2017 Resilience Summit Speakers

The Lineup

Honoring our 2017 theme of Resilience in Action!, this year’s speaker slate includes everyone from community leaders to state government representatives. Together we’ll explore how resilience can be built into all areas of life, work, and community.

Morning Workshops and Activities

Marianne Ballantine, State of Colorado

Marianne Ballantine, CEO of Ballantine Environmental Resources, Inc., a national environmental consulting firm, marries environmental knowledge with business experience in her critical role assisting small businesses.

Marianne is the Regional Disaster Relief Counselor for the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) for Business program. She counsels small businesses affected by the 2013 floods who apply for grants up to $50,000. She also guides entrepreneurs in employing resilient business practices to withstand disasters.

Claire Chase

Claire Chase, PhD, is a consultant with Resilience By Design Consulting, LLC, based out of Denver, Colorado. Resilience By Design specializes in engaging organizations in productive change and innovation through resilience thinking processes. Before leading organizations to practical and resilient solutions, Claire worked in brand research and design, experiential learning, and stakeholder engagement helping organizations across healthcare, financial services, consumer goods, and academic industries create effective communication strategies and develop enriching programs and services. Claire holds her PhD in Communication from the University of Colorado Boulder and has been honored with both academic and professional awards for her work.

Susan House, State of Colorado

Susan House is the Manager of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program for Business. She oversees The CDBG-DR federal grants for Colorado businesses in all 19 federally declared disaster areas caused by fires and floods.

Susan has been on the front lines of the CDBG-DR grant process since 2014, and guides Disaster Relief Counselors who are working with impacted small businesses to apply for grants up to $50,000 .

To date, the CDBG-DR program has awarded over $5,300.000 in grant money to more than 200 businesses.

Sharon King

Larissa Read, SE Group

Larissa is a facilitator, project manager, ecologist, and natural resource planner with more than 15 years of experience spanning local, state, national, and international projects. She has worked for the National Park Service and Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and as a consultant for the City of Aspen and Eagle County on climate change and climate action planning, scenario planning, and natural resource management planning. She has extensive experience guiding communities through complex decisions about their natural and cultural resources while balancing the needs of the human environment. Currently, Larissa is an integral member of the consulting team that is leading the Resiliency Coordination Plan for Boulder County government.

Larissa joined the SE Group team in 2016 as a Senior Project Manager. Her work at SE Group is focused on ecology and watershed management planning, climate change, and NEPA and other environmental compliance. Larissa has a Master of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Virginia. She currently serves as the President of the Eagle River Watershed Council Board of Directors, and previously served on the City of Boulder Environmental Advisory Board.

Rob Pressly, State of Colorado

Rob Pressly is the Resiliency Program Coordinator the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Resiliency & Recovery Office (CRRO). In this role, Rob is responsible for advancing the State of Colorado’s resiliency to thrive amidst ever-changing climate, social, and economic conditions. Since joining the CRRO in November 2015, he has worked with local communities to develop and implement regional resiliency frameworks; developed the COResiliency Resource Center, Colorado’s online, interactive hub for resiliency knowledge and resources; and manages the Colorado Resiliency Working Group, the coordinating and steering committee for the State’s resiliency efforts. Prior to his work in Colorado, he worked in Washington, DC at the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Green Building Council. Rob has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.

Brooke Watkins, City of Boulder

Brooke Watkins is a Community Resilience Coordinator for the City of Boulder. She joined the city’s resilience team seven months ago to help accomplish action items in Boulder’s resilience strategy. The majority of her work has been to manage or support programs designed to increase social capital. Recently she finished co-facilitating Better Together, a course on disaster preparedness and community resilience. Brooke holds a degree in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida.

Blair Young

After spending 17 years building a career in the nonprofit sector, Blair now serves as a principal consultant for Cultivation Center. She has worked as a program facilitator, program developer, development director, and administrator. Blair gets great satisfaction from using her skills and experience to position socially purposed ideas and organizations for success.

