Kari has completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training so when she is not connecting with peers at Trailhead you can find her in a hot yoga studio. Additional hobbies include live music, traveling, cooking, and snuggling with her two kitties.
Kayla serves as a member of the WPI team, being guided by the Director of Workforce Programs & Initiatives. Together with the workforce team, she supports innovative workforce development and demonstrating progress toward statewide collaborative priorities. Prior to joining Trailhead Kayla served as a Prevention Education Supervisor leading and coordinating outreach efforts, which included educating the community about substance misuse prevention efforts with local schools, health agencies, and community partners. She has also worked as a Health Educator for the Oklahoma State Department of Health assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating health education programs. She holds her Certified Health Education Specialist certification, has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health. In her free time, she can be found hiking, visiting new coffee shops, and traveling. She enjoys going to concerts and spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs.
Director of People & Strategic Initiatives
Lisa supports Trailhead’s mission through coaching, training and maximizing the best assets of Trailhead – its employees and partnerships. She brings nearly 30 years in the nonprofit sector to inform Trailhead’s organizational and leadership development. She has served as the executive director at Colorado Youth Matter and has worked in intimate partner violence prevention. In addition to her work with Trailhead, Lisa is an executive coach, consultant and trainer who supports teams and individuals in creativity, mindfulness and burnout prevention and recovery. She holds an MS in Organizational Leadership and is a Master Practitioner of NLP, an expressive writing instructor and a Co-Active Coach. In her free time, she enjoys City Park, public art, studying astrology, being anywhere in the Rockies, and her tiny bob cat, Pixie Bee.
AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager
Lyndie serves as Trailhead’s AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager where she is collaboratively leading efforts to evolve Colorado’s public health workforce through the integration of AmeriCorps and public health apprenticeship programs. Prior to joining Trailhead Institute as the AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager, Lyndie served as the Program Director for Mountain Roots and the Healthy Futures Program where she served as the main point of contact for AmeriCorps Supervisors, Members, and affiliate partners for communication, position development, impact reporting, and human resource management. With a BA in Psychology, Lyndie has worked in program development and marketing for community education since 2007. Her work experience varies from private youth counseling to public outdoor education experiences, including leading various workshops and trainings on community outreach and public speaking for REI and the California State Park Trails and Greenways Conference.
Natalie’s responsibilities include managing all credit card transactions for Trailhead Staff and Administrative Partners, as well as doing Accounts Payable and Receivable, cash receipts and disbursements, and developing training sessions for Finance-related topics for Trailhead staff and Administrative Partners. Prior to joining Trailhead, she worked as an in-house accountant for several small, family-owned businesses. Natalie holds a BS in Accounting. In her free time, she likes to visit beaches, attend jazz concerts, and do volunteer work.
Youth Sexual Health Senior Coordinator
Ocean supports the Youth Sexual Health Program, alongside Adrienne, through a community and youth focused lens. Ocean leads out the WISE initiative, and has involvement in Trailhead’s comprehensive mapping resource and the Youth Sexual Health Alliance. They work on building out and expanding new partnerships throughout the state, focusing Trailhead’s efforts on innovative ways to involve youth in the process of their learning, with the hopes of amplifying youth voice to drive forward empowering and intersectional sexual health education to improve overall community health. Prior to joining Trailhead, Ocean was an educator with Planned Parenthood Association were they gained experience facilitating youth and adult spaces on topics around pleasure, communication, consent, and overall sexual health and ran a peer-led sex education program in Utah. In their free time, Ocean enjoys wandering bookstores and coffee shops and camping with their spouse and dog.
Playing a central role in Trailhead’s evolution towards a primarily remote work environment, Sara manages daily operations for Trailhead both in-person and virtually through her hybrid role. She currently is focused on transitioning Trailhead’s physical work environment to a shared office space with Colorado Health Institute. Sara’s keen attention to detail was nurtured while working in pharmaceutical and food laboratories in Illinois before moving to Colorado in 2013 where she has honed her operational prowess managing grocery store departments and a coworking space, and handling day-to-day operations for a small furniture store. In her free time, Sara can be found exploring the High Line Canal and South Platte River Trails with her dog; reading a book or watching a University of Illinois basketball game with her cat; spending time with family and friends; and getting out to experience all the exciting places and activities that Colorado has to offer.
