Empowering Denver’s Most Influential Young Professionals.
MHYP's mission is to create a lasting legacy that promotes young professional growth in Denver. Our goal is to empower Young Professionals in Denver with all of the business relationships, education and community awareness necessary to become an influential leader in the community.
Who are MHYP's members?
Our members consist of mostly 21-39 year-old professionals, from recent college graduates to seasoned business owners and everything in-between. Our members are leaders in their fields and are committed to community involvement and volunteerism.
Mile High Young Professionals was created to fit the need for a universal Young Professionals resource in the Denver metro area. Many local organizations have just recently started focusing their campaigns towards young professionals. As a result many Chambers, Industry Groups, and Non-Profits have developed a YP chapter associated with their organizations with varying levels of organization and visibility. MHYP is a collaboration point for all YP groups to gain exposure and get their message out, giving YP’s in Denver a progressive edge. Young Professionals in the Denver community tend to network with a different energy and expectation and we want them to be able to capitalize on that as much as possible through our programs and events.
Board of Directors
- Ira Johnson (Co-Founder, Events Director)
- Dan Kobler (Co-Founder, Communications Director)
- Alex Cole (Intramural Sports Commish)
- April Lambatos (Membership Director)
- Desiree Embury (At Large Board Member)
- Sev Martin (At Large Board Member)
Ira Johnson was born in Fort Collins and raised in Iowa. He graduated from Luther College, a small, liberal arts school in Decorah, IA, with a B.A. in Biology and Spanish. A week after graduation, he returned to Colorado for nothing other than its world class skiing!
Currently, he is the Owner of Happy Llama Inc., a specialty print company that focuses on working with events. Throughout his professional career, he has been sole owner of a marketing company and part owner of a business networking organization. His previous experience includes everything from door to door sales to Director of Marketing in environments ranging from large international corporations to local 3 person start-ups.
Ira has previously served as an Ambassador with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Membership Committee at the Downtown Denver Partnership. In the community he has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the People’s Fair, and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. With his diverse array of experience Ira believes the one thing that remains the same is the absolute necessity of knowing, and learning from, as many people as possible.
When not working, you will find Ira bumming around the mountains skiing and camping with his two beautiful daughters, Finley and Lola Snow, and his wife, Robyn.
Dan Kobler grew up in Rockford, IL about an hour west of Chicago. He was drawn to Colorado by the snowy mountains in the wintertime when his family would take a yearly ski trip. He moved out for good in the fall of 2001 and has found the Mile High City to be the perfect place to call home.
Dan started his web development business, DanKobler.com, Inc. in January of 2004 and has worked with over 100 clients since then serving a wide range of industries and needs. Dan has also been vital in the development of several other businesses including Indie Arsenal, Big Shot Now, Atmosphere Creative and Mile High Young Professionals.
Dan has been a committed member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce since he started his business, partaking in the Chamber 100 program, Leads Groups, Ambassador program, GMAP and many others. He is a mentor for Colorado Youth At Risk and has also volunteered his personal and professional skills for Big City Mountaineers in Denver.
Living in Northeast Denver with his wife Erin, Dan enjoys getting outside and away from the computer whenever possible. Hiking, camping, skiing, triathlons, and soccer are among his favorite activities. He also enjoys attending just about any sporting event in Denver and cheering on the home team.
Alex is the owner of Cole Insurance Agency in Littleton, an exclusive agency of Allstate that is now in its 25th year of existence. He and his team focus on providing insurance advisory services to the young professionals of Colorado. He grew up in Frisco, Colorado and graduated from Summit High School.
After receiving his B.S. in Leadership and Organizational Studies and minor in Business Administration from Chapman University in Orange, CA, Alex spent three years working with a group of retired senior executives from the Walt Disney Company and supported the launch of their start-up venture, VisionMaker Worldwide, a design, development, and operations firm. In 2008, Alex moved back to Colorado and served as the Director of New Business Development and Feasibility for Spa Strategy, a hospitality consulting firm.
