Mr. Lewis has served as Co-Chairman and CEO for Arc Thrift Stores since December 2005, a Colorado nonprofit corporation whose primary lines of business include the Arc Thrift stores as well as the Vehicles for Charity program. In this capacity, he is responsible for generating funding to support advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities in the state of Colorado for 15 Arc chapters, including Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, autism, and other forms of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mr. Lewis’ role includes oversight and management of Arc’s 24 retail stores, corporate and support operations, and a staff of over 1,600 employees. Arc Thrift Stores is one of the largest employers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the State of Colorado. His tenure has been an employer of other significantly challenged populations as needs arise, including refugees, people from substance abuse programs, people from homeless programs, women from safe houses, etc. Under his leadership and partnership with Volunteers of America, Arc’s annual food drive is now the second largest in the state and supports Meals on Wheels and numerous soup kitchens and food pantries.
NONPROFIT BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
Mr. Lewis is the past chair of the board of the Mile High Down Syndrome Association. He also served on committees/boards including the marketing and resource committee for the Arc of the United States and the Arc of Colorado, among others. He is the father of five children, including a son with Down syndrome and another with sensory processing disorder.
At Arc, he is instrumental in forging relationships with communities of color, including Clinica Tepeyac, the Latina Safehouse, as well as other community organizations. Currently, he is president of the Atlantis Community Foundation which is redefining affordable housing for PWD.
Mr. Lewis holds a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago Graduate Business School and has prior corporate experience with companies including IBM and Smith Barney. Before his arrival as the Arc, he had extensive financial experience, including serving as director of finance for a publicly traded company, and as controller and CFO for a high tech start-up company.
Mr. Lewis is the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding Vision & Leadership Award from the Arc Thrift Stores Board of Directors; the Arc of Pikes Peak 2007 President’s Award; and a Civil Rights Award from NewsEd Corporation for his work with challenged communities. He is also the recipient of an award as one of Denver’s “unsung heroes” in celebration of Denver’s 150th anniversary in 2009. Mr. Lewis and Arc Thrift Stores were named as a 2010 “Changemakers” for the city of Denver.
Click here to read an article on our Co-Chairman Mr. Lloyd Lewis, Executive Edge magazine, by Lynn Bronikowski.
Mr. Winkler has had the opportunity to live with both life-long and acquired disabilities, each giving him unique perspectives on life. Born with a birth defect, in his leg, his parents refused to do as the doctors suggested to have his leg amputated. Instead, they kept seeing doctors until they found one willing to attempt to make his leg functional. While this was the more painful and complex option, it seemed most logical since it still allowed for amputation if the foot could not be made functional. About ten years and a half dozen surgeries later, he was able to walk with only a slight limp; running, jumping, and (some lengthy) walking would cause severe stress fractures, however, his activities were still limited.
As a teen, Mr. Winkler normalized his disability, and never saw himself as disabled. He had a modified PE class at school, but rode dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and horses; drove with regular foot pedals; and worked around his family’s farm. While he didn’t see himself as disabled, classmates did, which nearly caused him to quit school when he turned 16.
Again his parents did what they thought was best, and he and his dad moved to California from Pennsylvania so he could attend a different school. While back in Pennsylvania over summer break between his junior and senior year of high school, Mr. Winkler rolled his Jeep, resulting in the death of his friend and a broken neck for himself. After three weeks in ICU, he came to Craig Hospital for rehab for four months, returned to the school (he despised) for his senior year, then moved to Denver seven days after graduating high school.
Colorado has brought Mr. Winkler numerous opportunities and experiences, including his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from CU Denver – working as an engineer for a NASCAR team, exposure to all facets of the disability rights movement, and the comfort of living in one of the most accessible cities in the world. An implosion of “work incentives” resulting in the loss of his Medicaid benefits after getting laid off has brought Josh into the disability rights arena, though he does intend to return to the “regular” world eventually.
