Board of Directors

Dr. DeVera Clements, Board Chair

English Language Teacher and Retired High School Assistant Principal. She has over 30 years of continued training, experience and service in public and private youth education.  A recipient of distinguished awards for various achievements throughout her career, Dr. Clements is especially proud of her “Teacher Who Makes A Difference Award” from Denver’s News Center 4.  Dr. Clements earned a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education/Special Education from the University of Nebraska; Masters Degree in Education/Administration from the University of Phoenix; and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Ms. Betty Doris

Former Secretary of Labor for the State of New Mexico, Retired Director of Workforce Development for the City and County of Denver.  Leading to her appointment by Governor Bill Richardson to serve as the Secretary of Labor for the State of New Mexico, Ms. Doris attained more than 30 years’ experience in the field of workforce development, which includes directing youth and categorical programs for the City and County of Denver, managing all of Denver’s public workforce system programs and services, launching employment and training services for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program for the City of Denver, and was appointed by Denver’s Mayor John Hickenlooper as interim Executive Director of the Division of Workforce Development for the Office of Economic Development. Ms. Doris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the Colorado Christian University.

Pastor John Moreland

Board Treasurer, Senior Pastor for Lowry Community Christian Church. At the tender age of five years old, Pastor Moreland felt a strong call from God to preach His word and at age 15 he publicly surrendered to that call.  At age 18 Pastor Moreland was ordained for Pastoral Ministry. Shortly after graduating from high school in San Antonio, Pastor Moreland enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Officer, serving from 1996-2000, as well as 2001-2002 to support the efforts against the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country.  His duty stations while on active duty included:  Albuquerque, NM, and Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.  After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Pastor Moreland served as a Police Officer for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department in Albuquerque, NM from 2000-2003.  Pastor Moreland has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wayland Baptist University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity Degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mr. Lindsey Strudwick

Sr., Director of Right of Way Enforcement and Permit Operations for the City and County of Denver.  His professional experience includes over 40 years of executive level management in private and public enterprise including Purchasing, Contracts, HR, and corporate training and development for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Strudwick’s career focus has consistently been in management and leadership.  He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Southeastern University and a Bachelor Degree in Economics and Business Management from Shaw University. A veteran, Mr. Strudwick served his country as an officer in the United States Army during the Vietnam era. During his career, Mr. Strudwick has received numerous professional, civic, government and military awards.

Advisors Board

Dr. Paula Gomez Farrell

Executive Director of SkillBuild Colorado, Former Director of Workforce Development for the City and County of Denver.  She has extensive experience in leading government and nonprofit organizations that focus on developing skilled workers for businesses and improving regional economic development.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies with a major in Leadership and Organizational Development and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Public Affairs, both from Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs.

Councilman Christopher Herndon

Denver City Councilman representing Council District 11.  Councilman Herndon is a 1999 West Point graduate who spent nearly seven years in the United States Army. He served three years in Germany where he led a peace keeping mission to Kosovo. He completed his military commitment stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, assumed command of a 100 plus unit performing logistical missions in Iraq, and led a unit responsible for the training of newly commissioned lieutenants. While serving at Fort Sill, Mr. Herndon earned his Masters Degree in Management from Webster University. Following his military career, he served as an Operations Manager at Denver International Airport and later managed the Englewood Wal-Mart. In his persistent quest for education, Mr. Herndon obtained certification in Lean Six Sigma through the University of Villanova in 2006, and has participated in several leadership programs including Center for Progressive Leadership, Colorado Institute for Leadership Training and Leadership Denver. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver. Mr. Herndon is also devoted to his community. He has volunteered to help struggling students improve their math and language arts skills through the Save Our Youth program. As a Stapleton resident, he served on the Stapleton United Neighbors Outreach Committee. Active in his church, True Light Baptist, he facilitated Financial Peace University helping members improve their financial literacy skills.  As Councilman, he serves on committees including Government and Finance; Business, Workforce and Sustainability; Stapleton Development Corporation; and many others. He is also the Co-Chair of the Committee on Redistricting.

Mr. Grant Jones

Founder and Executive Director of the Center for African American Health.

Ms. Cecilia (“Cec”) Ortiz

Consultant, Retired Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Development for the City and County of Denver. Ms. Ortiz has devoted her professional career to community and economic development.  She has extensive experience in governmental affairs and economic/community development initiatives.  She has held several leadership positions in local and state government, private business and the non-profit sector.  In 2003, Denver’s Mayor John Hickenlooper appointed Cec to be the Director of his Office of Workforce Development and then promoted her to be the Deputy Director for the City’s Office of Economic Development.  Prior to her City positions, Cec also worked for Governor Roy Romer as the State Director of the Colorado Small Business Development Center and State Director of the Governor’s Women’s Business Office.  Cec is a graduate of Regis University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business.  Cec is a native Coloradan and lives in Denver.

Mr. Landrie Taylor

President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver.  Landri Taylor is a former Vice President of Community Affairs for Forest City Stapleton, Inc., the development company that has transformed the former Stapleton International Airport into a new community of 12,000 homes and apartments, 35,000 jobs and more than 1,100 acres of parks and open space.  He has worked in executive level management and consulting capacities in private, public, and nonprofit business throughout his career.  Mr. Taylor also has served and does currently serve on numerous boards and commissions. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 and he is a 1995 graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Denver program.

Ms. Hazel Whitsett

Retired Executive Director of Northeast Women’s Center