Karmen Carter is the Executive Director of The Blue Bench. Karmen brings with her a deeply-held passion for The Blue Bench’s mission and over 25-years of experience in building strong teams, fostering strong relationships and providing sound fiscal management. Prior to 2011, Karmen served as Executive Director of Judi’s House, Director of Programs for the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center and most notably, previous Executive Director of the Rape Assistance & Awareness Program for almost eight years.. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the Denver Sexual Assault Interagency Council and many other work related task forces, she is a volunteer in a lot of community efforts. Karmen currently serves on the Board of Directors of Reach Out and Read Colorado.
Director of Finance & Operations
Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communications - University of Miami, Miami, FL
Olivia leads all marketing & communications efforts at The Blue Bench including content development, website design and management, social media, digital engagement, community outreach and media. She also oversees and plans all special events throughout the year including the annual The Blue Bench Thing, Heart of the Matter Golf Tournament, Changing the Conversation Luncheon and other initiatives and campaigns throughout the year.
Previously, she worked for Denver-based public relations firm GBSM as a communications consultant specializing in corporate communications, crisis planning, digital engagement and public involvement. In this role, she helped public and private sector clients communicate complex and often controversial issues, developed positioning and messaging documents, online and offline materials, and strategies/plans for stakeholder engagement, crisis management and more. She also managed day-to-day efforts to engage stakeholders ranging from elected officials and corporate investors to grassroots leaders and employees.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Olivia enjoys practicing special FX makeup, cooking, traveling and writing.
Alberta Perez is the Administrative Assistant of The Blue Bench and is responsible for greeting clients and general office operations. Alberta brings more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit administration. Prior to joining the team at The Blue Bench, she was the Clinic Administrative Clerk at Denver Health Medical Dental Clinic. Alberta holds three associate degrees in Business/Administration.
Recipe for Self-Care: When away from the office, Alberta enjoys cooking, baking, crafts and spending time with her grandchild and family.
Director of Client Services
Jacquie Aamodt, LSCW
Education: Masters of Social Work - Columbia University, New York, NY
Jacquelyn Aamodt, LSCW, is the Director of Client Services at The Blue Bench. At The Blue Bench, Jacquie oversee client services, including individual and group therapy, the 24-hour sexual assault hotline, and case-management and advocacy services. Her philosophy in working with survivors of sexual assault is strengths-based, client-centered, trauma-informed and one that considers the whole person. She is inspired by the strength, resiliency and beauty of the human spirit and believes it is important to “trust the wisdom of the heart”. Jacquie came to The Blue Bench with over 15 years of experience in the Mental Health and Human Services field. Originally from NYC, Jacquie re-located to Denver in 2007, where she worked for 4 years as the Director of Residential Programs at Denver Children’s Home. It was through this experience that she had the opportunity to receive intensive training in the Neuro-Sequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), and had the opportunity to learn and implement specific trauma-focused interventions based on brain development.
Recipe for Self-Care: When not at The Blue Bench, Jacquie enjoys outdoor activities, cooking and reading as well as spending time with friends and family.
Masters of Science in Social Work - Columbia University, New York, NY
Masters of Public Administration - Columbia University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN
Robin is the Cross-Cultural Therapist at The Blue Bench where she provides individual and group therapy to survivors of sexual violence at the central office and conducts outreach in the Denver area with a particular emphasis on engaging marginalized or underserved communities.
Prior to working with The Blue Bench, she worked in human capital consulting in Washington D.C. She also spent a year in Quito, Ecuador teaching English and has diverse experience working with women in the developing world including Central America, South America, and Africa. Robin has also done extensive research on services to LGBTI youth with Covenant House in Nicaragua and has provided services for kids and families in community mental health, in-home and outpatient capacities. Robin's additional experience spans issues from domestic violence to HIV to homelessness and substance abuse.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Robin likes cooking, spending time outside and connecting with friends
Post-Conviction Victim Advocate
Master of Arts in Psychology/Counseling: Licensed Professional Counselor; Certified Addiction Counselor Level II.
Debra is the Post-Conviction Victim Advocate at The Blue Bench where she provides support and advocacy for victims of sexual assault whose offender is on probation and participating in sex offense-specific treatment.
With more than 25 years of experience working with victims of domestic and sexual violence, Debra has trained probation officers, parole officers, and other professional stakeholders nationally on the ‘Comprehensive Approach to Sex Offender Management', co-facilitated group therapy for men who had committed sexual offenses, and worked as a therapist providing sex offense-specific treatment.
Prior to joining The Blue Bench she also spent 11 years on the Sex Offender Management Board as a contractor and an employee and worked for the Colorado Department of Corrections as a Victim Liaison for the Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program. She also served as the Clinical Director of a treatment agency that served adult men and women who had committed sexual offenses.
Recipe for Self-Care:
In her free time, Debra enjoys being outdoors, riding horses, playing with her chickens, watching a good movie and spending time with friends and family.
Bilingual Case Manager
Education: Mental health degree - McLennan College, Waco, TX
Herminia Martinez is the Bilingual Case Manager at The Blue Bench. She is responsible for working with The Blue Bench’s monolingual Spanish-speaking clients; coordinating each client with appropriate community services and resources. Herminia meets survivors of sexual assault at the hospital, police departments and court appointments to provide advocacy, emotional support, community resources, and to inform them of The Blue Bench’s services. She is also the primary contact for The Blue Bench’s 24-hour “Linea de Crisis” (Spanish-speaking) hotline. Herminia also conducts outreach to Spanish-speaking agencies and community members and organizations.
Recipe for Self-Care: When not at work, Herminia enjoys spending valuable time with her family, pets, traveling to Texas, and volunteering at her local church.
