Executive Staff

Executive Staff


Shepard Nevel

Shepard Nevel became Jewish Family Service of Colorado’s (JFS) president and CEO in December 2016, succeeding Yana Vishnitsky, who retired after serving in the role for the past 16 years. Shepard was most recently the president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado, where he strengthened core functions, diversified funding and other revenue opportunities, and refocused the mission on underserved populations and the social determinants of health.

Shepard Nevel is a seasoned, successful leader in nonprofit, government, and for-profit contexts. He has managed large teams, grown organizations, and demonstrated a passion for Colorado through a number of community leadership roles.

Prior to LiveWell Colorado, Shepard served as a vice president of Policy, Evaluation and Communications, and of Operations, at the Colorado Health Foundation, the nation’s third-largest health foundation. Before that, he was president and CEO of Jovian P4, LLC, a technology- and education-focused entity founded by entrepreneur (and now Congressman) Jared Polis, and earlier, executive director of the Denver Workforce Region. Shepard earned a BA degree from Brown University and a JD degree from Columbia Law School.

Shepard is personally passionate about the broad mandate of JFS. “I am excited to join this remarkable, 144-year-old organization with its extraordinary legacy of impact, and to work with the outstanding board, talented staff, and dedicated partners and supporters of JFS,” he says. “I offer a special expression of appreciation for Yana and her superb record of leadership and accomplishment.”



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Debra Zimmerman, MBA

As the Chief Operating Officer, Debbie directs strategic operating components of the organization, coordinates, facilitates, and monitors the activities and development of all major programs and projects at JFS.

Debbie brings over 30 years of business operations and strategic experience, joining JFS as its Chief Financial Officer in 1990, and assuming the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2001.

She received a master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University and a Bachelor of Science in Small Business Management with an Accounting emphasis from the University of Northern Colorado.

“To be part of an organization that has such a tremendous impact on the lives of others and work with such an amazing and qualified staff every day is truly an honor and privilege!”

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Nancy Benyamin, CVA
Ph: 720.248.4642

Nancy Benyamin joined Jewish Family Service of Colorado in 2006 as the director of Volunteer Services. She is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the volunteer program and for leading the civic engagement activities at JFS. Nancy is passionate about helping to transform the lives of others in a positive way through volunteerism.

Nancy has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years in the fields of education, counseling, and advocacy.

Nancy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Metropolitan State University with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and is credentialed in Volunteer Administration (CVA).

“Working with and witnessing the impact that our volunteers make in the lives of our clients is the motivation that keeps me dedicated to the work we do at JFS.”

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Shelly Hines, MSW

Shelly Hines is the director of the Family Safety Net department. She has worked at Jewish Family Service for 13 years and has led the department since 2010. She is responsible for coordinating, developing, and implementing homeless prevention services and creating strategic goals for the department.

Shelly researches and implements best practices and poverty-work theories regarding homeless prevention strategies, case management, and food pantry services to ensure that each of our programs are effective and adaptable. She strongly believes that everyone in our community deserves access to resources and opportunities and that we all have an obligation to be part of the solution.

Shelly received a Bachelor of Social Work from Metropolitan State University and her Master of Social Work from Colorado State University.

“I believe that poverty impacts all of us and the more we can do to reduce barriers, increase access and provide opportunities for everyone, the stronger our community will be.”

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John Kayser
Ph: 720.248.4629

John is the director of Marketing and Communications, serving as brand ambassador and public relations lead for the agency. He also supports the many programs and services of JFS with promotional support as needed. He is responsible for creative direction, messaging, storytelling, video production, social media, and all other external-facing communications.

John has more than 30 years of marketing experience and spent the last 10 years in the nonprofit sector. He previously worked for Water For People, where he redefined the brand by focusing on storytelling and impact. He joined Jewish Family Service in October of 2011 and has led a rebranding initiative that has delivered more compelling content that motivates supporters and delivers a consistent message.

John earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Texas Tech University.

