Executive Staff

Executive Staff


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.”

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Debra Zimmerman, MBA

Debbie has been with JFS for 28 years, serving as director of Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer, before being named the agency’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2001. She held the role of Interim President & CEO for Jewish Family Service from February to November 2018. As COO, Debbie directs the strategic operating components of the organization, and coordinated, facilitated, and monitored the activities and development of all major programs and projects at JFS.

Debbie brings more than 30 years of business operations and strategic experience. She has an extensive background in strategic and operational planning, budgets, human resources, asset management, accounting, communications, grants, and risk management. She is highly regarded as a collaborative leader and analytical thinker who is trusted at all levels of the organization to produce results.

Among her many noteworthy contributions to JFS, Debbie has led the development and implementation of five three-year strategic and operational plans that have contributed significantly to growing the organization’s revenues from $4 million in 2001 to $12.5 million today, and greatly expanding its impact. In addition, she provided the operational support for capital campaign efforts to raise $2.8 million for the purchase of JFS’s Tamarac headquarters building and the SHALOM Denver facility.

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 since 2004 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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Sara Leeper, MS

It is reported that nearly 1 in 5 people in the United States are personally impacted by having a disability. And, we are all at risk of having a disability at some point in our lifetime. These statistics are alarming and the reason we continue to support the purpose of our program, and to provide the support needed to work, learn, and live in the community.

Sara is the director of the Disability and Employment Services department. She has worked at JFS since 1993 and has been the department director since 2015. Sara received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Special Education from Fort Hays State University.

“What an amazing career to be a part of, working with people with disabilities and people needing support to become part of the workforce and part of the Denver civic community. I am privileged to witness amazing growth and strength in individuals every day, watching as persons overcome barriers and find success.”


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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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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, and KidSuccess/International KidSuccess.

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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