Meet the Team Behind the Athena Awesomeness
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND FOUNDER
PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
Anne counts herself as an ‘almost’ native to Colorado, having lived in Denver since she was six years old. She graduated from South High School where Joyce Hettler, the drama teacher there, ignited her passion for acting. With an eye toward the practical, Anne graduated from the University of Wyoming with a major in French and a minor in theatre. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and practiced law for many years with the firm of Nathan, Bremer, Dumm and Myers. She retired in order to pursue her interest in the arts. Since then, she has been active in the vibrant Denver theater scene, working as an actor. Anne is honored to serve as the President of Athena Project. Other hats she wears within the organization include Mentor Coordinator and Production Coordinator for Athena’s annual visual arts show.
Liz Black has served as the Executive Director for 40 West Arts District for over eight years. She is passionate about the arts, helping artists, arts advocacy, and the power of creativity to change societies. Liz is also a writer and managing editor for the publication West Colfax Lately magazine, and volunteers in multiple capacities throughout the City of Lakewood. In her free time, Liz enjoys yoga, learning Spanish, hanging out with her daughter, and spending time outdoors. Her current favorite form of art is immersive theater. Liz is honored and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors for Athena Project.
Non-profit Advancement, Leadership and Community Building
A visionary senior executive with proven ability to build organizational and individual capacity, maximize board development opportunities, develop high performance teams and foster collaborative partnerships. Kathy brings together strategic and tactical expertise in philanthropy, operations and fundraising with a focus on growing organizations. As a skilled communicator who works across organizational levels effectively managing relationships with donors, staff, board members, volunteers and community leaders at all levels of an organization. Strong experience in the arts and education. Kathy currently serves as Director of Institutional & Capital Giving at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.
Fundraising/Revenue Development: As Director of Development, Kathy led a team raising over $365 million dollars over five years while implemented a relationship model, authored the training plan and managed a department of 40 staff to improve operational efficiency and customer service.
Leadership/Change Management: Leader of a $10 million capital campaign raising funds to build a new 22,000 square foot theater and community center. Led board of directors, city officials and community members.
Advocate: While Director of a nonprofit housing families experiencing homelessness, Kathy developed a program working with the clients to help them tell their personal story through writing and public speaking; educating the community members on myths and structural barriers to becoming housed.
- University of St. Catherine, Liberal Arts Degree – Interdisciplinary Studies/Feminist Theory
- Art of Hosting Facilitator Training, Racial Justice Facilitator
- Public Speaking Training Public Relations and Media Training
- Leadership St. Paul (LSP is a program of the Chamber of Commerce) Alumni – Past Chair of LSP Alumni Committee
Sarah is a writer, podcaster, and arts marketer, with a passion for unconventional storytelling, detective stories, and rude women. She’s currently the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, where she’s one of the founding members of the Center’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access staff task force. Sarah serves on the City of Arvada’s Arts and Culture Commission, a volunteer position that works with the City of Arvada to support, cultivate, and advocate for a variety of arts, culture, and heritage opportunities in her community. She’s also the co-host and co-creator of the
However Improbable Podcast – a Sherlock Holmes book club revisiting the canon with a fresh and feminist perspective.
After previously working with Athena Project’s marketing team, Sarah is beyond thrilled to serve on the board and empower women and girls in the arts across the state of Colorado.
Olivia is the Director of Marketing for Bonanno Concepts where she guides the strategic arm behind 7 restaurants, 2 bars, a bakery and a 16-concept food hall. She spearheads large scale community events, cultivates national partnerships, oversees 24 social media accounts and manages media for the group and its renowned chef/owners, Frank & Jacqueline Bonanno.
Her previous roles include Communications Manager for The Blue Bench, an organization dedicated to providing low to no-cost therapy for victims of sexual assault and prevention education to students, and Associate for Denver-based public affairs firm GBSM, specializing in crisis communication, stakeholder engagement and coalition building.
“Jessi Whitten is the Director of Marketing and Development for Levitt Pavilion Denver. A graduate of University of Colorado Boulder and alumni of the college radio station Radio 1190, Jessi has been a champion of music discovery and accessibility in Denver for nearly two decades.
Jessi started her career in public media, performing as Music Director, Assistant Program Director and on-air talent at Colorado Public Radio’s new music radio stations OpenAir and Indie 102.3. During her tenure there she contributed to special features and programs that highlighted the uniquely collaborative nature and explosive talent of our local music community. In 2018, Westword named her “Denver’s Best Indie Radio DJ” and currently hosts evenings on Indie 102.3FM. In 2021, Jessi became the host of PBS12’s music variety show Sounds on 29th.
A graduate of CBCA’s Leadership Arts program, she serves on the board of the Athena Project, a Colorado non-profit working to elevate the voices of women in creative spaces and a member of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals board.
Jessi is also an NPR contributor who has been featured on programs like All Songs Considered, Morning Edition and Heavy Rotation.
In addition to her work in Denver’s music community, Jessi is passionate about storytelling and comedy. She is co-live sound engineer and co-producer of the Narrators, a monthly true storytelling showcase and podcast and is the Volunteer Manager and co-producer of the High Plains Comedy Festival.”
Stephanie is an experienced compliance professional with a passion for education and the arts. She currently works for Jefferson County where she is the ADA Coordinator and member of the council on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Stephanie graduated from Randolph-Macon Womens College and believes strongly in the importance of fostering opportunities for women, non-binary people, and trans folk in the arts community. In her free time she enjoys reading, crafting, spending time with friends, and travel. Stephanie is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Board of Directors for Athena Project.
TREASURER AND ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
From beach baby to snow bunny, Kim spent most of her youth in Hawaii then moved to Colorado for College. After graduating from CSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, moved to San Francisco to start her career as a graphic designer at an advertising agency. After 15+ years in the advertising industry, she now is the VP/COO and Creative Director for Overstreet Associates. Kim and her husband Kyle, moved back to Colorado to raise their two children and to be near family and friends. Kim is honored to be on the board and is excited to help propel women and girls in the arts.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
For over 20 years, Holly has worked in the nonprofit realm prioritizing the connecting of communities to artistic and educational events.
Dr. Rohini Gupta
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Dr. Rohini Gupta is a clinical psychologist and an adjunct faculty member at University of Denver. She consults with various non-profit and for profit orgranizations on staff welfare and decreasing compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. She is on the Board of the Athena Project, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering women in the arts.
Prior to desciding to work full time in private practice, Dr. Gupta spent several years as a core faculty member at the University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP), International Disaster Psychology Program (IDP). During that time she directed the Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic (TDRC), which is a training clinic that provides mental health services to those who have experienced stress, adversity, and trauma. She Co-Founded the Colorado Resilience Collaborative, a community based initiative aimed at addressing Identity based violence.
Dr. Gupta has taught courses in trauma interventions and professional seminars that focuses on professional development and the supervision of clinical cases for doctoral and master level students in psychology. She received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Masters in Social Work at University of Denver.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Stephanie Rance founded Run & Shoot Filmworks in 2002, which annually hosts the Academy Award-accredited Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
and Color of Conversation Film Festival in Denver. The film festival, brainchild of Stephanie and Floyd Rance, is one of the fastest-growing festivals in the country, recognized for its impeccable film selections, premiere screenings and welcoming environment. The Color of Conversation Film Festival launched in Denver in 2019, bridges the gap in introducing thought-provoking films that spark engaging dialogue. Stephanie has won numerous awards in digital marketing and was most recently awarded a Black Woman in Media award in 2018 for her work with the film festival and in supporting the works of people of color. Stephanie also is a featured guest speaker at Georgetown University on entrepreneurship and social media. She is honored to serve as an Advisory Board Member of Athena Project.
OUR SUPPORTING CAST
SOCIAL MEDIA LEAD COORDINATOR, MEDIA AND PR
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
GOOGLE ADS COORDINATOR
GRANTS COMMITTEE MEMBER
OUTREACH COMMITTEE MEMBER
Community Engagement Committee
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
LEAD PROGRAM COORDINATOR
PROGRAM COORDINATOR – SUMMER CAMPS
PROGRAM SUPPORT – OPEN MIC & WORKSHOPS
EVENTS COMMITTEE MEMBER