Therapist & Intake Coordinator
Masters of Social Work - Simmons College, Boston, MA
Bachelor of Science in Psychology - University of Denver, Denver, CO
Jenna Lee Mathews, MSW, is the Intake Therapist at The Blue Bench where she provides intake, individual and group therapy services for survivors of sexual assault. She also recently completed Level I Training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Jenna’s past experience has included individual and group counseling with college students and in hospital settings, as well as community partnership development in higher education. In addition to her clinical work, Jenna is also passionate about research, and has been involved in various projects that consider the impact of trauma on individuals and communities.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Jenna enjoys traveling, good food, and being in the sun, preferably with family, friends, and her puppy.
Southeast Office Therapist
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Kimberly is the Southeast Office Therapist. Prior to joining The Blue Bench, she was an intern and later a staff therapist at a Chicago-based community mental health agency where she worked with children, teens, families, and adults, many of whom are survivors of trauma. She has provided group therapy as part of a research project for at-risk teens in Chicago’s public school system as well as individual therapy in a school-based setting. She also completed an internship as a case manager with the Division of Children and Family Services in Kirksville, MO where she provided support to children and families in the foster care system.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Kim loves reading, hiking, exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to comedy podcasts, trying to befriend other peoples’ dogs, spending time outside, and exploring Colorado.
Bachelor of Arts -Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Ariane is the Volunteer Coordinator at The Blue Bench where she oversees 100+ volunteers, staffs our 24-hr crisis hotline and 24-hr hospital advocacy response, as well as coordinates volunteers for events and office assistance. Ariane also trains incoming volunteers by planning and facilitating a 40-hr crisis intervention training program. Prior to joining The Blue Bench, she spent six months volunteering on our hotline as well as a semester interning in our Prevention & Education department. Ariane also worked as a Youth Treatment Counselor at Shiloh House where she provided trauma informed care and crisis intervention for women ages 8-18 who had survived severe trauma and/or abuse. She also worked for the Berkshire Outdoor Center as a facilitator, working with groups on leadership, teambuilding, boundaries, and communication.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Ariane likes to garden, drink tea, sleep in nature and make things with her hands. She's also on a commendable journey to visit all of the hot springs in Colorado.
North Office Therapist
Masters in Counseling Psychology- University of Denver, CO
Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Colorado State University, CO
Carley is the North Office Therapist where she provides trauma-focused therapy for individuals and groups. A former intern at The Blue Bench, Carley rejoins the team with strong agency knowledge and particular skill in psychoeducation about sexual assault for secondary survivors.
Prior to working with The Blue Bench, she worked at Salvation Army Harbor Light where she provided individual and group addiction counseling for men in a relapse prevention program and case management to veterans regarding housing, budgeting and greater self determination. She also taught life skills and mindfulness classes and was instrumental in designing and implementing the curriculum. Carley has also worked as Clinical Intern at The Gender Identity Center of Colorado, providing services for individuals questioning or transitioning their gender identity and as a Crisis Line Volunteer at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence where she provided support and safety planning to individuals experiencing domestic violence. In this role, she also performed intake evaluations and screenings for individuals coming into the shelter.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Carley loves hiking, yoga, swimming, working out, playing with her Australian Shepherd, watching movies, camping, skiing, weekend trips around Colorado, and spending time with her friends and sister.
Prevention & Education
Director of Prevention & Education
Education: Masters in Gender and Women's Studies - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Susie joined The Blue Bench team as the Director of Prevention and Education in 2014. She is responsible for expanding scientifically-supported approaches to prevention and education through community collaboration and effective communication strategies. She brings with her 13 years of experience in non-profit programming and workshop facilitation in the fields of sexual violence and mental health.
Prior to her current position, Susie served as the director of programs at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) where she translated her passion for program development and evaluation into high impact public education and support resources for individuals and families affected. She has extensive experience as a campus sexual violence prevention workshop facilitator through the Sexual Assault Support Center in Vancouver, B.C. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Recipe for Self-Care: When not working, Susie is off picking up new hobbies and enjoying the mountains with friends and family.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Religious Studies - The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Caroline is the Prevention Coordinator at The Blue Bench. In this role, she coordinates program logistics, working closely with schools and community groups to schedule The Blue Bench’s “Pathway to Prevention” programs and developing relationships with community partners. She also works in curriculum development and data collection, gathering data to assess program outcomes and areas for growth. She continues to facilitate Prevention workshops, with a particular penchant for the middle school curriculum.
Previously, Caroline was a Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. in Philadelphia, PA and locally, working with a variety of national non-profits to raise funds and community awareness. She first began working at The Blue Bench in the canvass department and returned as a Prevention Specialist in October, 2014. Since then Caroline has taken on numerous roles within the organization including Prevention Specialist and Development Assistant.
Recipe for Self-Care:
Caroline enjoys singing with Safonia, a local women's choir and running.
Canvass Office Manager
Libby is a Field Manager for a team of community organizers spreading awareness of sexual assault in the Denver area. Prior to field managing, Libby was an organizer for a network of non-profit organizations for a year and a half. She relocated from Nebraska for this position, and has the utmost pride in her staff and the change they create in the community.
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropologys - University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Sarah runs the Canvass Department for The Blue Bench where she manages a diverse staff who perform year round community outreach to ensure survivors have access to the crisis hotline and counselling programs. Her team engages public support for these programs through organizing financial contributions and recruiting volunteers.
Prior to joining The Blue Bench, Sarah did community organizing around environmental issues, including educating the public about water and air quality legislation. She has also been involved in extensive outreach and education around LGBTQ identities and experiences with the Peers for Pride Program. After five years of direct organizing and outreach Sarah is happy to be at The Blue Bench working to change the conversation around sexual violence one person at a time.
Recipe for Self-Care: Coming Soon