Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Board_header_photo

Executive Committee

Leanna Harris

Leanna Harris is the co-author of The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching (Corwin, 2020), and Student-Centered Coaching: The Moves (Corwin, 2016). She has worked as an educational consultant since 1999, partnering with teachers and schools from around the country to improve instruction and student achievement. Before joining Diane Sweeney Consulting in 2014, Leanna was a staff developer with the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC), and then a school-based instructional coach across grades K-12.

Leanna has an MA in Education from the University of Colorado at Denver and an undergraduate degree in Theology from Georgetown University. She also has a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership and Implementation from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver--environmental sustainability being her passion when not thinking and learning about kids, teachers, and schools.

 

 


Linda Foster

Linda P. Foster joined JFS as its president & CEO in November 2018. She relocated to Denver from the Chicago area, where she served as Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School for nine years. She has deep Colorado connections and owns a home in Steamboat.

Linda has an impressive background as a leader of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations and business units in a variety of industries, ensuring mission fulfillment and sound financial viability. She has extensive organizational, operational, and management experience, and has successfully led capital campaigns, endowment growth, and donor cultivation and stewardship efforts. She brings the vision, passion, and experience to take JFS to new heights of service to the Denver and Boulder community.

Prior to her tenure at the Solomon Schechter Day School, Linda was the owner of RCLA, a successful residential property development company in Highland Park, Illinois. Before launching her own company, she was president of TJW Residential, a privately held commercial real estate finance company, also in Highland Park. Linda earned a BA degree from Wellesley College and has participated in the Kellogg School of Management Center for Non-Profit Management at Northwestern University.

“I am truly honored and humbled to lead this incredible and impactful organization and to have the opportunity to work with all the talented people invested in it. JFS’s mission and core values bring together so much of what is important to me, both personally and professionally. I look forward to meeting JFS’s supporters, volunteers, and partners to build and strengthen relationships and the agency’s impact in the greater Denver community.”

 


 

 





Charlie Gwirtsman

Charlie Gwirtsman is co-founder and managing director of KRG Capital Partners, the largest Denver-based private equity fund. He has over 25 years of experience in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, buyouts, and corporate finance. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Columbia University and a master’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Denver.

Prior to co-founding KRG, Charlie served as a senior vice president with Fiduciary Capital Management Company. He has also served as a corporate vice president with Paine Webber, Inc. in the Private Finance Group and as an investment banker at E.F. Hutton.

“Jewish Family Service continues to act as a vital provider of basic services for a portion of the population that has been increasingly challenged by the faltering economy and the erosion of the safety net. I have been happy to be a financial supporter and hope I can make a further contribution as board chair.”

 

 


Aaron Hyatt

Aaron Hyatt is a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and the former chair of the firm’s Real Estate Department. His practice focuses on the acquisition, financing, leasing, development, and disposition of various real estate assets, including apartment and office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, casinos, and vacant land. He works with both public and private clients on complex commercial real estate matters on a local, regional, and national basis.

In 2015 Aaron was named a 40 Under 40 honoree from the Denver Business Journal. He previously served as board member at the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education. Aaron currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of Mental Health Colorado. Aaron is the recipient of the Yana Vishnitsky Leadership Award, presented by JFS at its 2019 Faces of JFS event, co-chaired by Aaron’s wife, Niah.

Aaron was a College Scholar at Middlebury College and received his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School in 2001. Aaron and Niah’s two sons attend Denver Public Schools.

 


Scott Stillman

Scott is the president and managing partner of MassMutual Colorado, a company that has sponsored several JFS events in recent years. The company provides comprehensive financial planning for small- and mid-sized businesses and professionals in the areas of estate planning, business succession planning, retirement planning, and risk management. The firm includes more than 70 advisors working across the Front Range.

Scott first became involved with JFS in 1985, helping Russian families new to Colorado and working on the Development Committee. Most recently, Scott served as co-chair for the 2017 JFS Executive Luncheon. In addition, both he and his wife Andrea have participated in the Bright Holidays program. Scott also serves on the Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Regional Board.

