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By 2030 1 in 4 Denver residents will be over 60 years of age. 

The Denver Commission on Aging helps to make Denver the best community for older adults through outreachcommunication and advocacy including:

  • Advocating for their rights and concerns
  • Empowering older adults through dissemination of information and sharing community resources
  • Monitoring and recommending legislation and proposed policy changes affecting older adults

2017 Meeting Calendar

Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday 9am-11:30am.
Meetings location will be posted below for 2017.

 January 19  - Cook Park Recreation Center   AGENDA     MINUTES  
 February 16 - District 3 Police Station   AGENDA  MINUTES
 March 16 - Denver Housing Authority, Thomas Bean  Towers, 2350 Cleveland Pl    AGENDA   MINUTES
 April 20 - United Way, PCL Conf. Rm 3, 711 Park Avenue  West   AGENDA   MINUTES
 May 18 - Eloise May Library, Room A, 1471 S. Parker  Road   AGENDA   MINUTES
 June 15 - Escuela Tlatelolco, 2949 N Federal Blvd   AGENDA   MINUTES
 July 20 - Joining Vision and Action, 2465 Sheridan Blvd   AGENDA   MINUTES
 August 17 - Joining Vision and Action, 2465 Sheridan Blvd   AGENDA   MINUTES
 September 15 (Seniors in September) - Denver Botanic  Gardens, 9am-2pm No Meeting Event
 September 21 - Daniels Fund CANCELLED  
 October 19, 5pm-6:30pm, Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger   AGENDA     MINUTES
 November 16, Retreat, 10am-2pm, Corky Gonzales Library   AGENDA   MINUTES
 December 21 - Service Project? No Meeting    Project 


Commission Members

Leo CarosellaLeo Carosella is a Denver resident, building industry professional and community volunteer. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to Colorado in 2008 and quickly decided to make it his “forever” home. Professionally, Leo is an Associate Broker for RE/MAX, where he enjoys working with people to find a solution to their housing needs. He is a certified specialist in assisting older adults with the special requirements they might have in dealing with life transitions. With over 20 years of experience in design and construction, he is also adept at helping clients determine the best property in which to invest.

Leo’s community involvement includes volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, Project Angel Heart, and the St. Francis Center for the Homeless. He also serves in various capacities at Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral, including incoming chair of the Stewardship Commission.  Leo is a proud father, a budding screenwriter, a dedicated cinephile and ardent fan of Kansas Jayhawk basketball.

Sam DeLeo has worked with senior citizens as a home health care aide for Social Services and as a volunteer for the A.C.T.S. charitable organization at The Denver Post. He is currently employed as a writer, editor and designer in the Creative Department of The Denver Post. His writing has appeared in The Denver Post, Paste Magazine,, the London-based magazine Talking Soup and the poetry compilation "Urania."

Adam Dempsey is one of the new members to the Commission on Aging. A long time Denver broadcaster, movie network and public television producer, and former retail marketing executive, his key interest is keeping the board in touch with the shift Boomers are making on aging in America. His previous community service has included the Children’s Museum, the Colorado Black Health Collaborative, and the RTD Consumer Affairs Board.

Barbra Evans-SmallBarbra Evans-Small received a Master of Social Worker degree from the University of Denver and is currently performing case management and service coordinator service for seniors and disabled residents at Denver Housing Authority. For ten years, she has professionally encouraged and assisted countless Denver families to improve their quality of life by providing community resources and referrals, educational events, money management workshops and health programs that will enable individuals to maintain independent living while aging in place.

She is a dedicated and committed leader who will not hesitate to advocate for the elderly or disabled. She is also devoted to providing supportive services and always looking to create opportunities for low income seniors and families.

In addition, she volunteers her time on the InnovAge Senior Companion Advisory Board and she strongly supports the Denver Commission on Aging.

Joan M.  Foster retired from a career In higher education as a faculty member in English and as a senior administrator.  Born in a Chicago suburb, she graduated from Northern Illinois University and earned a Ph.D in literature from the University of New Mexico.  She has lived in Colorado since 1969. She is active on the Board of Directors of the Brooks Tower Condominium Association and is editor of the condo’s monthly Newsletter.   Other memberships include the City Club of Denver, Democratic Forum, and Town Hall Denver. Her retirement goal is to expand her horizons.  Appointment to the Commission on Aging is a privilege and a wonderful opportunity to learn and to help others.

Jessica KroughJessica joined the Commission on Aging in September of 2016.  She is an employee of AARP Foundation focusing on fighting financial exploitation of older adults through a partnership with the Colorado Attorney General’s office.  Jessica received her Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa and served multiple AmeriCorps terms both in Iowa and in Denver, Colorado where she has resided since 2011.  Jessica has fostered a calling for coordinating programs and managing volunteers to help individuals.  She has a passion for strengthening communities and serving older adults.  Jessica is thrilled at the opportunity to assist older adults through education, outreach, and advocacy with the Commission on Aging. 

Doug KrugDoug is a three time book author. Doug is host of his talk radio show entitled, “Leading Change Without Resistance”.

