Our hard working team is constantly on the lookout for new ideas and programs that get more people involved, inspire philanthropy and power community.
We are a team dedicated to sharing big ideas and visions, innovative strategies and hard work. We love being part of an organization that is creating tangible change.
Select a Team:
Vice President of Community Impact
"I care about the general well-being of my community and the power of mutual aid."
Noah joined the Foundation in June 2014 as vice president of Community Impact. He brings more than 18 years of grantmaking and program development experience to his role of overseeing the deployment of the Foundation's grantmaking resources. Previously he served in leadership positions at the Daniels Fund and El Pomar Foundation. Noah has also served on numerous commissions and held advisory roles on issues related to early childhood, homelessness and substance abuse. A student of leadership, he is a proud alumnus of the President's Leadership Class at the University of Colorado - Boulder, the El Pomar Fellowship in Community Service, Leadership Jeffco and, more recently, the Latino Leadership Institute.
Noah is a native Coloradan and grew up in Westminster. He holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.
- Colorado Office of Early Childhood - Early Childhood Mental Health Finance Working Group, member
- Pueblo Opportunity Fund, donor-advised fund trustee
- Denver Drug Strategy Commission, past mayor-appointed commissioner
- Tedx Mile High Conference, past community advisory member
- Community Resource Center, past board member
- Denver Young Nonprofits Professional Network, past board member
- Denver’s Road Home – past 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, Resource Allocation Committee member
Senior Communications Specialist
"I care about the environment, the arts, and health."
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2004, Angela worked in marketing communications for the specialty foods industry. She has experience in brand identity, promotions, event planning and art direction.
Angela received her bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City.
- Intercambio Connecting Communities, English teacher, 2016 - present
- Cooking Matters program of Operation Frontline, health class assistant, 2010 - 2015
- Boulder International Film Festival, festival volunteer, various years
- Downtown Boulder Inc., ambassador, summer 2010
- Colorado Shakespeare Festival, former public relations volunteer
- KGNU Radio, former volunteer news writer/announcer
- Colorado Foundations Communicators
“I care about why people do what they do, how what they do impacts communities and maximizing the good in the world. ”
Raymael joined Community First Foundation as a Program Associate in the Community Impact department in January 2018. He brings over 10 years of nonprofit experience with skills in program development, mentoring and training, public speaking and team building. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served at Goodwill Industries of Denver as a Mentoring Program Facilitator, a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader in Ethiopia, and as a College and Financial Aid Advisor with the Denver Scholarship Foundation.
Raymael is a native Coloradan who holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Colorado State University at Fort Collins, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, and is a certified nonprofit professional.
- Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP), co-chair
- Urban Leadership Foundation - Chamber Connect, alumnus
- Families Forward Resource Center, past board member
Meeting Space Administrator
"I care about equal access and opportunity for the marginalized and outcast."
As the Foundation’s Community Meeting Space Administrator, Valerie is accountable for day-to-day operations of the organization’s public meeting space.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, Valerie worked as an office administrator at Gill Foundation. Before that time she served as a development associate at Up With People.
Valerie studied dramatic theater at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
"I care about children and animals."
Mai joined the Foundation in July 2011. Most recently she has served as a Senior Accountant at Diageo Moet Hennessy in Bangkok, Thailand, a distributor of premium wine and spirits. Before that position she served as Accounting Supervisor at ZTE Co, Ltd, a telecommunications equipment company in Thailand.
Mai earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Bangkok University and a master’s degree in accounting from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
Community Impact/Data Administrative Asst.
“I care about environmental sustainability, civil liberties, and cultivating mental wellness.”
Kelly joined Community First Foundation in May 2014, bringing with her years of experience in administration and customer service. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Italian from the University of Colorado/Boulder.
Kelly's interests include social services, poverty alleviation, the environment and human rights.
- Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (2016 - present)
- Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, clerical volunteer, 2014
- Food Bank of the Rockies, office volunteer, 2014
President and CEO
“I care about people and believe in the power of philanthropy to help amplify voices and support action that will make a positive difference in the community.”
Kelly Dunkin joined Community First Foundation as President and CEO in February 2019. Previously she worked for a variety of nonprofit, business and social impact organizations. These include 11 years at The Colorado Health Foundation in Denver, where she grew into the role of Vice President of Philanthropy, and 10.10.10, where she served as National Director. 10.10.10 is a project of Colorado Nonprofit Development Center and inspires entrepreneurs to solve 10 “wicked” social problems.
