Kelly has spent nearly her entire professional career working with non-profits. A graduate of Princeton University and University of Virginia School of Law, Kelly practiced law for six years as a litigation associate at Holland & Knight in Tampa and Miami, Florida.
Later she joined The First Tee – an international youth development golfing nonprofit – where she worked for 20 years rising from director and eventually becoming Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure, she helped expand the organization to serve more than 11 million youth worldwide including 150 U.S. chapter affiliates and seven international sites.
In 2018, Kelly moved from her native Florida to Colorado to join the staff of the Denver Public Schools Foundation where she managed strategy and development. She is an active member of Impact100 Denver and Sister2Sister. She was named Executive Director of Boomers Leading Change in July 2020, and is excited to use her experience and skills to shape a narrative that recognizes and celebrates the invaluable resources the 50+ generation can leverage to benefit the Denver Metro community.
Director of Programs and Operations
Austin started with Boomers Leading Change in late 2012.
Before that he worked across the country recruiting, training, mobilizing and organizing individuals to have an impact on the issues that matter to them most.
During that time he developed and honed his organizing skills while impacting issues such as the environment, human rights, homelessness and hunger, and healthcare with some of the largest groups in the country like Environment America and USPIRG.
Austin also directed offices in the 2008 election in Michigan and Ohio for Voter Registration and GOTV campaigns.
He brings his passion, skills and experience to BLC to empower encore adults to have the biggest impact right in their own community. Austin lives with his wife and two children in Golden, Colorado.
Outreach and Training Manager
Shannon arrived at Boomers Leading Change as an Encore Innovation Fellow where she worked on the Boom Conference and developing the Colorado Encore Network.
She later transitioned into the Outreach and Training Manager staff position which encompasses trainings and events, and working with the volunteers and host sites. She also serves as a consultant with Pinsight, a live virtual simulation.
She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BS degree in Nursing and spent 20 years working in hospitals, insurance companies, medical services organizations and medical products distributors. Her responsibilities during that time covered areas such as direct medical care, case management, health improvement coaching and education, program management and industry support for medical product sales.
Shannon has served as a volunteer mediator with Court Mediation Services and as a mentor for women in life transitions through the Wildflower Women’s Organization. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Merrie joined Boomers Leading Change in October 2016 as a Health Coverage Guide, and then transitioned to work for several years in helping manage Colorado’s only AmeriCorps Encore Program for 50Plus adults.
Merrie taught elementary school and worked extensively in technology firms in Human Resource management. As a volunteer, she has worked in a variety of capacities in the schools and community.
Merrie grew up in Seattle, lived for many years in Northern California and arrived in Denver in 2006. She graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Education and has completed additional training in Human Resource Management, Conflict Resolution and Personal Coaching.
She is delighted to be contributing to the various BLC initiatives which are redefining the ways in which the Boomer generation is making a difference.
Sue joined Boomers Leading Change (BLC) in April of 2019. Prior to BLC, she worked for 10+ years in municipal government as an Assistant Town Clerk in a small Vermont town where she knew every resident by name.
Other professional hats include yoga teacher, assistant for a French baker, ski instructor, and middle school health teacher. Sue is a big believer in community engagement and knowing-your-neighbors.
Sue organized a Meet and Greet in her Denver neighborhood. In VT she cofounded an annual, intergenerational broomball tournament that she ran for 17 years until the town recreation department took it over.
She served on the City of Burlington (VT) Board of Registration of Voters and assisted city hall staff with early voting. In her spare time Sue enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors and planning family and friend reunions.
Development and Special Projects Associate
Marydean manages the Experience U program and is our grant writer. She has a background in international humanitarian assistance and program development.
She is a veteran international aid worker, with 30 years of experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and Central Asia focused on health and human development. She has worked for the United Nations, international agencies, where her work has immersed her in women’s concerns of health, home, maturing and aging.
Marydean brings her organizing and coordination skills to her role as Project Coordinator overseeing 10 Change Agent volunteers for Changing the Narrative, a project of the Encore.org organization established to support the aspirations of the 50+ generation of talented adults.
She is also a talented designer and skilled speaker, producing presentations that engage women in discussions on Dress and Style and how these concepts have served ordinary women to sustain them through all manner of life events.
Volunteer Recruitment Manager
Lynette has spent much of her career working one-on-one with people in a hospice care setting, growing her own encore career coaching practice and serving as a part-time instructor at Arapahoe Community College.
As the Volunteer Recruitment Manager, she enlists volunteers to work with partner organizations for all BLC programs and helps build partnerships with other community-based organizations. Her hospice experience with older, aging adults taught her the true value of striving for a meaningful life filled with purpose.
Part of her BLC role is to demonstrate to participants that volunteerism and engagement with others helps boost one’s emotional well-being. When not at work, she enjoys dancing to all types of music and exploring the outdoors, including camping, snowshoeing, and hiking. A life-long learner and avid reader, she also enjoys spending time
with two grandsons.
Early Childhood Project Manager
Lisa Armao has more than 20 years experience in Early Childhood school leadership in the public/charter and non-profit school arena. She studied Human Development and Family Studies at CSU and completed her Montessori Administrator training at the College of New Rochelle in 2000 and completed her Authentic Leadership Certification from Naropa University in 2012.
In 2018, Lisa completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Certification for Aging and Dementia and has served as a Montessori consultant for Assisted Living Facilities. She has also worked as a Program Specialist for Jeffco Public Schools Early Learning.
Lisa believes in intergenerational relationships. To quote Margaret Mead: “Connections between generations are essential for the mental health and stability of a nation.”
Lisa is excited to join the Boomers Leading Change team to integrate older adults into the Early Childhood field and to promote intergenerational connections.
Susan joined Boomers Leading Change as the AmeriCorps Encore Project Coordinator in October 2010.
She developed the initial federal AmeriCorps grant proposals and managed all aspects of the program for the first three years. She helps manage the operation of our Experience EngAGEd Fellowship and provides administrative support for many other key BLC initiatives.
Susan has a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education and has held positions in the Denver area as a School-to-Career Coordinator and as the Manager for a Mentors-for-Students program.
She believes strongly that positive change can be effected in our community by harnessing the talent and expertise of Boomers.
Health Navigation Specialist
Ellen earned her BA Degree in Social Welfare and Corrections from California State University, Chico, and a Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in Health and Mental Health from the University of Utah.
Her professional social work career with children, youth, and families include work with the Denver Department of Human Services, Jefferson County Human Services, and University Hospital.
Later, she moved to Washington state where she gained nonprofit experience providing family preservation services in Clallam County before become the Assistant Director of the Foster Parent Association of Washington State.
She returned to Denver and helped design and implement the supervisory model adopted by Denver Human Services (DHS) and was involved in implementing changes in DHS child welfare practice until her retirement in 2017. She helps identify and address barriers to accessing healthcare.