Members


 
 
COMMISSION MEMBERS            
Cristina Aguilar 
Charlene Byron                                   
Rachel Chaparro                      
Sam Cole
Dawn Crosswhite                                                     
Bob Dorshimer
Wade Frisbie
Jeffery Hoyle
Ching-Yuan Hu
Londell Jackson
Erica Johnson
Steven Karaiskos
John Kelly
Courtney Law
Patrick Oakes
Dorelle Raab-Peters
Deryk Sanchez Standring
Cris Sandoval
Sonia Semion
Catherine Shea
Darrell Vigil
Jeremiah Whitehead
 
Member Biographies
 
Cristina Aguilar
Cristina Aguilar was born and raised on the U.S/Mexico border of El Paso, Texas, Cristina is passionate about education and empowerment, specifically the importance of building bridges that link diverse groups. She has over 10 years experience working with national and regional Head Start projects, most recently she served as director of the Head Start English Language Learner Project (HELLP) and currently serves as co-director of TABLE,  both Head Start Innovation and Improvement Projects. She is also a writer and formally trained journalist who reported for the major daily newspaper in El Paso. In addition, she co-authored the book, “The Nonprofit’s Guide to the Power of Appreciative Inquiry,” which was published by her current organization, Community Development Institute.  Her work in the GLBT community includes volunteer time with Rainbow Alley, the GLBT Center of Denver, HRC, and the Gay Lesbian arm of the Kerry/Edwards 2004 Presidential campaign. She has also spoken on GLBT related panels, including a session at Regis University on transitioning as a GLBT from college to the workplace. She has registered voters, canvassed, and enjoys being politically active. Cristina is a graduate of The Circle of Latina Leadership training program where she took on working with Denver’s Latino Legacy Library project. She has a Master’s in Communication, a Bachelor’s in Journalism, and
is a certified reiki healer. 
 
Charlene Byron

Charlene Byron (better known as "Charliiey") Is a New York native and mother of three children ages 12, 10, and 7 years old.  Charliiey relocated to Denver over a year ago and has taken action in volunteering with Aurora Medical Center and with One Colorado.  Currently, Charliiey is an Administrative Professional for a local insurance securities firm and is also a notary signing agent.  Her background stretches from working as an employment specialist, helping place individuals with employment opportunities with local employment agencies as well as being a member of The Dance Theatre of Harlem School in New York City as part of the Administrative staff.  In January 2011, she was ordained to perform non-denominational wedding ceremonies nationwide.  Charliiey is also the Director of Denver Dollhouse, a women's meetup group whose focus is on charity events, women's recognition, and a variety of social meetup events catering to women in and outside of the GLBT community.  Charliiey is commiteed to completing her courses in college to recieve her BA in Human Services to show her children and herself that it can be done sooner or later in life.  She believes that it is never too late to complete what you started and believes that we can all do what we love and desire even when all else may seem to fail.  Charliiey strongly believes that parents with biological or adopted children in the GLBT community should be proud and stand tall against the negative views of the GLBT community and parenting.  She is thrilled to be a part of the GLBT Commission and hopes to be an influential contributor to the continued efforts of creating a safe, happy, healthy, and proactive environment for the GLBT community.

     
Rachel Chaparro
Rachel Chaparro is the Communications Director for the Biennial of the Americas. Prior to joining the Biennial, she was the Communications and Development Director for the Latina Initiative, running a successful get out the vote effort targeting 70,000 Colorado Latinas. For three years, she served as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado's Manager of Education and Outreach. Ms. Chaparro was also the Field Director for the Colorado Women's Agenda, Campaign Manager for Board of Regents candidate Michal Carrigan, and a political consultant for a ballot initiative. She has done policy research for the Bighorn Center for Public Policy and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ms. Chaparro has a Political Science degree and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.
 