Kelly also served as a consultant for businesses, nonprofits and social impact startups as well as projects in Lima, Peru, where she developed her Spanish language skills.
Kelly’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University, an Elementary Education Licensure from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.
- Yes on Initiative 301 (Caring for Denver), Volunteer, 10/18 – 11/18
- Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care’s Inspiration Award, Community Champion, 2015
- Downtown Denver Partnership, former Denver Civic Ventures Board
- Colorado Association of Funders, former Board Treasurer
- School-Based Health Alliance, former Board Chair
Philanthropic Services Specialist
"I care about protecting the environment and ensuring quality early education for all children."
Veronica joined Community First Foundation in July 2017. Previously she worked as a service corp member at Metro Caring. There she served as a program assistant coordinating financial assistance for clients needing support with utility costs.
She recently received a B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of South Carolina with a minor in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior.
- Carolina Community Farm and Garden, University of South Carolina, volunteer
- Summerfield Farms, Greensboro, North Carolina, volunteer
Online Giving Specialist
"I care about the education of our community and improving access to the resources and services needed for success."
Jenni joined Community First Foundation in July 2018 as the Office Manager/Receptionist. She then moved to the Online Giving team as a Specialist in April 2019. Previously she worked with Red Rocks Community College and various community and nonprofit organizations.
Jenni graduated with an Associates of Science from Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado.
- TaxHelp Colorado (January 2016 - present)
- 9News Health Fair (March 2015 – present)
- Jeffco Action Center (October 2012 – present)
Executive Vice President
"I want high-quality health care services to be available to everyone."
Cheryl assumed the role of executive vice president in 2008 after serving as vice president development and COO at the Foundation since 1997. Her prior experience is in the area of quality improvement and risk management at Lutheran Medical Center, where she was employed for 15 years.
Cheryl served as a fellow in the Regional Institute for Health and Environment Leadership Training Program at the University of Denver. She is a graduate of the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, and a graduate of the West Chamber’s Leadership Jefferson County program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in science and management from Regis University.
- Colorado Philanthropic Advisors Network, board member
- Early Childhood Mental Health Funders, member
- Institute for Leaders in Development, volunteer
- Denver Homeless Commission, commissioner
- Association of Fundraising Professionals, Colorado Chapter, member
- Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, member
- National Committee on Planned Giving, member
- Colorado Association of Funders, member
- Centennial Estate Planning Committee, member
- Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, member
- Jefferson County Community Advisory Board, board member
Cheryl has also served on the advisory council on Adolescent Health for the State of Colorado, the policy council for Head Start, the Denver Drug Strategy Commission, and the Council on Foundations Standards Action Team. She also served on the boards for the Action Center, Seniors’ Resource Center, the Susan M. Duncan Family YMCA and the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver.
"I care about the well-being of our children and senior citizens."
Lynn joined Community First Foundation in May 2014 after serving at Bryan Cave LLP (formerly Holme Roberts & Owen LLP) for more than twenty years. She received an associates degree from Arapahoe Community College.
- Community Involvent Committee at Bryan Cave LLP, volunteer
Kenneth R. Kirwin
Chief Financial Officer
"My charitable passions are supporting those suffering from poverty and protecting children in difficult/dangerous environments."
Kenneth Kirwin joined the Foundation in December 2008 after serving as Controller/CFO for the Tennyson Center for Children. He has served in a financial capacity in the nonprofit sector since 1991 at organizations such as Denver Rescue Mission and New Ventures of Regis University.
Ken was raised in Colorado and received a bachelor of science in professional accounting and business administration/ finance from Regis University. He received an M.B.A. in finance at Loyola University in Chicago. He is a certified public accountant.
- Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, board member
- Knights of Columbus, member
- Leadership Jefferson County, class of 2010
Ken previously served as board member and treasurer for Smart Energy Living Alliance.
Director of Communications
"I want to end the stigma associated with mental health and increase community well-being through better access to mental health care services."
Beth joined Community First Foundation in April 2018. She brings more than 16 years of nonprofit communication and marketing experience to the leadership team at the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as Assistant Director of Admissions Marketing at Regis University and Communications Director at the Rocky Mountain MS Center.
Beth has a Bachelor in Business and Marketing from Regis University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.