You can learn more about Mr. Winkler and his companies at www.about.me/joshuawinkler
Mr. Konrad serves as advisor and consultant to several foundations helping them to set strategic direction, managing operations, developing programs, establishing financial discipline and investing endowments. One of his areas of expertise is working with new and emerging family foundations helping them to maintain donor intent, develop focused and effective grant-making programs, and to establish the organizational infrastructure to support such programs. In this capacity, he has served as the sole staff person for a first generation foundation, the Harvey Family Foundation; a three-generation foundation, the JFM Foundation; and a seventh generation foundation, the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation. For 15 years, Mr. Konrad served as vice president of The Colorado Trust, where he was responsible for all aspects of foundation management.
Mr. Konrad received recognition in 1998 as Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in Colorado, served two terms as president of the Colorado Association of Foundations, and served individual terms as president and chairman of the board of the Conference of Southwest Foundations, an association of over 250 foundations. He has also been active on the board of numerous nonprofit organizations, including serving as a trustee of his alma mater, the University of Redlands, and as a trustee of a private foundation in Denver. As an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Management at Regis University, he received recognition as Teacher of the Year for his excellence in teaching. He has co-authored a third edition of a textbook, Financial Management of Non-Profits, and has assisted the Council on Foundations in writing The Guide to Small Foundation Management.
Ms. Mosby’s passion is helping individuals who want to work, find employment. She realized that while working is only one aspect of who we are and what we do, it was an essential part of our lives. In 1994, she lost her eyesight to a virus. Doctors were never able to determine what caused the virus to attack the optic nerves, but today she is considered legally blind. While some might think that her life was over, it was just the opposite; it was then that life began for her. She now wonders why it took a potential life-changing event like losing her sight to make her stop and appreciate life.
After training with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Ms. Mosby obtained the skills and confidence to attend college and live independently. She earned her BA in Human Services from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University. She started Mosby Employment Services in 2004, a company that provides career counseling, job readiness skills, training, and job placement. Mosby Employment Services has established an environment where individuals can create a confident presentation of their talents and skills to compete successfully in the job market.
She has been the recipient of several awards including the Martin Luther King Peace Award from Metropolitan State University; the Woman of the Year from the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services; and the Giraffe Award (for sticking her neck out for others) from Metropolitan State University. She has served as the chair of the State Rehabilitation Council appointed by the Governor of Colorado and has also served as the commissioner on the Commission for People with Disabilities for the City of Denver.
Ashlee Lewis is the Executive Director of The Initiative, a 32-year organization formally known as Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities (DVI) that now has become inclusive of serving all genders with disabilities and honoring all forms of abuse that is committed to this vulnerable community. The abusers measure their prey’s vulnerabilities and target them with all forms of abuse, and the link between crime victims and disability is staggering. A person is not vulnerable because of their disability as much as the systemic and cultural issues that create multiple layers of discrimination that makes this community an easy target and ultimately compromises the human rights issues of this community. The Initiative was created to spread awareness within our local community of abuse being committed to persons with disabilities, and to provide accessible services for those who have been abused.
Ashlee started out as a part-time Victim Advocate/Statistician at The Initiative and over the 6 years, she has taken over the responsibilities of grant management, volunteer coordination, financial management, community awareness presentations, and training. Ashlee focused her research and studies on Sociology with a special emphasis on ethnic studies; with always one question in mind: “Why do people suffer?” to learn that the suffering of different groups of people is the result of this oppressive culture and system that we all exist in. The only way to prevent the suffering of groups of people is to create a cultural shift through awareness educations everywhere.
Ashlee is a longtime activist of international issue of gender-based violence and other human rights issues, and she has found her home with the Initiative and sees a vision of doing international work to protect and prevent abuse done onto persons with disabilities, and to ultimately reach a goal to help our culture to evolve to a place where everyone is safe.