President & Executive Director
As the President and Executive Director of Trailhead Institute, Sarah is a known and trusted health leader across the state of Colorado. Sarah is known to take risks, challenge the status quo, and push the field of public health forward by seeking innovative solutions to common problems. She is a systems thinker who builds, implements, and sustains initiatives that have positively impacted the health of communities spanning public health, health care, and behavioral health.
Prior to serving as the President and Executive Director, Sarah also served as the Chief Operating Officer and Program Director. Before joining Trailhead, she worked as the Program Manager for the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials where she managed Public Health Services and Systems Research projects and evaluated work of the Public Health Alliance of Colorado.
Outside of work Sarah thrives in the kitchen and can, at times, be found behind a mic at karaoke night.
Tess shares the work that Trailhead and our partners do to advance innovation and collaboration in public and environmental health through strategic communications and purposeful storytelling. She brings over six years of copywriting, brand marketing and digital communications experience from the corporate sector to her role at Trailhead, along with a deep appreciation for mission-driven brands and building human connection. Outside of her work at Trailhead, Tess spends her time soaking up all of the sunshine that the Mountain West has to offer, moving in the outdoors and traveling to be with the people she loves.
Director of Finance
Tyler is responsible for comprehensive financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting for Trailhead’s complex financial systems. These systems include but are not limited to the provision of administrative support and fiscal sponsorship of organizations, projects and partnerships receiving any combination of local, state, federal, foundation, private and/or other funding. He studied at The Ohio State University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. In his free time, Tyler likes to play music with his friends, go hiking and play sand volleyball.
Yaz joined the Workforce Partnership Initiative (WPI) team and is excited to share her lived and work experience in the areas of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) and how they intersect with public health. She will support and provide assistance to health departments in the region with a focus on building connections and partnerships while staying grounded in Trailhead’s mission and values.
Prior to joining Trailhead, Yaz started her nonprofit journey volunteering and working in HIV/AIDs communities, including mentoring and testing. Yaz also has a background in public service in county, state and city roles, including her time working for the Multnomah County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Division. Recently, Yaz worked on grant projects including an AmeriCorps pilot program and an affordable housing project for community-based art projects in Portland, Oregon (where she is from).
Yaz has a Master’s in Creative Writing and a BA in Visual Arts. In her free time, Yaz enjoys acrylic painting, cooking and Tabata workouts!
Yuliza manages partnerships and project operations for Trailhead’s community engagement research projects supporting their start-up, development, and ongoing sustained structures. Growing up in Northern Colorado, Yuliza volunteered with local organizations that addressed social determinants of health. Working with underserved populations, she developed a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, she worked with North Colorado Health Alliance before moving to the Denver area and joining the Trailhead team. In her free time, Yuliza enjoys traveling – especially to places with a a warm sandy beach – and spending time with her family.
Our Affiliate Staff
Outgoing Executive Director, Colorado Cancer Coalition
Christi Cahill has dedicated her professional career to working with cancer related nonprofits and organizations. Christi has been involved with the Colorado Cancer Coalition in a variety of capacities since 2009 and is now the Executive Director. Prior to becoming the Executive Director she was the Cancer Outreach Specialist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and before that the Director of Program Services at MyLifeLine.org. Christi received a B.A. in Kinesiology from Rice University in Houston, TX and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas, TX. In her free time, she likes to play volleyball and spend time with her family including her husband and 3 small children (and read a lot about how to parent 3 small children).
Chelsie Burdick, MEDM
Readiness and Response Coordinator, North Central Region Healthcare Coalition
Chelsie facilitates the collaborative work of the North Central Region Healthcare Coalition (NCR HCC) to include regional response efforts through developing, exercising, and evaluating emergency preparedness plans, procedures, and agreements. Prior to joining the NCR HCC, Chelsie was a leader in education, serving as a teacher, coach, and department head for five years. She completed an emergency management internship with Tenet Healthcare and volunteered with emergency response organizations during her summer breaks. Chelsie holds a Bachelor’s in Applied Sociology and Communication and a Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places with her fiancé. When she’s not traveling, you can find Chelsie reading, running, playing volleyball or ice hockey, or just hanging out with her dogs, Skye and Renley.
