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Meet the Trainers

(From left to right: Darrin Hicks, Danielle Varda, Sara Sprong, Janice Popp, and Brint Milward at the 2014 NLTA


NLTA Large Group Session Trainers

HicksDarrin Hicks, Ph.D. Session: Affective Contagion in Network- Evaluating Process Quality
 Associate Professor in the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Denver. Dr. Hicks teaches courses and conducts research in argumentation, rhetoric, community collaboration, and the philosophy of communication. His research has appeared in journals such as Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Cultural Studies, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Argumentation, Argumentation and Advocacy, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Evaluation Review. 

Milward_8497-5rHS.jpgBrint Milward, Ph.D. Session: Managing Networks
Director of the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He holds the Melody S. Robidoux Foundation Fund Chair in Public Management. He was Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which is co-chaired by President George Herbert Walker Bush and President Bill Clinton. He has been elected president of two national associations in his field.  He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and in 2010 won the NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Research Award.  Milward's research interests revolve around networks and collaboration. For over thirty years he has focused his work on understanding how to efficiently and effectively manage networks of organizations that jointly produce public services like health and human services. He has conducted studies of what happens when governments privatize public services, which he terms "governing the hollow state." In addition, since 9/11 he has studied illegal and covert networks that pursue grievances or greed. His articles on "Dark Networks," have been widely cited for their application of network analysis and management theory to terrorist networks, human trafficking, and drug smuggling. Milward received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. 

Janice Popp, MSW, RSW  Session: The Network Way of Working: Building a Network Culture
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.  Janice has a keen interest in the use of inter-organizational networks to create mechanisms and mobilize knowledge to improve service systems.  From 2001 to 2009 she was Director of the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network, a highly successful inter-regional, cross-sector network established to optimize the health and well-being of children, youth and families.  She is the past Chair of Child and Youth Health Networks of Canada, a ‘network of networks’ that came together to promote the awareness, understanding and evaluation of child and youth health networks and evolved into a network with an expanded focus on all networks in the public interest. She is also currently managing the ongoing development of an inter-organizational network designed to provide supports and services to children and youth, primarily within the school setting. Janice has been a lead organizer of a series of Network Leadership Summits held in Canada over the past six years bringing together international network researchers and practitioners.  Janice also has extensive clinical, management, and policy experience in the area of children’s mental health. She holds a Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Calgary and is an approved clinical supervisor under the Alberta College of Social Workers.
VardaDanielle M. Varda, Ph.D. Sessions: Evaluating Networks as Systems & Tools for Assessing Personal and Community Networks: PARTNER Tool and the PCN App
Associate Professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver with a secondary appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy. She is Co-Director of the Nonprofit Concentration, Advisor to the Dual MPA-MPH Degree, and Director of the Research Program on Collaborative Governance. She also sits on the AmeriCorps NCCC Federal Advisory Board, and is an alumn of the AmeriCorps NCCC (Class 5 and 6). Dr. Varda joins SPA from the RAND Corporation, where she worked as an Associate Policy Scientist from 2005-2008. She specializes in collaborative governance and network leadership, focusing specifically in Public Health Systems and Services Research. Her research focus is on evaluating the network structure of interorganizational collaborations between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and the subsequent network effects of these recorded interactions. She has developed models and methods of network measurement, for example she has developed a research model for measuring social capital by evaluating the network structure of local community networks, including developing questionnaires and analysis of diverse network data. In addition, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the developer of a software tool (PARTNER, that uses Social Network Analysis to administer a survey and link to an analysis tool, to measure and monitor collaborative activity over time. Dr. Varda’s PARTNER tool was featured in her first place award for the 2008 Maxwell School Collaborative Governance Initiative competition, Teaching Simulation and is used by over 600 communities in 30 countries and all over the US. PARTNER, and it's suite of tools, technical assistance, and training has become a well-known resource for communities working to build their community networks and systems building.  In 2010, she was awarded the “Public Health Systems and Services Article of the Year” award by Academy Health PHSSR Interest Group for her co-authored paper “Core Dimensions of Connectivity in Public Health Collaboratives" and in 2013 was awarded First Runner Up for the same award for her co-authored paper " Implications of Network Structure on Public Health Collaborative" published in Health Education and Behavior.  Her research portfolio includes projects in the areas of maternal/child health, public health preparedness, nonprofit community networks, and systems evaluation. She is an experienced interviewer, facilitator, and has extensive experience developing and administering surveys. Her research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CO Department of Public Health and Environment, the CO Trust, the RAND Corporation, the Department of Health and Human Services (Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response), Veterans Administration, University of Kentucky School of Public Health, and the Department of Defense.
35c977b.jpgNoshir Contractor Session: Building and Leveraging Powerful Social Networks
Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds. His research program has been funded continuously for over 15 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional current funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, the Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.oshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds. His research program has been funded continuously for over 15 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional current funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, the Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing.  His book titled Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Professor Peter Monge and published by Oxford University Press, and translated into simplified Chinese in 2009) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.  In 2014 he received the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award recognizing a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. In 2015 he was elected as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Syndio, which offers organizations products and services based on network analytics. Professor Contractor has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.
Recent advances in digital technologies enable us to network with anyone, anytime, anyplace and via a plethora of multimedia channels. This surge in the opportunities to network underscores the importance of being strategic in leveraging our social and knowledge networks. Noshir's talk will introduce key insights and actionable takeaways on how our networks form and perform.
13094346_10208340427323734_3101993083854693068_n.jpgDr. Nita Mosby Tyler
Chief Catalyst and Founder of The Equity Project, LLC – an organization designed to support organizations and communities in building diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. She is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion Officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado – the first African American woman to hold that position in the organizations 100+ year history. She is also the former Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for the City and County of Denver – the first African American woman to hold that position in the 63+ year history of the agency. Dr. Mosby Tyler, a consultant accredited by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence, is nationally recognized for her equity work with non-profit, community, government and for-profit organizations. In her work, Dr. Mosby-Tyler specializes in the development and delivery of leadership, equity, diversity, cultural responsiveness and inclusiveness training programs and strategies. 
Dr. Mosby Tyler has had a strong academic presence here in Colorado, as a popular guest lecturer at The University of Denver, University of Colorado, Regis University and many other social, political and community organizations.  Dr. Mosby-Tyler has a vast, 31-year background in domestic and international operations management.  She has held roles as Operations Manager for AT&T, Operations Director for Kaiser Permanente in both Georgia and Colorado-regions, Director of Operations for the McKesson Corporation and Vice President of Operations for Statline (a subsidiary of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Foundation).
In the community, Dr. Mosby Tyler has received appointments from several local and national boards and committees. As well as many local and national awards for her service and leadership accomplishments. Dr. Mosby Tyler holds a doctorate in the field of Organizational Leadership, a Master of Arts degree in Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