Sam Cole
Sam Cole is the Director of Community Relations for the Center on Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado Denver.  Sam has over 20 years of experience working in the public sector at the national, state and local levels as a director, spokesperson, trainer, liaison, and strategist. He has created and delivered outreach programs for non-profit organization, fundraised extensively, and provided training for scores of community groups.  He earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a degree in Sociology from the University of Vermont.  Previously, he managed the Democracy Project at the Gill Foundation serving 400 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied non-profit organizations throughout the country. Sam was also the Executive Director of the Colorado Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, where he developed a training program on domestic violence prevention for health care professionals.  Mr. Cole is also a dedicated member of the community, serving on numerous boards and commissions.  He is currently Chair of the Denver GLBT Commission, serves on the Finance Committee at CCADV, and volunteers his time as a Victim Advocate at the Phoenix Center at Auraria.
 
Robert "Bob" Dorshimer
Bob is currently the executive director of The Council. The Council is a leader in innovative prevention and treatment techniques for alcohol and drug abuse. The Council was founded in 1960, and is the oldest non-profit in Colorado providing treatment services. Prior to Bob’s acceptance to work with The Council he was appointed by Denver’s Mayor John Hickenlooper to work as a Crime Control Commissioner to coordinate youth and prevention efforts by this commission. Mr. Dorshimer term ended in July 2006. Prior to this appointment Bob was the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Strategy working at the Denver Department of Human Services where he also directed the Denver’s Mayor’s Drug Strategy Task Force which comprised of 28 members. Prior to this role at Denver Human Services, Bob directed the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center ARTS Special Services Clinic, the Special Services Clinic offered medical care and holistic substance abuse treatment to the HIV positive community. Mr. Dorshimer worked collaboratively with the Ryan White treatment community providing health care of last resort to the HIV infected community. Mr. Dorshimer has extensive experience researching and working with the Gay community.  Bob is the proud adoptive parent of three special needs children adopted through the Colorado Department of Human Services. 

Londell Jackson
A Denver native, Londell Jackson has worked with various organizations throughout the metro area including Gill Foundation, Denver Employment Alliance, National Endowment for Financial Education, and Center for Work Education and Employment. Currently, Londell serves as Director of Education & Programs for Colorado Nonprofit Association. In addition, he is an Affiliate Faculty for Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD), University College at University of Denver, and the Colorado Community College System.  Londell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University of Denver, his Master of Education with a specialization of Adult Learning, Training, and Development from Regis University, and is currently working toward a doctorate in Adult and Occupational Education at North Dakota State University.  Additionally, Londell serves on the Marketing Committee for American MENSA; is a Community Advisory Board member of the Center for Nonprofit Administration at MSUD, and the Denver ELEMENT; a board member of the Emily Griffith Foundation, and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Foundation.  In his spare time, you will find Londell in the kitchen entertaining guests, playing with his pets, or enjoying a variety of leisure activities with his husband and friends.
                                   
Erica Johnson
Erica Johnson is an Associate in the law firm of AMBLER & KEENAN, LLC.  Erica received her B.S. in Broadcasting Management from Northern Arizona University in 1989.  She was awarded her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law.  Erica's practice emphasizes estate planning, probate, trust administration and second parent adoption.  She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.  Her other professional assocations include membership in the Denver Bar Association, Trusts and Estates section of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Women's Bar Association, Colorado Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Society of Financial Service Professionals.  She is a frequent speaker on the topic of estate planning for non-traditional families.  Erica was awarded the Professional Woman of the Year award from the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2006.  She is a Colorado native, born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. 
 
