CEO - Sage River Consulting Inc.
Susan Heinzeroth - Chair
As founder and CEO of SageRiver Consulting, Susan is responsible for guiding SageRiver’s growth and evolution. Over the last two decades, she and her company have become known for illuminating possibility and igniting change within organizations and communities. The firm has provided strategic consulting and organizational development services to more than 100 corporate, government and nonprofit clients, ranging from Fortune 100 to start-up companies. SageRiver’s core services include strategic planning and positioning, organizational design, leadership development, coaching and team building. In addition, Susan is a sought-after educator, trainer and facilitator. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the business schools of the University of Colorado at Denver, Denver University and University of Colorado at Boulder teaching 1) Strategy, 2) Leadership, and 3) Non-profit Development. She is also a faculty member and program facilitator for the Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN).
Susan rejoined The Blue Bench board in 2016 to serve as its chairwoman for a second time. During this term, Susan’s attention is directed toward formalizing and implementing Board Governance policies and practices that elevate the mission of the organization.
Area VP - Fortune Brands
Co-Founder, COO, CFO – Securisyn Medical
Elyse Blazevich - Vice Chair
Backed by a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Applied Business Management, Mrs. Blazevich co-founded Securisyn Medical, a development stage medical device company commercializing its first product, the SolidAIRity Airway Stabilization System. Since its inception in 2011, Mrs. Blazevich has successfully led the company from concept to market ready. Milestones achieved to date include onboarding and supervision of an accomplished management team and professional Advisory Board, product and manufacturing development and validation, acquisition of nearly $6.0 million of private capital, patent issuance, clinical trial development, investigational device exemption approval and 510(k) submission for market clearance.
Elyse joined The Blue Bench board in 2017 and serves on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. As a survivor who greatly benefited from the crisis intervention services provided to her by The Blue Bench, Elyse is delighted to contribute her talents, resources, and network to the organization’s mission of putting an end to sexual assault through prevention and care.
Regional Director - Global Prairie
A seasoned marketing executive, Lori has 20 years of experience driving growth for top-tier clients at global marketing agencies. She’s partnered with some of the biggest and best companies in the world, including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Bayer, to crystallize their brand and market positions and propel new levels of growth. She’s also worked with clients in the energy, retail, food, entertainment and health sectors, bringing her passion for brand development and consumer-driven marketing communications to bear for their businesses.
She currently leads Global Prairie’s Insight & Strategy practice, and is Regional Director of the Mountain/West region.
This is Lori’s second tenure on The Blue Bench board. During both terms, she has led our Marketing Committee’s efforts to raise awareness of The Blue Bench, grow our base of supporters, and ultimately increase the scope of our impact.
Right of Way Appraiser - CDOT
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications - University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Kirstan is a Right of Way Appraiser with the Colorado Department of Transportation. Previously, she has been a business owner, property manager, commercial and residential realtor with Location Innovators, LLC and CKM Properties, LLC. As a realtor, she developed and executed strategic plans to help her clients find space that reflects their culture and values. Kirstan has extensive expertise in many facets of real estate and before entering the industry in 2001, she worked in corporate public relations, marketing, event planning, advertising, management, accounting and mental health advocacy. Kirstan is a dedicated volunteer for many community organizations and is passionate about the intelligent and effective growth of Denver and surrounding communities. She is an elected board member of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association (LoDoNA) and also chairs the neighborhood association’s membership committee. She is an active member of several prominent organizations, such as The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, The Women’s Leadership Foundation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Alliance of Professional Women, and the Colorado chapter of the Urban Land Institute. As a member of The Blue Bench’s Board of Directors, Kirstan is grateful for the opportunity to serve and help eradicate sexual assault and sexual violence. Kirstan’s motivation is to change the absence of conversation about sexual assault and strategize for new ways to continue to educate all communities.
Recipe for Self-Care: Kirstan loves animals, traveling, golfing, reading, music and the mountains - hiking, biking, skiing/snowboarding.
Director, Key Accounts - IMCA
Suzie Byrnes is Key Account Director at the Investments & Wealth Institute where she builds and maintains strategic partnerships with financial services firms, in order to secure sponsorship support for the organization and provide advanced education to financial advisors. She has over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing in the financial services industry. Prior to her current position, she was Senior Sales Manager at SourceMedia, a B-to-B publishing and digital services firm, and Key Account Manager at the Financial Planning Association. She received a BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University and attended the University of Denver Publishing Institute.
