Darcy Borella

Darcy Borella, MHYPPresident (2020, Board Member 2018-Present)

Darcy began her career as a speech-language pathologist and spent ten years in healthcare management, overseeing therapy teams in long-term care facilities from New Jersey to California.  Working in the long-term care industry, Darcy saw firsthand how financial planning could make a difference in financing end-of-life care, as well as the stress it can place on the patients’ adult children.  She also noticed how many front-line healthcare workers don’t take advantage of retirement planning offered by their company, if one is offered at all.  Somewhere between witnessing the financial stress on patients’ family members, and co-workers’ confusion on how to invest their 401k accounts, Darcy realized she had a new calling and made the move from healthcare management to wealth management.

Darcy is now a licensed financial advisor with Trilogy Financial Services, where she continues to use a “client-first” mentality to ensure individualized goals drive the planning process. Darcy’s career is focused on small businesses who want to create solid retirement plan options for their employees.  She also is dedicated to helping young professionals make better decisions today to ensure financial independence for the future. Darcy currently holds a series 65 as well as life and health insurance licenses.
 
Darcy also serves on the board of the Colorado Speech and Hearing Association as the State Advocate for Medicare Policy (StAMP).  In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball in the
VOTR league, trying out new restaurants in Denver, and relaxing at home in Arvada with her husband, Rob, and their border collie, Roscoe.

 

Jason Hart

Jason Hart, MHYPVice President (2020, Board Member 2019-Present)

Jason is the Owner and Agent of State Farm-Jason Hart Agency a local State Farm Insurance and Financial Services office located in North Aurora. Jason moved to Colorado to open his office in January 2016. Jason and his team pride themselves in making sure people are educated about their insurance and financial needs to make sure they are properly protected and will be able to recover from the unexpected.

Jason is originally from San Diego, CA but moved with his family to a small town outside of San Antonio, TX when he was ten. He graduated with B.S in Biology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and got a job as a contractor with the U.S. Navy which took him back to San Diego and then to Kings Bay, GA. career change was in order so Jason went back to school and got a MBA from Webster University and moved to New Orleans where he worked for a local State Farm office and learned how to open his own office.

Jason is an active member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and is part of several local Realtor organizations. In his free time, you will find Jason exploring what Colorado has to offer from hiking and camping to road tripping to Aspen and Gunnison and traveling to other states and countries as much as he can.

 

Melanie Lewis Dickerson, MHYP

Melanie Lewis Dickerson

Past President (President 2018-2019, Board Member 2016-Present)

As a Portfolio Manager for Community Solutions, Melanie works directly with communities and partners to build and improve systems to end homelessness using Quality Improvement and data-driven strategies. She is a member of the Built for Zero team, where she oversees a portfolio of large-scale change initiatives in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Community Solutions in 2014, Melanie spent six years working at the City and County of Denver as the Partnerships Manager for Denver’s Road Home where she focused on policy development, regional collaboration and strategic partnerships. She is the President of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative Board of Directors and provides leadership for several regional, statewide and national initiatives focused on solving the issue of homelessness.

In the community, she serves on the Junior League of Denver Board of Directors as the Vice President of Public Policy where she oversees the League’s advocacy and policy efforts. Melanie is a graduate of the 2015 Downtown Denver Leadership Program and member of the Leadership Denver Class of 2017. In 2013, she was recognized as one of Colorado’s Finest Young Professionals and received the Spotlight Award from Denver Human Services.

Melanie is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Mississippi State University with a degree in Political Science, and a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver with a Master of Public Administration where she was awarded the John C. Buechner Scholarship.

When not at work, Melanie enjoys live music, community engagement and spending time with her husband, Josh, and two dogs, Bella and Houser.

 

Adam Larkey

Adam Larkey, MHYP

Past President (Co-President 2019, Board Member 2017-Present)

As the Director of Sales and Leasing for Zeppelin Development, Adam oversees all leasing activity for office, retail and residential in the portfolio. In 2018, he handled over 80 leases like tenants such as Alterra Mountain Co., The Nature Conservancy, TechStars and Niceland Seafood. Before his move to Zeppelin Development, he worked as a commercial real estate broker for Broad Street Realty covering the Denver metro area helping tenants lease, buy and sell properties as diverse as a Goddard School, the office for Happy Llama Printing, retail space Copper Door Coffee and a warehouse for Garrett Brown Designs, to name a few. Before starting a career in real estate, Adam launched Larkey Photography after an 8-year stint as a photographer at the Disney ABC Television Group in Los Angeles. He still photographs for a host of clients, mainly in the restaurant industry, including Eater, Dining Out Magazine, Zagat, Smashburger, HMS Host, Edible Beats, Bonanno Concepts and Troy Guard.

