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.
Gino Greco, Chair
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.
Raymond H. Gonzales, Vice-Chair
Adams County Appointee
Raymond H. Gonzales has over 22 years of experience encompassing nearly every level of government administration. After starting his career with the U.S. Peace Corps, his roles spanned increasing responsibility from the U.S. Department of Labor to New Mexico’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary under the leadership of Governor Bill Richardson. Although he found great success fortifying these agencies, his heart was in his hometown. Following his passion, Raymond returned to his hometown of Brighton to continue his family legacy as a third-generation resident of Adams County, Colorado. He currently serves as County Manager for Adams County, the 5th largest county, serving 515,000 residents, and one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. Raymond oversees a budget of approximately $600 million that provides direct services for the community through four core service areas:
• Strategic Leadership & Planning
• Community Infrastructure & Development Services
• Community Services & Public Involvement
• People & Culture Services & Administrative Operations
One of Raymond’s proudest achievements is a newly dedicated People & Culture Services department, where he oversees the empowerment of over 2,500 employees and their personal impact, influence, and inspiration regardless of title or designation. He also oversaw the creation and licensing of Colorado Air and Space Port in Adams County, which has attracted national and international companies to become a technological and economic hub in the area. 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 innovative and inclusive community.
In addition to his challenging role leading Adams County, Raymond serves as the Vice President of the Mountain Plains region of the International City/County Manager’s Association Executive Board, as the President of the Local Government Hispanic Network Board of Directors, and as the Vice-Chair of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. He joined the SCFD board in January 2019. His 1st term expires January 2022.
Marcela de la Mar, Secretary
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 2nd term expires in May 2024.
Ann Speer, Treasurer
Douglas County Appointee
Ann Speer is currently a Wealth Manager with Cetera Investors. 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.
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 2nd term expires in February 2024.
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.
Broomfield County Appointee
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 of 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 in February 2023.
Denver County Appointee
Councilwoman Jamie Torres took office as the Denver City Council Member representing District 3, Denver’s westside, on July 15, 2019. She was elected to the leadership role of Pro Tem of the Denver City Council in 2019 and is a member of the Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee as well as the Safety, Education, Housing & Homelessness Committee where she is also Vice-Chair.
Jamie’s roots are directly in the west Denver community where she and her husband currently call home. She is a third-generation Denverite, her grandmother was born in a small house in the Curtis Park neighborhood and grew up in the old Auraria Neighborhood and her grandfather grew up in Sun Valley. Her family moved to Villa Park in the 1960s where Jamie has now lived for over 30 years. It is her home and the community is her inspiration.
Jamie is a community advocate and community connector to her core. Prior to being elected, Jamie spent 18 years in the Human Rights & Community Partnerships Agency (HRCP) in the City and County of Denver where she helped ensure Denver is focused on the civil rights, human rights, and social justice needs of its residents. Jamie was both Deputy Director of the Agency and Director of the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs, an office she started in 2005 because she saw a need for greater immigrant inclusion. Over the years in working for local government, Jamie worked directly on issues of poverty, equity, food insecurity, community and civic engagement, immigrant integration, and approaching innovative ways of direct leadership development in underrepresented communities. She joined the board in July 2021. Her 1st term expires in July 2024.
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 2nd term expires in May 2024.
Jacki Cooper Melmed
Jacki Cooper Melmed currently serves as Chief Legal Counsel for Governor Jared Polis. She held the same position for Governor John Hickenlooper from 2015 through 2019. As a member of the Governor’s executive management team, she works closely with the Governor and other executive staff members to manage state government, plan the strategic direction of the administration, and design key initiatives. She also oversees the Governor’s legal team, who advise the Governor, senior staff, and cabinet on a number of legal issues. Ms. Cooper Melmed’s key responsibilities include managing litigation and other legal matters in partnership with the Attorney General, serving as ethics counsel for the administration, overseeing judicial appointments, and representing the Governor on matters ranging from labor relations to criminal justice reform to Indian affairs. Before working for the state government, Ms. Cooper Melmed practiced law at Shoemaker Ghiselli + Schwartz in Boulder, Colorado and Hogan & Hartson in Denver, Colorado, and served as a law clerk for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Michael Bender. She attended law school at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Colorado Law Review. Ms. Cooper Melmed also holds a master’s degree in English Literature and Film from the University of Chicago, and bachelor’s degrees in English and French from the University of Michigan. Ms. Cooper Melmed is an avid hiker and skier and enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband and, when allowed, two adult sons. She joined the board in July 2021. Her 1st term expires in July 2024.
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.
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 Officer
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.
Kendal Zimmermann, Program Officer
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.
Arlene Hicks, Administrative Assistant
Arlene Hicks is the newest member of the SCFD team joining in June of 2021. She has spent much of her career working with nonprofits including a tenure as Executive Director of a Tier III organization in Littleton (Young Voices of Colorado). For over 12 years Arlene was part of the Arts Integrated Resources department of Kaiser Permanente, helping to bring health education to our community. Arlene holds a degree in Communication from Michigan State University (Go GREEN!). When not at work, you can find Arlene reading, crocheting, or out trying to log 10,000 steps a day.