COLOR Board of Directors

COLOR Board of Directors

 

OUR FIERCE, AMAZING LEADERS

 

Gloria Leyba

Board Member, gleybal@mindspring.com

Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers| From Denver, CO | B.A. in cultural anthropology (University of Colorado-Denver) | COLORist@ since 10/2008

 

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: my familia, my babies

 

Favorite local restaurant: Thai or Indian cuisine

 

Dream job: I’m living my dream job working with indigenous women in Guatemala

 

Job Gloria wouldn’t do in a million years: work at Walmart

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: the mission, it’s what we are about… working with fierce women carrying out a righteous mission.

 

Gloria's greatest extravagance: art work

 

Talent Gloria would like to have: a Tango dancer!

 

Former Colorado State Representative, Gloria is the founder of Cielo Maya, an economic development initiative for indigenous women in Guatemala where she has worked since 2001. Gloria is a recipient of the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Public Policy Lifetime Leadership Award. Gloria has served on the Board for COLOR since 2011.

 

Elena Mendoza

Board Co-Secretary, mrselenamendoza@gmail.com

Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Wyoming | Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education (University of Northern Colorado) | Administration and Supervision ( University of Phoenix) |  COLORistx since 2014

 

 

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: 300 days of sunshine and the mountains

 

Favorite local restaurant:  My mom's house

 

Job Elena wouldn’t do in a million years:  Pest extermination

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Being surrounded by so many talented individuals who are fighting for the same cause: Equality for all

 

Elena Mendoza is currently the Assistant Principal at North Elementary in Brighton, Colorado. Elena has taught at various Denver Metro Elementary schools as an intermediate teacher and a literacy resource teacher. She is a proud Alumna of the 2012 Circle of Latina Leadership and 2014 Emerge class. Elena is strong believer in giving back to her community which is why as an Alumna from School District 27J, she has come back to work in her community. Elena is a Development Committee member and Board Secretary for Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, COLOR. She is also a member of 27J Superintendent’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Elena currently lives in Denver and enjoys spending time with her seven nieces and nephews.

 

Dani Perea

Board Member, dani.perea@gmail.com

Preferred gender pronouns: She/Her/Hers | From Albuquerque, NM | Undergraduate English Literature (The College of William and Mary) | Graduate  Writing/Fine Arts (Simmons College) | COLORistx since 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: The gorgeous silhouette of the mountains against the sky

 

Favorite local restaurant: Rioja

 

Dream job: White House Engagement and Content Strategist under the first Latinx President

 

Job Dani wouldn’t do in a million years: Lab testing animals for a cosmetic company

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Being able to give back and provide leadership to an organization and mission I love.

 

Dani's greatest extravagance: Higher education

 

Talent Dani would like to have: To be able to dance and pop as well as the ReQuest Dance Crew.

 

Dani began her involvement with COLOR in 2015 as a volunteer and fell head over heels for COLOR’s mission and hard-working, passionate staff. By day, Dani is a growth hacker in the tech industry, specializing in tinkering with the rocket fuel that grows web traffic and social media audiences.

Dani currently serves as a board member for the Aurora Public Library. She is also a member of Emerge Colorado’s Class of 2017, a training program for Democratic women that aims to increase the number of Democratic women in public office. Dani has been an activist since high school when she staged her first sit-in at age 16, and has enjoyed making a dent in the world for reproductive justice, LGBT equality, and racial justice ever since.

Dani earned a bachelor’s degree in literature at the College of William & Mary, and a master’s degree in writing at Simmons College. In her free time, she writes sci-fi and horror novels and is a regular at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshops. She enjoys locally-sourced bourbon, cozy mountain cabins, episodes of The West Wing, and political and history podcasts. Dani resides in Aurora, with the love of her life and two goofy dogs.

 

Catherine “C.” Owen

Board Member, owencate@gmail.com | Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers| From Denver, CO | B.A. in Psychology (Metropolitan State University) | Certificate in Public Health Sciences (University of Colorado) | COLORistx since March 2016

 

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: The sunshine and the mountains! I love the outdoors and get out whenever I can.

Favorite local restaurant: Aquascalientes on 41st & Wadsworth.

 

Dream job: Anything on the water! I’d love to work at a Colorado lake or river renting out canoes or something. Sit by the water on my breaks.

 

Job C. wouldn't do in a million years: Clean the hair out of my shower drain.

