Just as our founders were committed to ensuring Colorado remains a land of opportunity, our staff is committed to carry out the Foundation’s vision and in so doing, support the life-changing work of the social, business and medical entrepreneurs in our state. Some staff members have been with the Foundation since it opened its doors (they just can’t stay away). Others are relative newcomers with a long-standing dedication to service and philanthropy. All have deep roots in Colorado and enthusiastically lend their hearts, heads and hands to support the great work being done by our talented grantees.
John Jackson specializes in giving legs to good ideas. Drawing on his years as a self-employed business owner, John says he and the Foundation staff practice what they preach … crafting entrepreneurial giving strategies that give life to the Trustees’ vision for America. To do this, John relies heavily on the creative talent and adult supervision of the five members of the Foundation’s team, all of whom allow him to think he is in charge.
A long-time resident of Colorado, John graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango and served seven years on the staff of U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong in Washington, D.C. and in Colorado. In addition to his small business experience, John has taken a leadership role in a variety of nonprofits, including stints as chairman of both the Denver-area chapter of the March of Dimes and the Colorado Storm Soccer Association. John and his wife, Debbie, love the Colorado outdoors and enjoy spending time with their grown sons and their spouses/girlfriends.
Cindy Kennedy functions as the Foundation’s Central Command. A skilled troubleshooter, negotiator, internet-fixer and data-base expert, Cindy keeps the entire office running smoothly. Fortunately, Cindy is also the first person you reach when you call which means never having to press “1” for more information.
Before joining the Adolph Coors Foundation in 2003, Cindy worked at Educare Colorado and the Piton Foundation. She attended the University of Northern Colorado. The mother of two girls, Cindy’s teenage daughters keep her busy. When she is able to squeeze in some free time, she enjoys sharing her (very tasty) recipes with co-workers.
Alejandra is the most recent recruit to the Foundation’s team of program officers. She graduated from Pepperdine University in southern California. Upon completing school, Alejandra had no hesitation leaving the beaches of Malibu for purple mountain majesties, a testament to the depth of her passion for the natural beauty – and friendly people – of Colorado.
Alejandra has collected a few nicknames over the years … “Allie,” “AJ” and, befitting her 5’3” frame, “Big Al.” (Note: She added exactly nothing to the average height of the staff.) However, there is nothing small about Alejandra’s appetite for helping her fellow Coloradans. Alejandra worked previously for the Colorado House of Representatives and served on the Washington, D.C., staff of U.S. Senator Cory Gardner before joining the Foundation. Both positions allowed her to learn more about the good work taking place in our communities and nationally, and getting to know the great leaders who carry it out. When she isn’t learning about the ways nonprofits are helping our fellow citizens thrive, she enjoys trivia, a good documentary, or learning a new joke.
Growing up on a ranch in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Rachel Rivest loves Colorado’s independent, cowboy spirit. As a program officer at the Foundation, she is continually amazed by the people and organizations who keep the American Dream alive through their hard-work and generosity.
As one of the Foundation’s Millennials, Rachel routinely displays her geeky bona fides. She’s Twitterfied (a certified Twitterer), Instagramable and is Linked-in all over the place. Before joining the Foundation, Rachel spent nine years as a nonprofit fundraiser. So, yes, she genuinely feels your pain. Seriously, Rachel knows exactly what it’s like to reside on your side of the table and, therefore, sincerely appreciates everything nonprofits do to make our lives and communities more vibrant and free. Rachel graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in chemistry. While she may have traded her lab coat for a navy blazer, she is still a scientist at heart and enjoys dissecting the inner workings of pretty much everything which, sorry to report, includes your grant request. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and exploring Colorado’s great outdoors by bike and kayak.
Carol Strathman opened the Foundation’s doors in 1876. Ooops, make that 1976. Whatever … a long time ago. Carol began working for the Foundation just a few months after it opened its doors in response to a newspaper ad for a receptionist. Because of this, she remembers things about the Foundation that, um, even members of the Coors family do not remember! Carol is responsible for keeping track of the Foundation’s finances and can also be found out in the community visiting with nonprofits.
A graduate of Colorado Women’s College where she studied English and creative writing, Carol is a writer at heart and says that is still what she would like to be when she grows up. She enjoys working with the Foundation’s directors whom she describes as caring and visionary; the last of the real cowboys, doing what they believe in their hearts is the right thing to do, even if they sometimes stand alone. Growing up in Granby gave her an appreciation for Colorado’s mountains, something she shares with her husband. They also share a love of anything animal and most especially their dog, Dodger.
Colorado native Carrie Tynan thinks she has the best job in the world. As the Foundation’s senior staff person for grantmaking, she loves visiting nonprofits and learning how they are improving the lives of the people in their communities. She says she is consistently impressed by the range of life-changing services nonprofits provide to Coloradans, and inspired by the way policy groups fight to protect our individual freedoms. Carrie jokes, “I’ve never met a nonprofit that I didn’t like; there would probably be no money left if I were in charge of the funding decisions!” (No, you are not allowed to request Carrie for your on-site visit!) Seriously, Carrie takes great pains to evaluate each organization fairly and rigorously.
Before joining the Foundation, Carrie spent five years as an English teacher at J.K. Mullen High School. A graduate of the University of Texas, Carrie is involved with numerous nonprofits in the Denver area. Carrie and her husband are also busy parents keeping up with their two active kiddos. As a family, they all love anything outdoors, including golfing, skiing and hunting and attending Colorado sporting events.