​Ppamcoleman.jpgam Coleman
Most recently was Special Assistant to the President (Obama) Leadership Development Team Lead in the White House Presidential Personnel Office.  She previously served as the Energy & Environment Team Lead in the same office.  Before that, she was the White House Liaison at the Department of Homeland Security, and before that as a Director on the Outreach and Recruitment Team within the Presidential Personnel Office.  Prior to joining the White House, Ms. Coleman served in various capacities for Organizing for America New Mexico from 2009 through 2012, most notably as the State Director for the President's re-election in 2012.  She also managed an Obama Campaign Field Office as a full-time volunteer in Orlando, Florida during the 2008 campaign.  Ms. Coleman has served as a small business and management consultant, and the Vice President of Gordon's Pies in New Hampshire.  Previous experience also includes teaching writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and practicing law with the law firm Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn in New York City.  Ms. Coleman has lived and worked abroad in Albania and Italy.  She received her B.A. degree at New York University and J.D. degree from New York Law School.


tracy-altman.jpgTracy Altman is the Vice President of Community Impact at Foothills United Way, which serves Boulder and Broomfield counties.  She has worked in various roles in the nonprofit sector including fundraising, organizational development and community engagement and outreach. Since starting at United Way just under a year ago, Tracy has created a new collaboration “credentialing” process, implemented a restructured grant funding program and allocated over $310,000 to agencies or collaboratives looking to make a significant impact in the community. She also sits on the Steering Committees for the Dream Big Collaborative and the Broomfield Housing Opportunity Coalition.