 


Jennifer Kraft

Jennifer Kraft has served on the JFS Development Committee since 2016. She brings rich development and nonprofit experience from her 20-year international career with the Joint Distribution Committee.

Jen is currently the Colorado Director of Moving Traditions, an innovative organization that helps Jewish pre-teens, teens, and their families navigate the social emotional joys and challenges of adolescence. In 2011, Jen founded and continues to lead the West Side Jewish Community, a social network of more than 145 Jewish families in Northwest Denver.

Jen and her daughter, Tali, live in the Highlands.


 

 



David Feiner

David Feiner is a partner and co-founder of Highline Property Group, a venture between three separate private real estate family offices. Highline concentrates on legacy real estate and strategic multifamily investment opportunities in the southwestern United States. David is experienced in many facets of real estate, including acquisitions, asset and property management, brokerage, development, financing, sales, and securitization.

David is also the executive vice president of Feiner Enterprises, Inc. Feiner Enterprises is a private family office with a focus on real estate investment and partnership with third-party operators. David sources new real estate investment opportunities, operates portfolio companies focused on real estate lending and development, fosters strategic partnerships, and focuses on long term growth.

Previously, David was a managing director for Miller Frishman Group, a Denver-based real estate management and investment banking company. David sourced and invested ~$400 million in multifamily acquisitions, encompassing over 3,400 units around the US.

David graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves on the Board of Directors for Merchants Mortgage & Trust Corporation, a private regional lender. David was also a Sturm Fellow for the Anti-Defamation League. He holds his Real Estate Broker’s license in Colorado.



Laura Michaels

Laura has spent her career in the field of mental health and wellness, first in the nonprofit sector and now in the private practice of counseling. Before becoming a professional counselor, she served for 20 years as executive director of the Colorado Psychiatric Society, the state branch of the American Psychiatric Association. She also worked at the University of Colorado Depression Center as director of Public Policy and Administration.

Laura was a founding member of the Behavioral Health Partnership, a consortium of nine mental health stakeholder groups and managed the Colorado Physicians for Mental Health Political Action Committee. She has served on numerous committees and advisory groups both nationally and locally in the area of mental health. Laura is an active volunteer and member of the Honorary Council of CHARG Resource Center, a treatment and drop-in facility for people who live with serious mental illnesses.

A third-generation Denver native, Laura graduated from George Washington High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, her law degree from the University of Denver, and her master’s degree in counseling from Regis University.

Jane E. Rosenbaum

Jane E. is a native Denverite. She graduated from George Washington High School and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Wisconsin. She is married to Stanton Rosenbaum and has twins, Ari and Danielle.

Jane E. has been active in the Denver community for many years, having served on the board of directors of Jewish Family Service, JEWISHcolorado, Jewish Federations of North America Disability Workgroup, Allied Jewish Housing (KAVOD), the Anti-Defamation League, Denver Campus for Jewish Education (now known as the Denver Jewish Day School,) Central Agency for Jewish Education of Colorado, the Hebrew Educational Alliance, the National Jewish Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, the Autism Society of Colorado, and the Kabbalah Experience as well as the board of Keshet, a national organization that is working for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life.

Jane E. has served as chair, vice chair and at-large member of the JFS executive committee, development committee chair, co-chair of Reel Hope, and chair of the Jewish Disabilities Network Advisory Committee. Jane E. has served on multiple committees and held many leadership positions through her years of volunteer service.

She has received the Moses M. Katz Young Leadership Award and the Golda Meir Award from JEWISHcolorado (formerly the Allied Jewish Federation); the Etz Chaim Award from the Denver Jewish Day School (formerly Herzl Jewish Day School); the Face of Autism Award from the Autism Society of Colorado; and the Jack Shapiro Community Service Award from Jewish Family Service.

