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Staff

Shepard Nevel

President & CEO

Shepard Nevel is the president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. In this role, he leads the statewide nonprofit organization in its efforts to reduce and prevent obesity through policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that advance healthy eating and active living. Through partnerships with the private sector, more than 90 school districts, 39 cities and towns, and 23 locally-based coalitions, LiveWell Colorado’s innovative model reaches more than one million Coloradans in ongoing and meaningful ways in support of making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.

Shepard is the former vice president of policy, evaluation and communications for the Colorado Health Foundation, the state’s largest philanthropic organization and the third largest health-focused foundation in the country. He joined the Colorado Health Foundation in 2007 as the vice president of operations.

Prior to that position, Shepard was president and CEO of Jovian P4 LLC, an education-focused private foundation and technology-focused nonprofit established by entrepreneur (and now Congressman) Jared Polis. Shepard has served as director of policy for Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, and as executive director of the Denver Workforce Region, leading six workforce centers throughout Denver that directly supported more than 90,000 adults and youth annually and several hundred employers annually.

Shepard serves on the board of directors of Healthier Colorado, the advisory board of Regis University Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, and is co-chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Health Care Committee. He is past chair of Colorado Bright Beginnings (now Bright by Three) board of directors and past board chair of KIPP Colorado Schools.

Shepard is a former assistant county attorney in Miami-Dade County, where he served as counsel to the Public Health Trust and the Port of Miami, and state legislative liaison for Miami-Dade County.

Shepard holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University and a law degree from Columbia Law School.

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Gabriel Guillaume

Executive Vice President of Local Initiatives and Strategy

Since joining LiveWell Colorado as the vice president of community investments, Gabriel has also served as the interim CEO from October 2013 to August 2014 and became the executive vice president of local initiatives and strategy in October 2014. In this role, he supports the operationalization, integration and evolution of LiveWell Colorado’s programming while maintaining relationships with the organization’s primary funders and serving as a liaison to current and prospective partners. He also supports the implementation, tracking and evaluation of our strategic plan, initiatives and programming and works with the CEO to ensure the board of directors’ awareness of and involvement in this work.

For the past 15 years, Gabriel has worked with nonprofits, community groups, government agencies and the private sector around critical social issues such as affordable housing, health and economic equity through community development, leadership development and advocacy methods. He has a passion for multi-sector collaborative approaches to profound systemic problems and is committed to building the capacity of community members to advocate for, lead and mobilize resources as a means to effectively pursuing economic and health equity.

Gabriel received a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regis University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado. He believes strongly in the power of playing—for both children and adults—and enjoys biking and a good game of soccer.

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Sarah Kurz

Vice President of Policy & Communications

In her role as the vice president of policy and communications, Sarah leads the advocacy, policy, marketing and communications functions to inspire and support stakeholders and decision-makers to advance federal, state and local policies that increase healthy eating and active living.

Prior to joining LiveWell, Sarah served as director of strategic marketing for the City and County of Denver where she was a senior staff member in Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s administration. She also worked at SE2 for eight years, where she provided strategic communications consulting, planning and execution services as well as public policy guidance to a diverse group of for-profit, government and private-sector clients.

Sarah is a Denver native, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and was a member of the 2008 Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Impact Denver class. She also serves as a board member for The New America School and as a mayoral-appointed commissioner for the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs.

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Heidi Messer

Vice President of Finance & Administration

As the vice president of finance and administration, Heidi is responsible for the day to day accounting operations, as well as investment and financial analysis, cash flow forecasting and human resource/benefits management. She also leads the budgeting process and oversees annual audits, reporting requirements and risk/liability controls. As member of the senior leadership team, she helps to create and maintain a values-based, high performing culture and provides advice and counsel on all financial and operational strategies.

Heidi came to LiveWell Colorado with more than a decade of extensive nonprofit accounting experience in a wide variety of organizations. She began her career installing a computerized accounting system for a nonprofit organization in Africa and, prior to joining LiveWell Colorado, worked as a contract accountant in the Denver Metro area, managing the accounting functions for a diverse group of nonprofit and for profit organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Regis University.

