April 2022Download This Article (.pdf)
This month, I pay tribute to the hardworking and dedicated staff of the CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE. This group of professionals provides support, structure, guidance, and continuity to our membership and works hand in hand with our member volunteers to advance the CBA’s mission. Given the type-A attorneys who tend to volunteer, you can imagine it’s not an easy task keeping everything organized and moving forward. The expression “herding cats” comes to mind. And if that doesn’t sound challenging enough, each year brings new elected leadership, new projects, and new directions. Throw in the late-night emails and seven-day workweek, and you can see that it takes true dedication to tackle these tasks. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of working with this amazing group, I offer a brief glimpse into the lives and stories of the staff that forms the backbone of the CBA.
Front and Center
Leading the organization is Amy Larson, aka “Boss Lady.” Amy has been with the CBA since 2007, previously serving as the deputy executive director and as the CBA’s lobbyist. She works tirelessly to promote the organization’s success, forever making adjustments to ensure the CBA evolves and is action oriented. Amy welcomes everyone with a smile and is an excellent listener.
Dan Sweetser is deputy executive director, a true “bar junkie,” and a longtime bar association supporter. He declined a volunteer role as DBA president to focus on his new leadership role with the CBA. He is a strong believer in what the CBA stands for and enthusiastically puts time and energy into making our association great.
Wherever Amy is, Jessica Lindzy is right there by her side. Jessica serves as the CBA governance liaison and executive assistant. She is always willing to step up and help promote our organization. Originally from the Michigan/Indiana area, Jessica has lived in Colorado for the past 10 years. When not organizing meetings, answering bylaws questions, or attending CBA events, she is either with her daughter (a rising Irish dance star), reading a book, or driving around with the music blasting.
One of the newest members of the CBA staff is Tyler Mounsey, our director of legislative relations. Tyler brings his bow-tie style, years of lobbying experience, and love of Southern Colorado to the CBA. He also knows pretty much everyone and is always willing to chat. I’m not sure when he sleeps—perhaps after the legislative session? He has made the Legislative Policy Committee meetings a great joy.
Sections and Committees
Amy Sreenen, a Denver-native, serves as director of sections and committees. Amy describes herself as “loud,” but I would describe her as a passionate hard worker who is always willing to go the extra mile for a member. I have had many interactions with her over the years, and she is amazing. Amy can be found boating around the lakes of Colorado and camping in the woods. Always be camera ready around Amy; she may take your picture (and if you’re lucky, bake you a cake).
Elizabeth Akalin works closely with Amy as the manager of sections, committees, and foundations. (Not a Colorado Bar Foundation member? You should be!) Elizabeth is originally from Missouri and describes herself as “geeky.” Her hobbies include cosplay and video games—she even plays an old text-based multiplayer game from the 90s called Gemstone IV (think Dungeons & Dragons). She also enjoys traveling and consuming poolside mimosas (who doesn’t?!).
Amy and Elizabeth are supported by a rockstar team: Emma Baxter, Jess Hamm, Ashley Staab, and Juliann Tricarico. If you are part of a section or committee, you will see their bright smiles.
IT and Cybersecurity
Mel Reveles, director of the information technology (IT) department, helps keep our organization high-tech. She is joined by Joey Belarde, Danny Calhoun, and Wout Bouckaert. Rounding out the team is Melissa Nicoletti, IT assistant extraordinaire. Many of you may know Melissa as the CBA’s longtime director of sections and committees. Melissa “retired” in 2020, but just when she thought she was out, they pulled her back in. Although her role has changed, she enjoys providing tech support from her new home in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. The ocean, her husband, and her dog keep her occupied when there is downtime, and she finds joy in every crazy moment that life brings.
Have a membership question? Ask Margaret Haywood, our resourceful membership director. Margaret was born and raised in Northeast Iowa but now enjoys living in Colorado, where she and her husband love to hike. Margaret also likes to cook and, if you’re looking for another trivia night teammate, she is a diligent student of celebrity gossip and pop culture. Assisting Margaret is Alfonso Valadez, membership manager. Alfonso is fairly new to the CBA, but he hit the ground running during the pandemic and quickly became a valued membership resource.
Access to Justice
Emy Lopez is director of local bar relations and access to justice. She is a true collaborator and “connector” of ideas, people, and projects. She has lived most of her life in Spain but now makes Colorado her home. She travels as much as possible and enjoys photography, cooking, woodworking, and living life with her girls. Haven’t met Emy? Well, what are you waiting for, reach out. If Emy is out and about, try connecting with Joaquin Ross Tellechea, engagement coordinator.
Toni-Anne Nuñez has been with the organization for years and currently serves at the statewide director of access to justice. She is a true gem and a major asset.
Pro Bono Services
Many of you have heard of the Metro Volunteer Lawyers’ Family Law Unbundled Program. For those who are not in the know, you must meet Anthony Pereira, the man in charge. Anthony is very passionate about his work—he connects with low-income families and assists them with their family law issues by coordinating pro bono efforts for volunteers in the Denver metro area. His compassion for those is need is genuine and sincere. He loves his two pups, gardening, following Seattle sports, and watching live theater.
Matt Skeen works hard aiding our broader community as program attorney for the Pro Se Bankruptcy Clinic. This gregarious staff member is a Colorado native who enjoys cooking a good meal, skiing (obviously), and riding a moped around town scouring stores for antique shaving implements.
Bridgett Moore is program director for CBA-CLE—yes, all those CLEs and institutes are managed by Bridgett (with help from others, of course). Her positive demeanor and ambitious personality serve her well in this role. A Colorado native, she enjoys the great outdoors, crafts, travel, and going on adventures with her family.
Working closely with Bridgett is Kiley Chernicky, program coordinator. Kiley’s curiosity keeps her energized and innovative with CLE programming. A former Florida resident, Kiley now enjoy all things Colorado: hiking, rock climbing, birding, and kayaking. She also enjoys road trips and can often be found with a good book in hand.
Finally, I’d like to give a huge shout out to the communications team. Loren Faye recently assumed the role of director and looks forward to the new challenge. I am forever grateful to Susie Klein, managing editor of Colorado Lawyer (and self-described “hockey-mom-in-training”). Susie currently telecommutes from Charlotte, North Carolina (blame her husband’s job), but she considers Denver her second home and tries to visit as much as possible. Thank you, Susie, for your forgiving deadlines and tremendous editorial skills. Jodi Jennings, legal editor, and Kate Schuster, creative manager, are also a huge part of Colorado Lawyer’s success. And Shelby Knafel, digital content manager and Loop architect, your daily puns keep us all going.
These are just tiny snapshots of some of the staff that help the CBA thrive. There are many more, both past and present, whose dedication and efforts have made this association what it is today. To all of them, I say thank you. You are all incredible.