Community Investment Manager, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Dana administers the Food Pantry Assistance Grant and the Colorado Healthy Food Access grant. She works closely with the Blueprint team to ensure the funding and awarding processes are equitable and meet community needs. She develops and implements funding strategies in partnership with community, tracks changes over time, and provides technical assistance to grantees to leverage the Blueprint network. Previously, she worked at Garfield County Public Health managing a variety of grant funded programs and projects focusing on community engagement, health equity, food access, the built environment, and COVID-19 vaccine equity. Prior to working in local government, Dana worked for several nonprofit organizations throughout the mountains of Colorado. Dana is a 200-hour registered Yoga Alliance teacher and did her first teacher training in Cusco, Peru. In her free time, Dana enjoys reading, running, yoga/meditation, traveling, hiking, and volunteering at the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley.
Vision Director, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Dolores is charged with developing, engaging and cultivating new and existing partnerships with communities across the state to deepen the impact and goals associated with the Blueprint’s efforts. Prior to joining the Blueprint, Dolores served as the Chief Program and Impact Officer for Growing Home, a local nonprofit organization serving families in North Metro Denver. In her role Dolores developed and implemented the organization’s programmatic strategy and provided leadership and oversight to all programs and programmatic staff. During her free time Dolores enjoys performing with an all-female band, as well as Mariachi, to promote classic Mexican songs while eliminating cultural, racial, linguistic, and political borders through musical performance.
Coordinator, Morgan County Interagency Oversight Group
Elaine has the primary responsibility of working with MCIOG’s board to support programs that engage youth and family in the process and to help them identify and articulate their primary needs. Prior to joining Trailhead, Elaine worked at a school district for five years during which time she served as the secretary of the transportation department as well as a trainer and bus driver. Previous to working in the education sector she worked in the prison system for 4 years. In her free time Elaine can be found spending time with her family, playing with her horses and creating through crochet. As a hunter, fisher and camping enthusiast, Elaine finds joy in being able to get lost in the woods without technology.
Greta Allen, MHA, RDN
Policy Manager, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Greta is responsible for providing facilitation and support to The Blueprint’s workgroup and project teams focused on increasing enrollment in SNAP and WIC, as well as convening State and Federal Policy workgroups. Greta provides policy and systems analysis in order to support the expressed legislative needs and values of the Blueprint network. Greta came to the Blueprint after 6 years in local public health. Greta moved to Colorado from Northern California to complete her dietetic internship in 2017 and subsequently spent four years working for the WIC program as a Registered Dietitian. In 2021, Greta transitioned to the role of Regional Health Connector where she built and strengthened relationships between public health, community-based organizations, and primary care providers. Greta maintains her credential as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration. In her free time, Greta can be found taking long walks with her dog and partner, working out with friends at her local CrossFit gym, watching bad reality TV, eating sushi, hiking the trails close to home in Boulder, and keeping her houseplants alive.
Director, Jefferson County Food Policy Council
Hallie leads a diverse stakeholder collaborative dedicated to creating a food-secure Jefferson County with healthy food access for all residents; a vibrant and equitable farming infrastructure; a healthy ecosystem; and a thriving local food economy. Hallie works alongside local governments, nonprofit organizations, food and farm businesses, residents, and policymakers to foster conversation, coordination, and capacity building with a focus on equity and public health. Prior to joining the Food Policy Council, Hallie worked for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to analyze and develop national eligibility policy for special populations, including college students, older adults, and individuals with disabilities. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay where she worked alongside community members to develop an agricultural extension youth group. In her free time, Hallie enjoys gardening, knitting, sewing, and weekend road trips to explore nearby parks and food.
Readiness and Response Coordinator, Northeast Region Health Care Coalition (NER HCC)
Jobeth facilitates the planning, training, exercising and operational readiness of the NER HCC, and supports the overall success of the Coalition and its members. Jobeth worked in rural hospital nursing for 8 years before she moved into Public Health. Her work with the Health Care Coalition is the latest transition on her journey in the field of health. Jobeth has lived all over the country before she settled in eastern Colorado. She has twin seven year old girls and a four year old boy. She likes to spend her free time in the gym or the mountains, where she enjoys camping, fishing, and hiking. She loves to read, especially history books, and holds two Bachelor’s degrees, in Nursing and in Agricultural Communication.