Outside of work, Heidi enjoys judging high school gymnastics and is currently serving as a member of the National Rules Committee for High School Gymnastics. She also enjoys biking around the Denver area and on the trails near Breckenridge. Heidi has three children, the youngest of whom just graduated from high school, and lives in the Denver area with her husband, Jeff.

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Julie George

Director, HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign

In Julie’s role as the director of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, she works closely with municipal officials to help municipalities adopt policies that will improve access to healthy eating and active living (HEAL) in their communities..

Prior to joining LiveWell Colorado, Julie was the director of government relations for the Colorado Association of Schools Boards (CASB), working with school boards and superintendents to ensure their voices were heard and understood by the Colorado General Assembly. She was also the lead on school health and wellness issues. Before CASB, Julie was the government relations coordinator for the City of Aurora, Colo., where she developed a thorough understanding of municipal governments and forged a strong relationship with the Colorado Municipal League.

Julie holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University. She is an avid runner, somewhat regular cyclist and occasional swimmer, having officially retired her cap and goggles after swimming competitively for four years in college.

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Taylor Gonda

Executive Assistant to the CEO & Special Projects Manager

In her role role as the executive assistant to the CEO and special projects manager, Taylor provides administrative support to the CEO and executive team, establishes and ensures compliance with operating processes to meet organizational goals, provides communications support, coordinates special events logistics and acts as a liaison to the board of directors.

Taylor previously served as event coordinator and director of the rental department at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Prior to that she worked as a production manager, director, producer and designer at Paragon Theatre, where she helped produce 14 critically acclaimed plays in six years. Taylor has also managed the front office at Three Tomatoes Catering in Denver and Risk Engineering in Boulder, and worked as a delicatessen shop assistant in London, England.

Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from the University of Northern Colorado. She is active in the Denver theater and comedy scenes, and even produces and co-hosts an award-winning podcast called “These Things Matter.” In her free time you might find her at home re-watching Mad Men episodes, at the library, or reading and sipping on a Manhattan at her favorite bar.

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Olga Gonzalez

Director of Community Engagement

In her role as director of community engagement, Olga works to advance LiveWell’s Community Partnerships program and provides direct technical assistance to the 20-plus LiveWell Communities seeking to increase access to healthy eating and physical activity throughout the state. Olga is a firm believer in servant leadership and is passionate about supporting the good work of LiveWell’s community partners across Colorado.

Prior to joining LiveWell, Olga was a consultant, facilitator, and trainer for the State of Colorado and for several local nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities. She also has extensive experience in building organizational cultural competency, grassroots leadership, community organizing, and addressing health disparities in under-represented communities. As an appointed member of the Colorado Governor’s Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles, Olga is part of a cross-sector, statewide team that supports and promotes events and programs that encourage an active lifestyle.

Olga holds a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and Chicano studies from Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University as a Colorado Trust Fellow. When not at LiveWell, she can be found teaching Zumba classes, chauffeuring her three daughters to various activities, or participating in retail therapy.

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Leslie Levine

Technical Assistance & Research Manager

Leslie Levine began working for LiveWell Colorado when the organization was a program housed in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Now, as a technical assistance and research manager, she supports effective programs, strategies and partnerships working toward obesity prevention efforts in Colorado. Leslie is LiveWell Colorado’s go-to internal and external TA and research resource around obesity prevention efforts and related fields.

Leslie’s public health career began at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Injury Prevention Program and the Georgia Department of Health’s Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program. Prior to working with LiveWell Colorado, she served as a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, educating state legislators and their staff about policies and research-based best practices to prevent chronic disease and promote access to healthy food and active community environments.

Leslie holds a master’s degree in public health from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree in community health education from the University of Maryland. Though she misses the beaches of her native Virginia, Leslie enjoys biking and running in beautiful Colorado.

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Terri Livermore

Director of Community Partnerships

As director of community partnerships, Terri works with the 20-plus LiveWell Communities and other statewide partners to advance LiveWell’s Community Partnerships program, including connecting LiveWell’s statewide policy initiatives and programs with the activities and efforts of local communities.

Prior to joining LiveWell, Terri worked at the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice developing and managing a statewide program to create locally coordinated community responses to sexual assault, increase local capacity regarding the provision of services to victims, and develop and implement public policies in support of local efforts. She also spent 13 years lobbying the Colorado state legislature on issues such as affordable housing, at-risk children, and crime victims.

