Author: Boettcher Foundation

DENVER, January 1, 2017— As part of a transition plan announced in 2016, Katie Kramer has assumed the role of chief executive officer of the Boettcher Foundation. Tim Schultz will retain the title of president until his retirement in July of 2017. “This is a step in the ongoing leadership transition that the foundation trustees set in place over a year ago,” said Russ George, chairman of the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees. “Katie’s understanding of our foundation’s history, business structure, community relationships and her depth of experience makes her the perfect person to lead us into the future.” A Colorado native and Boettcher Scholar, Katie Kramer has spent almost 20 years in multiple roles at the Boettcher Foundation, including 15 years as vice president and assistant executive director. She has led nearly all of the foundation’s programming areas and played a key role both in directing the foundation’s day-to-day operations and establishing its long-term strategic vision. “I am very excited to guide the foundation as we build upon the legacy and impact that the Boettcher family had on Colorado,” said Katie Kramer. Kramer attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was a Presidents Leadership Scholar and honors graduate at the Leeds School of Business. In 2009, she completed her Executive MBA at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Kramer was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2016. She was also recognized as one of The Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2014. She has served as the board chair for the National Scholarship Providers Association and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...

DENVER, December 20, 2016 — The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $860,000 in capital grants to 13 nonprofit organizations in Colorado. The grants will help support projects that provide social services throughout the state. “The services that each of these organizations provide help to improve our communities right here at home,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. “From creating outdoor recreation programs for people with disabilities to providing services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, we’re happy to support organizations that are positively impacting our state and its diverse residents each day.” This year’s grant recipients in the Boettcher Foundation’s social services category are: Blue Sky Bridge Child and Family Advocacy Center – Boulder, $60,000: Toward renovation and expansion of the facility to allow for additional capacity Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center – Breckenridge, $40,000: Toward renovation and expansion of facility to increase programming capacity Centennial Mental Health Center – Fort Morgan, $125,000: Toward construction of a new facility in Fort Morgan to provide regional mental health services Chanda Plan Foundation – Lakewood, $75,000: Toward purchase and renovation of a new facility for centralized care Colorado Discover Ability – Grand Junction, $25,000: Toward construction of a new headquarters and programming facility Community Options – Montrose, $75,000: Toward construction of a comprehensive regional administrative and programing campus Denver Housing Authority – Denver, $125,000: Toward construction of the Sun Valley Multi-Use Business and Community Center, which will house nonprofits serving residents in the new mixed-income community Greccio Housing – Colorado Springs, $50,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of a facility for the Resident Resource & Opportunity Center Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley – Glenwood Springs, $50,000: Toward construction of a permanent location for the ReStore, which helps fund the organization’s operations Mile High Ministries – Denver, $35,000: Toward renovations at Joshua Station to expand its programming and administrative space Senior Resources Development Agency – Pueblo, $20,000: Toward renovation of programming space Special Kids Special Families – Colorado Springs, $30,000: Toward purchase and renovation of the facility which houses Zach’s Place Springs Rescue Mission – Colorado Springs, $150,000: Toward renovation and construction of facilities serving the homeless About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...