With his background in financial and strategic consulting, Alex is able to help his clients develop comprehensive insurance plans for both their tangible and financial assets.
April Lambatos is Co-Owner and COO of Footers Catering; a full service off-premise event catering company specializing in Corporate Events, Social Functions, Non-Profit Fundraisers, and Weddings. This year celebrates Footers' 30th anniversary. Footers Catering prides itself on serving the freshest foods, employing a passionate and knowledgeable team, and creating exceptional experiences.
April has her B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida. After graduation April spent time learning hospitality and culinary from the leaders in the industry at Walt Disney World Resorts. For the past 7 years April has pursued her passion of culinary arts and business. She has spent this time doing everything from running a catering kitchen as Executive Chef, planning events as a coordinator, and breaking national sales records as Director of Catering at Paradise Bakery & Cafe.
April's passion for excellence and determination make her a great addition to the Mile High Young Professionals Team!
Desiree is a born and raised Iowa Girl who’s career with KONE Inc. (so far) has taken her to Houston, Texas and then to Denver, Colorado two years ago. She has consistently positively impacted the Business Development of KONE’s Service Business for the past five years. It’s in this role where Desiree has found her passion for sales and implementing solutions for her customers.
Desiree graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing as well as a certification in Graphic Communications and Design.
The jumps she’s taken from her small town Iowa upbringing, to wearing cowboy hats and boots on a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee, to mastering the bunny hills of the Rocky Mountains and getting involved with Mile High Young Professionals have all contributed to what she believes has been a great way to jump start her days as a young professional.
Sev is an impassioned art director, graphic designer and marketing professional with over 10 years of industry experience. After receiving his degree in Advertising from UGA and his Graphic Design certification from the Creative Circus, he fell hard for the creative service industry. His favorite task is tackling your current marketing/branding issues. From concept development to creative execution, he strives to stay at the forefront of design and visual marketing techniques. When you can’t find him in the studio, he’s either running, fishing, or skiing in the "hills" outside of Denver.
Nicole is a freelance writer and social media strategist currently living in Denver, CO.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Nicole holds a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Her background in the field helps her to develop insights on cultural trends, effective communication, and to find intersections between diverse topics.
Nicole has written 30+ feature articles for Wisconsin Woman Magazine, currently writes a column on Wedding Planning for Examiner.com, and blogs at Only the Curious. She has been active with online media for several years, and has been working professionally as a social media consultant since June 2010.
Kristen Sonsma is originally from Southern California and moved her way to Denver by way of a soccer scholarship that landed her at Metropolitan State College of Denver. In 2006, Kristen earned a National Women’s Soccer Championship title as well as a B.S. in Marketing. If there was a minor in sports, she would have had that too. In 2009, Kristen completed her Masters in Sports and Exercise Science: Sports Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Kristen has been fortunate to work for the following sport franchises: Colorado Crush (AFL), Colorado Rapids (MLS), and Colorado Cougars (USL). And in 2010, she had the opportunity of her dreams to step in to teach a night course in the Department of Marketing as an Affiliate Faculty Professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Now currently with the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), she specializes in consulting with businesses/organizations in the areas of marketing and sales through the use of season tickets (full, partial, & mini plans) and group tickets to create a relationship based program that helps companies better reach their goals, non-profits raise needed funds, and organizations looking for high quality entertainment.
She is very active in the Colorado community also serving on the Young Professionals board for Boys Hope Girls Hope, a CU Boulder Advisory Committee, a member of Girls Inc., volunteer soccer coach, and consulting with other organizations on best practices. In her free time she can be found on the soccer field, volleyball court, cycling, traveling, or trying out a new restaurant.
To check out her bio in 140 characters where she shares her own behind the scenes photos and updates on the @Avalanche and Denver Business, 'follow' her at @ichoosetowin or connect on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/kristensonsma