Terri received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. When not diligently working at LiveWell, Terri can most often be found cycling with her husband, walking with their dog, or reading books.

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Tamara Marks

Director of Development

As the director of development, Tamara’s primary focus is to build strong and lasting philanthropic relationships with key stakeholders through a variety of fundraising programs.

Tamara hails from Chicago where she worked for several city museums. Prior to joining LiveWell, she worked for some of the most recognized therapeutic recreation programs in the country, including Phoenix Multisport, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, and the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, CO.

Tamara earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from Northwestern University. She is an advocate for animals and enjoys spending time with her adopted Border Collie, Miles. She is also an avid skier and loves to fly fish and hike in the Colorado wilderness.

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Lindsay Mitchell

Communications Manager

As communications manager, Lindsay produces and manages multichannel communications—including generating original writing and developing communications plans, materials, and online content—to support integrated communication strategies for both the organization and its specific initiatives.

Prior to joining LiveWell Colorado, Lindsay was an editor at F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, where she created and managed a variety of print and digital content for two consumer publications geared toward fine-art collectors: Southwest Art, a monthly magazine, and Collector’s Guide, an annual guide book to the New Mexico art scene. Before that, Lindsay served as communications associate/AmeriCorps VISTA at Arizona Grantmakers Forum, a nonprofit statewide association that provides educational resources, research, and networking opportunities for funders in Arizona.

Lindsay grew up in Colorado and holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and technical communication from Colorado State University.

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Karen Moldovan

Director of Policy

In her roles as the director of policy, Karen engages advocacy groups, policymakers, and other stakeholders to develop and support policy strategies and system reforms that advance healthy eating and active living in Colorado.

Previously, Karen served as the Director of Policy for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA). In that capacity, she worked on numerous legislative efforts regarding response to sexual violence in Colorado, with a focus on increasing survivor access to critical medical services. Prior to her six years at CCASA, Karen served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga. With over 92% of the Tongan population classified as overweight or obese, Karen had the opportunity to learn about and witness firsthand the devastating public health impact of obesity on the small island nation. Following her Peace Corps service, she returned to the U.S. and assisted in conceptualizing, drafting, and passing The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act—federal legislation that created a comprehensive response system for Peace Corps Volunteers who become victims of crime during their service.  Her professional experience has often focused on working with under-served populations, including survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, families experiencing homelessness, and pregnant and parenting youth.

Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and gender studies and a master’s degree in teaching. She enjoys practicing yoga, spending time outdoors with her husband and two extremely active dogs, and seeing live music.

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Wendy Peters Moschetti

Director of Food Systems

As the director of food systems, Wendy leads the development and implementation of LiveWell Colorado’s strategies related to food systems, food access and food promotion.

After moving to Colorado in 2005, Wendy researched healthy food access initiatives for the National Convergence Partnership while also serving as project coordinator for the “Gardens for Growing Healthy Communities” research project with the University of Colorado-Denver and Denver Urban Gardens. She joined the consulting firm Civic Results in 2007 to help staff the healthy schools and food access teams of the Metro Denver Health & Wellness Commission.  Wendy launched her own firm, WPM Consulting, in May 2009. Since then, she has collaborated with numerous organizations—including LiveWell Colorado, LiveWell communities across the state, Colorado State University, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Hunger Free Colorado, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment—to work on a variety of projects aimed at leveraging our food systems to improve equitable access to healthy foods.

Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California-Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her three young kids, trail running, camping, and reading fiction.

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Michele Murray

Director of Communications

As the director of communications, , Michele works to increase visibility and advocacy for LiveWell Colorado’s efforts through strategic communications, media relations, advertising and communications support to local communities.

Prior to joining LiveWell, Michele led integrated communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, encompassing the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” campaign. During her time there, she also guided issues and reputation management, media relations, and crisis communications. Prior to her time with the Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Michele worked at JohnstonWells Public Relations and CMF&Z Marketing Communications where she provided support for Archer Daniels Midland, Denver Newspaper Agency, Qwest Wireless and the ‘got milk?’ campaign.