John J. Kelly
John J. Kelly is a native of upstate New York. John moved to Colorado for an assignment at the US Air Force Academy. He served eight years as a medical corpsman with previous duty in Washington, DC; Tripoli, Libya; Cheyenne, WY. He was the victim of a gay witch-hunt while in Tripoli, but was cleared of all charges.  John has more than 25 years experience in hotel and resort marketing and management. He has worked with properties in Vail, Keystone, and Denver plus projects in Florida, Tennessee and Oregon. Was active in various travel and convention organizations including serving as President of the Colorado Hotel Sales and Marketing Association. He was named Co-Chairman of their International Convention here in Denver in 1974. He served as an officer of Meeting Planners International and American Society of Association Executives in Colorado, Tennessee and Oregon.  John, like many of his generation, remained in the closet rather than deal with the stigma and prejudices of the era. He came out when he was 40, but did not get involved with the GLBT community until joining the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Veterans of America (GLBTVA), now known as American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), in 1990. He served on the Colorado GLBTVA/AVER Board and was Chapter President from 1996 to 2001. He was their National Convention Chairman for three conventions in Denver, San Diego and San Antonio. As chapter president he founded and chaired a program to raise money, provide monthly dinners for homeless teenagers at Urban Peak. The Colorado AVER Chapter received the 2001 Group Award from the Denver Directors of Volunteer Agencies.  John was recently appointed to the Advisory Board for SAGE of the Rockies which oversees the senior’s programs at the GLBT Center.  He is a member of the October 2010 SAGE Conference on Aging planning committee.  As a senior citizen John has come out of retirement to renew his GLBT activism. He is a resident monitor and President of the Resident Council at Marian Plaza, a seniors housing complex. He shares his living accommodations with Harvey Milk a three year old seal point Siamese.
  
Patrick Oakes

Patrick Oakes is a Chicago native and has been living in Colorado for the past 10 years. Patrick has been employed in higher education for the past five years, while finishing his Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Patrick focused his studies on social issues surrounding the GLBT community completing his capstone in South Africa developing leadership models for GLBT youth.  His work in nonprofits has earned him the Karen A. Patterson Award for Community/Organizational Change Award from his alma mater.  Patrick serves on the Denver Mayor’s GLBT Commission  and is the nonprofit outreach coordinator for the Denver Gay Professional Network.  Patrick is the current Commissioner of the Denver Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League and is actively involved in participating and developing GLBT sports around the Denver metro area.  He is also an accomplished artist and print maker; his works have been shown in galleries nationally and internationally.  Currently, Patrick divides his time volunteering, fundraising, and event planning for numerous regional and national nonprofits.

                
Deryk Sanchez-Standring
Deryk Sanchez Standring, MA has worked with SageRiver since February 2007.  Deryk brings an twelve-year history in planning, team facilitation, and organizational development. Deryk enjoys partnering with clients to help them build programs and services that reach wider audiences. Deryk is a certified Langevin facilitator.  Additionally, Deryk serves as an adjunct faculty member with the Somatic Counseling Psychology department within the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University and teaches Social and Multicultural Foundations and Human Growth and Development. He has participated on the Board of Directors for the Alexander Foundation and has been a member of the advisory boards of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program and the Colorado Safe Schools Coalition. Deryk holds a Masters of Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Development from Naropa University, Boulder CO and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Regis University, Denver CO.
                   
      

Catherine Shea

Catherine Shea is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Catherine moved to Colorado in 2005.  In 1998 she graduated cum laude from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2005.  While in law school, Catherine joined the group "Students Opposed to Solomon", which was organized in opposition to the effects of the Solomon Amendment.  At the time, some institutions wished to bar military recruiters because of the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gay service members but risked losing much needed federal funds by doing so.  Catherine moved to Denver in August 2005, and after a short stint in private practice, she clerked for the Honorable Robert D. Hawthorne at the Colorado Court of Appeals.  Currently, Catherine is an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado and works in the Business and Licensing Section, where she represents state agencies such as the State Board of Nursing and the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. She also acts as an Assistant Solicitor General for the Business and Licensing Section, consulting and assisting on various appellate issues.  Catherine is a member of the Colorado Women's Bar Association and is Co-Chair of the Programs Committee, as well as serving on its Board of Directors, for the 2011-2012 year.  She is honored to be appointed to the Commission and looks forward to advocating for her adopted hometown's GLBT community.

     


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