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Fighting and supporting women and their families! Fighting for the good and helping make a difference!

 

C.’s greatest extravagance: Concert tickets.

 

Talent C. would like to have:  Surf.

 

Catherine “C.” Owen holds a Psychology and Art degree from Metropolitan State University. She became certified in the Public Health Sciences from the University of Colorado in 2013. She has over 15 years of public health experience working directly with patients at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, where she currently acts as Senior Director of Surgical Services. C.’s passion is reproductive rights, especially abortion rights for women. She has volunteered for many reproductive rights organizations in Colorado in the past. Currently, she sits on the board for the Colorado Alliance for Reproductive Freedom (CARE,) and is a member of the Development Committee for COLOR. She loves fishing, boating and hiking in all that Colorado has to offer. She lives in Denver with her husband and two children.

 

Brenda Vaden

Board Co-Chair, brendaavaden@gmail.com

Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico / Denver, Colorado | B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology (University of Colorado at Boulder) | COLORist@ since Oct. 2012

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: the outdoors! We live in a beautiful state.

Favorite local restaurant: Southern Hospitality

Dream job: traveling the world (with my family in tow) and providing help to families in need—any kind of need

Job you wouldn’t do in a million years: anything that would involve a lot of time in the middle of the ocean in a little boat—no thanks!

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: the staff! COLOR has such passionate and dedicated team that it makes it enjoyable to give to this organization.

 

Greatest extravagance: Talent Brenda would like to have: sing and dance… do not put me in a Zumba class, it’s quite tragic!

For many years Brenda has been a leader in the reproductive rights and reproductive justice movement. She serves on the Board of Directors at the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, a reproductive justice organization where most recently she holds the position of Board Co-Chair. Brenda’s writing has been featured on the Huffington Post Latino Voices and she continues to utilize that platform to raise awareness around reproductive and social justice. Brenda has been a longtime activist and advocate for advancing the Latino community. Since college, she has worked alongside community leaders to further advance issues affecting the Latino community. Brenda holds a Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Brenda is a graduate of the Circle of Latina Leadership and a current Latino Leadership Institute fellow. Brenda resides in Denver with her husband and two sons.

 

Alvina Vasquez

Board Co-Secretary, Alvinav@strategies360.com

Preferred gender pronouns: She | From Denver, CO | Undergraduate in Communications (Regis University) | COLORistx since 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: My family

 

Favorite local restaurant: Pete’s Greek Town Cafe

 

Dream job: Communicator

 

Job Alvina wouldn’t do in a million years: anything with manure

 

Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: developing emerging leaders

 

Alvina's greatest extravagance: My house

 

Talent Alvina would like to have: Ballet Dancing

 

Alvina Vasquez is a vice president for Strategies 360 in the Colorado office. Bringing more than 20 years of experience, she develops messaging strategies to achieve policy outcomes, manages crisis communications and leverages her sophisticated understanding of earned and paid media to reach target audiences to advance client objectives.

Before joining S360, Alvina led political advocacy and messaging efforts for the rising American electorate at Campaign for a Strong Colorado. For more than 40 statewide non-profits,  she developed messaging strategies to advance legislation, managed crisis communications during the presidential race and trained spokespeople that represented the diversity of Colorado’s electorate. In particular, her role as a media trainer built lasting relationship with local news reporters who often seek Alvina out for unique stories and people. Alvina began her career in Spanish language radio for Denver’s highest rated radio stations – Radio Romantica and Radio Tri-Color. With listeners across the state and many national and local businesses, Alvina honed her skill to connect sales and audience marketing opportunities. Her understanding of earned and paid media was later developed at ABC Denver’s7 and Azteca America Colorado. Her campaign success brought her the opportunity to lead branding and marketing for Azteca America Colorado, a new affiliate introduced into the market. This opened new opportunities to building news branding strategy, network marketing buys and community development campaigns.

Alvina was recognized as a community and business leader by the Denver Business Journal in the 40th Anniversary 40 under 40 Class of 2016. She is an alumni of the Latino Leadership Institute.  Alvina was appointed by Mayor Hancock to the  Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. She serves on the board of the Civic Engagement Roundtable, an organization supporting Colorado’s leading progressive organizations and the Front Range Community College Education Foundation. As a greyhound owner she is an advocate for retired racers and all dogs who need to be rescued.