Ashlee was born in South Korea and was adopted to a wonderful American couple in Boulder, Colorado at age 11 with her two biological younger brothers. Ashlee lost her birth mom at 8 and her birth father not long after. Ashlee lived in orphanages and with different families for 3 years before her adoption to America, and it wasn’t long before love and stability helped her to heal the traumatic past and understood that being adopted to America afforded her many opportunities that she would not have had as an orphan or woman, or to be poor in Korea.
As the Executive Director, she provides strategic leadership and vision to The Initiative and ensures achievement of its goals for program development, financial stability, and community engagement. Ashlee has over 25 years of extensive experience in community service, including mentoring, counseling, teaching, coordinating, group support meetings and creating programs. She has fourteen years of professional experience in presenting and training large communities within the hospitality, customer service, and sales industries.
Mr. Mackowick moved to Denver in 2014 from southern Illinois. He studied Finance and Economics at Illinois State University and began his career in Commercial Banking in 2011.
He currently serves as an Assistant Vice President in Commercial Lending for Citywide Banks in Denver. In addition to volunteering his time on the Board of Directors for CCDC. He volunteers for local non-profit entities that focus on
providing funding to underprivileged entrepreneurs for start-up businesses.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors playing volleyball and hiking.
While only actively participating in the last six years with disability rights issues, Mr. Rosenberg has long been involved in the movement at large, owing to his father championing the cause for over forty years. He spent a great deal of his youth at board meetings. Demonstrating unfair practices, he marched, shouted, carried banners, and rode on the laps of newly deinstitutionalized wheelchair users. Surrounded by influential leaders such as Wade Blank and Ed Roberts, Mr. Rosenberg, all the while being familiar with the “medical model” not necessarily being the best paradigm for disabled Americans. Early on it was apparent to him that the fight would not be on a level playing field, as early disability rights advocates fought against established institutions and many cultural biases.
With a degree in history, Mr. Rosenberg earned his master’s in Education from Brooklyn College. While earning his degree, he taught writing to elementary students in Bushwick, a hardscrabble neighborhood in Brooklyn known for its problems with drugs and violence. The inequity and marginalization of students, based upon class and race, was another reminder that systems needed fixing and were inherently imbalanced.
Moving back to Denver in 2006, he began working at Personal Assistance Services of Colorado (PASCO), a Denver area home-health agency. Mr. Rosenber is currently PASCO’s Consumer Liaison. He has worked closely with advocacy groups and the Colorado state legislature to fight discriminatory practices. He has also worked with many consumers from southern parts of the country, where home-health services are insufficient, subsequently, helping move a handful of said consumers to Colorado.
When he’s not working, Mr. Rosenberg enjoys being a new father, spending time with his wife, Marti, hiking with his dogs, Irma and Darwin, and reading.
Mr. Henninger has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1973, as the executive director of Bayaud Enterprises, Inc. (Nee-Bayaud Industries), which has been in operation since 1969 creating jobs for thousands of persons with disabilities. Bayaud serves over 1,000 people a year and currently employs more than 180 persons with an operating budget of $8.2 million.
He obtained a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Administration from the School of Business at the University of San Francisco and pursued doctoral studies in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management at the University of Colorado/Denver and has served on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations, such as; the Mental Health Association of Colorado (Board Chair twice), the Legal Center (including being Board Chair), as well as, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (including the Board Chair). He also served at the Rocky Mountain Stroke Association (including Board Chair), the Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations, (a.k.a CANPO), now known as the Colorado Nonprofit Association (CNA).
Additionally, Mr. Henninger sat on the board for Escuela de Guadalupe, including being one of the Founding Board Members. He served on the University Hills Rotary Club of Denver (including being Club President), The Community Resource Center (including being Board Chair), also serving as a Board Member on the Victim and Offender Reconciliation Program of Denver (VORP), and the Domestic Violence Initiative (DVI).
For the past 16 years, Mr. Henninger has been an affiliate faculty member in the Masters of Nonprofit Management Program at Regis University in Denver. He has facilitated courses in History, Theory, and Future of Nonprofit Organizations; Governance of Nonprofits/Organizational Change; Leadership; and Critical Issues in Nonprofit Organizations. He has been a featured speaker at numerous association meetings and has received numerous honors and recognition as a passionate advocate for the nonprofit sector.
Ms. Quinn is currently a student at Ithaca College studying Physical Therapy with a minor in Asian American Studies. She is a Chinese adoptee who loves to volunteer and help others. One of her main involvements at Ithaca College is the Diversity Peer Educator Program, where she is a part of a group of student volunteers who facilitate workshops on diversity, social justice, and identity. She interned with CCDC in the summer of 2014 as part of The Denver Foundation’s Nonprofit Internship Program. Through her work with the Diversity Peer Educator Program and her internship with CCDC, she has decided that after she finishes her doctorate of Physical Therapy program at Ithaca College that she wants to specialize in pediatrics and return to Colorado to serve unserved and underserved communities in the Denver Metro area.
My name is Jeanie Benfield. I’m 53 years old. I grew up with my parents and brothers. When I was 14, I started going to a day program in the Developmental Disabilities system. The day program was supposed to be about helping people with DD learn to do things for themselves, but it was actually about punishing people for having disabilities. It was set up for people who had severe cognitive disabilities, so it was totally inappropriate for my needs. Though my parents and I tried to get the day program to be more flexible, we had little support and thus no real power to make changes. My path from there to the advocate I am now, has been quite interesting.
Though the system didn’t let my parents get very far, they did a lot to advocate for me. Their advocacy became my blueprint of how to advocate for myself as I got older. My self-advocacy was greeted with mixed results: a few of the day program supervisors encouraged me to advocate for myself, but they always got in trouble for doing so. I never knew whether my self-advocacy would help me get what I needed and wanted or whether it would get me in trouble. It shouldn’t have been a big deal; I was only asking to be treated like a human being and to be given opportunities that most people take for granted. The main thing I wanted as I grew older was a volunteer job. Some of the day program staff found writing jobs for me, but I wanted a volunteer job outside the agency. I was given lots of promises, but they never happened. It was a very disempowering situation. I often got the message that I was being too demanding because of my attempts to self-advocate. My parents and I didn’t know who to seek help from outside the agency. Looking back now, I can see that lack of support was my main problem in those early years, especially because many of the supports I did have worked for the very entity that was the problem.
Over the years, I built up a support network. In 2003, I met Kristen Castor. By that time, I was desperate for some kind of day service that would allow me to actually be productive. Lacking other options, my aide and I Googled “disability advocacy” and ended up calling ADAPT. ADAPT referred me to Kristen Castor, who told me about CCDC. My self-advocacy took a leap forward in 2006 when two provider agencies threatened to force me to get a g-tube though I didn’t yet need one. That was the last straw for me. It was very difficult because I had so many people telling me I had no choice over what happened to my body. With help from my brother and Kristen, I was able to get the agencies to back off. Kristen had told me about Pueblo Access for All and the Pueblo ADA Advisory Committee. They were the perfect volunteer jobs for me, but at that time I still couldn’t get a service agency to allow me to attend them.
The one perk of the g-tube situation was that it brought my self-advocacy to Barb Yaeger’s attention. In 2008, Barb contacted me about an opening in one of her group homes. I accepted the offer and it changed my life. She immediately found ways that CR&R could help me get to the community meetings I wanted to attend. It was a little bit of culture shock at first. Up until that point, my advocates and I had had to put up a tremendous struggle for every millimeter of forward progress. Once I was in Barb’s care, I got everything I asked for to help me reach my goals.
