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Our Team

“KidsTek was such a meaningful program for my students. The students who participated in KidsTek really became the technology experts in the classroom, and were so eager to teach and help their fellow classmates on the computers.”

Leann Sain, 3rd Grade Teacher, DCIS Fairmont School

Staff & Instructors

Andrew Bissland, Program Director Andrew has been managing daily operations at KidsTek for the past eleven years. He leads a team of instructors teaching computer classes in the Denver, Aurora, Adams 12, and Jefferson County school districts. He has over twenty years of experience in human services, working to improve the lives of children and families in underprivileged communities. He has managed several programs for children and teens in Colorado Springs and Denver. He has served two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA; one in Michigan with an adult literacy program in 1994, and more recently in 2005 as a Team Leader with a group of VISTAs implementing service-learning programs in schools throughout Colorado. Andrew has a B.A. in Mass Communications and a B.S. in Secondary Education from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Contact Andrew at: andrew@kidstek.org

Kristina Calvert, Program Specialist Kristina joined KidsTek after working with Denver Parks and Recreation in their after-school programs. With DPR, Kristina helped students build confidence in themselves through activity-based learning. Before coming to Colorado, Kristina taught outdoor education all across the country. Through this opportunity, she worked with children from all walks of life, developed lesson plans to meet educational standards and cater to multiple learning styles, honed classroom management skills, coordinated daily schedules and duties for counselors, and assisted in planning and implementation of multiple community and fundraising events. Kristina graduated with a B.S. in Recreational Leadership and Outdoor Education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama. At KidsTek, Kristina provides program support to instructors and ensures program effectiveness at our host schools in Denver, JeffCo, and Adams 12 districts. Contact Kristina at: kristina@kidstek.org

Courtney Hermes, Instructor Courtney has her B.A. in English from the University of Iowa. She has previously worked as an elementary math tutor in the Denver Public Schools district for the Blueprint Network. Courtney currently teaches for KidsTek at Sable, Paris, Fulton and Vaughn Elementary Schools in Aurora. She has experience teaching individuals in music theory and piano, and also plays and sings in a local band. In her free time, Courtney enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and cooking.

Betsy Powers, Instructor Betsy enjoys KidsTek because of her passion for seeing development in children and her enthusiasm for creative projects. She is excited to share her creativity with students in fun ways while connecting them with their passions. Betsy has taught as both a small and large group leader for different church events, and as a volunteer leader for 8th grade girls in a student ministry. She has also worked with children in both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. After completing a year at CSU Fort Collins, she took a gap year to accept a 9-month internship opportunity with the Creative Design Team at Red Rocks Church. She is currently a student at the University of Denver.

Emily Tow, Instructor Emily Tow graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in English Literature and Secondary Education. She previously taught middle and high school in the Des Moines Public Schools district. Emily currently teaches for KidsTek at East Middle School in Aurora and at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy. She enjoys reading, cooking, and tinkering with cars.

Maziyar Kalantarzadeh, Instructor Mazi became passionate for teaching when he was a freshman in high school. He enjoyed reviewing his instructors' teaching methods and learning from them. After graduating from university in computer science, Mazi went back to the same school that he graduated from and became a part-time computer programming instructor. He has worked as a project manager and system analyst as well as teaching. During the last 10 years of his career as an instructor he has learned a lot from his students.

Hoshi Corona, Classroom Aide Hoshi Corona is a senior at North High School in Denver. She is currently taking classes at Emily Griffith to be a Nursing Assistant She hopes to be a nurse or work in some way with medical technology. She is a classroom aide for KidsTek at Pennington Elementary in Wheat Ridge.