- Colorado Association of Funders, member
- American Marketing Association, member
- Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), member
Christine Moreland, CPA
“I care about ending the plight of homeless children, helping special needs individuals and supporting performing arts programs in our community.”
Christine joined the Foundation in May 2015 after serving as the Director of Finance and Accounting of Columbine Country Club for ten years. Before that time she served as Controller of Arapahoe House. A Colorado native, she has served the nonprofit sector since 1990.
Christine received a B.S. from the University of Colorado – Denver. She is a Certified Public Accountant and also holds a Chartered Global Management Accountant designation.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, member
- Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants, member
- Leadership Jefferson County, class of 2016- 2017
Grants Administration Manager
"I care about preventing the victimization of children, seniors and other vulnerable populations."
Paul Mulligan joined Community First Foundation in September 2006.
Before joining the Foundation he served as database manager at Family Tree, a nonprofit in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and senior development associate at The Educational Alliance, a nonprofit in New York City.
He comes to the region from New York, where he received his bachelor’s degree in English from City College of New York.
- Leadership Jefferson County, Class of 2011 – 2012 graduate
- Grants Managers Network, member
- Brown Elementary School, volunteer
Finance Administrative Assist./Accounting Clerk
"I care about protecting those who cannot protect themselves, the very young (children), the very old (seniors) and those without a voice (animals)."
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2006, Karen worked for six years as an office manager at a shelving company. She has also served as an accounting analyst, inventory coordinator, computer operator and underwriting assistant in previous positions.
Karen graduated from Alameda High School and attended an in-depth business course at WarrenTech career and technical high school.
Rebecca Olchawa Barker
Director of Philanthropic Services
"I care about empowering individuals, specifically providing children with the support, resources and opportunities to pursue their dreams and achieve the things they never thought they could."
Rebecca joined Community First Foundation in August 2017 with more than 13 years of experience in development. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Associate Director of Major and Planned Giving at History Colorado. Additional experience includes fundraising roles at National Jewish Health, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Colorado Environmental Coalition and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Arts at Western Michigan University. She is also a graduate of the Institute for Leaders in Development at the University of Denver, class of 2013. Rebecca grew up in a Chicago suburb, but the lure of the mountains persuaded her and her husband to relocate to Denver in 2007.
- Institute for Leaders in Development, volunteer (2017- present)
- Association of Fundraising Professionals, Board Member (2014-2015)
- Association of Fundraising Professionals, Member (2010-present)
- Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, Member (2013-present)
Director of Online Giving
"I care about increasing the well-being of humankind while making our community robust and vibrant."
Dana joined the Foundation in December 2007 after serving on the staff and board of several nonprofits, including director of resource development at Dental Aid, Inc., executive director at Family Pathways of Colorado, and development officer at Work Options for Women.
Dana holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver and bachelor’s of science in applied math from Colorado State University.
- Junior League of Denver, Board Member, Vice President of Sustainers
- AARP, volunteer
- Junior Achievement, volunteer
Dana has also served as a past board member of the David Taylor Dance Theatre, Family Pathways of Colorado and Colorado Women's Golf Association. She is also a past president of the West Chamber Foundation Board, the Junior League of Denver and the Junior League of Denver Foundation.
"I care about improving the quality of health care and respectfully assisting individuals with disabilities."
Tina joined Community First Foundation in June 2017 after serving as an intern and audit associate at BKD, LLP (Baird, Kurtz, and Dobson). Previously, she assisted in the store management of a men’s formal wear retailer.
Tina received her master’s degree in Professional Accountancy from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD). She also achieved bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Health Care Management from MSUD. Tina obtained her associate’s degree with a focus in Business from Red Rocks Community College.
- St. Anthony Hospital, volunteer, 2011-2012
- Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, volunteer, 2012
- Citizens for Patient Safety, Intern, 2010-2011
Senior Online Giving Specialist
"I care about early childhood education and protecting the environment."
Prior to joining the Foundation in September 2007, Bryce worked as an office manager at Wyoming Community Foundation in Laramie, Wyoming, where one of his roles was to review funding proposals for an immediate needs grant program.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, Bryce served as a Peace Corps volunteer. He spent two years in Niger, West Africa, educating rural communities about HIV/AIDS, and addressing natural resource management issues.
- Peace Corps, former natural resource management volunteer
- Former disaster relief volunteer in Nicaragua, Central America