Andréa Benton Mestas, a 1989 Boettcher Scholar, has given back to her home community of Alamosa for more than two decades in various roles at Adams State University. Currently the Title V activities director, Andréa focuses on Hispanic student success by using her own story of overcoming challenges as a Hispanic scholar. Andréa was a first-generation college student who grew up in a very low-income area. In fact, the two counties where she has spent the majority of her life are among the two poorest in Colorado. The full-ride to any Colorado university was appealing, but it was more than just the financial incentive that motivated Andréa to apply for the Boettcher Scholarship. “I remember looking over the application and how it mentioned looking for students who were giving back to the community, or ‘paying it forward,’” recalls Andréa. “I liked that the Boettcher Foundation really wanted to encourage young people to help grow Colorado.” Receiving the Boettcher Scholarship expanded opportunities for Andréa and allowed her to attend the University of Northern Colorado—an opportunity she would not otherwise have had. Beyond that, it allowed her to be a “part of something bigger.” “I honestly feel a swell of pride when I walk into the history museum and see a Boettcher Foundation plaque, or meet another scholar,” she said. Andréa was motivated to move forward and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mathematics, despite numerous challenges, including having her son during her junior year of college. She soon returned to the San Luis Valley, where she was hired in the computing services department at Adams State University. Happy to have returned home, to be giving back to her community and to be close to her family, Andréa continued moving up at Adams State. She was soon hired as the Institutional Research Director, and was encouraged by the provost to enroll in the higher education administration and leadership master’s degree program. Andréa graduated with her master’s in 2012, again at the top of her class with a 4.0. “I loved that I was modeling how great it is to continue your education for my daughter,” Andréa said. “I started my master’s as she was finishing her senior year in high school.” Andréa realized that she loved teaching and developing curriculum, and she also loved serving Hispanic students, which led her to her current role in equity work and working with Adams State’s Title V grant. After attending a cultural workshop at the Hilos Institute, which teaches leadership skills to Hispanic communities, Andréa and some of her colleagues decided to pool their resources and bring that same type of curriculum to their students. Together they developed the curriculum and received grant funding to start teaching students. The course was incredibly successful, but soon the grant funding had run out. Around that time, Andréa happened to be at a Boettcher Foundation event where she connected with Kenzo Kawanabe, a 1990 Boettcher Scholar, a Boettcher Foundation Trustee and a fellow Alamosa native. Interested in giving back to his home community too, Kenzo provided the matching funds, which enabled Adams State to secure a National Heritage Area Grant and allowed the course to continue. Not only is this impacting students on a daily basis, but it has raised awareness statewide about the cultural richness in the valley. “I have a passion for education and for being able to help people out through a career in public service,” Andréa explained.      ...

Matt Iritani has always wanted to be a dentist. In fact, before he could sign his own name, Matt used crayons to draw a picture of himself as a dentist—a picture that he has kept all these years as a reminder of his lifelong goal. A 2011 Boettcher Scholar, Matt attended Cherry Creek High School, just blocks from his parents’ dental practice. “People often don’t like going to the dentist, but they loved my parents,” recalls Matt. His parents valued being involved in the community where they practiced and getting to know their patients beyond the dentist’s chair. “Still, my parents go to patients’ swim meets, softball games, my mom even has patients fly in from Alaska to see her,” said Matt. “I like the idea of developing relationships with my own patients and being able to volunteer and be involved in the community the way my parents have.” Currently, Matt is in dental school at the University of Colorado Denver, where his dad teaches in the program. “One of the coolest aspects of dental school is actually getting to talk with my parents about the profession,” Matt said. Being able to talk to his dad, share techniques and talk about advances in dentistry is one of Matt’s favorite parts of his chosen path. With each semester of dental school that passes, despite challenging classes, he is reassured that this is the right profession for him. “I get this feeling that this is where I am supposed to be and this is what I am supposed to do,” said Matt. “It is a little surreal, kind of like a Hollywood movie.” After Matt earns his dental degree, he plans to continue his studies in an orthodontics residency, and to eventually open his own practice in Colorado, likely close to where he grew up. But in the meantime, when he is not mounting stone models of mouths, Matt volunteers at a student-run medical clinic in Aurora, as well as Children’s Hospital. He’s also active in the Japanese-American community, and on the UCD campus, where he values giving back. “I am an upperclassman, and it's now my turn to pass on some of what I've learned,” Matt said. “The Boettcher Foundation obviously provides us with a lot of opportunities [as scholars], and I am finally beginning to feel like I am in the position to pay it forward.” Matt makes sure to share both his time as a volunteer, as well as his ever-positive attitude. Perhaps that’s why his friends, fellow classmates and even his professors have nicknamed him “Smiley.” Even during the most difficult weeks of school, Matt never loses his smile, and aims to help brighten other people’s day. “You might have a really tough day, the procedure is not working out the way you want it to or a professor might be chewing you out, but don't get down on yourself,” Matt likes to remind his friends. “We all have those days.”  ...