Keynote Presentation

Carmen Ramirez, City of Longmont

Carmen Ramirez is the Manager for Community and Neighborhood Resources a division of the City of Longmont.   She has worked for the City of Longmont for 16 years. She has been involved in several community projects that work to create change within systems and assist in providing more access, inclusion and equity for all community members. Some of the projects have included Latino Community Assessment of Boulder County in 2001 and 2013. She was a cohort in Rockefeller Foundation-NYU Next Generation Leadership Fellowship.   She serves as a division manager, mediator, facilitator and interpreter for the City of Longmont and in the community and has worked within the Boulder County communities for over 20 years.

Carmen Ramirez es la Gerente de Recursos Comunitarios y de Vecindarios, una división de la Ciudad de Longmont. Ella ha trabajado para la ciudad de Longmont por dieciséis años. Ha participado en varios proyectos comunitarios que trabajan para crear cambios dentro de los sistemas y ayudar a proporcionar más acceso, inclusión y equidad a todos los miembros de la comunidad. Algunos de los proyectos han incluido la Evaluación de la Comunidad Latina del Condado de Boulder en 2001 y 2013. Ella cuenta con un séquito en la Fundación Rockefeller-NYU Próxima Generación de Compañerismo y Liderazgo. Ella sirve como gerente de división, mediadora, facilitadora e intérprete para la ciudad de Longmont y en la comunidad y ha trabajado dentro de las comunidades del condado de Boulder por más de veinte años

Marta Loachamin, City of Longmont

Marta Loachamin is a Resiliency Outreach Specialist with the Community and Neighborhood Resources department within the City of Longmont. Marta has a Masters in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies.  She has a background in commercial banking and mortgage finance and has been a local REALTOR® and small business owner in Boulder County since 2006. She served as a founding organizer of Solera National Bank from 2004-2007.

Marta has been active in community outreach in Larimer, Weld and Boulder Counties over the last two decades.  She has served on many public and private sector board of directors, steering committees and volunteer advisory committees.   She is currently President of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professional (NAHREP) Denver Chapter and has received recognition as a top producing real estate agent by both ERA International and Century 21.  Marta was recently awarded the 2016 Multicultural Award in Business from the Boulder County Community Action Programs.

Marta Loachamin es Especialista en Superar la Resiliencia y trabaja en el departamento de Recursos Comunitarios y de Vecindarios de la Ciudad de Longmont. Marta tiene una Maestría en Educación Secundaria y una Licenciatura en Estudios Étnicos. Ella tiene un fondo en la banca comercial y las finanzas de la hipoteca y ha sido un Corredor local de Bienes Raíces en el Condado de Boulder desde 2006. Ella sirvió como organizadora y fundadora del banco nacional de Solera a partir del 2004 al 2007.

Marta ha estado activa en el alcance comunitario en los Condados de Larimer, Weld y Boulder durante las últimas dos décadas. Ha servido en muchas juntas directivas de los sectores público y privado, comités directivos y comités de asesoría de voluntarios. Actualmente es presidenta de la Asociación Nacional de Profesionales de Bienes Raíces Hispanos (NAHREP) Capítulo de Denver, y ha recibido el reconocimiento como agente de bienes raíces de ERA International y Century 21. Marta recibió recientemente el Premio Multicultural 2016 en Negocios del Condado de Boulder Programas de Acción Comunitaria del Condado.

Afternoon Panels

Unshockable: Building Prepared Communities

Mackenzie Boli

Mackenzie is the Community Resilience Coordinator at the City of Boulder.

Lyons Prepared

Lyons Prepared is a volunteer citizen partnership with the Lyons Fire Protection District in the Lyons, Colorado area.

Their mission is to work with residents and visitors within the Lyons Fire Protection District to:

  • Support neighborhood emergency preparedness.
  • Strengthen our ability to communicate well during an emergency.
  • Enhance relationships between our fire district and surrounding communities and Boulder and Larimer County emergency planners.

Shayle Nelson, Larimer County

Shayle Nelson is the Program Manager for Larimer Connects out of the Larimer County Office of Emergency Management. Originally from rural southeast Idaho, Shayle Nelson grew up with country roots but a thirst for experiencing the big world outside her front door. After travelling to Europe during her junior and senior years in High School, she pursued a degree in International Studies, specalizing in Political and Economic Development from Idaho State University. Upon graduation, she moved to New Orleans, LA, where she graduated from Tulane University with a M.S. in Disaster Resilience Leadership. Shayle has volunteered and worked closely with disaster relief and community grassroots organizations like the American Red Cross, the Coalition for Coastal Restoration, and even a brief stint with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Shayle brings a passion for building strong, resilient communities through local-level action, disaster response training, and enthusiasm for assisting communties in their endeavour to create their own brighter futures to Larimer County Colorado.

Catalysts for Change: Community Leadership

Mardi Moore, Out Boulder

Mardi Moore took the helm of Out Boulder on October 16, 2013. Mardi is from a Colorado Pioneer family.  Her Great Grandparents settled in Marshall, Niwot and Boulder between 1890 and 1904 where they made a living by farming, ranching and mining coal.  Mardi’s dad graduated from CSU with a degree in veterinary medicine and started a practice in Las Animas, CO.  Mardi’s formative years were spent in rural CO training race horses, working with her father in his practice, showing cattle and being involved in every school activity they offered.  Mardi graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Political Science. Prior to her work with Out Boulder, Mardi spent three years in her senior-level positions with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the NYC LGBT Center. There Mardi built a wealth of experience on the national and large-metro levels. She is proud to bring that depth of development experience, business management, organizing skills, and vision to Out Boulder.

Manuela Sifuentes, CU Boulder

As Director of Community Partnerships, Manuela cultivates and sustains relationships between CU Engage and community organizations to carry out collaborative projects that advance the public good. Manuela’s diverse work history on projects that serve immigrant, migrant, border and other marginalized communities has focused on issues of social justice and equity, be it language access, HIV prevention and care, or fair housing. Raised in both Guatemala and Boulder she is bilingual, bicultural and a certified interpreter and translator. Manuela received her B.A. in International Affairs from CU-Boulder and holds Master of Public Health and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Michigan.

Celina Esekawu

Measuring Success: Framing, Defining, and Winning at Resilience

Iain Hyde, State of Colorado

Iain Hyde is the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Resiliency and Recovery Office in Colorado. He joined the Office in 2014 and has eight years of professional experience in emergency management, hazard mitigation, disaster recovery and public administration. Previously, Iain worked at the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as the agency’s Recovery Manager. At the Governor’s Resiliency and Recovery Office, Iain works with state and federal agencies, local communities and non-governmental organizations to coordinate the portfolio of resources supporting recovery from the 2013 Colorado floods, which caused nearly $4 billion in impact. In addition to disaster recovery duties, Iain manages the development and implementation of the Colorado Resiliency Framework, which was adopted by Governor Hickenlooper on May 28, 2015. He is the national co-chair of the Association of State Floodplain Managers mitigation committee.

Paty Romero Lankao, UCAR

Dr. Paty Romero-Lankao is an “interdisciplinary sociologist” and a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Reasearch (NCAR), where she is currently leading the “Urban Futures” initiative (
Paty’s research has focused on crucial intersections between urban development and the environment, including the carbon cycle, the climate system, the water cycle and the food-energy-water nexus. Along with other scientists, she is currently designing urban-scale interdisciplinary studies that inform and are informed by global-scale interdisciplinary research.
She has also examined why and how particular cities attempt to meet the challenges of reducing emissions while improving their response capacity (resilience) to extreme heat, floods, social disruptions, and other threats. She was co-leading author to Working Group II of the Nobel prize-winning IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
She considers herself to be a citizen of the world.  She cares deeply about her family and friends, but she is also passionately engaged in finding options to move humankind toward more sustainable and fair futures.
Rachel Norton, CU Denver

Rachel Norton is a PhD candidate in Health & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver and a Research Assistant at NCAR with Dr. Paty Romero-Lankao. Their research focuses on risks to the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus. Her dissertation research examines disaster vulnerability and resilience amongst Hispanic women in a small mountain town in Colorado.

Molly O’Donnell, City of Longmont

Molly manages the Boulder County Collaborative’s $48 million CDBG-DR Infrastructure Grant Program and led the effort to create the Resilient Design Performance Standard for Infrastructure and Dependent Facilities. She also sits on the Data, Metrics, & Tools Committee for the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure. Before moving to Colorado, Molly was a Public Works Planning Manager for the County of San Diego, Assistant to the City Manager for Carlton, Oregon, and a consulting planner. Molly obtained her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of San Diego and her M.P.A. with a focus in local government management from Portland State University.