 

Melissa Kienbusch

Melissa Kienbusch MHYPBoard Member (2017-Present)

As an enterprise performance management consultant Melissa has a passion for developing and implementing systems that allow organizations to gain insight, drive and measure growth. With extensive knowledge of Oracle Hyperion software, Melissa strives to provide the best solution for client’s budgeting, planning and reporting needs.

Melissa grew up in Colorado and graduate from the University of Denver. Prior to joining the Mile High Young Professionals board in 2017 Melissa served as an ambassador, leadership and recognition, co-chair and chair of the membership committee. Melissa is a member of DU Young Alumni, Cystic Fibrosis Colorado’s Finest Committee, and is an Alumni member of Delta Zeta and volunteers on the Budget and Finance committee. Melissa enjoys spending her free time skiing, hiking 14ers, running and reading.

 

Wyatt Cox

Wyatt Cox MHYPBoard Member (2018-Present)

Wyatt is originally from Tucson, Arizona and has been living in Denver for almost five years. Before moving to Denver, he spent time living in Australia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, and California.  Wyatt attended the University of Arizona, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, and thereafter attended the University of Tulsa, where he received his Juris Doctorate. While at the University of Arizona, Wyatt was a member of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and served on the President's Cabinet.  While in law school, he was elected to the Tulsa Law Review’s Executive Board and served as the Executive Articles Research Editor for the publication while also serving as Chief Justice of the Student Bar Association.

As an attorney Wyatt represents and counsels both individuals and businesses, providing his clients a broad range of legal services. His litigation practice is focused on construction defect, real estate, personal injury, and commercial disputes. Wyatt enjoys solving problems and helping others achieve success in times of challenge and adversity. Wyatt is an active and energetic member of the Denver community, striving each day to make the great City of Denver the very best place it can be. He is a proud member of the Denver organization, Mile High Young Professionals (MHYP), where he has served on the Communications Committee for the past two years. Wyatt is also a member of Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation (DA 20-30), where he has co-chaired the Denver Polo Classic – the largest charitable polo tournament in the nation raising over $1 MM each year which DA 20-30 distributes to Colorado non-profit organizations focused on helping children.

In his free time, Wyatt enjoys projects around the house and getting together with family and friends. In the winter, he can be found on I-70 or skiing, and in the spring, summer and fall, you can find him hiking and camping, playing in a river, riding a bike, or drinking a beer on a patio.

 

Alex Dvorak

Alex DvorakBoard Member (2019-Present)

Alex Dvorak joined Mile High Young Professionals (MHYP) in the winter of 2016 as a member and immediately made waves starting the chapter's first softball team while on the Sports Committee. He is fully committed to the organizations mission for providing opportunities for young professionals to become ingrained in their communities and understands the true value they provide, having experienced it first hand himself. In the past two years, Alex has created and led over 10 sports teams as chairman of the sports committee, volunteered regularly, and found inspiration through attending the many educational events on offer. In his current position, Alex is a Business Broker with Transworld Business Advisors - Rocky Mountain, where he works directly with small business owners, helping them to exit or acquire a business. Alex is a graduate of the University of Denver and came to the Mile High City in 2010 to join their growing small business community and enjoy all of the great outdoor activities including his favorites, camping, skiing, and fly fishing. 

 

Anselma Lopez

Anselma LopezBoard Member (2019-Present)

Anselma J. Lopez is the campus and community engagement coordinator for the Division of Enrollment and Access at Colorado State University.  In her role she serves as a liaison between the Division and CSU’s Denver Center helping to create inclusive practices.

A native of Swink, Colo., Ms. Lopez holds a dual bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She will receive a project management professional (PMP) certification in December 2018 and will complete two master’s certificates one in Student Affairs in Higher Education with a focus on access and success and another in Nutritional Sciences in May 2019 from Colorado State University.

Ms. Lopez serves on the Classified Personnel Council, Employee Appreciation Board and the Young Professionals group at CSU.  She serves on the board of The Matthews House in Fort Collins, and is the president of the University of Colorado at Boulder Alumni Association in Fort Collins.  Additionally, she is a mentor for the Leeds School of Business Professional Mentorship Program, planning committee member for the Rocky Mountain Young Professionals Summit, Toastmasters International member, previous scholarship chair for the Latino Alumni Association, and served as the sports Co-Chair for Mile High Young Professionals for the past four years.

