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 25 years of leadership experience encompassing nearly every level of government administration. After starting his career with the U.S. Peace Corps, his roles spanned from serving as New Mexico’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary under the leadership of Governor Bill Richardson to County Manager for Adams County, Colorado the 5th largest county, serving 515,000 residents, and one of the fastest growing counties in the country.
Although he found great success fortifying these agencies, his heart has always been in economic development. Following this passion, Raymond oversees the Metro Denver EDC in its work to unite nearly 70 cities, counties and economic development agencies across the nine-county Metro Denver region to promote economic prosperity and serve as the region’s “business brand manager.”
Raymond continuously strives for organizational improvement and his passion for workplace culture where he empowers employees and their personal impact, influence, and inspiration regardless of title or designation. Raymond continuously strives for the premier delivery of art and cultural opportunities to accentuate the culture of an ever-increasing innovative and inclusive region.
In addition to his challenging role leading Metro Denver EDC, Raymond serves as Executive Vice President of the Denver Metro Chamber, Vice President of the Mountain Plains region of the International City/County Managers Association Executive Board, 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 2nd term expires January 2025.
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.
Kathy Nesbitt, Treasurer
Kathy Nesbitt brings a strong track record in driving innovation, operational excellence, and results-driven human resource leadership. The City and County of Denver’s Career Service Authority has hired Kathy Nesbitt as Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources (OHR) during a time of rapid change in the employment and human resources industry.
Formerly the Chief Operating & Strategy Officer for the American Diabetes Association, Nesbitt joins the city with over 22 years of public and private sector experience in human resources, organizational and administrative management. Before joining the American Diabetes Association, Nesbitt was vice president for employee and information services at the University of Colorado (CU), where she was responsible for a wide range of services, including employment policy, compliance education, leadership and organizational development, benefits design, information security and enterprise technology systems, and employee data management and metrics. Prior to joining CU, Nesbitt was appointed by former Governor John Hickenlooper as the Director of Personnel for the State of Colorado and Executive Director of the Department of Personnel & Administration, where she managed five divisions, including Human Resources, and oversaw the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program. She created and administered the rules that govern the State’s 33,000+ classified employees, oversaw the State’s first employee engagement survey, created a statewide new employee orientation program, instituted major enhancements in the state training and development center, and launched an employee wellness program. Nesbitt previously served as Human Resources Director and Interim Vice President of Human Resources for Kaiser Permanente’s Colorado Region, and as Staff Attorney at Mountain States Employers Council and Qwest Communications.
Nesbitt earned her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. She possesses her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, as well as a certificate in executive leadership from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is a governor-appointed board member of the SCFD Scientific Cultural Facilities District, and a former member of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Accountability Committee. She is a recipient of the prestigious Eugene H. Rooney, Jr., Award for leadership in state human resource management, and was named one of the Top 25 Women in Business by the Colorado Women’s Chamber.
She joined the board in SCFD Board in May 2018. Her 2nd term expires in May 2024.
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 and Social Venture Partners Boulder County, which strengthens Boulder County nonprofits and leverages individual engagement in philanthropy. She is a founding board member of Create Boulder which launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic to provide relief funding to Boulder’s arts and culture organizations and artists and strengthen arts advocacy in the city. 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. He served as Director of Denver’s Theatres and 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 construction 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.
Douglas County Appointee
Dan Brown has been in the mechanical contracting industry for the past 40 years as a mechanical contractor and commercial mechanical equipment sales engineer. Mr. Brown is a third generation Coloradoan that first lived in north Denver in the Chaffee Park area before moving to Bear Valley where he graduated from High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Business Management from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Dan moved to Douglas County 25 years ago to raise his family and has stayed there as an active part of the community. Dan was appointed to his first term by the Douglas County Commissioners effective March 1, 2022, through February 28. 2025.
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.
Tim Murphy, Program Officer
Tim is the SCFD Program Officer for Arapahoe & Douglas Counties
Tim Murphy joined the SCFD staff in September 2021. A Virginia native, Tim moved to Denver in 2011 and is proud to call Colorado home. Tim has worked in nonprofit fundraising for the last eight years at MSU Denver, The Colorado Symphony, and The Center on Colfax. He received his undergraduate degree in Human Services, Nonprofit Studies, from MSU Denver and completed his Master of Public Administration at the University of Colorado- Denver. Tim lives in East Denver with his partner and their dog, Fisher. His hobbies include playing tennis, hiking, attending plays, musicals, and concerts, and gardening.
Dana Manyothane, Program Officer
303-860-0588 ext 112
Dana is the SCFD Program Officer for Adams, Broomfield & Denver Counties
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
303-860-0588 ext 115
Kendal is the SCFD Program Officer for Boulder & Jefferson Counties
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 joined the SCFD team in June 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.