Meghan Lang, Program Specialist Meghan recently joined KidsTek after working the past two years as a 3rd Grade teacher. She has taught in two different schools in the Denver Metro area, where she created long- and short-term lesson plans, worked to develop relationships with students, collaborated with parents and families, charted the data and growth of her students, interpreted data to create differentiated learning in the classroom and daily practiced managing many students at a time. Meghan graduated from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri where she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. At KidsTek, Meghan provides program support to instructors at host schools in Aurora Public Schools. Contact Meghan at: meghan@kidstek.org

Courtney Wade, Instructor Courtney received her Bachelor's degree in International Business from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. She has also completed courses at the Art Institute of Colorado and received certificates in Web Design and Development and Search Engine Marketing. Courtney loves to travel and has spent time studying in Spain and teaching English in South Korea. For the past few years she has volunteered with World Heritage placing foreign exchange students with host families. Courtney teaches for KidsTek at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora and has recently started her seventh school year teaching for KidsTek! She loves to spend her spare time with her husband, family and friends.

Luisa Zamora, Instructor Luisa graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelors degree in Modern Languages and a minor in Chicano Studies. She has been an educator for the past 7 years, showing deep dedication and a commitment to working with under-served communities. She has a passion for mentoring and teaching young people of all ages. Moving to Colorado 11 years ago, Luisa immersed herself in a local community bike shop teaching free bicycle mechanics classes to her neighborhood. She continued her passion for teaching by volunteering at an elementary school teaching organic gardening and later accepted a position as an education coordinator for the YMCA. Currently Luisa is excited to use her background in serving diverse communities to help further the mission of KidsTek!

Candace Gorman, Instructor Candace earned her Masters Degree in Education in 2013, and two undergraduate degrees in Communications and Sales/Marketing in 2011. Since then, she's taught Philosophy to adults/college students online at Ashford University and Media Arts/Computer Literacy to 1st-6th graders at Doral Academy Nevada, an arts integration charter school in Las Vegas. In her last position, she developed a curriculum for middle school aged students revolving around Marketing/Communications, integrating basic computer software programs and design techniques. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, and anything outside in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Emilie Kelley, Instructor Emilie graduated from the University of Denver with degrees in International Studies and Spanish. She currently works as a Denver Math Fellow at McGlone Academy, as well as a KidsTek instructor at North and South Middle schools in Aurora. She loves traveling, and has spent time living in Spain and South America. In her free time, Emilie enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her dogs!

Sharonda Harris, Instructor Sharonda is a Colorado native who graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor’s in Human Development with a minor and concentration in Early Childhood Education. She is currently in her second year teaching preschool in Aurora Public Schools, and has been working with children in various capacities for the past 20 years. Sharonda enjoys learning as much as teaching, and loves to inspire others and set the foundation for young children's learning. In her spare time, Sharonda spends time with her family and plans for their summer vacations. She is excited to be a member of the KidsTek team and works for us after school at Colfax Elementary in Denver and Pennington Elementary in Wheat Ridge.

Fatima Prieto, Classroom Aide Fatima Prieto is currently a sophomore student at Hinkley High School. She is serving as a classroom aide for KidsTek at East Middle School in Aurora. In her spare time, Fatima enjoys reading, dancing, and soccer.

Board of Directors

Robert McClary - Board Chair, Chief Operating Officer, FORTRUST Robert McClary joined FORTRUST in 2001, and continues to hold the critical role of building the company into the premier data center services provider and colocation facility that it is today. As Sr. VP & GM, he is responsible for the overall supervision of business operations, high-profile construction and the strategic technical direction of FORTRUST. Robert developed and honed his management philosophy, attention to detail and strict process standards during his 16-year tenure in the United States Navy serving in both enlisted and officer roles. Robert received designation as a Master Training Specialist while in the Navy. Additionally, Robert is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a BS in Workforce Education & Development.

Trent Martinet - Secretary, Partner, Davis, Graham & Stubbs Trent Martinet is a partner in the Finance & Acquisitions Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Technology Law Group. He advises clients on legal issues related to intellectual property, technology, commercial transaction, and corporate law matters. Mr. Martinet represents individual entrepreneurs, start-ups, emerging growth, and other private and public companies. He often represents clients in various industries such as software, aviation, healthcare, consumer products, manufacturing, natural resources, energy, hospitality, telecommunications, and higher education regarding the financing, development, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property assets. Mr. Martinet is a frequent publisher and lecturer on intellectual property, technology and commercial contracting topics. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Martinet was a software developer.

Doug Robinson - Past Chairman, Managing Director, KPMG Corporate Finance Mr. Robinson is a Managing Director of KPMG Corporate Finance in the Technology, Media and Telecom group. In 2014 KPMG purchased St. Charles Capital, which he co-founded in 2005 and grew to be one of Denver’s leading investment banking firm. He has extensive experience in private placements of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings for information technology software and services firms. In addition he has led and completed transactions for many non-tech middle market companies. Robinson is also actively involved in the community. He has served as a Board Member of the CSIA for 4 years and is a founder of KidsTek. Robinson also serves as an Executive Board Member of the Denver Area Counsel of the Boy Scouts of America, and on the Board of Trustees of Colorado Academy, an independent K-12 day school. Robinson received an MBA in Finance from Columbia Graduate School of Business.

Jeff Carr - Director, Co-Founder/CEO - SlamData Jeff has been passionate about innovative technology for over 25 years while developing expertise in Business Development, sales, market assessment, operations and executive leadership. For the past 13 years he has focused exclusively on early stage companies in markets including network security, VOIP, and more recently Big Data. The energy and entrepreneurial spirit of startups is what drives him. Currently he serves as Co-founder and CEO for SlamData, an early stage venture backed company revolutionizing the future of modern data analytics.

Henry Wright - Director, Community Volunteer Mr. Wright is a seasoned technology leader with over 23 years experience in product, market and operating roles worldwide including certification as a Six Sigma Executive and Value Innovations Yellow Belt. He held senior management positions at Vocollect Inc, SpectraLink Corporation, and Open Country, a California based privately funded, pre-revenue Linux start-up. There, he commercialized the scalable SaaS platform with system management applications in 2004. For more than 10 years, Henry guided technical and business teams with global accountability for strategy, revenue, product management, technical services and marketing at Sun Microsystems, Inc. He earned an MBA for Executive’s from the University of Colorado, EMBA program, and a B.A. in Sociology from Union College, Schenectady, New York. Wright serves as an area VP for the Rocky Mountain Product Development and Management Association, is an active Association for Corporate Growth member, and a co-founder of the 905 professional networking group.

Bruce Huebner - Director, President at Lone Tree Advisors Mr. Huebner has over twenty years of sales, marketing and business development experience in the personal, client server and Internet computing eras. Seventeen of those years have been in management and leadership capacities. Huebner currently heads his own consulting and investment company, Lone Tree Advisors, LLC. Prior to starting his own company, Huebner was President and Chief Executive Officer of Teamshare, Inc, a Colorado Springs based collaborative software company. Huebner became CEO after joining Teamshares Board of Directors in August of 2000. Prior to Teamshare, Huebner worked for Microsoft Corporation for thirteen years in a variety of capacities. He headed Microsofts Network Solutions Group based in Denver. There, he was responsible for partnering with telecommunications & Internet solutions companies and played a key role in developing partnerships and outlining Microsofts ASP & .NET strategies. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Microsoft's Rocky Mt. Region for eight years, responsible for sales, marketing, consulting & engineering services for that Region. He grew Microsoft's business from 8 to 120 people during that time and was responsible for significant revenue growth. His Microsoft career started by opening the New England sales office in Boston in 1987. Prior to that, he spent 5 years in the fledgling PC computer industry in sales and management positions in the Boston area. Huebner and his wife Jane have lived in the Littleton area for the last 12 years and have 3 children. He past non-profit volunteer work in Denver included a 2 year Board role with the Community College of Denver's Computer Training for People with Disabilites (CTPD) program.

Denise Hulce-Franklin - Director, Community Volunteer Denise Hulce Franklin is an active angel investor and advisor to the startup community. Denise was most recently the VP of Revenue at SendGrid, Inc., a cloud developer infrastructure services company. Prior to her tenure with SendGrid, Denise was the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of North America for Logitech. Prior to Logitech, Denise was the Director of International Operations for @Last Software, acquired by Google in 2006. She also held various positions at MessageMedia, an email marking startup, from 1998-2001, before the company was acquired by DoubleClick/Google. Denise serves on the board of KidsTek, a 501c3 providing technology and STEM focused education in the public schools. Denise has also been a mentor for Techstars, Boomtown, MergeLane, and Founder Institute. Denise holds a BA in Philosophy and English from Texas Christian University. She currently resides in Boulder, CO. When not working with entrepreneurs or spending time with her husband and kids, Denise likes pursuing adventures like Ironman triathlon, road biking, and global foodie travel.