By Jose Martinez III  Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board  Someone once told me that gratitude means nothing if we do not take the time to express it. With this sentiment, we on the alumni board would like to take a moment to say thank you to two very important groups of people. With the first group, our gratitude comes with an additional farewell as these individuals will not be returning to the alumni board this coming year.  These individuals have all served alongside us with grace and determination, and we are forever grateful for their contributions and their friendships. We wish them nothing but the best as they continue their personal and professional journeys, and we feel honored to have them be a part of our network of Boettcher Alumni. Thank you, Alex Ruehle, Kara Penn, Randy Clark, Kay Stafford and Blanca Trejo. With our second group, our gratitude comes with an additional welcome as these individuals have elected to join our 2017 Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. We are ecstatic to work with these incredible individuals, and we want to say thank you ahead of time for your passion and energy which will help propel this board forward even further. Without further ado, please welcome our newest members. Alex Gordon, 1997, University of Denver; chief operating officer and chief compliance officer at Syntrinsic Bob Yandrofski, 1982, Colorado School of Mines; president of development and chairman of Fundamental Artists Carly Stafford, 2012, Colorado College; admissions counselor at Colorado College Emily Wolverton (2013 Scholar, DU) -- current scholar representative Jennifer Meyers, 1991, University of Denver; CFO and senior vice president of Westerra Credit Union Tony Navarro, 1989, University of Colorado Boulder; judge, Colorado Court of Appeals This board could not exist without the efforts of all of our members, and the staff at the Boettcher Foundation. We wish to extend one final thank you to all of our members and to all of the Boettcher alumni out there. Each and every day, you do incredible things that make our organization and network stronger and stronger....

By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives From Little League to the Olympics, we all recognize the value of having a coach in sports. But we may not think about how valuable a coach can be in our daily lives, in helping us understand our values, in achieving our goals and in supporting us through our leadership development. And yet this type of coaching is an immensely successful method of integrating new skills and behaviors in adults – skills and behaviors that they themselves choose to develop. For that reason, Boettcher Foundation has decided to invest in coaching for the Boettcher community. We’ve supported a group of scholar alumni through professional coach training who can now give back to Boettcher Scholars via confidential coaching. Coaching has been proven to be one of the most effective means of solidifying growth and leadership development. In fact, companies around the world such as GE, Goldman Sachs and Google regularly invest in coaching for their employees due to its significant power in helping them clarify their goals and produce results. A recent Forbes article showed that the return on investment for coaching is seven times the initial investment. Personally, I’ve had the opportunity to become a certified professional coach as part of the Boettcher Foundation’s coaching corps. As a coach, I love to hold the ground and create the space for others to grow in their power. My coaching focuses on leadership development and enhancing existing strengths and passions. It's a focused relationship designed to serve the coachee and for them to get more of what they want, accomplish their goals and make the most positive impact on the world. I love coaching because it's empowering. It encourages continuous stretching and breaking down barriers that the coachee previously didn't see or didn't think were possible to overcome. As one of my fellow coaching corps members, Kara Penn says, "Coaching is dynamic, collaborative and engages one’s whole life—not just work or school. How refreshing and empowering not to be siloed into one area of our lives!" I've had my own coach for years, and what I love about her is that she helps me to really get clear on what I think and feel, as well as what I want to do and—more  importantly—who I want to be in the world. She calls me forth to be the best version of myself. So, what exactly is coaching? Coaching is not about misplaced optimism. It is about heightening your awareness of habitual behaviors and thoughts so you can bolster those that serve you and manage those that don't. It's about focusing on self-awareness and realizing that you control your thoughts and attitude. Coaching is also not an endless to do list. It’s an opportunity to make the most of what you’re already doing. The coach doesn't give advice or pass judgment, he or she asks powerful questions to help spur your own thinking as you clarify your most resonant desires and values. Coaching is an act of self-compassion, as it gives you focused time to reflect with someone who has no agenda for you, no stake in what you do or do not do. It is a space that is free of criticism, where you can rediscover your own passions and values. Topics for individual sessions can be anything. I've coached people around transitions such as starting a degree program or looking to change careers, the illness or death of a loved one, roommate issues, not knowing what they want to do with their lives, diffusing self-limiting beliefs, wanting more fun and recreation and all kinds of other things. Whatever the reason people have come to coaching, and whatever the individual topics are, the feedback we’ve received has been extremely positive. Being a small part of that kind of transformation is incredibly fulfilling, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to extend this resource to scholars. If you'd like to learn more or are interested in confidential coaching by a Boettcher Scholar who is a member of our coaching corps, email Marisa@boettcherfoundation.org.  ...