 


Directors

Jonathan Alpert

Jonathan joined the Jewish Family Service development committee in 2016. He co-chaired the executive luncheon in 2017. He is a partner in Westfield Company, a real estate investment firm.

Jonathan was born and raised in Denver, embarking on his real estate career in 2003 as a retail broker for Sullivan Hayes. He went to work as a project manager for Shea Properties, where he specialized in retail development and generated more than $30 million in sales, participating in the construction of more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.

Jonathan subsequently created Imagine Infill where he developed and sold for-sale residences as well as having built several innovative urban apartment projects before joining Westfield. Jonathan brings a strong passion for sustainable development to Westfield Company and continues to contribute to the positive growth of Denver.

“I am looking forward to diving deeper into the organization and helping JFS thrive in the future.”

 


David Asarch

David Asarch is the chief investment officer and a partner of Monroe Group Ltd. and its sister company Steele Properties LLC, leading real estate property management and development firms specializing in affordable multi-family and senior/disabled housing. He received his BA from Middlebury College and his JD from Stanford Law School.

David currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Service where he also has been an active member of the Executive, Finance, and Development Committees.

David and his wife Anna have three children. 

 



Jonathan "JJ" Asarch

JJ Asarch is a business and health care attorney with his own private practice. He has previously held positions in-house and at large firms, including serving as General Counsel & SVP to Onyx Healthcare, Inc., a national health care staffing company that sold in 2019.

JJ received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law and his BA in history from Williams College. He initially became involved in JFS by serving on its Budget and Finance Committee.

Michael S. Asarch

Mike is an auto broker at Centennial Leasing & Sales in Englewood, Colorado. He joined Centennial in 2000 and has a passion for helping people in the sale or lease of autos and trucks. Centennial is like a second family to him as they are a group of people that care about what they do.

Personally, Mike grew up in Littleton and is currently residing in Greenwood Village--four short miles from where he grew up.

He began his involvement with JFS as a table sponsor at the JFS Executive Luncheon and has since served on the Executive Luncheon Committee. He currently serves on the Development committee and joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

JFS is an organization that believes in their work and Mike is proud to be a part of it.

Ed Barad

Ed retired this year as a shareholder and is currently of counsel at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP. Ed and his wife, Marlin, have three grown children: Meredith, Jonathan, and Caroline and five grandchildren. Ed has practiced law for 47 years and has served on many boards in the Jewish community as well as boards in the Colorado and legal community. He is dedicated to the work of JFS and hopes to help it maintain and grow.


 


Jason Cooper

Jason Cooper is a founder and principal of Iris Companies, a Denver real estate investment, property management and construction company. He serves as its Chief Financial Officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Jason holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is also licensed in Colorado as both a Certified Public Accountant and a real estate broker.

Over the past several years, Jason has served on numerous nonprofit boards and he has held various leadership positions as part of his board service.

 

 


Gilad Gordon

Dr. Gilad S. Gordon is the president of ORRA Group, LLC, a healthcare consulting company specializing in clinical development of novel therapeutics. As a physician, board certified in internal medicine, his career has primarily focused on conducting applied medical research within the private sector. Dr. Gordon has more than 30 years of experience designing and implementing clinical trials leading to the approval of new drug and vaccine candidates. He has focused on the clinical development of new therapies, devices, and diagnostics for the treatment of disease and has worked as both a consultant and as a senior executive at a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In addition, he has extensive expertise in medical information systems, health economics, and health policy, and has consulted to a number of Colorado state policy makers on health policy.

Dr. Gordon, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Caring for Colorado Foundation from 2008-2016 (Chairman from 2015-2016) and is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.

Dr. Gordon received an AB in Biochemistry from Harvard College in 1979, an MD from the HST program at Harvard Medical School and MIT in 1983, and an MBA from the University of Washington in 1988. He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1986 and was a Senior Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Washington from 1986 to 1988. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Gordon has lived in Boulder since 1991, has three grown boys, and currently belongs to Congregation Bonai Shalom in Boulder.

