Peter Van Veen, Board Chair
Peter served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Knowledge Learning Corporation, a leading national child care company. Peter transitioned to KLC during KLC’s acquisition of ARAMARK Educational Resources, Inc., (FKA Children’s World Learning Centers) where Peter had been serving as Chief Counsel and Executive Vice President. Prior to his employment in the child care industry, Peter was an attorney in the Denver office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In addition to serving on RAFT Colorado’s Board of Directors as Board Chair, Peter is a board member of the Winter Park Highlands Homeowner’s Association and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Chid Care Association.
Brian E. Johnson, Treasurer
Brian is an accomplished an versatile senior corporate executive with CEO, COO, and CFO experience in multi-million dollar service businesses of varying sizes across several industries, including ADT Security Services and Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies. In the non-profit arena, Brian has served as Treasurer of two non-profit organizations and chaired a $3.2 million capital campaign in 2001. Brian received his law degree from CU Boulder and an LLM in Taxation from the University of Denver Graduate Tax Program.
Madison has worked as an investment advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since 2008, building a holistic wealth advisory business serving individuals, businesses, and foundations. In 2011, Madison was named Youth Professional of the Year by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and a Fiver Star Wealth Manager by 5280 magazine and a Colorado Biz. She hosts monthly educational, business networking, cultural, charitable, and women’s events, and is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including Women’s Vision Foundation, the Colorado Philanthropic advisor’s Network, the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Boston College Alumni Association. Perhaps most importantly, she was the inspiration behind RAFT’s much-loved Spa Day!
Sonia is President of Danielsen Investments, real estate company specializing in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver. She also developed the Rail Yard Lofts project converting an historic warehouse into residential lofts. Before being involved in the real estate, Sonia was the president and owner of Eastwood Printing. She was past chapter chair of the Rocky Mountain YPO. And she and her husband are RAFT Colorado’s Lovable Landlords!
Nicole Gravagna, PhD, Secretary
Nicole received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Biology from the University of Maryland. Nicole is an active member of numerous organizations, including the Aurora Fitzsimmons Roatry Club, Colorado BioScience Association, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, and the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.
Ellen Hall, PhD
Ellen is the founder and executive director of the Boulder Journey School and also directs its Teacher Education Program. Early childhood professionals travel from around the world to learn about the educational program she and her team have developed. Ellen is also an adjunct faculty member teaching graduate courses at the University of Colorado Denver and Vice President of Videatives, a web-based company that offers virtual and on-site professional development to early childhood educators. She is a founding board member of Hawkins Centers of Learning. Ellen holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado, a Masters in Deaf Education from Smith College, and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts.
Barry Kluger Bell, PhD
Barry is currently an Inquiry Science Education Consultant with a national practice. Before moving to Boulder in 2009, he spent more than 20 years at the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry. Barry received his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from UC Berkeley and his PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written numerous articles about inquiry-based science education and his work has received financial support form the National Science Foundation.
Kevin is President and CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies, a non-profit organization with 98 employees at warehouses in Denver, Wyoming, and the Western Slope. Last year, Food Bank of the Rockies distributed 39.4 million pounds of food to more than 1,100 hunger relief programs. Last year, Food Bank of the Rockies was one of only ten charities nationwide to earn Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for Financial Health and a 4-star rating in Accountability and Transparency. Prior to working for Food Bank of the Rockies, Kevin served the organization as a board member and board chair while working in various positions for Cub Foods. Kevin received his Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law and his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University. Kevin also completed Cornell University’s Executive Leadership Program in 2006, and was awarded a Livingston Fellowship from Bonfils Stanton Foundation in 2005.Jeff is a recent graduate of CU Boulder. While he was a student, he served as the materials coordinator for the CU Science Discovery Center (where he also assisted teachers in developing activities curricula for science and art classes). Jeff is constantly amazed at the variety of materials and generosity of the community, and he will work tirelessly to help teachers think up ways to solve their material challenges.
Stephanie Welsh, Executive Director & Assistant Secretary
Stephanie is the current Executive Director of RAFT Colorado. Prior to accepting the position with RAFT, Stephanie served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Logan School in Denver, where she played a pivotal role in the success of the school’s $5 million capital campaign. Earlier in her career, Stephanie served as Assistant General Counsel of ARAMARK Educational Resources, Inc., where she advised and trained field and corporate management throughout the United States. Prior to that, Stephanie was employed as a litigation attorney with Holland & Hart, a prominent regional law firm. She received her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley.