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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 twelve 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

Meghan Lang, Program Manager Meghan joined KidsTek after working for two years as a 3rd Grade teacher. She 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, and managed many students at a time daily. Meghan graduated from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri where she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. Since working with KidsTek, Meghan has provided program support to instructors at host schools in the Aurora Public School district. Meghan is thrilled to take on the new endeavor of being Program Manager and continuing to support students and instructors while she grows within the organization. Contact Meghan at: meghan@kidstek.org

Emily Tow, Senior 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 multiple schools, working with kids in elementary through high school. She has also taught for KidsTek with programs like Career Connect and Aurora Youth 4 Success. She enjoys reading, cooking, and being a cat lady.

Betsy Powers, Instructor Betsy joined KidsTek in 2016 with a passion to see development in children, and enthusiasm for creative projects. Her favorite part of instructing is fostering genuine relationships with the students as a foundation to help them grow. She believes everyone has the potential to be and do anything they want, and loves inspiring students to believe that for their own unique passions. Betsy has taught at various church events, and has worked with middle and high school girls as a student ministry leader. She has also worked with children in both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. She is currently a student at the University of Denver, pursuing a Bachelors degree in Strategic Communications with Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Kiki Andriani, Instructor Kiki previously taught for KidsTek about seven years ago and is very pleased to be back on board! After helping in her children's classrooms when they were in elementary school, she decided to go back to school for teaching. She graduated from the University of Denver with degrees in Human and Mass Communications, and Gender Studies. She has also completed her graduate coursework in Linguistically Diverse education at Regis University. Kiki enjoys spending her time with loved ones, singing, dancing, yoga, meditation, teaching, tutoring, volunteering, learning, investing, traveling, cooking gourmet meals, nature, and staging homes.

Adam Mikulis, Instructor Adam has a BS in Business Management from the US Air Force Academy and is currently working on an MS in Computer Science at the University of Colorado - Denver. His passion for programming and electronics led him to start teaching weekend classes on 3D printing and rendering, progressing to an instructor position at KidsTek. Adam's hobbies include rock climbing, skydiving, and robotics projects.

Aimee Charlton, Vice President of Strategic Operations Aimee came to KidsTek after spending many years at the Colorado Technology Association and the Better Business Bureau Foundation of Denver/Boulder. Through these two connections, she became familiar with KidsTek and our mission. During Aimee’s active life, she has traveled to 16 different countries, studied music in Italy, and even sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Even though Aimee is new to the organization, she has big plans for the future. She is planning on growth throughout the organization. She’d like us to expand our reach to more schools and school districts, and would like individual staff to grow through additional professional development opportunities. Technology has always been a passion for Aimee. She knows the importance that it plays in the lives of the young students we serve! Contact Aimee at: aimee@kidstek.org

Casey McCoy-Simmons, Program Specialist Casey joined KidsTek after working for almost four years in public libraries in Illinois, California and Colorado. As a librarian she managed public events, coordinated teen volunteers, led early education story times and taught STEM classes for everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens. Casey earned her B.S. in Media and Cinema Studies, with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies, as well as her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is excited to bring her passion for technology and community engagement to the KidsTek team while supporting programs at our schools in the Denver, Jefferson County and Adams 12 school districts. Contact Casey at: casey@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, Fulton and Vaughn Elementary Schools in Aurora. Courtney does her best to stay current with technology trends, and tries to plan lessons that are creative and engaging, while always keeping in mind the students' interests. She enjoys her work with KidsTek and finds it very rewarding. She also has experience teaching individuals in music theory and piano, and plays and sings in a local band. In her free time, Courtney enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and cooking.

Michelle Lim, Instructor Michelle is a freelance web developer and educator. Over the past few years, she has had the pleasure of working with artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and community organizers to build websites, apps and online tools carefully designed for their needs. Michelle has been teaching technology at Title 1 Denver public schools since 2014, and creative summer camps at the Denver Art Museum since 2015. She loves to design and facilitate learning experiences that uplift and empower the next generation of creators and thinkers. With KidsTek, she will teach the spring semester Intro to Programming (Python) class at Aurora's Hinkley High School.

Tiarra Pailin, Instructor Tiarra Pailin received her master’s in social work in 2016. She has worked as a mentor for about 11 years, and started mentoring when she was still in high school. She has always had a passion for working with children and teens. She received bachelor degrees in interior design and marketing and has some background in creating graphics for events. Tiarra currently works as a clinical case manager during the day and as an instructor for KidsTek in the afternoon. She enjoys music, crafting, traveling, and spending time with her husband and puppies.

Fatima Prieto, Classroom Aide Fatima Prieto is a junior at Hinkley High School in Aurora. Last school year she took an 'Intro to Computing' course through KidsTek in the fall semester and an 'Intro to Programming' course with us in the spring. She works as a classroom aide for KidsTek at North 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, Candidate for Colorado Governor Mr. Robinson is the past 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.

Aimee Meester - CEO, Madison Taylor Marketing Aimee is the founder and CEO of Madison Taylor Marketing, a Denver based marketing agency. She has been involved with KidsTek since 2012 helping with marketing initiatives as well as event coordination for the annual Tech Leaders Gala. In 2017 she joined the board to continue advocating for the KidsTek mission. Her favorite piece of working with KidsTek is getting to interact with the students they serve.

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 Hodgins - 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.

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.