The SCFD’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of culture, business, and non-profit leaders from across the Denver metro area. The 11-member board includes one representative from each of the seven counties appointed by the board of county commissioners or city council that participate in the SCFD as well as four members appointed by Colorado’s governor.
The board of directors reviews and oversees all funding distribution from the district.
Jack Finlaw, Chairman
Jack Finlaw is the President and CEO of the University of Colorado of Foundation following a tenure as Chief Legal Counsel to Governor John Hickenlooper. Served as Director of Denver’s Theatres as Arenas Division and as Deputy Chief of Staff during Hickenlooper’s tenure as the Mayor of Denver. In these roles, Mr. Finlaw oversaw the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, the constructions of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and the management of Denver’s city-owned venues including the Denver Performing Arts Complex and Red Rocks Amphitheater. He joined the board in May 2018. His 1st term expires in May 2021.
Kendra Black, Vice-Chair
Denver County appointee
Kendra Black was born and raised in southeast Denver a graduate of Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, with a BA in history and political science and an MA in history from the University of Colorado. Her experience includes work in non-profits, education and community outreach. She recently left her job at the University of Colorado Denver where she ran a statewide academic program to serve on Denver City Council. Councilwomen Black joined the board in July 2015. Her 2nd term expires July 2021.
Ann Speer, Treasurer
Douglas County appointee
Ann Speer is currently a financial advisor with BCJ Financial Group. Ms. Speer earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah and has worked in the banking and finance industry since 1985, primarily in Utah, California, and Colorado. While in California Ann assisted arts and culture organizations in her community. After moving to Colorado, Ann was appointed to the Douglas County Cultural Council and served from 2007-2015, chairing the council from 2011-2015. She joined the board March 2016. Her 2nd term expires in March 2022.
Kathy Nesbitt, Secretary
Kathy Nesbitt brings experience in strategic planning, human resource management, and budget development through a varied career that includes senior positions at Kaiser Permanente, the State of Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration, and currently at the University of Colorado. As Vice president of Administration at the University of Colorado, she is responsible for a wide range of services including but not limited to, payroll for CU employees, employment policy, and compliance education. Kathy has been recognized for her leadership by the Girl Scouts of America, Governing Magazine, and previously served as a board member for the Denver Children’s Museum, the Bonfils Blood Center, and the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. She joined the board in May 2018. Her 1st term expires in May 2021.
Adams County appointee
Ray Gonzales has over 22 years of experience encompassing nearly every level of government administration. After parting ways with the U.S. Peace Corps, his roles spanned increasing responsibility from the federal U.S. Department of Labor to New Mexico’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary under the leadership of Governor Richardson. Although he found great success fortifying these agencies, his heart was in his hometown. Following his passion, Raymond relocated and continues his family legacy as a third-generation resident of Adams County, Colorado. He currently serves as County Manager for Adams County, Colorado where he oversees a budget of approximately $514 million that provides direct services for the community through Public Works, Parks and Open Space, Community & Economic Development and Human Services Departments; Administrative functions of Facilities and Fleet, Information Technology, Finance, and Budget and Performance measurement. Of his proudest achievements are a newly dedicated People and Culture Services where he oversees the empowerment of over 2000 employees personal impact, influence and inspiration regardless of title or designation. An ever-industrious conductor, Raymond continuously strives for organizational improvement and premier delivery of public art and opportunities to accentuate the culture of an ever increasing diverse community. He joined the board in January 2019. His 1st term expires January 2022.
Jefferson County appointee
Gino Greco is the chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. In this role he oversees a humanitarian operation covering Colorado & Wyoming that helps prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies through small- and large-scale disaster preparedness and response activities. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Gino served as President & CEO of The Wildlife Experience museum in Douglas County and had a near decade-long tenure at CollegeInvest. Mr. Greco serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership (CEPP) and the Leadership Advisory Council of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. He was appointed by both Governors Owens and Ritter to the CollegeInvest board of directors following his staff tenure, where he served a four-year term culminating as Chair during the organization’s sale of its billion-dollar student loan program. He has also previously held board or leadership positions for the Jefferson County Cultural Council, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, The Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Kids Inc. and the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation. His 1st term expires September 2022.
Boulder County appointee
Deborah Malden is the Arts & Culture Liaison at the Boulder Chamber. Following a career in the banking and financial sector, she moved to Boulder in the late 1990s. She has served on the Boulder County Cultural Council (2010 – 2015), including two years as chair. She has also volunteered her expertise as a board member of multiple Boulder nonprofit arts organizations, including The Dairy Center ARTS Center, where she served as interim executive director. Deborah is a board member of Social Venture Partners Boulder County, which strengthens Boulder County nonprofits and leverages individual engagement in philanthropy. She joined the board in January 2017. Her 2nd term expires in February 2023.
