Melinda HiggsPresident & CEO
Melinda joined CNDC in September 1999 as the first president of the organization. With over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, she has served on a number of boards and committees across the state, including the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service and the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors Steering Committee. Prior to leading CNDC, Melinda served as the executive director of Partners, Inc., an association of Colorado mentoring programs for at-risk youth. She has also served as the coordinator of the Center for Service Learning at Regis University. Melinda is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Denver and El Pomar Foundation’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program. She is also a 2006 recipient of a Johnston R. Livingston Fellowship, an initiative of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Melinda received her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. Away from CNDC, Melinda enjoys spending time with her daughters, friends and family, yoga and hiking.
Kevin Van VleetChief Financial Officer
Kevin brings 15 years of experience in banking, finance and accounting to his role as CNDC’s Chief Financial Officer. He is a licensed CPA and CGMA with a background in auditing and consulting in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Additionally, Kevin has an extensive background volunteering with and serving on boards and committees for non-profit organizations, including serving most recently as the President of the Board of Trustees for Holy Names Music Center, a non-profit community music school in Spokane, Wash. Kevin considers himself a lifelong Kiwanian and has held various leadership positions within the broader K-Family since his initial involvement in the Key Club at his high school in Montana. His affiliation with Kiwanis has allowed him to touch a number of nonprofit organizations and helps to fulfill his desire to give back to the community. A graduate of Gonzaga University, Kevin has also completed Comer & Associates’ ADVANCE management and leadership effectiveness program.
Angela SchrefflerVice President
Angela has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years, most recently as the executive director of the Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (DRMAC), a Project of CNDC. During her four years at DRMAC, Angela helped grow the organization from one to five employees, created new programs, and more than doubled the Project’s budget. Prior to DRMAC, Angela was the Heartland Tree Alliance Manager at Bridging the Gap in Kansas City, Mo. She has served on a number of board and committees throughout her career, and now volunteers with several local organizations, including the Whittier Neighborhood Association, where she resides. Angela has also completed the Mountain States Employers Council Executive Leadership program, and has a master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management. Away from work, Angela enjoys gardening, hiking and traveling.
Sandi BostwickAccounts Payable / Cash Receipts Payroll Manager
Sandi joined CNDC in March of 2018, and is excited to work with nonprofit communities in Colorado. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and most recently worked as compensation analyst for Comcast Business. Sandi has a diverse background including human resources, payroll, and management. She recently served as President on the Board of Directors for a local community band, and enjoys playing French horn and trombone. In her free time, Sandi also enjoys golfing and spending time with family and friends.
Debbie DexterHuman Resources Manager
Debbie started working for CNDC in July 2017. Debbie brings over 20 years of broad HR experience, starting her career with Mobil Oil, working for engineering services companies (ENGlobal and Willbros Upstream Engineering), a Defense Contractor that supported IT services for the Air Force and a PEO in their benefits department. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Metropolitan State University. Debbie is looking forward to working in the nonprofit sector to meet purpose driven individuals and be to be a part of what they do. Outside of the office she enjoys spending time with her daughter, friends and family, the outdoors, and traveling.
Adrianna EdwardsProgram Coordinator
Adrianna joined CNDC in order to make a difference in her community. Prior to accepting her current role with CNDC, Adrianna worked for a CPA firm. She is a graduate of Whittier College in California and holds a Business Administration degree. Outside the office, she enjoys anything outdoors – from hiking, biking, fly-fishing, and camping to snowboarding, snowshoeing, and running with her dog, Beaty.
Linda HayashiCash Receipts Clerk
Linda comes to the CNDC team bringing significant accounting experience working with both for profit and nonprofit organizations. Since joining CNDC in 2014, Linda has enjoyed using her talents to help CNDC and its Projects contribute to Colorado communities. Her passions outside of work include bicycling (she has participated in a number of bicycle tours, both international and domestic), travel and theater. Linda is a native of Washington and a graduate of the University of Washington.