Ms. Byrnes is passionate about The Blue Bench’s mission to eliminate sexual assault and diminish its impact on individuals and our community. She is proud to help raise awareness of the many services The Blue Bench provides survivors, as well as The Blue Bench’s prevention programs.
Partner & Portfolio Manager, Wealth Management - Denver Investments
Victoria Cunningham is a Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager in the Wealth Management group at Denver Investments, a Registered Investment Advisor. Prior to joining the firm in 2000, Ms. Cunningham was a Senior Portfolio Manager with Wells Fargo Private Asset Management for nine years, and worked for five years as a Portfolio Manager with United Asset Management Services. Ms. Cunningham received a BA from Colorado College. She is a member of CFA Institute and CFA Society Colorado.
Victoria joined the board of The Blue Bench in 2018. She has a keen interest in issues impacting women having served on the Investment Committee of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and travelling around the state presenting seminars empowering woman to realize their financial goals. At The Blue Bench, she aspires to be a meaningful voice in the ongoing cultural shift in attitudes and behavior towards sexual assault in this community.
Administrative Assistant III, Global Wealth & Investment Management - Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism - University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Rachel has worked at Merrill Lynch since 2008 where she wears many hats. One of her proudest achievements, however, is being part of Cherry Creek Has Heart -- an organization that was started by, and funded by, the employees in her office. They give their time, talent and treasure to small, lesser-known charities in the community where they can really make a difference.
In addition, Rachel has been a running coach with Revolution Running since 2004. There, she helps adults reach their running goals, whether it is a marathon or simply to live a healthier life. Her role as a coach is one of the most rewarding in her life.
She has also completed 10 marathons, (her favorite was the New York Marathon) and plans to run her 11th in 2018.
Recipe for Self-Care: Rachel loves running (of course!), yoga, traveling, reading, mountain biking, hiking and a good glass of wine.
Director of Community Outreach - Alpine Bank
A Colorado native, born and raised on the Western Slope, Jackie graduated from Colorado State University in 2011 with a degree in Restaurant and Resort Management and a minor in Business. She started her career in the hotel industry and transitioned to community outreach about two years ago.
As an active member of Alpine Bank’s Latino Services steering committee, Jackie connects diverse organizations with Alpine Bank resources to serve the Hispanic community.
She has held numerous professional and nonprofit board leadership positions across the Front Range with wonderful organizations including: The Blue Bench, Denver Center Alliance, Colorado Succeeds and Colorado Uplift.
Jackie lives in Parker, where she enjoys being outdoors, watching sports and most of all spending time with her husband Michael and their puppy.
Project Manager III - CoBiz Financial
Jennifer Lewis - Secretary
Investigative Reporter - 9 News
Chris Vanderveen is a twin, a father, and an investigative reporter at KUSA-TV in Denver. As a member of the station’s nationally recognized “9Wants to Know” team, his stories have prompted change on both a local and national level. Most recently, his two-year investigation looking into medical billing practices earned him the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award in 2018. Born in Swedish Hospital, Chris graduated from Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School in 1992 and the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996. Before joining KUSA-TV, Chris worked as a reporter in Casper, Wyoming, and Colorado Springs. His mother, father, twin brother and older brother all reside in the Denver metro area.
Chris joined the board of The Blue Bench in 2015. As the father of a young girl, Chris remains committed to changing the conversation on the subject of sexual assault. “It’s long past time for men to take a much more active role in ending the epidemic of sexual assault in this country,” says Chris.
Operations Manager - Gary Petroleum Partners
Jeff Villalobos - Treasurer
Jeff currently serves as Operations Manager for Gary Permian, LLC, a private equity backed oil and gas company located in Denver, CO. Jeff has over 17 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and has previously worked in various management and engineering roles for Encana Corporation, and prior to that Schlumberger Ltd. Mr. Villalobos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Jeff joined The Blue Bench Board in 2016 and currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee. Jeff and his family have been active supporters of The Blue Bench over several years, and in the ongoing mission of the organization.