Deena Hartje grew up in Colorado Springs in an Air Force military family. After twelve years of working in advertising, marketing, and arts & entertainment, she decided to focus full time as a mom, military spouse and volunteer. In 2009, the Hartje returned to the local area and after 25 years of service in the Air Force, her husband Tim retired at the Air Force Academy. In addition to TRE, Deena volunteers her time as the Secretary of Village Center Metro District and a Docent at the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel.
Tim and Deena have two sons, Carson (17) and Jack (14). At age three, Jack was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay. “Knowing we can help other families who have children like Jack, and all the IDD individuals who change our lives and our hearts makes me proud to serve with TRE.” Deena is a graduate of CU, Boulder (Journalism & Mass Communications) and University of LaVerne (Masters, Business Organizational Management.)
Carolyn Wharton is a CPA and the President of Carolyn Wharton, PC and has been a resident of El Paso County since 1991. She has assisted small business owners and individuals in building their businesses and planning for their future goals with Carolyn Wharton, PC since 1999. Her devotion to the accounting profession began in the banking industry in the 1980s and continued with her tenures at KPMG and Ernst & Young while in Wichita, Kansas.
Upon return to Colorado in 1991, she began raising her family and developing family businesses before starting Sundahl & Associates, P.C. in 1999, which then became Carolyn Wharton, PC in 2017. Her passion for relationships and assisting others has led her to contribute time and energy to a variety of organizations including the American Heart Association, Junior Achievement, and Interfaith Hospitality Network to name a few.
Carolyn was introduced to TRE in recent years through a Board member. After speaking and visiting with family members and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), she committed to join the Board in early 2016. Family stories and struggles, the mission of TRE coupled with integrating individuals with IDD back into our community, and the incredible TRE staff and Board were the motivating factors in being a part of this incredible organization. “The passion of each individual involved with TRE whether it is an employee or volunteer is inspiring. I felt compelled to be a part in making positive changes in the lives of those affected by IDD—families and individuals—along with the impact on our community.”
Carolyn is a graduate from the University of Colorado-Boulder (Economics) and The Wichita State University (Master of Professional Accounting). Her interests include a great love of the outdoors whether on a bike or on a hike, travel, cooking, and gardening.
Sarah Brittain Jack
Sarah Brittain Jack is the principal of Sarah B. Jack & Associates primarily a political and government relations firm focusing on relationships between the private sector and their government. Sarah has been very active in the community for more than 30 years both in the political and government relations’ arena as well as being a volunteer in the non-profit sector. Sarah’s involvement with The Resource Exchange (TRE) began in early 2000 and has continued as a volunteer for the organization including since its inception The Building the Dream event as a table host. “I have a niece with an intellectual disability and because of the caring, committed people, including her family, teaching, mentoring, and nurturing her she has made a very successful life for herself.” said Sarah “That commitment to people who need a bit more of a hand up is what I see the amazing people who work for this organization do everyday and I want to support that endeavor in any way that I can.”
Judith Light is a Certified Management Consultant whose clients include public and private sector organizations Her focus is to increase personal, team and organizational effectiveness, using Appreciative Inquiry approach. Specific expertise includes organizational transformation, planning, customer service, leadership development, increasing quality of relationships and work environment, ethics awareness, communications training and coaching. The philosophy and approach are inclusive of all stakeholders to increase strategic capacity.
She served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association and served as Board President. She also served in several positions during two terms on the national Board of Directors of the Institute of Management Consultants. She was selected to represent IMC on the ClubCorp Women’s Board of Advisors. Judith has consulted with local non-profits including Palmer Land Trust and Leadership Pikes Peak.
Diane, CEO at Council of Neighbors and Organizations, is a graduate of Drake University where she earned her BA in Business Administration. In addition to industry accreditations and awards, she was recognized as a Colorado Springs Business Journal Woman of Influence in 2008. With over twenty-five years of professional experience in both for-profit and non-profit arenas to include marketing, management, event planning, public relations, media, sponsorship and development, Diane has been actively involved in the community through planning committees and board service.
While not a native, Diane considers Colorado Springs home. Her family lived in the community on two separate occasions, making Colorado Springs home as she was entering fifth grade. Marrying her college sweetheart, Diane and husband Rae have lived in Colorado Springs since 1990.
“I was first introduced to the work of TRE by attending a fundraising luncheon in 2011. I became a donor that day. The services offered by TRE are vital to our community and our family believes strongly in investing in organizations which build inclusion and independence.”
Julia Sands de Melendez
Julia Sands de Melendez is the Organizational Director of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute (CSLI).
With a degree in Technical Management, emphasis in Project Management, Julia has over 28 years of corporate and nonprofit experience in the areas of project, customer and event management. She is originally from Omaha, and has lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years.
Julia’s community involvement includes board service with Day2 International, El Paso County Parks Advisory Board, Ivywild Improvement Society and The Resource Exchange. She also volunteers on committees such as the Rising Professionals Mentorship Committee, Special Kids Special Families, Innovations in Aging iVillages, and the CONO Active Living Coalition. She is a mentor with both the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment (KPWE) and the Rising Professionals.
