Our Board of Directors.
Jason is a 4th generation San Luis native, but can trace his lineage back 10 generations in Northern NM and Southern CO. Born in Colorado Springs, his family moved back to San Luis in 1980 to run a family grocery store called "La Tiendita." After graduating from Centennial High School, he attended Adams State College and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1996. Jason has worked with children, youth, and families in Colorado since 1997 in various positions including seven years in public education, six years in local government, and over ten years in public housing. Jason is a budding historian and owns a small business in San Luis. He is passionate in seeing his community prosper and thrive and is very excited to serve as the newest Executive Director of the CFSLV, to share his experiences and knowledge about the culture and community. "My goal is to promote advancement and economic development in our communities while maintaining our cultural identities."
Flora is a San Luis Valley native, who has worked in the non-profit sector for the past thirty-two years. She has been employed as the Executive Director for the past seventeen years with the San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center. She is recognized as an Accredited Representative with the Department of Justice and has over twenty years experience in grant writing and reporting. Flora not only manages the San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center, but she also assists with immigration legal consultations, casework, and domestic violence, crime victim supervision/casework. Flora currently serves on the College Assistance Migrant Program Steering Committee (CAMP) at Adams State University. Flora is bilingual in the English and Spanish languages.
For over 4 1/2 years, Dee Kessler has served the San Luis Valley as the Regional Health Connector (RHC). Dee works to build community awareness, engagement, and capacity by disseminating information and resources and advocating for needed change. She convenes community partners with health care systems, public health, and human services to identify duplications and address gaps in patient care and resources. Dee has worn many hats in the course of her career culminating in a well-rounded understanding of the operations and people within practices and health systems. She has a degree in Family Studies and Gerontology. For over 30 years, Dee has worked in the health care field as a business owner, Practice Facilitator, and Quality Improvement Coach. She has a strong background in clinical practice settings, optimizing office workflows, coaching, facilitation, and collaborative networking to maximize quality objectives.
Marlayna Martinez was born and raised in Durango, Colorado and a proud Colorado Native. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado in 2011. She now lives in Del Norte, Colorado a small town on the west side of the San Luis Valley (SLV) with her husband and two children. Since 2018 she has worked as a Community Research Liaison (CRL) with the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Through her role she supports Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in the six rural counties of the San Luis Valley where she lives, with emphasis working with primary care practices as part of the practice-based research network Colorado Research Network (CaReNet), as well as, continuing partnership with the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC) and their long-standing Community Advisory Board in the SLV (CAB). This CAB foc to address health related issues important to and relevant to their communities. She enjoys building relationships, engaging with community members on important health topics, and continually finding new ways for improving the health and well-being of the communities around her through long standing partnerships.
Ana joined Gates Family Foundation in June 2017. Her primary focus is to engage with communities in Colorado’s rural and urban areas to increase equity and achievement for low-income students. Ana brings more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and government arenas, including work with Denver Partners, Urban Peak, and the Denver District Attorney’s Office Juvenile Diversion program. She has held director-level roles at The Civic Canopy and the Denver District Attorney’s Office-Victim Services Network, and brings experience working with complex projects in education, health, and community building in a variety of cultures and contexts. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Azarel Madrigal is passionate about supporting the disenfranchised and underrepresented, and has worked across nonprofit, government and political sectors to promote equitable community and economic development. Azarel participated in Colorado State Department of Locals Affairs Best & Brightest Program, working with the City of Monte Vista on a variety of community and economic development projects. She has also worked on grassroots political campaigns, and served on a regional board to brand and market the San Luis Valley. Azarel graduated from Adams State University in Alamosa with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and was an involved student leader participating in student government and serving on ASU’s Board of Trustees. She enjoys being an active member of her community and spending time with her pets.