Desiree Hall

Desiree HallPresident (2017, Board Member 2015-Present)

Desiree was born and raised in Iowa, where she also 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.  Her career as a Sales Professional has taken her from her home state, to Houston and finally to Denver. She has consistently positively impacted the business development and relationships with her clients and it’s in these roles where Desiree has found her passion for sales and implementing solutions for her customers. Desiree has been involved with Mile High Young Professionals since 2011 and feels passionately about impacting the value the organization can bring to membership and the experiences and connections made by all.

Desiree is an Account Manager at TEKsystems, which is a subsidiary of Allegis Group, the largest private talent management firm in the world. TEKsystems’ longstanding history and industry-leading position speak to our success in providing the IT staffing solutions, IT services and talent management insight required for our clients to actualize ROI and sustain a truly competitive advantage in a fast-changing market.

Melanie Lewis-Dickerson

Melanie Lewis-DickersonVice President (2017, Board Member 2016-Present)

As an Improvement Advisor for the international nonprofit, Community Solutions, Melanie works directly with communities to build and improve systems to end homelessness. She is a member of the Built for Zero initiative team, where she works intensively with local leaders across the country to push toward the goal of functionally ending veteran and chronic homelessness using Quality Improvement and data-driven strategies. 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, systems change and strategic partnerships. She is the Vice 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 is the incoming Vice President of Public Policy for the Junior League of Denver, is a graduate of the 2015 Downtown Denver Leadership Program and a 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. 

April Lambatos

April LambatosBoard Member (2001-Present, Past President 2015-2016)

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 key piece of the Mile High Young Professionals Team!

Michelle Preusch

Michelle PreuschBoard Member (2016-Present)

Michelle Preusch is an Account Manager for Conversant Media- an international advertising tech and media company. She works to build relationships and maintain daily account needs for five clients within the Internet Retailer Top 100 advertisers. Day to day, Michelle ensures that her clients' digital media delivery is in alignment with their overall marketing strategy and requirements.  

As a Denver native and a proud graduate of the University of Colorado, Michelle remains involved in the Denver community as a Board Member and Events Chair for Mile High Young Professionals as well as volunteering with VOA. 

When she isn’t hanging out at an MHYP event or traveling for Conversant, Michelle loves to play tennis, do yoga and work out at Orange Theory. You can also find her on South Pearl street at her family’s women's boutique- Gracie’s.

Adam Larkey

Adam LarkeyBoard Member (2017-Present)

As a commercial real estate broker for Broad Street Realty, Adam covers 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.

His love for food started as an infant in Berlin, Germany where he would read cook books before going to bed. At age 6, he moved to the United States, growing up in Baltimore before receiving his Bachelor of Arts at Connecticut College. 

Bart Connolly

Board Member (2017-Present)

Bart was born on Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, and spent his childhood living throughout the United States as part of a military family. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver – Sturm College of Law, Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver – Daniels College of Business, and Bachelor of Science from the Florida State University College of Business.

Bart moved to Denver, Colorado in January 2007. Since moving to Denver, Bart has worked consistently to create a positive impact on the greater Denver community, volunteering with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Therapy Dogs Incorporated, Castle Rock Economic Development Council, and Mile High Young Professionals’ Philanthropic Committee.

Bart has served as a member of Mile High Young Professionals’ Philanthropic Committee since 2015. In 2016, he was recognized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Colorado’s Finest for his strong leadership qualities, community service work, and career excellence. Bart’s passions include starting businesses, spending time with his two golden retrievers, traveling internationally, and working in the greater Denver community. 

Chelley Canales

Board Member (2017-Present)

Chelley CanalesAs Development Associate for The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Chelley fundraises for arts in education, a cause that is very close to her heart. Raised in Littleton, CO, she was fortunate enough to explore her love of the performing arts through education in her community, which helped shaped the course of her life. Chelley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and was the recipient of the Trustee Award, awarded to one student from each class per year for outstanding leadership and service capabilities. In her professional theatrical career, Chelley has performed on stages all over the Denver metro area and beyond, including Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, The Arvada Center, The Aurora Fox, Vintage Theatre and Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.

A great passion for service in her community, combined with a desire to connect with other young professionals in Denver, inspired Chelley to join MHYP and serve as the Socials Director for the past year. The organization made quite an impact on her, and she is now proud to serve on the Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Presenting Denver, the Young Professionals Board for Project C.U.R.E., and is a member of the CBCA Leadership Arts Class of 2017.

Jordan Youngblade

Board Member (2017-Present)

Jordan Youngblade is the founder of Mind|Body|Wallet, a company that helps to educate Millennials on the basic principles of personal financial management and coaches them toward a more abundant mindset around the topic of money.  After spending 4 years as an independent financial advisor, she became very passionate about helping young professionals make smarter and more educated decisions around finances. 
Jordan is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Business Administration (emphasis in Finance), a minor in Economics and an International Business Certificate. While in Boulder, she took a strong liking to snowboarding, hiking and fitness. She is a certified yoga and fitness instructor and continues to teach classes in Denver, mostly at QiFlow and YogaPod.  Jordan is a Colorado native that grew up in Littleton, CO where her family still resides.  Jordan is currently the Chair of the Communications Committee for MHYP and loves being involved in the community!

Melissa Kienbusch

Board 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.

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 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 Colorado Youth At Risk and Big City Mountaineers.

Living in Northeast Denver with his wife Erin and sons Charlie and Leo, 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.

Past Board Members

  • 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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