The following individuals were selected as Boettcher Investigators for 2016. For detailed profiles of their research, click on their names. Colorado State University  Rushika Perera, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of RNA Virology – Exploiting vulnerabilities in mosquito metabolism for prevention of human arboviral transmission Timothy J. Stasevich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Imaging cancer epigenetics in living cells   National Jewish Health  James L. Crooks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics – Wildfire smoke and pediatric asthma   University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus  Wen-Yuan Elena Hsieh, M.D., Assistant Professor of Immunology & Microbiology and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology –Immune dysregulation in pediatric SLE pathogenesis Ethan G. Hughes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology – Intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms regulating cortical remyelination Bernard L. Jones, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Physics – Achieving safe and effective dose escalation in pancreatic SBRT through tumor tracking and robust treatment planning Cristin Welle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Bioengineering – Development of high-density neural sensors for bioelectronics therapeutics Hongjin Zheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics – Mechanical studies of disease-related substrates entering mitochondria via protein import machinery TOM-TIM   University of Colorado Boulder  Sabrina Spencer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry – Elucidating the causes and consequences of slow-cycling cells within isogenic population   University of Denver Schuyler van Engelenburg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Biological Sciences – Site-specific targeting of engineered retroviruses to the Interleukin 2 Receptor locus for correction of genetic immunodeficiency ...

2010 Scholar Devon Tivona was recently featured in the New York Times, the Pana blog and in the Real Leaders podcast.  By Paul Ballas  Pana The three-person co-founding team is phenomenal, and I’m particularly grateful to work with our co-founder and CEO, Devon Tivona. This week, Devon was featured in the Real Leaders Podcast (on Soundcloud, iTunes and wherever podcasts are found), and it’s a great chance to hear the backstory for the company and our CEO. For example, you may not know that the company originally had nothing to do with travel. Devon is just 24, and he is a rare mix of tech and EQ, getting energy from making human connections as well solving complex technical problems. These qualities permeate our app. Devon’s combination of talents also has garnered for him and Pana real loyalty among investors and advisors. He recognizes the value of this circle: “In order for a concept to be successful, you have to have this inner circle of people who are obsessed with your product.”    ...

Though you may have never seen Dee Bradley Baker, a 1981 Boettcher Scholar from Greeley, you’ve likely heard his voice. As a voice actor, Dee has brought literally thousands of characters to life, including animals in Disney’s latest The Jungle Book, Perch Perkins in Spongebob Squarepants, Klaus the German fish in American Dad, Fish in the Boxtrolls and even Daffy Duck and Tasmanian Devil in the 1996 movie Space Jam. Dee’s voice acting career has now spanned three decades, but as a Boettcher Scholar at Colorado College, he never planned on being an actor. In June, Dee visited the Boettcher Foundation office, where he talked about the impact of receiving the Boettcher Scholarship. He also treated the staff to a variety of his most famous character voices and entertaining sound effects. (Check out the video below for Dee's voice acting tips and creature noises that actually scared our office neighbors). “The reason I can do what I do now is from the education that I was allowed,” said Dee. “I always liked animals, monsters, biology and arts. I’m a liberal arts poster child.” Attending college as a Boettcher Scholar, Dee was able to take classes in a variety of areas and explore all of his passions. His majors reflected his top interests: philosophy, biology and German. Now, he’s able to apply all of those degrees daily in his career. His knowledge of biology gives him insight into how non-humans communicate, and his German shines through in Klaus, a character that was originally intended to be French until Dee auditioned as German. “Happily with a Boettcher scholarship I emerged into the real world debt-free, which allowed me to not freak out, and not enter the world with a sense of fearfulness or dread like many students unfortunately do,” said Dee. After college, Dee began doing musical theater and singing telegrams in Colorado Springs. He also did amateur stand-up, finding inspiration in Monty Python and Steve Martin. He discovered his comedic niche in making “weird sounds.” “I had no acting goals and didn’t think about it as a career. I just liked it,” said Dee, slipping into his best Beetlejuice voice. A few years later, Dee performed in Disney World Shows, including Beetlejuice, and finally made his way to L.A. to perform in his first show, Legends of the Hidden Temple, an action-adventure game show for children on Nickelodeon. From there, he continued honing his craft, becoming a go-to-guy for character voices in movies, animated shows and even video games. Though he has tried on-screen acting, Dee has always preferred voice-acting, which he thinks is in-part due to his Colorado roots. “Voice acting has more anonymity and fewer liabilities. As an actor, you can end up with a somewhat insane life,” explained Dee, “And that’s what I like about coming back to Colorado. It’s nice to reset yourself to your roots and your ‘normal.’” Dee appreciates the focus on community, quality of life, rationality and sense of health that is present in Colorado. “Plus, it feels like home to me,” said Dee, even though he’s now lived in L.A. for half of his life. While in Colorado, Dee also has the opportunity to spend time with his family and practice his hobbies—insect and flower photography, learning to play bass so that he can combine 70’s funk with the music of Bach and his most recent pursuit of studying American history to better understand the current political climate. “I love taking pictures of bugs and flowers. I am amateur but I love the feeling that I am walking past a poem,” Dee said while buzzing like a bee. During his time in Hollywood, Dee has seen many actors give-in to Hollywood pressures, which is why he operates a free informational website where he shares his experience and tips for young people interested in voice acting. “You don’t solve your life by gaining fame or money. Ultimately it’s what you stand for and how you treat people.” Dee said. And for Boettcher Scholars, his advice is to take risks and to trust yourself. “The Boettcher Foundation gave me the gift of freedom of mind space. I was able to graduate college with those tools to try things and to not be afraid of failure. I always say: Find your career at an intersection of what you love and what you’re good at (so good that people will actually pay you money to do it). You may not yet know what that is and finding it may take years of trial and error. Trust yourself. I was an amateur actor until my late 20s.” ...