Recently, I was faced with a situation in which I had to deal with a bully who serves on the same committees as I do. Even though I was the vice president of one of the committees, he had no respect for me and often said to others that I was stupid and couldn’t communicate, so why should I be allowed to be a leader? At first, his words really got me down. His bullying didn’t make me feel any different about myself, but it reminded me a lot of what had gone on at the day program. As the bullying went on, I realized that I’m in a very different situation now; instead of having a handful of people not allowed to help me, I have a ton of friends and contacts in the community who have come to respect me. They helped me get the courage to stand up to him. I ended up running for co-chair of the committee, the office the bully held but never did the work for. I was confident in my ability to be the co-chair: since he hadn’t been doing the work, I had been doing it for a year. Half an hour before I had to leave my house to get to the election meeting, my aide called to tell me that the bully had decided that every candidate had to present a platform speech before they could run for office. I was incensed, but also galvanized: he had completely underestimated my abilities. My aide and I whipped up a platform speech in ten minutes. I never had to present it, though. Everyone was disgusted with him and let him know it. I was able that day to tell him to his face that I knew he thought I was stupid, but I wasn’t, and that I knew he thought I couldn’t be the co-chair, but I could.
It’s been a long road to get from there to here. Over the years, I have grown in confidence and have become a better advocate for it. The challenges have been many, but they have taught me what I need to know in order to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Dr. Jackson grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Rutgers University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, from which she graduated a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008. After medical school, Dr. Jackson specialized in family medicine and practiced in Pueblo until 2012, when a progressive neurologic illness forced her to leave practice. She moved to Denver in 2013, and took CCDC’s basic advocacy class in 2014. Using her experience as a physician and a person with a disability, she helped to create a training on disability for medical providers and has been to over a dozen clinics around the state to facilitate training sessions. Dr. Jackson has also testified at the State Capitol on a number of bills important to the disability community. She serves on two committees for Colorado Medicaid: the Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee, and the State Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council – to which she was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in 2015. Dr. Jackson recently became a board member of the Phamaly theater company for people with disabilities, and has been on stage as an actress with them as well. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and teaching religious education at her church. She is grateful for the opportunities CCDC has given her to help other people with disabilities using her unique skill set.
With more than twenty-five years of experience in the marketing field, Ms. Jones is a leading expert on integrated marketing strategies. Her agency, Avocet Communications, is one of the most innovative in the country, and under her leadership has represented some of the biggest brands working today. She has knowledge and experience in all aspects of marketing, advertising, PR, Internet and social programs. Where she truly shines, however, is her ability to bring each of those areas together. Her experience with national and local brands such as Big O Tires, Pentax Imaging, Papa John’s Pizza, Arc Thrift Stores, Hain Celestial, Massage Envy and Orange Glo enable her to contribute a strong understanding of the intricacies of today’s consumer and business motivators.
She has presented at numerous industry sales meetings and small business forums on topics such as “Selling on the Trade Show Floor,” “Tips on Growing a Small Business in a Down Economy,” “Marketing Small Businesses with a Small Budget,” “Whale Hunting: Sales Development Strategy,” and many others.
Her work with private, nonprofit, state and federal government organizations and her experience in the field of advertising, enable her to contribute a strong understanding of the intricacies of running a business, program, campaign, or event. She served as a director of the Business Marketing Association (BMA) for seven years, has served on the board of directors of D.A.R.E. Colorado for nine years, and is past Chairman of the D.A.R.E. program for the State of Colorado.
Michael Fairhurst’s practice includes civil rights, constitutional law, employment discrimination, and criminal defense. Mr. Fairhurst began working for Killmer, Lane & Newman as an Associate Attorney in 2013, and has achieved major victories for his clients since that time. This includes the highly-unusual result of receiving judgment as a matter of law in favor of the plaintiff’s unlawful search and seizure claims as part of the team in Bauman v. Bishop, et al., which was tried before a Colorado jury in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. This also includes participating on the team litigating the Marvin Booker v. City and County of Denver case, which was tried in late 2014 and resulted in the largest civil rights jury verdict at the time in Colorado history.
Mr. Fairhurst has a long history of advocating for public interest causes, including working with an environmental protection group in Tallahassee, FL, spearheading a number of social justice movements while attending Williams College in Williamstown, MA, and working for the ACLU of Northern California as a Berkeley Law student.