 

Jay Samant

Jay Samant, MHYPBoard Member (2020-Present)

Jay is the founding Vice Principal of Instruction at STRIVE Prep-RISE High School, a public non-traditional charter school. Based on Colorado Department of Education’s school performance framework, STRIVE Prep-RISE High School was ranked 1st for Denver Public High Schools for the 2016-2017 school year, and has been consistently ranked in the top 10 Denver Public High Schools since its inception. Prior to school building leadership, Jay has worked as a district leader in Special Education, and also worked as a high school Special Education Teacher at Phoebus High School, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2015.

Jay is currently a dissertation candidate for his doctoral degree in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership at the College of William and Mary. He has a postgraduate degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from William and Mary, a master’s degree in Special Education from Binghamton University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Government-Adolescence Education at Daemen College. His current research is a qualitative study that will seek to explore teachers’ perceptions of the impact of a diagnostic cycle of Multi-Tiered System of Supports process on teacher efficacy, while engaging in participatory and reflective intervention approaches. Through his research, Jay has published an article in the William and Mary Educational Review Journal, titled: The Rationale, Success, and Critics of Virtual Schooling. In addition, he co-authored a textbook called: Preparing for the Comprehensive Exams: A Practical Guide to the Journey. Through his scholarly work, Jay was selected to visit Virginia’s General Assembly to meet with a select few legislators to discuss K-12 educational policies; higher education issues; and increasing funding for the Puller's Veterans Benefits Clinic. He has been the recipient of the Edward E. Brickell Leadership award, the Executive Leader award, and has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi-International Honor Society in Education, and the Global Key International Honor Society.

Jay has been a member of MHYP since 2016. He has served as the co-chairman of the philanthropy committee for the past 2 years, where he coordinated several partnerships with nonprofits and volunteer opportunities for young professionals. In 2018, Jay was awarded the Service Leader award at STRIVE Prep’s network end of year closing, based on philanthropy, community service, and humanitarian work that he’s led in the Denver community.

Jay enjoys playing tennis competitively, and was on the Oneonta State Men’s tennis team during undergrad. In 2019, Jay qualified for the Tennis League Network’s National Championships in singles and doubles. Apart from sports, Jay enjoys traveling, exercising, hiking, and trying different ethnic foods.

 

Leah Harroz

Leah Harroz, MHYPBoard Member (2020-Present)

Leah was born and raised in Oklahoma City OK, attended the University of Oklahoma and moved to Denver August 2012. She loves meeting new people, making connections and being a resource to others. Leah is a foodie at heart and love trying all of the amazing restaurants around town. She loves college football (Boomer, Sooner!), traveling, networking and attending a variety of events within the community. In Denver, she works in the oil and gas industry. She is a long time member of Junior League and currently serves on the Nominating Committee.

Within MHYP, she served as Events Co-Chair and planned the monthly socials. Additionally, she has been a Mentor to a high school since 2016 through the Minds Matter of Denver Program.

 

Ira Johnson

Ira JohnsonCo-Founder, Past President (2011-2012)

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

Dan Kobler, Co-Founder, Mile High Young ProfessionalsCo-Founder, Past President (2013-2014)

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 is a partner at Campfire Digital which offers comprehensive digital marketing services including website design and development, content marketing and social media for businesses looking to grow their online presence.

Dan has been a committed member of the Denver Community, including a graduate of Leadership Denver 2018, The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce's Chamber 100 program, Leads Groups, and Ambassador program. He was honored in 2013 as one of Colorado's Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He volunteers his time and talents for

 

Past Board Members

  • Bart Connolly (2017-2019)
  • Tim Murphy (2018-2019)
  • April Lambatos (2011-2018, Past President 2015-2016)
  • Chelley Canales (2017-2018)
  • Jordan Youngblade (2017-2018)
  • Desiree Hall (2013-2017, Past President 2017)
  • Michelle Preusch (2016-2017)
  • Alex Cole (2011-2016)
  • Nick Pirnack (2015-2016)
  • Julia Gentry (2014-2015)
  • Sev Martin (2013-2014)
  • Nicole Relyea (2011-2013)
  • Kristen Sonsma (2011)

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