César Rascón - Board President
Vice President and Branch Manager
First Citizens Bank
Migrating from Mexico at age 16, Cesar worked harvesting crops while attending high school and learning English. Cesar received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Cesar has been an advocate for minorities within the Denver Metro area, helping migrant students to advance, assimilate, and have opportunities to continue to learn and grow. His involvement has included volunteering to instruct GED classes to ESL students, and teaching financial literacy classes to high school students. In his free time, Cesar likes to spend time with his family and his two dogs.
Candice is a native of Venezuela, moving to Colorado after working many years for a multinational nonprofit that took her to more than 47 countries across Europe, South America, and Africa. In that role, she led initiatives in corporate social responsibility, education, and sustainability. For the past 20 years, Candice has lived and worked in Colorado, raising a family and building and strengthening communities throughout the state. Motivated by her own background and a desire to bring social and emotional learning to children’s formal education, she founded and served as president of Glowmundo, a nonprofit in Denver that works to build resilience in children and youth. Candice has also served as a consultant, working with communities in the Denver-metro area to support work in community engagement, immigrant and refugee parent engagement, equity training and coaching, and social-emotional learning. Candice holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies, specializing in multicultural communication, and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University.
Bank of the West
Ashton Blaha is a Talent Management professional at Bank of the West. Ashton’s work focuses on succession planning, performance management and creating leadership programs. Before joining Bank of the West, Ashton worked in the staffing industry for high volume customer service and higher education collegiate recruiting. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Management with a specialization in HR. Ashton has been an advocate for sustainability around urban gardening and in her spare time enjoys hiking outdoors and rock climbing.
Susan Bonsall Rosenberry
Susan Bonsall Rosenberry is a Community Leader who serves on numerous non-profit boards in Denver and Larimer County that focus on environmental issues, social justice, education, and community service. Susan has been the Director of Leading Learning Communities, a top management consulting firm; Executive Director of the Colorado Environmental Coalition; Executive Director of Earth Day USA; Regional Director of the Stewardship Community; Regional Director of Renaissance Business Associates; and a Marketing and Communications Specialist at Rutgers University. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado and her M.A. from Rutgers University. Susan plays her flute in three groups, is an oil painter and is a Master Gardener with Larimer County.
Megan Burke - Board Secretary
Tryba Architects in Denver
Megan is a Project Architect at Tryba Architects in Denver. She has over a decade of experience managing a variety of project types, delivering creative, sustainable buildings on-time and on-budget. Megan is passionate about bringing people together through the built environment, building spaces that help encourage community involvement and engagement. Her creative thinking, understanding of the building industry, and overall positive demeanor makes her a valuable asset to the Board to help progress Groundwork Denver’s mission and community goals. Megan received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona. She is originally from Boise, Idaho and her love for the outdoors brought her to Colorado. Megan enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring all that Colorado has to offer.
Marketing and Event Planning Professional
Makalah is a marketing professional who currently works as a Media Relations Assistant for the Denver Nuggets and Marketing Manager for the outsourced nonprofit accounting firm, NFP Partners. Makalah also serves as an associate for the Leadership for Educational Equity. For eight years, Makalah was employed by Groundwork Denver, first working as a Green Team member and supervisor then as the nonprofit’s Volunteer Outreach and Communications Coordinator. Her love for the outdoors and environmental justice began on her first day with Groundwork Denver and has only grown since. Along with a deep passion for Groundwork Denver’s mission, Makalah brings years of marketing and event planning experience to GWD’s Board. Makalah graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and advertising and double minor with psychology and Africana studies. The Denver native loves to travel, visit small coffee shops, and watch professional basketball.
Staff Research Engineer
Tyler works at Tesla on a team developing future electric vehicle battery chemistries. Before joining Tesla, Tyler worked on Li-ion batteries as co-founder and CTO at SiILion, Inc. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science from the University of Colorado. Aside from working on batteries and renewable energy, Tyler likes to connect with the environment by skiing and rock climbing.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Carishma is a Project Leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. With nearly two decades of work experience in the U.S. and abroad, her work focuses on providing technical assistance to developing country governments with clean energy planning and strategy. Carishma also supports renewable energy and microgrid projects, power sector transformation activities, energy resilience planning, and assists communities with energy transitions. Before coming to NREL, her work involved overseeing activities ranging from strategic planning, building partnerships and new initiatives, to outdoor stewardship, mine reclamation and watershed management. Raised in India, she was educated at the University of Mumbai and at Yale University, where she earned a Master’s in Environmental Management. She loves playing outdoors in Colorado, traveling with her husband, and looking for bugs in the backyard with her kids.
Jocelyn Hittle - Board Treasurer
Senior Director, Sustainability and Denver Programs
Colorado State University System
Jocelyn is primarily focused on helping to create Colorado State University’s new Spur campus at the National Western Center, and on supporting campus sustainability goals across CSU’s campuses. Jocelyn sits on the Denver Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Council, on the Advisory Committee for the Coors Western Art Show, and is a technical advisor for the AASHE STARS program. Prior to joining CSU, Jocelyn was the Associate Director of PlaceMatters, a national urban planning think tank, and worked for the Orton Family Foundation. She has a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Jocelyn grew up in Colorado, and spends her free time in the mountains or exploring Denver.
Attorney at Law
Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP
Christine Jochim is an attorney with the national law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP. Her law practice concentrates on energy, environmental and natural resources compliance counseling and federal policy, litigation and government enforcement. Prior to this, Christine was an attorney with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Rockville, Maryland, and the international law firm K&L Gates LLP in Washington, DC. Christine holds a JD from University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, an MPH from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and an AB from Hamilton College. Christine grew up in Colorado and spends as much time as she can outdoors either in the mountains or around town.
Erik Nielsen - Board Vice-President
Leprino Foods Company
Erik Nielsen is a senior attorney at Leprino Foods Company, one of the largest dairy-products companies in the world. Erik’s work focuses on resolving complex environmental, land-use, construction, and other related legal issues for Leprino. Before joining Leprino, Erik worked as an attorney in the Commercial Litigation group of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. and held a clerkship on the Colorado Court of Appeals. Prior to relocating to Colorado in 2014, Erik worked as an attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, clerked for a Justice on the Vermont Supreme Court, and spent two years in a boutique-regulatory firm in Vermont. Erik has a B.A. from Rutgers in Urban Planning and Public Policy, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Erik lives in Sunnyside, Denver with his beagle mix, Charlie, and spends nearly all of his free time exercising outside.
Senior Program Officer
Chris works to preserve, enhance, and restore Colorado’s parks, open spaces, wildlife habitat, rivers, and trails as a senior program officer with Great Outdoors Colorado. His decade-long involvement in conservation began as an undergraduate ecology major and researcher at Santa Clara University. As a landscape ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, he published several peer-reviewed articles on various conservation topics. He is a former Doris Duke Conservation Fellow and Colorado Open Lands Conservation Fellow and received a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University. Outside of the office, Chris is an avid mountain biker always looking for new places to explore on his singlespeed.