Integration Director, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Joël manages all policy and communication efforts for the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, including but not limited to overseeing the legislative agenda by coordinating with lobbyists and stakeholders to support our policy priorities and managing various work groups and project teams from the Blueprint. Prior to joining the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, Joël was the SNAP Compliance Officer at the Colorado Department of Human Services. He holds an MS in Food Security from Colorado State University. For fun Joël likes to hike, snowboard, and spend time with his family (including his dogs!).
Justice Onwordi, MPH
Impact Manager, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Justice supports the Blueprint as the liaison for the Blueprint’s Workgroup 5 (focused on maximizing child nutrition) as well as their Data and Evaluation Committee. Justice leads the Blueprint’s data and evaluation work through connecting community and organizations efforts through visual data such as maps, qualitative storytelling, reports, and the Blueprint’s Data Dashboard. The emphasis of Justice’s previous work was around housing and houselessness as well as intergenerational trauma and healing. She worked with local non-profits to address these barriers by providing healthy meals on a regular basis to unhoused populations who found short-term medical respite.
In her free time, Justice can be found outside (skiing, mountain biking, hiking and backpacking), at concerts, and spending time with friends.
Executive Director, Colorado Cancer Coalition
Dr. Kori Novak is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 25 years of success spanning eldercare, tribal health care and criminal justice. Leveraging extensive experience as a CEO for various for profit and not for-profit healthcare organizations, Dr. Novak’s broad areas of expertise include elder and end of life care, rural chronic disease care, healthcare strategy and public affairs.
She has been a professor at various universities and is a Sr. Fellow of Sociology at the School of Law and Social Science at the University of Suffolk and a Sr. Researcher at Oxford University in the UK. She has been a guest lecturer and keynote speaker for several domestic and international associations, as well as having multiple TEDx Talks and authored several books and journal articles revolving around the intersections of Gerontology, Health Care and Criminal Justice.
In her free time, Dr. Novak is an avid foodie and likes to spend time with family, friends, and rescue dogs Max and Ophelia. She loves to travel and volunteer for causes she’s passionate about.
Executive Assistant, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Leticia provides administrative support to the entire Blueprint to End Hunger including organizing logistics and meetings for over 15 different teams. Prior to joining the Blueprint, she worked in Denver Public Schools for 24 years as a school secretary and also as a parent liaison for nearly 15 years. In addition, Leticia serves on the board of directors for Horizons. Leticia is a native Spanish speaker who has lived in Colorado for over 40 years. She is a grandmother and has two amazing children. Her love of her family, her community and her strong ability to build relationships are just a few of the reasons she is so passionate about the work.
Executive Director, North Central Regional Healthcare Coalition
Michelle works directly with the North Central Regional Healthcare Coalition. In her role, she leads the coordination of all-hazards emergency preparedness planning and projects. Prior to joining NCR HCC, Michelle was the Environmental Health and Safety Manager for the state’s largest substance use disorder treatment provider, focusing primarily on the development of a comprehensive safety program. Michelle earned her Master’s in Forensic Psychology from the University of Denver.
Visibility Manager, Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
Michelle elevates the work of the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, including its network of partners and community voice, through accessible and equity-centered communications initiatives, brand management, and workgroup facilitation. She taps into the power of collaboration, data, and words to help build public and political will for co-created solutions to end hunger across Colorado communities. Michelle brings more than 16 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sector fields as a strategic communicator, issue advocate, and collaborative changemaker. Prior to joining the Blueprint, she led communications for Pikes Peak Library District and Hunger Free Colorado. In her free time, Michelle enjoys hiking, paddling, reading, traveling, volunteering, and spending time with her family and pets.