Gareth Heyman

Gareth is Wizard of All Things at MorEvents.

“There are multiple reasons why I am so passionate about JFS. As an adult seeking volunteer opportunities, JFS embraced me early on and made me feel very important to the cause. As I grew, I saw the multitude of services provided regardless of religious beliefs, financial standing, demographics, or other frequently seen societal barriers. Both the staff and the Board have been dedicated to a solid vision of providing meaningful services to the community. I am privileged to be a member of the Board.”

 

 

 


John Keith

John Keith has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. His company, Harvard Communities, has built over 750 homes in the Denver area since 1992.

John grew up in Short Hills, N.J. and received a BA in History from The University of Vermont, and a master's in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

John has served on several boards, including New Hampshire Public Radio, the Home Builder's Association of Metro Denver and the Home Builder's Foundation. In addition to his work on the Jewish Family Service board, John is currently active with the Home Builder's Foundation as a board member, committee member, and volunteer.

Mark Krivel

Mark Krivel was born in Vancouver, BC, Canada and moved to Las Vegas at the age of seven. He attended college in Reno, Nevada where he remained until a job transfer brought him to Denver in 1997. He began his professional career in accounting, as a CPA, and then worked as a controller in the manufacturing industry before discovering the construction industry where he worked for 18 years. Mark retired in 2006. Since then, he volunteers most weekdays and loves to take time for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Mark also loves to travel and see new places.

Mark is married to Ellice Krivel and has two adult children, Sarah and Amy.

“As a longtime JFS volunteer, I have had the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the value that JFS provides to the community. I’m excited about continuing to serve on the Board and having a role in guiding JFS into the future.”

Mac Macsovits

Mac has made a career working in the nonprofit sector. Having begun his career teaching at Cherry Creek High School, he then moved on to The Nature Conservancy (Colorado Field Office) where he was a major gift fundraiser. Responsible for raising gifts of more than $50,000, his time at TNC was spent building relationships within Colorado, and nationally. After the birth of Guion, his first son, Mac and his wife Rebecca learned that Guion had Down syndrome. Mac decided to leave TNC due to a heavy traveling schedule to concentrate on learning more about his new son and the world of Down syndrome.

Mac began volunteering for Special Olympics Colorado, which eventually led to a paid position as the Director of Development for that organization. Having been a part of the RMDSA family he was aware that the organization was in the process of searching for a new Executive Director, so Mac made it known that he had an interest in the position and formally joined RMDSA as the second Executive Director in February 2009. Mac has his Bachelor of Science from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina and his Master of Education from Vanderbilt University: Peabody College. Mac and his wife Rebecca have three children: Guion, Hoke, and Rae.

Mindy Levy Peckar

After years of experience in commercial banking and as a commercial real estate appraiser, Mindy joined J&B Building Company in 1995 in the accounts payable/accounts receivable position. Her M.B.A. degree from University of Denver in Real Estate and Construction Management (1988) provided her the background to manage several shopping centers, develop and construct a 668 unit mini-storage facility, and oversee the company's sophisticated property management database system.

Today Mindy is vice president, office manager, directs the A/P and A/R functions and accounting, and has input in strategic business decisions relative to selling, acquiring, leasing, and development of commercial property. Mindy holds an active Colorado Real Estate Broker's license. Mindy was the recipient of the Joyce and Kal Zeff Humanitarian Award in 2018.

Mindy is an avid reader, movie-goer, loves to workout, snowshoes in the winter, volunteers in the Weinberg Food Pantry, and serves on the board of the Colorado Self Storage Association.

 

Earl Pettet

Earl attended Mullen High School, where he was an All-State football player and discus record holder. He attended the University of New Mexico on a football scholarship and majored in graphic design.

After college, Earl became a vice president of Shearson Lehman Brothers. He received a Futures Council Award as one of the top futures traders in 1984. He was a market maker at CBOT and received the President's Council Award in 1984 as one of Lehman's top traders.