Melanie Ryan Meador, Chief Revenue Officer Bankrate, Inc. Melanie Ryan Meador joined Bankrate Insurance in September 2012 with a deep background in sales, account management, revenue management, new product launches, business development and international market expansion. She was named Chief Revenue Officer in August 2014 with main responsibilities for company wide sales and revenue efforts across all product lines. Prior to joining Bankrate Insurance, Melanie held the position of Vice President, Global Strategic Accounts and Business Development at Orbitz Worldwide. Here she provided Strategic Leadership globally across North America, Europe, Asia, Pacific and the Middle East for hotel sales, business development, product launches and account management on behalf of the Orbitz Worldwide portfolio of brands including Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com, ebookers.com, HotelClub.com, Ratestogo.com, NEAT and their affiliates. Since September 2004, Melanie served as Orbitz Worldwide’s lead negotiator and closer on all their Strategic Hotel Account partnerships globally. Melanie also served as the President of HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) which is the leading association focused on the standardization and advancement of electronic distribution in the hospitality industry. She was elected by the Board of Directors in Dec 2008 to serve a 3 year term and was re-elected in 2010 for an additional 2 year term. Her collective time on the board was 8 years, all elected by the hospitality industry at large. Melanie also held the Technical and Financial Advisory positions for Pegasus Solutions , an industry leading technical and financial solutions company. Melanie currently holds various charitable board positions including being on the Executive Leadership Team of the American Heart and Stroke Association, Fundraising Co Chair for Prospect Ridge Academy, and with her husband Founded the Meadors Masters, a 501c3 non profit foundation supporting various charities nationally. She was elected to the KidsTek Board of Directors in Nov 2015.

Richard Liner - Executive Director, President and CEO, LinerGroup, Inc. Mr. Liner is the founder of LinerGroup, Inc., an Information Technology (IT) Recruiting and Consulting company, established in 1999 to provide innovative IT recruiting and consulting solutions to high growth companies. Prior to creating LinerGroup, Liner was VP of the IT Staffing Division of Inteliant, where he was involved in the integration of IT consulting acquisitions throughout the western US. He began his IT career in Denver in 1978 as a consulting Programmer/Analyst, and in 1982 opened the Denver office of Leardata, which was acquired by Ajilon in 1990. Liner managed the Western Region of Ajilon until 1997. Liner's involvement in non-profit organizations began in 1994 when he became a founding director of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). He served as Chairperson of the CTA in 1998, and chaired the Workforce Committee of the CTA, which was the driving force behind the formation of the Colorado Technology Community Foundation (CTCF), now known as KidsTek. Liner is also active in the Colorado Technical Recruiters Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and advancement of Technical Recruiting needs in the front range of Colorado. Liner holds a BS degree, Cum Laude, in Computer Science from Union College, and lives in southeast Denver with his wife, Jane.

Megan Benson - Treasurer, Audit Manager - HEIN & Associates LLP Megan is a CPA in Colorado and assists private and public companies with an array of audit services, including year-end audits, employee benefit plan audits, Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX 404), revenue recognition, and share-based compensation. She focuses on the manufacturing and distribution and technology industries. Prior to joining Hein in 2007, Megan worked in the audit department at Nearman, Maynard, Vallez, CPAs & Consultants, P.A. in Miami, Florida. She is also a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Megan received her bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Florida.

Pat Maley - Partner, Wiegers Capital Partners Mr. Maley is a Partner with Wiegers Capital Partners an alternative investment group. His focus is providing growth capital to private companies in the Western US. Prior to joining WCP he had over thirty years experience in sales, marketing and general management with technology based companies. From 1994-2003 he was the CEO for three high tech companies, Dante Software, Collaboratek and Client Systems. He held senior sales management positions with Sequent Computer Systems and Intel Corporation. He is a director of KPA LLC, DG2L Ltd., D’Lance Golf Inc. and KidsTek. He is past Chairman of the Colorado Software and Internet Association (CSIA). He has a BS from the US Naval Academy and an MPA from the University of Colorado.