Patrick Mahncke was born in Colorado Springs, a third generation native to Colorado. Patrick attended the University of San Diego, where he graduated with a business degree in Finance and Management. Upon graduation, he moved back to Colorado and founded USA Mobility, where he is currently serving as president and CEO. USA Mobility is a medical equipment company providing customized mobility solutions for people with disabilities. USA Mobility is Colorado’s largest independent provider of custom manual and power wheelchairs and services clients throughout the state. Patrick is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and a Certified Complex Rehabilitation Supplier (CRTS). His responsibilities include business development, local and national legislative efforts, and community relations. Patrick also serves on several nonprofit boards including: president of the Colorado Association for Medical Equipment Services (CAMES), treasurer of the Spina Bifida Association of Colorado (SBACO), and the Colorado Medicaid DME Advisory Board.
Dr. Mitchell is a board-certified emergency physician who has practiced in the Denver metro area after completing his residency at Denver Health Medical Center where he served as chief resident. He completed medical school at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and was appointed to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society in his third year. Dr. Mitchell has served as the medical director at Parker Adventist hospital for over a decade. Currently serving as the VP of Medical Affairs for DispatchHealth, he has devoted his time to developing clinical treatment guidelines, creating mechanisms to provide high level, acute, and post-acute care in the home in an evidence-based and compliant manner, and educating midlevel providers in home-based acute care medicine. In July of 2017, Dr. Mitchell delivered a TED talk at TEDx Mile High titled, “The ER Housecall for the 21st Century”
Mr. Markham began serving the communities of Colorado back in 1990. While working for a large steel company, he began volunteering his spare time with the Colorado Mounted Patrol and received extensive training in map and compass orientation along with numerous backcountry survival and search techniques. Four years of backcountry search and rescue made him want to be a bigger and more active part of the emergency services community and he was presented with the opportunity to become a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Over the next three years, he received many certifications including his “master mission observer” rating on a search and rescue aircraft, his EMT certification, and he was ultimately promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant. The more training he received, the more he wanted, and when he was offered the chance to become a member of a specialized team of the Civil Air Patrol, he jumped at the chance. The team was specifically trained to respond to both military and civilian aircraft incidents, mediate any hazards, and provide assistance in evacuating and attending to passengers. Mr. Markham had already taken a strong interest in providing medical care to people and the first time he entered a “working fire” during his training, he was hooked. Suddenly he became one of those people whose first instinct was to run into a fire, instead of away.
The next logical step was to pursue both passions and start the long, difficult process of becoming a paramedic, then approaching the difficult task of pursuing a career in fire service. So he gave up a lucrative career as a foreman with a steel company, enrolled in paramedic school, and took a job driving limousines. This actually permitted him not only to make ends meet but to be able to spend several hours sitting in the back of a limousine with a stack of books while his clients were having dinner, seeing a concert or whatever the case may have been. It was perfect! When he graduated he began working for a private ambulance company, ultimately working his way up to supervisor/field training officer. He aggressively continued to build on his experience, after several years and several tests came and went, he finally got the “call” in 1998 and would spend the next twelve years working as a paramedic with the fire department, as well as, performing various ancillary duties that included holding the position of team leader for Colorado’s largest hazardous materials response team. He was also very active and donated a significant amount of time to causes such as MDA, St. Baldrick’s, and Children’s Hospital.
Unfortunately, Mr. Markham was injured on the job in 2010 and suddenly found himself struggling the next few years. Like many members of CCDC, he struggled against “systems” that don’t necessarily seem to have a person’s best interest in mind. When Josh Winkler, a personal friend to Mr. Markham whom he had worked with, and personally cared for whom he had a great amount of respect for, asked him one day to become a prospective board member for CCDC, Mr. Markham didn’t hesitate. The general rule of approaching any situation in emergency services is to provide the greatest amount of good to the most amount of people.
Mr. Markham is honored to continue that belief for the members of CCDC as a member of the board. While he is now “retired” he has several interests, including his love for travel, classic cars, and his passion for competition BBQ, a “hobby” that has now become a part-time career that occupies much of his time.