Michele has earned several industry awards, including two PRSA Silver Anvils, the International Association for Business Communicators Gold Quill Award, PRWeek Crisis/Issues Management Campaign of the Year, and Creativity in Public Relations Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University. Michele lives in Denver with her husband, Sean, and their two daughters, Adelyn and Lucy.

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Janessa Nelsen

Program Coordinator, LiveWell@School Food Initiative

Janessa Nelsen originally joined LiveWell Colorado as the Finance & Administration Coordinator. In this capacity, she supported the organization’s financial responsibilities alongside the Vice President of Finance & Administration, while also providing logistical support for the LiveWell@School Food Initiative. Her accomplishments include the development and implementation of accounting evaluation tools and innovative processes to create efficiencies for the organization. She is honored to grow with LiveWell Colorado in her new role as Program Coordinator for the School Food Initiative, a program that resonates with her passion for health equity in schools.

 

With a strong aptitude for organizational processes and contract management, Janessa has been able to refine her skills in project coordination, accounting, bookkeeping, office management, human resources and communications. Prior to joining the organization, she served as an administrative assistant for both a food production company in Denver and a yoga company in New York.

 

Janessa holds a Bachelor’s degree in family studies and human services from Kansas State University, with which she has also worked extensively with preschoolers as a para-educator and a classroom teacher. This experience drives her passion for the unique work that LiveWell Colorado implements, particularly around the creation of a sustainable culture of health in our public education system, supported by school food that is both fresh and delicious.

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Charles Severance-Medaris

Policy & Communications Coordinator

In his role as policy & communications coordinator, Charles provides critical communications and administrative support to advance LiveWell Colorado’s policy agenda, platform and organizational goals. This includes coordinating logistics and communications for LiveWell’s various statewide networks and assisting the director of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign and other senior staff to engage elected officials and other stakeholders in LiveWell Colorado’s flagship programs.

Prior to joining LiveWell Colorado, Charles cofounded a digital advocacy and multimedia company called Project Ava, which uses art to advance social justice advocacy efforts. At Project  Ava, he focused on client relations and promoting the company’s fee-for-service media products. Charles has previous policy experience from roles in the Colorado State Senate—including the office of Senator Mark Udall, where he acted as a liaison between the senator and the public—and the Colorado Nonprofit Association, where he advised the director of policy on issues relating to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Charles is a Colorado native and a graduate of the University of Denver, where he completed both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in public policy.

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Claire Siemer

Office and Data Manager

As the office and data manager, Claire provides critical support that allows daily office operations to function smoothly and efficiently. Claire coordinates logistics and communications for many important internal and stakeholder meetings and serves as the first point of contact for external stakeholders seeking information about LiveWell Colorado.

Claire possesses an exceptional understanding of database management. Claire manages LiveWell’s internal fundraising database and ensures that all of LiveWell’s databases and online platforms are integrated.  Additionally, Claire supports the development team.

Claire received her Bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2010 from Saint Mary’s College. In 2014 she earned a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University with concentrations in nonprofit management and policy analysis.

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Gabriella Warner

Program Director, LiveWell@School Food Initiative

As program director of the LiveWell@School Food Initiative, Gabriella works with school districts and a dedicated team of expert consultants to transform the school nutrition environment throughout the state.  She is committed to integrating the health of our food system into the national conversation surrounding school wellness in order to responsibly reduce childhood obesity.

Before joining LiveWell Colorado, Gabriella managed the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s two largest contracts under the USDA’s Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention grant. There, she oversaw the delivery of evidence-based nutrition and physical activity programming for multiple school districts, including LAUSD. Prior to that, Gabriella was a Nutrition Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, where she implemented the Network for a Healthy California program at the district level. Gabriella is a registered dietitian and completed her food service, clinical, and community health rotations with Kaiser Permanente and a pediatric specialty rotation with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before pursuing a career in nutrition, she worked in finance in New York, supporting the operations of a prestigious private equity firm.

Gabriella holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California (USC) and a master’s degree in nutritional science from California State University, Los Angeles. Her thesis work was completed in South Africa with New York University and focused on maternal & child malnutrition. Gabriella is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and a prior executive committee member of California’s Action for Healthy Kids. As a new resident of Colorado, she looks forward to exploring the state’s endless outdoor activities and sampling her way through Denver’s burgeoning food scene.

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