Professional Photo.jpgJenna Bannon is the Director of Health & Well-Being, Denver’s Early Childhood Council. Jenna leads the health and well-being work of Denver’s Early Childhood Council and is the project director of LAUNCH Together, a 4-year initiative focused on early childhood mental health system’s building work in Southwest Denver. She has national, state and local experience in public policy, cross-sector collaboration and project management.  She worked on child policy issues for Governor Roy Romer, and has also worked with the Grantmakers for Education and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She received her Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) from Regis University through an Emerging Leaders Fellowship from The Colorado Trust.

sb_beverly_img_1061.jpgBeverly Grant is a proud Denver native and has been an entrepreneur for more than 25 years.  She is dedicated to shaping food policy and broadening not only food access, but also food and nutrition literacy. Beverly founded the urban farmer’s market, Mo’ Betta Green Marketplace in June 2011 in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood on three principles: Food literacy, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In October of 2015, Beverly founded Seeds of Power Unity Farm to provide a community learning platform for urban agriculture and design, and also create a small production site for heirloom vegetables sourced directly to Mo’ Betta Greens. Since it’s opening, Seeds of Power Unity Farm and Mo’ Betta Greens Marketplace have improved community connectedness, increased awareness between food consumption and overall wellness, and helped to include disconnected populations to local food.

NLTA Breakout Session Trainers

Matthew Barry.jpgMatthew Barry Session: Funder Interest in Collaborative Networks
Vice President of Strategic Assessment at Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation. In this role, he is responsible for designing and implementing a process to assess the impact and effectiveness of the organization’s for-profit and philanthropic efforts. Matthew’s primary focus is building a “total portfolio framework” that tracks the performance and cumulative impact of Gary Community Investments’ full spectrum of investments, which include grants, program-related investments, and near-market and full-market rate investments, for both financial and mission-related return. In addition, he works to strengthen Gary Community Investments’ research and knowledge management capabilities, and he aides in ongoing strategy development.

Prior to his current role, Matthew served as The Piton Foundation’s Director of Data and Information Initiatives, leading the growth and development of Piton’s flagship Data Initiative program. Founded on the belief that philanthropic and community-building efforts are more durable when informed by reliable and objective information, the Data Initiative “democratizes information,” providing community- and school-level mapping, analysis and evaluation to empower individuals, policy makers and organizations to make better decisions as they work to improve their community.   Examples include developing community information technology platforms, managing the foundation’s Cradle to Career Indicators project and evaluating place-based initiatives.
More broadly, Matthew’s interests include advancing social change by designing solutions (or stealing them), inventing, imagining, and innovating, ultimately leaving the world in a better place than when he arrived.  Inside and outside of work, he is actively involved in supporting community change at the grassroots level. Matthew holds a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado-Denver.

bogus_thumb.pngMary Bogus Session: Network Leadership for Civic Engaegment              Field Director at the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable. She believes that politics is done best when we center our strategies around the stories of people who are most impacted by our wins and losses. As a seasoned campaigner and political strategist, Mary has extensive experience with ballot initiatives, issue campaigns, and robust get out the vote efforts. Most recently, she served on the leadership team for the successful campaign to increase the Colorado minimum wage.

Blythe Butler.jpgBlythe Butler Session: Network Leadership for Collective Impact      Network Weaver at the First 2000 Days Network in Calgary, Canada. The First 2000 Days Network is a collective response of community members, organizations, and professionals to act as a catalyst for linking, aligning and leveraging efforts to improve Early Childhood Development outcomes and enable collaborative action for all children from conception to six to be supported by family and community in order to reach their optimal development. Blythe is a passionate and principled leader with a focus on leading organizational learning, development, and change processes to strengthen the human systems surrounding an issue in order to create cultures that support adaptive learning.  She has a broad and diverse background in strategic planning, change management and organizational development and is an accomplished facilitator and stakeholder engagement practitioner. Blythe has over 15 years’ experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including her recent roles in the areas of community investment, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise and change management.  Blythe is known for taking a multi-disciplinary approach to develop strategies that address complex challenges and translating those into practical action.

