Peter Van Veen, Board Chair
Before switching gears to private real estate investment, Peter served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Knowledge Learning Corporation, a leading national childcare 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. In addition to being responsible for the legal departments of these organizations, Peter was respected as an innovative and strategic thinker who applied analytical rigor to ideas, resulting in practical and effective solutions to a wide range of business and personnel issues. Prior to his employment in the childcare industry, Peter was an attorney in the Denver office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
In addition to serving on RAFT Colorado’s Board of Directors, 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 Child Care Association.
Carol McDermott, Vice Chair
Carol brings an eclectic mix of professional and philanthropic experiences to RAFT. She was the marketing coordinator for Stanford Instructional Television Network at the Stanford University School of Engineering, the marketing manager for Pulse Surveys in Calgary, and a Geophysical Technician for Canadian Superior Oil! Here in Colorado, she has volunteered in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations, including East High School, Graland Country Day, Central City Opera Guild, Skyline Acres Swim and Tennis Club, Montclair Academy, and Junior League of Denver.
Carol received her Bachelor of Science from Regis University in 1994.
Lisa Donovan, Secretary
Lisa is the Chief People Officer at Sage Hospitality, a leading expert in hospitality management. Before that, Lisa served as Group Vice President, National Training and Development for Archstone, a $1 Billion developer and manager of high-end apartment communities.
Prior to Archstone, Lisa led teams of consultants on a variety of client engagements for Xpedior, an eCommerce consulting firm. In addition to consulting, she worked in a number of product marketing roles for start-up to global technology companies, including a software company in Germany and IBM. Lisa has won awards in every company in which she has been employed, ranging from Open Port’s “President’s Award” to Archstone’s “Special Recognition for Outstanding Service.”
A lifelong learner, Lisa recently completed her master’s in professional studies (MPS) in Leadership and Organization at the University of Denver, and she also has a BS in International Business from the University of Colorado. Lisa, her husband, and her two young children enjoy many of the outdoor adventures the mountain region has to offer. In addition to serving on the board at RAFT, Lisa annually participates in the MS150 and has actively sought out experiences with Habitat for Humanity.
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 2014, Madison was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, as well as one of the Generation XYZ Business Award Winners for Colorado Business Magazine. In 2013, Madison was selected as one of ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals in Colorado. In 2011, Madison was named Young Professional of the Year by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and a Five Star Wealth Manager by 5280 Magazine and Colorado Biz.
Madison 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. Madison graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a BA in Economics and a focus in communications, sociology, and psychology
Sonia is President of Danielsen Investments, a 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!
Margie Gart has been involved with Rose Community Foundation for over ten years. In her current role as the director of philanthropic services, she oversees the Foundation’s work with donors. Ms. Gart has also worked as an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations, and held corporate finance and loan positions at financial institutions in New York City.
In addition to her service on the RAFT Board of Trustees, Ms. Gart serves on the board of the Vail Valley Foundation and is past-chair of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s board. She is a graduate of the Leadership Denver program, a recipient of the Charlotte Tucker Young Leadership Award from Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, and was named a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Colorado. Ms. Gart earned a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard University. She and her husband, Tom, are the parents of three grown children and enjoy the Colorado outdoors.
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 over 20 years at the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry, where he worked with K-12 teachers modeling hands-on inquiry science education and providing professional development for classroom teachers, science professionals, and museum educators. Earlier in his career, Barry taught and directed in a program for under-represented students at the University of California at Berkeley, taught physics and math for four years at Chabot College, and directed the Bay Area Science Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science (UC Berkeley).
Barry earned his PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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.
Maggie is a Vice President at The Bawmann Group, a “More than PR” firm that brings an integrated approach to marketing communication across media platforms. Before joining TBG, Maggie worked in the sponsorship and marketing department of Discovery Communications in New York City. Maggie graduated magna cum laude from DU with degrees in biology and communications.
Maggie enjoys ice skating, watching sports, and remains active with the Tri Delta sorority house at DU.
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. Stephanie earned her J.D. at Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley and her bachelor’s degree from C.U. Boulder.