MEET THE 2018 WHEATIES ACADEMY CO-CREATORS
AndyAndy was born in Wisconsin to 2 teachers. He moved to Colorado in 1999 after graduating from Northwestern University with a BS in Civil Engineering. After marrying a wonderful woman, Andy and his wife moved to Costa Rica, living there for almost 7 years. They moved back to metro Denver in 2011 where Andy has worked as a Solar Electrician ever since. He currently lives in Fruitdale with his wife and their 9 year old daughter. Andy loves books, bikes, and spending time with friends and family.
CaitlinCaitlin has been a Wheat Ridge resident since 2014. She works for the Denver VA as a Cardiovascular Research Manager, working with patients in a clinical setting and researching heart disease at the lab bench. On the weekends, Caitlin checks out local playgrounds with her husband and toddler son, enjoys the Denver museums, snags a cup of locally roasted coffee, or heads to the mountains for an adventure. She’s looking forward to learning how to become a more involved, impactful community member.
JulieJulie is a developer for JeffCo Housing Authority where she develops new affordable housing and reinvests in JCHA's existing portfolio. She previously worked on affordable housing for Denver and as a real estate consultant for local government clients in North Carolina. Julie holds an MBA and Masters of City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina and a BA from Stanford University. Julie has lived in Wheat Ridge for 2 years with her husband, Dustin, and their dog, Sully.
KevinKevin was born in Florida, lived in 9 states and 2 Canadian provinces before turning 27. Wheat Ridge has been home for 23+ years. He worked as a television reporter, cameraman, writer/producer and instructional designer before becoming the Educational Media Services Manager at Kaiser Permanente. His passions are: family, friends, Santiago’s breakfast burritos, watermelon, good bourbon, sleeping under a pecan tree, skiing Vail, teaching karate and driving with the windows down on summer nights.
KiaKia is excited to join Wheaties Academy where she hopes to grow local connections and leverage her resources. Her interests include the environment, local food, wellness, culture and economic development. Kia has experience as a biologist, a campaign organizer, a yoga teacher and consulting with brands and movements to better present scientific concepts for a non-science public. Her happy places: the outdoors on the trails, with her family, volunteering at the zoo, or online at @kiamruiz.
KimberlyKim has enjoyed living in Wheat Ridge since 2013 where she and her family are probably some of the bikiest folks in town. You may have seen her riding her bright orange cargo bike commuting to work downtown, visiting the farmers market, or grabbing a bite. Kim is a strong believer in buying local and supporting local businesses. She sees Wheat Ridge one of the final frontiers of Denver’s outward growth and believes we can have positive, progressive change if we work together as a community.
MadelaineMadelaine is a 5th generation Colorado native and 2nd generation Wheat Ridge resident where she lives with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. Madelaine worked at the DU with international students and now works for her family’s company part-time to spend more time with her daughter. She has a bachelors in Sociology, Masters in secondary education, “mini-MBA”, and graduate certificates in Global Affairs and Environmental Policy and Management. She loves to ski, paint, travel and be outdoors.
MaryMary was born in Pennsylvania and raised in New York where she attended college and graduate school, earning degrees in Education, Guidance and Counseling. After 6 years in the US Virgin Islands, Mary moved to Wheat Ridge and married her husband, Bud. They raised 2 sons before opening West 29th Restaurant & Bar. Mary enjoys reading, playing Mah Jongg and spending time with her family. She’s looking forward to building new relationships and learning about opportunities to serve her community.
MorganMorgan was born and raised in Englewood and graduated from CSU. She’s lived in Wheat Ridge 18 years on the very east side with her husband, 14 year old daughter and 2 dogs. As a certified foster-adoptive home, they hope to add 4th person to their family. Morgan was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2015 and is thankfully cancer-free today! She works in external communications for a rural energy company and she loves to read, garden, advocate for racial justice & healthcare, and cook.
NatNat was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, and has been in Colorado since graduating from Colorado College in 1990. He’s lived in Wheat Ridge since 2000 and is excited about the opportunities in front of our community. Nat is looking for a better understanding of how to connect and make things happen. He’s a Master Composter with Denver Urban Gardens and is in constant pursuit of turning scraps into black gold for the garden at Labrador Farms where he, Kathleen and their Labrador Felix call home.
StaceyStacey is a trainer for Colorado’s Community Mental Health Centers and Substance Use Providers and she oversees homelessness and other Recovery Support Services. She graduated with her BS in Art and Masters in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Stacey is a Combat Medic Army Veteran, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. She’s passionate about early intervention, serving her community, and improving the quality of lives for all people.
SunnySunny is a mom, part time student and part time worker. Her 11 year old son, Gage, attends Havern School in Littleton. This also means she is an unpaid chauffeur. Sunny is working on a B.A. in Business at Red Rocks Community College. She has worked for Darden restaurants since 2001. Sunny’s many passions include traveling, music, baking, reading and anything outdoors. She moved to Wheat Ridge in 2014 and has really felt at home in her community, prompting her to want to become more involved.
ValIn 2014, Val, her husband and 2 young daughters moved to Wheat Ridge where she has deep roots going back 5 generations. Val’s family loves the parks/events, mid century neighborhoods and the Anderson Pool. Val works as the Resiliency Engagement and Outreach Manager for the State. She has worked at the Colorado Lottery, CO Department of Human Services. Val attended CSU then worked for Congressman Mark Udall in Washington DC. She's worked for Obama '08, Senator Evan Bayh and Gov. Hickenlooper.