David Stern - Director, Community Volunteer Mr. Stern is the founder and former CEO of Research Systems Inc, now known as Exelis Visual Information Solutions in Boulder, Colorado. The software company developed IDL a popular software package for scientific applications, including astronomy, high energy physics, and medical imaging. Stern attended Union College in Schenectady, NY and received his BA in Economics from the University of Colorado in 1969. He worked at the University from 1969 to 1977 at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, LASP, where he developed software for NASA's interplanetary probes notably Mariner Mars 7 and 9. In 1977 he founded Research Systems Inc. in Boulder, to develop a scientific programming language for data analysis and scientific visualization called IDL. IDL plays an important role in the data reduction, processing and analysis activities for a number of major projects including the Hubble Space Telescope and is widely used in the fields of satellite imagery, medical imaging and automotive engineering. He was named the Esprit Entrepreneur of the Year by the Boulder County Chamber of Commerce in 1997, received an honorary doctorate (ScD) from the University of Colorado in 2000, and now serves on the Arizona Astronomy Board.

Gil Selinger - Director, Associate at Fairfield & Woods Gil B. Selinger counsels clients on a wide range of business transactions and legal matters. Gil's practice focuses primarily on securities law, small businesses, and mergers and acquisitions. Gil has represented individual and institutional investors, as well as issuers in a myriad of equity, debt and exchange offerings, small and large private placements, and other corporate finance transactions. Gil regularly counsels broker-dealers, investment advisors and other securities intermediaries on compliance with federal and state securities laws and other business matters. In addition to providing full service securities advice to clients, Gil also offers clients expertise on corporate transactions; mergers and acquisitions; changes of ownership; and cases involving corporate finance and capital. Gil has experience in both general corporate matters and securities matters; he routinely drafts corporate documents, including operating agreements, by-laws, shareholder agreements, buy/sell agreements and asset/stock purchase agreements, among others. His clients work in a variety of industries—including venture capital, private equity, entertainment, software, hardware, other technologies, construction, gaming, operations and real estate—and range from small LLCs and family-owned businesses to family offices and large corporations.

Margie Sims - Vice President of Sales, Dizzion Margie Sims leads the sales team and overall strategy for Dizzion. Prior to her arrival at Dizzion in 2015, Margie spent 16 years in various sales and sales management positions at ViaWest. Her most recent role there was Vice President of Sales, Central Division, where she was responsible for the overall development, strategy and customer satisfaction in the Colorado, Minnesota and Texas Markets. For the past five years, Margie has Co-Chaired the Colorado Technology Association’s C-Level @ A Mile High event and has been the Marketing Co-Chair for SIM Women. She is also on the Board of Directors for KidsTek. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University. When not at work – or tweeting – she enjoys spending time with her two active boys.

Chuck Price - Chief Information Officer at SANS Institute Mr. Price brings more than 20 years of executive leadership, 11 of which have been in C-level positions for emerging and global companies both public and private. His experience includes supporting and executing buy-side and sell-side corporate mergers, acquisitions and IPO's. Mr. Price's industry and technology experiences are broad in scope, ranging from financial services and defense contracting to technology strategy, global datacenter operations, enterprise software development, IT security, IT finance and IT governance. Most recently Mr. Price was Senior Vice President, Technology (CIO) at CoreSite Realty Corporation, a publicly traded national datacenter provider (NYSE:COR). He joined CoreSite to assist in the execution of their IPO and transition to a public company. Prior to joining CoreSite, Mr. Price was the Vice President (CIO) at TD Ameritrade Trust Company, where he was responsible for the business unit’s post-acquisition integration, technology strategy and operational excellence for a national trading platform with over $40B in assets under management. Mr. price has held C-level positions for the past 12 years at Fiserv Investment Support Services, Requisite Technology, Syngistix and Net Library Mr. Price attended the University of California, San Diego in Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics.