Neb, a native of Ethiopia, is one of the leading community organizers within the Ethiopian community leading initiatives and collaborating with different community groups to promote education, healthcare, human rights and the successful integration of immigrants and refugees to main stream America. Neb also works as a community advocate, striving to ensure elected officials understand and take action to meet the needs of the community; as well as promoting community engagement in voter registration drives for local, state and federal elections.
Neb is an active member of the St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church of Denver, the largest Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Colorado. Over the last 12 years, Neb has served in different position including Board of Director, Public Relations Officer, Social/Community outreach Director, fund-raising initiatives and helps with programs such as job-skill trainings, healthcare programs, education programs, youth outreach, job-fairs, small-business start-up classes, and new immigrant/refugee resettlement help.
Neb is a Sr. Consultant for Verizon Communication, with expertise in strategic initiatives to drive profitability, reduce operational cost and improved experience for Verizon’s top tier Enterprise customers. Neb’s professional credentials include Lean Six Sigma, Agile Project Management, and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) foundation. Neb also works with the Verizon Foundation for corporate social responsibility, contributing to programs designed to promote technology and bridge the information gap in inner-city public schools. Neb is also an active member of Verizon’s “Go Green” program to promote sustainable energy and environmentally friendly business practices. Neb designates over 50 volunteer hours a year working in different local initiatives.
With long-time passions of sustainability, public education and international relations, Ms. Baird is a past president of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education and a board member of the Sustainable Futures Society. She is a graduate and past board member of Leadership America, a national development program for women executives.
Nominated by Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi, from 2011 to 2013 Ms. Beigi was a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Studies (UQPOLSIS) in Australia, where she completed her Master of International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution with honors.
During her fellowship, Ms.Beigi served as Colorado Rotary District 5450’s Goodwill Ambassador to Timor-Leste, where she developed a nationwide peace education initiative in collaboration with the office of the President of Timor – Leste then occupied by Nobel Peace Laureate José Ramos-Horta.
Ms. Beigi was previously a consultant to a U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor program of assistance for at-risk refugees in Turkey in addition to teaching an undergraduate human rights and international politics course at UQPOLSIS. She has worked with diverse populations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.
As an Iranian American human rights advocate and policy advisor born and raised during the eight year Iran-Iraq war, Ms. Beigi has a deep understanding and passion for refugee rights and chairs the policy advocacy subcommittee of the board.
Ms. Beigi currently specializes in participatory development communication research and practice as a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® consultant facilitator and mediator for NGOs, government bodies, UN agencies and corporations world-wide.
Ben is licensed to practice in all levels of court in the state of Colorado, numerous federal district courts, and in his home province of Ontario, Canada. He was named a “Rising Star” by Colorado Super Lawyers in 2016, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state. Ben is also a registered realtor in Colorado and brings an innovative, structured approach to the acquisition and successful management of targeted assets.
Ben received his JD from the University of Colorado, his Canadian JD from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies (BACS) degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Greatly shaped from her tenure at Spring Institute, Susan continues to be passionate about critical pedagogy, cross-cultural learning, and refugee integration. After leaving a staff position at Spring Institute, she designed and administered innovative integration programming for newly-arrived refugees at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains. These programs served 500+ newly-arrived refugees annually and targeted women’s empowerment, academic enrichment for youth, and job-readiness skills training for job-seekers. From 2013-2015, she served as Education Director and Co-Director at the Denver-based international education nonprofit organization, US-Brazil Connect. In collaboration with Brazilian national education system leadership, she established program design of a scaled binational education partnership that is funded in part by the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.
A Colorado native, Susan holds a B.A. in comparative religion and a minor in English literature from the University of Puget Sound. She is completing her M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy at Portland State University. Prior to joining Spring Institute board of directors, she served on the Institute of International Education (IIE) Denver young professionals board and as an at-large delegate for the neighborhood association, Capitol Hill United Neighbors (CHUN). She is an advisor to the Orbis Institute, a Denver-based global leadership organization.
In 2010, Ms. Muniz co-founded Hope Connects International, an international development foundation focused on creating project-based partnerships with reputable organizations in developing countries.
Rob was raised in Denver and earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Metropolitan State College of Denver and then earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before working at Accenture, he started and ran a successful systems integration company for small to medium sized businesses mostly in the Denver area, and taught network engineering across the United States. Rob is married, has three children, and lives in Park Hill.
In addition to Freedom House, Ms. Schriefer has worked at the National Forum Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. degree in Russian Area Studies from the University of Denver and completed coursework for an M.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies at George Washington University.
Mr. So is a member of the Colorado Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, Tax Study Group – Colorado Society of CPAs (1995-1996), Taxation Committee of IBAA in Washington, D.C. (1984-1986), and Task force member – State of Colorado, Division of Banking on S corporations (1998). He has a B. S. in Accounting, University of Denver, 1976 and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – State of Colorado, since March, 1978.
Kenneth So is a Board Member of PB Financial Group Inc., Premier Bank, St. Anthony Hospital Central (nonprofit organization), Independent Bankers of Colorado Education Foundation (nonprofit organization) and Treasurer of Spring Institute (nonprofit organization).