Later, Earl became a pastry chef at Cliff Young's. Cliff's was one of the top restaurants in the country and received a Mobil 5 star, winning seven back-to- back awards from Food and Wine Magazine. Earl was also a pastry chef at Cliff Young's Bibelot and was Travel and Leisure Magazine’s 5-star recipient. Earl went on to become chef and co-owner of Aspen Baking. He then became the owner of Paris Religion Bakery and received 5 stars from Eater.

Earl is currently a disabled athlete racing gravel bicycle endurance events with numerous bike sponsors. He is an advocate for people with disabilities.

 

Rabbi Rick Rheins

Rabbi Rick Rheins has served as Temple Sinai’s senior rabbi since 2005. His scholarship, passion, commitment, and devotion to God and the Jewish people are evident in the number and diversity of new services, classes, and programs at Temple Sinai. Rick is an enthusiastic and acclaimed teacher and he strives to create opportunities of engagement for every member. Rick is the immediate past president of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council and vice president of the Solomon Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. He also serves on the National Council of AIPAC as well as other local boards, including the ADL. Rabbi Rheins is married to Rabbi Susan Miller Rheins and they have three children: Joshua, Samuel, and Jakob.

Marty Rosenbaum

Marty was born in Winnipeg, Canada. His work as a health care actuary brought him to Denver 35 years ago and he now lives in Lone Tree. He is married to his wife Melissa and has four children—Adam, Leora, Micah, and Aaron.

Marty enjoys traveling, being a member of AIPAC, reading, and long walks.

Jamie Sarché

Jamie has been deeply involved with JFS for many years. She loves the work the agency does and appreciates the empathy with which staff does it.

In her professional life, Jamie is the director of Prearranged Funeral Planning at Feldman Mortuary. "I work closely with the JFS Senior Solutions staff, which is another way I've learned a lot about the wonderful work JFS does." Jamie is an ELI Talk speaker and a TED speaker. She also serves on the Kavod Senior Life board and is the JFS representative on the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Jamie and her husband, Jon, have two adult children.

Barry Silvestain

Barry Silvestain is a retired partner of Wenner, Silvestain & Company, LLC, and its affiliate WS Investment Advisors, LLC.

A native of Colorado, Barry graduated from the University of Colorado. He previously served on the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA) Board and ran that organization’s Peer Review Board.

Barry served as treasurer of JFS. He currently serves as chair of the Investment Committee and Audit Committee and has been on the Board since 2006.

 

Victor "Vic" Sulzer

Victor L. Sulzer is a partner in the law firm Tschetter Hamrick Sulzer. Vic has been associated with the Firm for over 20 years. THS is a landlord/tenant law firm.

The eldest of three siblings, Vic grew up in Denver attending Park Hill Elementary, Smiley Junior High, and East Denver High School. Vic is an honors graduate of Middlebury College where he majored in Economics. After college and prior to graduate school, Vic lived in New York City where he worked for a marketing consulting firm. He received his law degree from the University of Denver in 1994.

Vic participates in numerous professional, civic, charitable, and political activities. He currently serves a Board member of the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado. Vic is actively involved with the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association and received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award for his work with RMDSA.

Competitive by nature, he is a dedicated sports enthusiast. Vic skis, golfs, bird hunts, fishes, and participates in the team sports of ice hockey and softball. Vic and his wife Wendy live in Denver.

Sam Zaitz

Sam Zaitz is an executive vice president at Jones Lang La Salle and the head of retail brokerage in the Rocky Mountain region. In 2015, Sam joined the JFS Development Committee and has invested hundreds of hours and resources to JFS. He has served on the Executive Luncheon Committee and was a co-chair of the 2015 event. He was recently honored with the Yana Vishnitsky Leadership Award at the 2017 Faces of JFS event.

Sam brings a youthful energy and has introduced the life-transforming work of JFS to a new generation. He is married to Stephanie and they have three children—Zach, Chloe, and Penelope.