Chief Operating Officer and Director of Programs, Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative
As Chief Operating Officer and Director of Programs, Perla will play a major role in leading the work of growing the list of Colorado workforce and postsecondary programs backed by strong evidence and project managing CEEMI’s work streams. Perla was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in Denver for nearly all of her life. As a first generation latina in the USA Perla has learned the power of interwinding two beautiful cultures together and their story is stronger because of it. Perla graduated from MSU Denver with a B.S. in Event & Meeting Management and two years later was awarded the Top 10 MSU Denver Alumni award for using her skills to help the community. Perla has had the opportunity to put on A-List events all over Colorado and surrounding states. However, she knew that she wanted to make a difference in the community, and sought out to find something that would fill her heart with joy. That is when she Co-Founded Ednium: The Alumni Collective and ran all the organization’s operations. In her free time, you can find Perla doing DIY design projects, exploring new restaurants with her husband or baking.
CEO & Founder, Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (CEEMI)
As CEO & Founder of CEEMI, Roger leads the initiative’s advocacy and public sector engagement; oversees efforts to grow effective economic mobility pathways and programs in Colorado; manages CEEMI’s growing team; raises growth capital; and sets goals and priorities. Prior to joining Trailhead, Roger spent over a decade in the public sector specializing in evidence-based policy, workforce development, economic mobility, and outcomes-based payments. As a policy advisor to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roger helped create the first federal outcomes fund, and new pay-for-performance authorities in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. At Colorado’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, he led the launch of Colorado’s first three state-level Pay for Success projects. As Policy Director for America Forward, the policy arm of the national venture philanthropy New Profit, Roger collaborated with some of America’s most effective proven postsecondary and training programs. Roger was born and raised in Colorado, and lives in Lakewood with his partner Michael. He likes runs, hikes, beaches, most board and card games, and catching up with old friends. He’s usually affable, once he’s had his morning coffee.
Bruno Sobral is a Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at Colorado State University and Professor of Biostatistics and Informatics at the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Trailhead Board, Bruno has spent 25 years building research institutes in academic, non-profit and corporate sectors. When not in the classroom and away from research, Bruno enjoys spending his free time body surfing.
Erica Snow, MS, MPA
Erica Snow is a portfolio director at the Colorado Health Foundation whose mission is to improve the health of Coloradans with the belief that health is a human right. She leads a team that works to ensure that communities, systems and policies support Coloradans in their pursuit of good health, focusing specifically on access to primary care; early childhood social-emotional development; teen and young adult resiliency; and adult recovery. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008 and now serving on the Trailhead Board, Erica has held positions in community mental health, hospital, nonprofit and research settings in addition to earning a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver and a Masters of Science in Community Mental Health from the University of Vermont. In her downtime, Erica loves to be outside hiking, skiing, or paddle boarding with her family and three dogs.
Jana Persky a project manager at ZOMALAB, a private family office where she primarily focuses on rural communities and economic development exploring how to use impact investing and philanthropic support to build resilient communities. Prior to her role at ZOMALAB and joining the Trailhead Board, Jana worked at the Colorado Office of Economic Development of International Trade (OEDIT) where she led the state’s Opportunity Zone program to support community-oriented private capital investments in economic development. Jana holds a degree in Public Policy from Stanford University and enjoys hiking, skiing and coaching soccer in her free time.
Jon Samet, MD, MS
Board Vice Chair
Dr. Jonathan Samet, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist, is Dean and Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental & Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. His career has centered on epidemiologic research on threats to public health and using research findings to support policies that protect population health. His research has addressed indoor and outdoor air pollution, smoking, radiation risks, cancer etiology and outcomes, and sleep-disordered breathing.
Lauren Gearhart, MPH, MCHES
Lauren Gearhart is a Community Engagement Manager at Unite Us, and is a current member of the Youth Sexual Health Alliance. Lauren oversees the tobacco health neighborhood within the community and also interacts with local youth by facilitating UpRISE in Summit County, a youth social justice campaign for tobacco control in addition to managing the comprehensive sexual health education program, Healthy Choices. In her free time, Lauren can be found accessing our public lands here in the state of Colorado and across the globe. Her outdoor recreation adventures always start and end at a trailhead, whether it be mountain biking, backcountry skiing, climbing, or trail running.
Mary V. Davis, DrPH, MSPH
Dr. Mary Davis is principal and owner of Project Y Evaluation Services, LLC which focuses on public health evaluation and applied research consulting, training, and technical assistance services. She has extensive experience leading applied research and evaluation projects in a variety of settings, teaching evaluation methods, and providing capacity building assistance to organizations, such as coalitions, public health departments, foundations, and human service agencies. In her 25 year career, she has worked in a range of settings, including a public health institute at the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health as well as a national member association and a for-profit consulting firm. Dr. Davis’ areas of expertise include preparedness, health department accreditation, quality improvement, and partnerships.
