City of Thornton Council Mayor Pro Tem
Jessica Sandgren is a Colorado native who has lived in Thornton for more than twenty years. She is a former K-12 science teacher and small business owner and is currently employed with Lumen Technologies working on broadband expansion. Jessica has been a strong advocate for issues involving opioid addiction, training programs and resources for individuals coming out of jail, homelessness, and mental health, as well as ensuring health care services are available to children. She has worked hard to create and maintain strong partnerships throughout the region to invest in opportunities that increase options in housing affordability, transportation, and mobility. Jessica has always believed in supporting her community and was elected to Thornton City Council in 2017, where she currently serves as the Mayor Pro Tem. In addition to City Council, she serves on several non-profit boards and committees, including, Maiker Housing Partners, the Colorado Attorney General’s Substance Abuse Trend & Response Task Force, Smart Commute, the Northglenn-Thornton Rotary Club, and the Thornton Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
Via Mobility Services, CFO
Bill Patterson is the CFO of Via Mobility Services, a 40-year-old nonprofit transportation agency serving the elderly, people with disabilities, and others with limited mobility options. The agency is based in Boulder and provides services throughout the Denver metro region. Prior to working at Via, Bill spent over 30 years as an owner and operator of successful manufacturing and distribution businesses. His nonprofit experience also includes many years on the Board of the Colorado Chautauqua Association, a National Historic Landmark. Bill believes financial sustainability is critical for nonprofits to fulfill their long-term mission.
Executive Director, Adams 14 Education Foundation
A native of Denver, Dale previously served as the President/CEO of the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the BBB Foundation’s Executive Director. Prior to the BBB, Dale enjoyed a successful career of nearly 23 years at FirstBank Holding Company. Since 1985, Dale has served on advisory committees and boards for more than 50 philanthropic, community-oriented organizations including multiple Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, Mile High United Way, the Aurora Public Schools Bond Accountability Committee, and Hispanic Annual Salute. Dale completed the Pacific Coast Banking School graduate banking program at the University of Washington and the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He and his wife Teri have two children: Addison and Ticen.
Incoming Board President
Former City Manager Commerce City
Brian has been a public servant for most of his professional life. He first served four communities over twenty years in southeast Michigan, primarily in the fields of planning and community development, after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1988. Brian relocated to Colorado with his family in 2008, where he served as Community Development Director for the City of Commerce City until 2011 and served at the city’s city manager from 2011 until July of 2020. During his tenure as city manager, the city’s annual budget and population nearly doubled in size and the city completed $250M in capital construction projects to improve the quality of life for each of the city’s 62,000 residents. Brian has been an enthusiastic supporter of Kids First Health Care since he arrived in Commerce City and is honored to help the community in a new way by serving on its board of directors. In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, reading anything, exercising and enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors.
Akshay Pradhan, JD, LLM
The Law Firm of Hampton & Pigott, Partner
Akshay is a Colorado-licensed attorney with a Master of Laws in taxation. Akshay has been in legal practice for over 12 years, providing guidance in a multitude of areas including the Fortune 500, small to medium sized businesses, families, religious organizations, and non-profit organizations. In addition to sitting on the board of directors for Kids First Health Care, Akshay is on the board of directors for ICON and Chief Operations Officer of Join the Journey, organizations that assist the indigent in areas such as education, entrepreneurship, and finance.
Dr. Tonia Lopez
Director, Professional Learning Jeffco Public Schools
Dr. Tonia Lopez is an accomplished educator who has spent her career serving school districts throughout the Denver Metropolitan area. She is energized by connecting ideas and people. Her desire is to solve the biggest issues in our communities by empowering all members of the community. Dr. Lopez grew up in Commerce City and is a Colorado Native. She earned her BA in secondary education and MAE in Linguistically Diverse Learners from Regis University. She earned her PhD from Colorado State University; her research focused on the levers needed in schools to support Teacher Leadership in turn-around schools.
She has served as an English Language Development teacher, high school instructional coach, teacher leader coordinator, middle school leader, and as the Director of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE). While the Director of (CLDE), she worked with the Office for Civil Rights to craft a language plan that honored the culture and values of the community and resulted in the district launching a two-way dual language program. She currently serves as Director of Professional Learning in Jeffco Public Schools.
Dr. Lopez is married and has three children. Her family also includes 2 fainting goats, squints and smalls, and a flock of chickens that keeps growing.
Business & Revenue Development
Former Revenue Development Director for the Denver Metro and the Metro North chambers, Alex currently focuses his energies consulting nonprofits on membership retention, sales, strategic partnerships, non-dues revenue strategies, capital campaigns, direct budget line reduction opportunities, corporate social responsibility, and process efficiency improvement. Alex is a Colorado native with over 25 years of sales and marketing experience with a deep passion for his community. He attended Metro State College of Denver and graduated with BS degrees in Urban Sociology and Political Science.
Julie Schilz BSN, MBA
Senior Director, Clinical & Quality Partners Primary Care Development Corporation
Julie Schilz holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Master of Business Administration from Regis University. Julie is a Senior Director at Primary Care Development Corporation. She focuses on technical assistance in the areas of Health Care strategy, Care Delivery Transformation and Community engagement and Integrated Care. Julie held several executive leadership roles with community, provider and payer organizations developing and implementing strategy focused on equity, value, delivery system reform and primary care transformation. Julie has dedicated her career to working on innovative solutions within health care and communities that are person and family centered with a focus on equity. She currently serves as an Executive Member Liaison for Primary Care Collaborative, on the Advisory Board of The Center for Professionalism and the Board of Colorado Center for Primary Care Innovation.
If you are interested in becoming a Board member, please contact Executive Director Whitney Gustin Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.