“I have the honor of telling the amazing stories of JFS’s impact on people’s lives. JFS is doing life-saving work and bringing hope and opportunity to thousands people in need.

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Jean Marshall, SPHR, CCP

Jean is the director of Human Resources, responsible for promoting and implementing human resource values by planning and managing human resources programs and directing staff.

Jean has served in this capacity with Jewish Family Service since 2004. She previously worked in the banking and mining industries.

She is the past president of The Learning Source (TLS) nonprofit and is president of the TLS Foundation. Jean received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Economics from Regis University.

Jean’s career change from the private sector to nonprofit has been fulfilling by giving her the opportunity to be part of JFS’s mission by supporting the staff who provide direct care and services in the Denver community.

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Chandra Matthews, MSW
Ph: 720.248.4601

Chandra Matthews is the director of the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center, where she is responsible for providing leadership, vision, strategic direction, and program development to all JFS programs serving seniors.

Chandra spent 12 years at Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) within the Area Agency on Aging, first as a long-term care ombudsman and later as compliance program manager. Most recently, she worked for Colorado Access as the executive director for Access Long Term Support Solutions. She also serves on several boards, stakeholder groups, and advisory committees that support the older adult community. She is focused on maintaining the services offered through the Senior Solutions department and finding new ways to better meet the needs of the growing older adult community.

Chandra received a bachelor of arts in psychology from Texas Tech University and a master of social work from the University of Denver.

“I am drawn to programming that’s focused around health promotion, education, and disease prevention. I want to help people understand what ‘aging well’ means and provide some support to allow them to do just that.”


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Dawn Richard
Ph: 720.248.4605

Dawn Richard is the director of Development, where she is responsible for all general agency and program specific fund development efforts. She is also responsible for providing leadership, vision, strategic direction, and program development to all fundraising and related lay development efforts within the organization.

Dawn previously worked at JEWISHcolorado for five years as a campaign director. She joined Jewish Family Service in September of 2000 and has helped grow the revenue base of the agency, while diversifying the revenue streams.

Dawn received a bachelor of science in Marketing from Regis University.

“I am in awe of our program staff who give selflessly so our clients may lead healthier lives, as well as our supporters who give their time and financial resources to assure JFS can continue to make meaningful impacts throughout our community. I am honored to play my part in this important work.”

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Ann Veenstra

Ann Veenstra is the director of Administration, where she is responsible for providing administrative support for the CEO and COO. She serves as the staff liaison to the Board of Directors and supervises reception and office/facilities management.

Ann has worked at Jewish Family Service for over 20 years. She previously worked as the Executive Assistant to the CEO at Bethesda PsycHealth Hospital.

In her spare time Ann enjoys traveling with her husband and spoiling her grandchildren.

“I have always enjoyed working in the nonprofit sector, where service to people is the primary focus. I enjoy supporting the work of Jewish Family Service and have appreciated the many opportunities I’ve been provided. The professionals I work with every day inspire me!"

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Stacey Weisberg, LPC

Stacey Weisberg, Licensed Professional Counselor, has more than 25 years of clinical experience and directs Mental Health Services at Jewish Family Service, including Mental Health Specialists, Refugee Mental Health, KidSuccess/International KidSuccess, and the Jewish Community Chaplaincy.

Stacey completed her graduate work at Temple University, where she obtained a M.S. degree in Counseling Psychology. Her post-graduate training was completed at the Philadelphia Guidance Clinic, an internationally recognized marriage and family training center. She worked at John’s Hopkins Hospital, where she specialized in treating foster children and their families.

Stacey continues to have a passion for working with the most vulnerable in our community. During her 23 years at JFS, she developed the school-based mental health program that reaches hundreds of children and their families, who would otherwise not have access to healthcare.She has also developed and grown the Refugee Mental Health program that provides culturally competent therapists to treat those new Coloradans who have witnessed atrocities of terrorism and war.

“I am currently inspired to bring our expertise to the youngest community members, including Early Childhood Education students and their parents, paras, and teachers.”

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