Along with her husband, Julia enjoys spending time with their 3 grown sons and 2 lovely daughters-in-law. They also like to take advantage of the variety of entertainment and outdoor activities that come with living in our great city and this beautiful state.
Amy is the Director of Medicaid programs at Physician Health Partners. She comes to the new role with 20 years of leadership experience in the non-profit world primarily in the child welfare sector. Most recently, Amy served as chief operating officer with Community Health Partnership where she oversaw a collaborative care program serving 170,000 Health First Colorado members.
Chris is principal consultant for Cipoletti Consulting. The firm provides strategic and business planning, organizational development, leadership and management training, executive coaching, and resource development/fundraising.
Chris received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame. From 1986-2002, Chris was an attorney in private practice emphasizing representation of businesses, nonprofits, healthcare, education, and amateur sports organizations.
From 2002-2007, Chris was Executive Director of a national nonprofit organization. He led a staff of 35 employees and more than 200 active volunteers.
Chris has been actively involved in the Colorado Springs community serving on a number of nonprofit boards. Chris has also served as an adjunct faculty member for Regis University in its Global Leadership Program (Masters in Nonprofit Management).
Dan Mirer is a Senior Manager overseeing Program Governance and Controls at a Colorado Springs aerospace and semiconductor company. Dan has been very active in non-profit leadership roles, serving as a board member, treasurer, and president of his synagogue, and most recently as treasurer for Rocky Mountain Options for Long Term Care (RMOLTC).
Dan’s aptitude toward financial management and fundraising have served him well over the years in leadership roles. He is especially proud of the creation of a long-term sustainability fund that grew large enough to become its own separate foundation and 501(c)(3), of which he currently serves as Treasurer.
Dan has been in Colorado Springs since 2001, and enjoys time with his family, enjoying such activities as running, skiing, and theatre. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, a Master’s in Engineering Management, and a Project Management Professional Certification from PMI.
While he has known for many years about The Resource Exchange and the services it provides, his formal connection developed during the recent transition of RMOLTC services to TRE. He is excited about the opportunity to help this great organization continue to grow and provide the support to such a wonderful and special community!
She now lives in a host home where she enjoys sewing, knitting, and adult coloring. She has attended New Life Church and Springs Church since 1989. Heidi is an accomplished swimmer, competing in Special Olympics for many years, including the Special Olympics International World Games in Minnesota in 1991, where she won a Gold and Silver medal and two Bronze medals.
Heidi’s son was born in 1998, and she made the decision to give him up in an open adoption so he could have a better life and she is able to visit him often. A proud Mom, Heidi traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to see her son graduate from North Little Rock High School in May 2016.
Jordan Weimar is the Controller at Vanguard Skin Specialists in Colorado Springs, overseeing finances and budgeting. He also plays an active role in strategic planning and development. Prior to Vanguard, Jordan held a similar position at Community Health Partnership where he managed the administration departments of finance, human resources, payroll, information technology, and compliance. Jordan started his career as an auditor at BKD, focusing on healthcare non-profit organizations.
Jordan received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Colorado State University and master’s in business administration from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Jordan has been involved in many local non-profit efforts including most recently as a member of the BKD Foundation Committee.
Laurie Huisingh is a Certified Nursing Assistant and has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology from Western Washington University. Laurie was born and raised in the Seattle area and married an Army officer, which took them overseas and to different cities all over the country.
She and her husband now live in Colorado Springs with their three children and their youngest was diagnosed with Rett syndrome at 19 months old. Laurie coordinates the medical and therapeutic care of her daughter and has been active in fundraising and community projects through the Rett syndrome Research Association and the Rocky Mountain Rett syndrome Association.
Dave Paul has an extensive background in not only the mortgage profession, but also public service. He is the CEO of Town & Country Residential Lending and was also elected as Teller County Commissioner, serving in that role from 2011 to 2019. He is a Judicial Performance Commissioner on the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance and previously served on the Colorado Limited Gaming Impact Grant Advisory Committee. Dave graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and has been a member of Rotary International since 1999. He also enjoys being a member of the Denver Broncos Football Club, participating from the south stands at all home regular season and playoff games including Super Bowl 50.
Colleen Head Batchelor
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Colleen has worked in multiple-state systems, including Texas, New Jersey, and Colorado where her roles have included service provider, program administrator, state personnel development coordinator, and state procedural safeguards coordinator. She has also been Executive Director for Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, Resources for Young Children and Families, providing oversight and supervision of the implementation and delivery of early intervention services in El Paso County.
In addition to serving as Director of Child and Family Services at TRE, Colleen is also adjunct professor for University of Northern Colorado’s (UNC) Early Childhood Special Education Master’s Program. Colleen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Austin College and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas. She also graduated from the Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware and is an ACES Master Trainer.