Suzanne has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Sister Carmen Community Center, a Family Resource Center in Lafayette, CO since January 2005 and has over 26 years in non-profit and management experience. Originally from Texas, Suzanne has lived in Colorado for 22 years. When not at work, she loves riding her motorcycle, paddle boarding, painting, reading, hiking with her dogs and spending time in Ecuador (her second home). Her first term expires February 2023.
Marcela de la Mar
Marcela de la Mar is a widely recognized leader for her work with diverse communities across Colorado. Marcela recently stepped down from a 23-year tenure as the Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Center where she oversaw the expansion of cultural programming to hundreds of thousands of Colorado residents. Her work in reinvesting in the Mexican community in Colorado earned The Mexican Cultural Center the 2017 Mayor’s Award for Cultural Impact. Marcela has also maintained an active roster of boards on which she serves, including the Board of Governors of the Denver Zoo, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Global Chamber Denver. Past board service has included the Emily Griffith Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Denver Children’s Museum. She joined the board in May 2018. Her 1st term expires in May 2021.
Mr. Martinez is a senior executive with a long track record of leadership, organizational management, and nonprofit expertise. Currently, Carlos serves as the Executive Director of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, with the mission to strength the Latino community of Colorado through community impact, human capital, and philanthropy. Previously, Carlos was the CEO of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado and the Executive Director of the Fresno Art Museum in Fresno, CA. Currently, he is on the board of the Colorado Health Foundation, Vice President of the Denver Public Library Commission and is an honorary board member of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado. He joined the board in May 2018. His 1st term expires in May 2021.
Arapahoe County appointee
Jake Zambrano has specialized in state government relations, public affairs, grassroots advocacy, and political campaign management for over 15 years. He has represented a number of clients at the Colorado General Assembly including Colorado Mesa University, Medtronic, Boehringer – Ingelheim, Extraction Oil and Gas, Community Financial Services Association, Mile High Racing and Entertainment and the Common Sense Policy Roundtable to name a few. Prior to joining EIS Solutions, Jake was a senior manager with two other firms specializing in lobbying, project management, campaign development and government affairs. His government experience saw him as the Director of Government Affairs for the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and he served previously as the Director of Operations for former Colorado Governor Bill Owens. Over the years, he has also managed governor, congressional, mayoral, and state legislative campaigns across the Rocky Mountain West. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado. He joined the board in February 2018. His 1st term expires in February 2021.
The SCFD staff provides grantmaking support to all seven counties that participate in the SCFD as well as provides training and support for organizations funded by the district and those seeking funding.
Deborah Jordy, Executive Director
A native of Colorado, Deborah Jordy has played a prominent role in the arts and cultural scene for the past 30 years. Deborah joined the SCFD in December 2016. She is the former Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, the Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and was Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum. She is a trustee of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and on the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts.
Jessica Kato, Deputy Director
Jessica Kato has been on staff since March 2011. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and prior to SCFD, worked in the fields of grant writing, program management, and arts education. Jessica is a passionate advocate for the performing arts and in her previous life performed as a singer and actress with many companies in the metro area. Her hobbies include reading, knitting, and playing the piano. Jessica is the proud mother of two daughters and two rambunctious beagles.
Dana Manyothane, Program Manager
Dana Manyothane has been on staff since May 2017. A Native of Denver, Dana was the former Executive Director of The Colorado Black Arts Festival prior to joining the SCFD team. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, married and the proud mother of four children and an avid consumer of cultural events. Dana’s hobbies include pot painting, reading and hiking. Dana has completed a half and full marathon and is learning to play bass guitar.
Heather Porter, Program Manager
Heather Porter joined SCFD in October 2018 and her career has spanned the arts, science, and philanthropy. Heather believes that the SCFD is a unique gift of support to our cultural and scientific community and as both an artist and scientist herself, feels she embodies the values and goals of the organization. Heather has worked as a film and television actress and holds a Master of Environmental Law and a Bachelor of Environmental Science (with Honors). When not working, you’ll find Heather meditating, reading, gardening, writing, hiking, occasionally acting, and traveling the world.
Kendal Zimmermann, Program Manager
Kendal Zimmermann has been on staff since July 2016. She has spent most of her career in government, coming to SCFD from a Tier III organization, South Suburban Parks and Recreation, where she served as the Assistant Facility Supervisor. Kendal was drawn to SCFD because it supported not only arts and culture, but SCIENCE! In her spare time, she is an avid volleyball player and loves most things outdoors, including camping, snowboarding, rollerblading, hiking, and traveling.
Joyce Chitechi, Office Manager
Joyce Chitechi has been on staff since January 2018. A recent Colorado State University Graduate, she comes to SCFD with experience in customer service, event coordination and data entry. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, and traveling. Joyce is passionate about natural resource science and the outdoors.