For the past nine years, Blythe has been contributing to the ongoing development, design and delivery of Leadership Calgary – Canada’s leading-edge community development leadership program. This program has had a profound impact on her life journey; deepening her sense of responsibility to work with individuals and organizations to build the capacities required for wise and responsible action. This program is based on an approach to leading-edge human and social development designed to equip community leaders with the tools for disciplined, thorough inquiry and wise action – so that individuals and communities can address the most significant adaptive challenges they face. Blythe is currently a Board Member of the Human Venture Institute, past chair of the Leadership Calgary Program Committee and a past Board Member for Volunteer Calgary (now Propellus). In 2008, Blythe was named to Calgary’s 'Top 40 Under 40' for her career achievements and contributions to the community. She holds a BComm in Finance and International Development from the University of Alberta, and has studied Journalism at Carleton University and Design Marketing at Parsons in New York City.

maggie headshot.jpgMaggie Gomez Session: Community Organizing for Network Leadership 
Director of Community Organizing, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved. Maggie has dedicated nearly a decade to grassroots community organizing with women and communities of color to build deep power for collective action. She earned a master’s in social work from the University of Denver and is passionate about organizing for women’s, workers’, immigrant, economic, and racial justice. At Center for Health Progress, Maggie brings her significant experience in organizing, voter engagement, and leadership development to incorporate grassroots community members into the fabric of our work. Maggie also served the community as a founding member and Board Chair for the Colorado People’s Alliance, and is currently a member of the Prime Health Safety Net Advisory Board, a trainer for the Labor Liberation program with Colorado Jobs with Justice, and has experience writing and facilitating popular education curriculum for social justice.
Mike Green Photo.jpgMike Green Session: Asset Mapping and Mobilizing for Network Leadership
Affiliation with Jody Kretzmann’s and John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute and he also works with the Denver Foundation on community engagement in Colorado. Mike has worked throughout North America and internationally. Mike’s focus is the practical implementation of ABCD principles. With Henry Moore, Mike founded the ABCD Training Group ten years ago. Mike Green, Henry Moore and John O’Brien have written a practical book and DVD about ABCD implementation for successful community partnerships: “When People Care Enough To Act:ABCD In Action”. A key question to address is often: How can helping agencies, local government, and schools shift from offering “service to clients” towards offering both services AND support for “citizen action”. It takes both good programs and organized people to solve most community problems today. Mike’s present framework for practice came from three key life experience areas: community organizing, social work and business. Mike has worked for over thirty years as a community organizer and trainer. He has experience developing neighborhood resident organizations, congregation based organizations, and community partnerships to address social and economic issues. Mike has also worked in business, having started three different companies. He has experience in business development, marketing, organizational development, and management. Mike has been a licensed clinical social worker (M.S.W.) and family therapist and has worked in human services, public welfare, mental health and schools. Mike helped start a small public school in Denver based on ABCD principles.
corina lindley 150.jpgCorina Lindley, MPH Session: The Adaptive Network Leader
Group VP of Community Health and Mission, Centura Health. Her responsibilities include leading and supporting MNDOG efforts around optimizing health care value and ensuring our ministry’s vitality in the future. She has direct operational oversight of Spiritual Care, Volunteers, Community Health, Community Benefit and Integrative Medicine at St. Anthony Hospital and OrthoColorado Hospital and regional leadership responsibilities for MNDOG in these areas. In this role she has created strong local public health partnerships through the Community Health Needs Assessment, established programs with the local Archdiocese, and streamlined community health education programs across the region. Additionally, she is working towards mobilizing and evolving existing assets such as chaplains, integrative healing and volunteers towards population health improvement and mission fulfillment.
Corina has been with Centura Health since October 2014. Prior to this role, Corina was a leader with Kaiser Permanente Colorado for eleven years, where she led collaborative statewide and efforts in population health improvement leveraging community benefit, research, philanthropic investments and organizational assets. Through this work, Kaiser Permanente implemented and advanced local and national best practices in obesity and hunger prevention, physical activity, healthy equity, place-based community health, public health surveillance, access to care, and partnerships with the safety net. In addition, Corina has worked with federal, state and local public health agencies as a Prevention Specialist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and has career experiences with academic, research, and health care institutions.
Corina is currently pursuing a Master in Theology from St. Joseph’s College, and holds a Masters in Public Health, Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Corina currently serves on the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund Advisory Board. Corina is married and has two children. She has been living in Colorado since 2006 and is originally from Ellicott City, Maryland. She is a proud 1stgeneration American, raised by Brazilian and Estonian immigrants. Her husband Chris is a Denver Firefighter, Business Owner, Veteran of the Army and public health expert. Corina loves the outdoors and enjoys mountain biking, playing soccer, skiing, and hiking.
Silas Musick.jpgSilas Musick Session: Network Leadership for Civic Engaegment Program Manager for the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable. He is a community organizer, network leader, facilitator, convener who focuses in voter mobilization and turnout. He is a NLTA alumni who really believes in the power of the network.