Meghan Guevara, MPH
Meghan Guevara currently serves as an Executive Partner at the Pretrial Justice Institute, a nonprofit organization working with community advocates and government officials across the country to advance safe, fair, and equitable pretrial practices. Prior to joining the Trailhead Board, Meghan has spent the past twenty years providing training and technical assistance at the federal, state, and local level in support of comprehensive criminal legal system reforms. Meghan began her career as a community health educator, working with families and young adults on environmental health, women’s health, and adolescent health initiatives. She received her Master of Public Health Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University. In her free time, Meghan enjoys traveling with her family, especially camping across the mountain West.
Melanie Zeitler is the VP of Philanthropy at 9Health where she exercises intense creativity, innovation and thought leadership, and the ability to contribute to large-scale impact on the health and wellness of our communities. Prior to her current position and joining the Trailhead board, Melanie has worked in the non-profit sector for 25-years in various roles from program development to Executive Director. Her most recent years were spent at the Plains Conservation Center, a non-profit which focuses on environmental education and the restoration of endangered grasslands in Colorado. Melanie’s interest in environmental issues and stewardship has continued in her freelance consulting work and volunteerism, where she has happily donated her services to several organizations bringing the importance of environmental stewardship to the forefront. Outside of her philanthropic work, Melanie is a yoga enthusiast, spin cycling and animal nut, who has also been known to enjoy a whole bag of blue corn chips in one sitting now and then!
Susan started her career as an auditor in public accounting and has worked in nonprofit finance and administration in support and leadership roles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is certified in Federal grants management.Susan enjoys being outdoors in the Colorado sunshine running, hiking, biking, skiing, or just relaxing on a patio with a view and refreshments.
Susan is the owner of Pinpoint Accounting Services, specializing in accounting and administrative consulting and support for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations. As Board Treasurer, she chairs the Trailhead Board Finance Committee.
Tom Butts, MSc, REHS
Tom is an Environmental Public Health Consultant and principle of Colorado Environmental Public Health Services, LLC. He was appointed to the Colorado State Board of Health in March 2019 and since early 2017, has served in temporary roles in Elbert County and Larimer County public health agencies. Tom spent over 32 years at Tri-County Health Department working in local Environmental Public Health, Emergency Preparedness and Response and agency administration. He played a large role in the agency’s accreditation effort. Tom has served 7+ years in various positions on the Colorado Environmental Health Association Board and received the Milton M. Miller Award in 2018. In his free time, you can find him hiking, bicycling, gardening, hunting, camping, and coaching Special Olympics winter sports and basketball.
Tom Gonzales, MPH, REHS
Serves as Public Health Director for Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE). Gonzales holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Colorado State University and a Master in Public Health from the University of Northern Colorado, and is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Prior to joining LCDHE, he was Deputy Public Health Director at El Paso County Public Health overseeing Emergency Preparedness and Response, Environmental Health and the Laboratory. Previously, Tom was Program Manager of Environmental Health at Clark County Public Health (WA) addressing on-site wastewater management and drinking water. He led the environmental health response and recovery activities after four wildfires and two flood events in El Paso County. In 2013, Tom was awarded the Milton M. Miller Award, CEHA’s highest honor for an environmental health professional. Recently, he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission. Tom and his wife are blessed with two young boys. Together, they enjoy the Colorado outdoors, including hiking, fishing and hunting.
Join Our Board of Directors!
Trailhead Institute is a Colorado-based nonprofit working to advance innovation and collaboration in public and environmental health. Trailhead is recruiting new members who want to join our governing Board on the critical next phase of our organizational growth and development. Whether your expertise is marketing, policy, business development, or accounting, or you’re simply passionate about improving public health in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West, we invite applications from people who are ready to support positive social change and bring innovation to the way that people live, work and play.
Take this brief assessment to see if Board membership with Trailhead Institute is right for you.
Contact us for more information. Thank you for your interest in Trailhead’s Board.