Doug served as part of the MBA Program at Johns Hopkins University for 15 years.  He also served as part of Executive Development Programs throughout the federal government.  

For the last 20 years Doug has been designing and implementing effective national health AND care improvement initiatives. 

Doug’s breakthrough process work has been applied successfully with three Governor’s Cabinets, top executive teams at FBI, Medicare/Medicaid, NOAA, NASA, U.S. Marshals and all 50 Admirals in the U.S. Coast Guard; as well as numerous executive teams in the corporate arena.

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Cecilia K. Sanchez de Ortiz (Cec) has devoted her professional career to community and economic development. Cec has served a Colorado Governor and Denver Mayor on issues related to community and economic development, held leadership positions within the non-profit sector in metro Denver and currently is a project management consultant to communities, foundations and large government systems interested in addressing pressing social and economic issues facing Latino and other under-represented communities. Cec is a graduate of Regis University and earned a B.S. in Business Administration.  She is a proud mother of two wonderful sons.

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Maureen Spiegleman comes to the Commission as a citizen advocate. She has recently retired from a career spanning twenty five years in real estate and consumer finance.

After retiring Maureen returned to Community College of Denver and completed an Associate’s Degree in Human Services. Her honors project was an analysis of the passage and implementation of Colorado’s new law regarding the mandatory reporting of elder abuse.

A strong supporter of programs designed to enhance aging in place, Maureen's understanding of the role finances play in maintaining independence and stability as people age allows her to ask the tough questions regarding the practicality and efficacy of programs and services proposed for implementation.

Most important to Maureen is increasing awareness of the older population of the programs and services available.  She sees the partnering of public and private networks as a vital piece in delivering programs and services throughout the metro area.

Ruth Marie Montoya Starr is a Colorado Native who paternal relatives hail from Taos Pueblo. Ruth is a DPS graduate whose interest in Geriatric Nursing led her to study and graduate from Presbyterian School of Nursing. As a military officers wife Ruth moved every two years for twenty years before returning to Denver in 1999. Valid volunteerism resulted in Ruth’s serving on many boards and commissions in Denver, Colorado. Ruth is a 2014 graduate of the University of Denver. She operates the Caring Circle focusing on assisting elder’s age in place, is an active American Red Cross instructor, and current member of Denver’s Aging Commission.


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A lawyer and social entrepreneur, Janine Vanderburg is the founder and president of JVA Consulting (, the leading firm in the intermountain West focused on community and social change. 
JVA works with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, foundations and government agencies each year on a range of issues, including planning how to engage and serve the next generation of older adults. Janine’s work in this area has included:

·Community assessments, research and planning about the needs, strengths and assets of older adults, including Boomers Leading Change and Colorado Latino Age Wave

·Facilitating partnerships to increase access of older adults to nutritious food and other benefits

· Capacity building to prepare organizations serving older adults to simultaneously and successfully address the needs of two generations of older adults

·Writing, speaking and training on these subjects at conferences, including Grantmakers in Aging and the National Association of Regional Councils

·Developing trainings to help members of the baby boomer generation transition to encore careers in the social sector. Janine was a winner of Civic Ventures Launch Pad contest for her concept of training retired and unemployed older adults with sales and marketing backgrounds as nonprofit fundraisers.

Janine’s passion for transforming the view of the baby boomer generation from a silver tsunami to silver mine aligns with her interests in serving on the Commission on Aging. As Communications Chair of the Commission in 2015, Janine has launched the Commission’s first ever Facebook page and looks forward to continuing to working with the Commission to make Denver the best place to live and grow old in. Janine also is an Advisory Board member of WalkDenver, a nonprofit advocating for more walkable communities, and is the Public Policy Chair of the Social Enterprise Alliance of Colorado. This year, she is co-chairing the local planning committee for the national Social Enterprise Alliance Summit, to be held in Denver in September 2015.  Janine and her husband Marshall are longtime northwest Denver residents, and the parents of two grown daughters, Jeannie and Jacqueline.

Sharron WilliamsSharron is a Bachelor’s Degree Nurse, Legal Nurse Consultant, and Dementia Care Instructor. Sharron’s nursing experience includes 5 years being the Director of Clinical Services for several home healthcare agencies, a Staff Development Coordinator, Case Manager, Home Healthcare Consultant, and Owner of Optimal Healthcare Solutions.

Sharron has over 30 years experience as a registered nurse and received her dementia care training through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners as an Instructor. Sharron spent 21 years in the military.

Diane YoungDiane Young has served on the Commission for two years and is currently chair of the Outreach Committee.  A former Executive Director of the League of Woman Voters of Colorado,  she has served as an aide to Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann in SE Denver for several years. In that capacity she has worked with many seniors and helped organize senior resource days in the district.  This has made her aware of the need for outreach, services and information for our senior population.

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For questions, comments, or more information please contact:

Perla Gheiler, Commission on Aging Liaison

Are you interested in joining the Commission on Aging?
Apply online today!



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