KP hi rez.jpgKatherine Pease Session: Funder Interest in Collaborative Networks Katherine Pease is the principal of KP Advisors. She has worked with foundations, investors and nonprofit organizations for more than 20 years. She previously served as the executive director of the Gill Foundation and as Senior Vice President for Philanthropic Investments and Policy at Gary Community Investments/Piton Foundation. She regularly speaks about the intersection of impact investing and social equity and has written about the subject extensively. She earned her Bache¬lor of Arts from The Colorado College and her Masters in Public Administration from The University of Colorado where she is also a Lecturer in the School of Public Affairs. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Global Greengrants Fund. She is also a member of the Global Advisory Council of Cornerstone Capital Group and the Advisory Board for the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado.
David-Portillo.jpgDavid Portillo Session: Asset Mapping and Mobilizing for Network Leadership Manager of the Strengthening Neighborhoods (SN) Program at The Denver Foundation.  The SN Program makes grants directly to non-501(c)3, resident-led projects to make change in the areas of access to Basic Human Needs, Economic Opportunity and Education.  Most of these projects are collaborations between parents and neighborhood leaders and their local institutions or non-profits.  Previous to joining the Foundation in 1999, David was director of Padres Unidos. He has worked as a community and labor organizer in Denver, Oakland and San Francisco.  He was a public school teacher for five years.  Nationally, he trains in Community Organizing and Asset Based Community Development practices.

lisavanraemdonck2.jpgLisa VanRaemdonck Session: Facilitation Skills for Network Leadership 
Executive Director of the School of Public Affairs Institute at the University of Colorado Denver as of January 2017. Her work is dedicated to supporting the intersection of SPA and public service professionals through strategic partnerships, leadership development and training, peer networking, capacity building, and policy communication. Prior to her new position at SPA, Lisa served as Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials for more than 6 years and performed group facilitation through a small consulting practice. Lisa has also worked in public relations and marketing, and has experience with non-profit and business-to-business communications. She earned a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

NLTA Staff

 Sara-Tscheschke-MPA-PARTNER-Research-Associate.jpgSara Sprong, MPA PARTNER Research & Evaluation Project Manager providing support to PARTNER users through community outreach and education, training and technical assistance, data management and analysis, scholarly work, and grant writing.  She specializes in collaborative governance and network leadership and is an experienced evaluator, facilitator, and has extensive experience developing and administering surveys, including developing questionnaires and analysis of diverse network data. She graduated in May 2011 from the University of Colorado Denver with her Master’s in Public Administration and also has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and History.  She has been the logistics coordinator for the Network Leadership Training Academy for the past 4 sessions and is looking forward to another great session in 2017!
2783-2-MMochizuki-3.jpgMalinda Mochizuki Events and Training Coordinator for the Center on Network Science. She assists with coordinating the annual NLTA and monthly Network Leadership webinars. She is also a student in the Master in Public Administration (MPA) Program with a Nonprofit Management Concentration at the University of Colorado Denver. As the Network Leadership Coordinator, she assists with the annual Networking Leadership Training Academy and PARTNER Tool. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College, and worked after graduating at her alma mater in the Office of Global Education. In 2010, Malinda moved to Colorado to serve with AmeriCorps VISTA as the Diversity Outreach Coordinator and later as the Program Director at the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Her experiences and academic interests are focused on strategic planning, capacity building, program management and assessment, and collaborative networks. She currently is involved with the MPA Student Association and the Denver Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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