The vote of confidence inherent in being named a Boettcher Scholar allowed Tracy Wahl to feed her curiosity, search for her “inner spark” and eventually find her place as executive producer for editorial franchises at NPR. Tracy, a 1986 Boettcher Scholar, has worked at NPR in Washington, D.C. for twenty years, but still feels a strong connection to her Colorado roots. “My job is incredible, but my heart will always be in Colorado,” said Tracy. The daughter of a federal hydrologist, Tracy spent much of her childhood moving around the country, but her parents always wanted to settle in Colorado to be close to Tracy’s grandparents. By the time she entered high school, Tracy’s family permanently relocated to Arvada. From there, Tracy attended the University of Colorado and majored in communication, forming a tight network with her fellow Boettcher Scholars. “When I was at CU, Boettcher Scholars seemed to gravitate toward each other,” said Tracy. “When I met someone who was a Boettcher Scholar, I knew there was something special about them. I knew we’d share a common bond—openness and curiosity.” Tracy’s unique view of the world and desire to explore prompted her to move to Tokyo—without a job—after graduating college. She attributes part of that fearlessness to the confidence that came from being named a scholar as an eighteen-year-old. While in Japan, Tracy helped to open a library that catered to local English teachers. She contributed to the procurement of books and partnerships, and to designing the store, which later turned into a multi-million dollar company. When she returned to the U.S. to attend graduate school, Tracy volunteered at a radio station and learned to cut tape. “At the time, that was the type of skill you needed to get in the door at media companies,” Tracy remembered. It was because of that skill that NPR hired Tracy as a temp. She worked the overnight edition—a shift that had less-than-glamorous hours. Soon after, she began working for the Morning Edition. While her then-boss was receiving chemotherapy treatments, Tracy acted as interim executive producer. “I was definitely punching above my weight, but I knew I needed to keep the show going at the highest-quality and give my boss time to recover,” Tracy said. As a result of her hard work and ability to handle stress, Tracy was later hired as the permanent executive producer of the Morning Edition. In her current role, Tracy supports the various public radio member stations across the country by helping to connect them both with their local and national communities. Just like in college, Tracy is ever-motivated by curiosity—a value she tries to infuse into her work at NPR every day. Similarly, she encourages others to pursue opportunities that “light your inner spark.” In her spare time, Tracy enjoys researching outlets for storytelling. Her favorites: Instagram and Netflix. “Part of my job is to see how storytelling is done on different platforms,” Tracy said. She especially enjoys social photography and the value of a community of people who come together to share their passion in a creative way. Even from outside Colorado, Tracy feels tied to her Boettcher community. “I still love forming relationships with scholars and I think we can all have an increased impact on our world if we’re connected,” she said. Currently, Tracy helps the Boettcher community build these relationships by serving on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board....