Nicki LeszmanProgram Manager
Nicki, a Colorado native and University of Colorado Denver graduate, joined the Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits in 2012 with an internship at the Colorado Nonprofit Association. In 2013, she accepted a full-time position with CNDC eventually being promoted to the Program Manager position in 2015. As the Program Manager, Nicki works closely with Project on board development, fundraising, nonprofit best practices, risk management, and manages the Project Selection process. The unique structure of CNDC enables Nicki to be involved in several diverse charitable efforts across the state, which is a huge reason why she loves her job. Additionally, Nicki is an alumni of the Elevate Denver leadership program through the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Will LewisOffice Assistant
Will joined CNDC as an Office Assistant to help ensure everyday operations run smoothly for our staff and partnering Projects. Prior to working for CNDC, Will was a substitute teacher with Denver Public Schools and an expedition leader for an adventure travel company. Originally from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Will graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Communication. Away from the office, he enjoys snowboarding, honing his golf game and following the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Peregin NaylorStaff Accountant
Peregin has worked in accounting/finance roles for over a decade, including time with Denver Public Schools and work as an underwriter. In her role with CNDC, Peregin works with a number of our Projects to provide feedback and guidance on questions surrounding Project financials and grants. She finds the altruistic nature of the work CNDC does to support nonprofits particularly gratifying, as it aligns with her own beliefs and values. Peregin has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She is originally from Erie, Penn. and is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. In her spare time she enjoys reading historical fiction and staring at the stars. She is also the proud mother of two daughters and two cats, Jabba The Hut and Lulu.
Elizabeth OrareGrants Accounting Manager
Liz began as a staff accountant at CNDC in 2014 and was named senior staff accountant in 2016. She holds a degree in Accounting from Strathmore College in Nairobi, Kenya, and has nearly a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. Liz was previously the Business Manager at Royal Pal Academy in Naples, FL. In addition to her business background, Liz brings a passion for volunteering to her role at CNDC, including mentoring with the Boys and Girls Club as well as time spent volunteering with Rural Community Development Program where she worked with disadvantaged children in Southeast Asia. Aside from keeping in touch with her large family in the United States, Kenya, and Europe, Liz also enjoys reading, watching sports, and enjoying the outdoors. She was drawn to work at CNDC because of her interest in making a positive change in the community by providing Projects with the support they need to develop their individual communities.
Tammy SchairerGrants Coordinator
Tammy has enjoyed a long career in Finance. Prior to joining CNDC, she served as a financial analyst at companies including Fluor and Kiewit Corporations, Level3 Communications, and American Truck Business Services. Tammy deeply values her role in the nonprofit sector and particularly appreciates CNDC’s role in positively impacting children, schools and communities here in Colorado. Outside the office, she enjoys walking and hiking with her dogs, going hunting and fly fishing, and is an avid Steelers fan.
Emma SimpkinsProgram Manager
Emma joined CNDC in May 2017 as Program Coordinator. In her current role as Program Manager, she manages the AmeriCorps VISTA program, supports the grant submission and award process, and advises Projects on nonprofit best practices. Emma previously worked for an organization that promotes women’s leadership in professional services and a nonprofit advocating for the increased participation of women in politics. Emma holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from James Madison University and is an alumna of the Elevate Denver leadership program. Outside of the office, she enjoys yoga, travel, and taking advantage of all the outdoor activities Colorado offers.
Nina VoreOffice/HR Assistant
Nina started with CNDC in 2018 Nina moved to Colorado this year from Washington DC and wanted to continue her career in the non-profit sector. As the Office/HR assistant Nina helps keep the office running smoothly and processes employee data. Outside of the office Nina enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and dog, reading historical fiction, and finding fun places to eat.
Riley WelchVISTA Leader
After finishing a year of service with the Colorado Reading Corps, Riley joined CNDC as a VISTA Leader in July 2018. She believes in the AmeriCorps pledge to keep “getting things done,” and is ready to support VISTA members as they complete their own terms of service. Riley is a poet and spends any available time writing, reading, or editing. She’s inspired by the weird, the hardworking, and anyone who can be on time when their alarm goes off half an hour late.
Dale works exclusively with CNDC’s Nonprofit Support Services clients. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Iowa State University. Dale previously worked as a staff accountant in the skincare industry. As bookkeeper with CNDC, Dale’s role involves working with our Accounting clients to provide services including maintenance of accounts, payroll, and preparation of annual financial statements and tax documents. He says that his work, as well as the people and positive culture in the CNDC office, have him looking forward to coming to work each day. Outside the office, Dale is an active volunteer with Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue and is also a certified Massage Therapist.