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I’ve been with the Bagley Law Firm for eight years, and am currently a Managing Senior Associate Attorney handling state and federal civil rights litigation, as well as other complex civil matters, including various types of personal injury and commercial cases. From 2019 to 2021 I was the elected mayor pro tem of the City of Littleton, Colorado.
I’m excited about the Ardent Grove Foundation because its staff and students are experienced and skillful clinicians with amazing dedication to their patients’ well being. The Foundation is also on the cutting edge of trauma-centered care, including EMDR, and is uniquely equipped to help so many of our neighbors who have experienced trauma.
Before my current job I earned a master’s degree in human rights with a concentration in women’s human rights from Columbia University. For two years before that I worked at an anti-domestic-violence shelter providing free attorney representation to victims and survivors of relationship violence, primarily in family law and protection order cases. My wife and I have two kids, ages four and seven.
Tom Ventura is a health services consultant with the Bizzell Group, supporting health care quality improvement initiatives of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In this work, he has enjoyed guiding quality improvement teams nationwide on program evaluation, effective use of data, and telling the performance story to depict the impact of their programs. These experiences have enabled Tom to nurture his interests in evaluation capacity building and implementation science. He hopes for evaluative thinking to become a core element of all health care quality improvement work.
From my days as a trainee in the science and practice of clinical psychology through my present-day work in health care quality improvement, I am passionate about improving access to effective and affordable behavioral health care services. Today, I proudly work to build the capacity among Ardent Grove’s talented staff to address a critical service gap in our community by providing high-quality, low-cost trauma therapy to those who need it.
Prior to his career in health services consulting, Tom was an epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a data manager at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. In his prior community service work, Tom served on the Board of Directors for both the Blue Bench and Metro Denver Partners. Tom is an alumnus of the University of Illinois and has earned master’s degrees in Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology from Purdue University and in Public Health from the University of Colorado.
I have been a Portfolio Manager for U.S. Bank for 2 years. As a Portfolio Manager I analyze, underwrite, document and manage a book of Commercial credit clients. I work with a vast array of industries including; commercial & industrial, non-profit, retail, and fast-casual. I decided to move to Colorado 2 years ago, because of my love of the outdoors and the opportunities that Denver has to offer.
I am excited about the Mission of the Ardent Grove Foundation. Mental Health is becoming increasingly important, especially when there is a trauma aspect to one’s experience. To be able to provide access to low cost therapy and continued support to members of the community is a necessity, and I am proud to support this organization.
Prior to U.S. Bank I was a Portfolio Manager at a Associated Bank located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I started as an intern at the organization while attending Carroll College gaining a B.A.Sc. focused in Accounting. I also served on a few non-profit boards during my time in Milwaukee, that gave me a great desire to continue that service in the Denver Area.
I am in my fifth year lobbying the Colorado General Assembly with Mendez, Barkis & Associates. I represent clients engaging on policies affecting criminal justice reform, the environment, housing accessibility and affordability, services for people with disabilities and the homeless, and protections for employee and consumers. Unlike many in my line of work, I have the good fortune to tackle issues that align with my values, while establishing meaningful relationships with those elected to make decisions that impact us all. This proximity allows me to successfully advance policies that can improve the lives of my family, friends, and neighbors. It’s demanding, chaotic work and I enjoy it greatly.
In Ardent Grove, I see an opportunity to serve my community in a completely different capacity. It’s no secret that accessing quality mental health services is far too difficult for far too many, and we all know someone who would benefit from additional support. It’s an unfortunate reality that demands our attention. The chance to help grow an organization that seeks to meet that challenge head on in creative and effective ways is inspiring and appreciated. I’m humbled to be on the team.
Before joining Mendez, Barkis & Associates, I worked for the Democratic caucus at the Colorado State Senate – serving on the staff consecutive senate presidents. The experience affirmed in me the capacity for individuals to affect change on a broad scale and the importance for policymakers to hear from and be held accountable by their constituents. Prior to that, I was Program Director for the Ngaathaje Development Organization; a small nonprofit providing aid to refugees returning to South Sudan after it gained independence in the wake of the Sudanese Civil War. My time delivering supplies to primary school students there was as challenging as it was fulfilling, and a period of considerable personal growth.
Laura joined Shopworks Architecture in 2019 after co-leading the development of Arroyo Village in Denver, which created a new homeless shelter for women and transgender individuals, 35 units of supportive housing, and 95 units of workforce housing using a trauma-informed lens. Laura brings to Shopworks her experiences as a non-profit leader and community organizer/community engagement specialist. She is using her expertise and knowledge in best practices in homelessness and supportive housing to inform building design at Shopworks and find solutions to barriers to affordable housing, with special attention to trauma, resiliency, and equity.
As someone who has worked in homelessness, trauma is a critical factor that deeply influences whether entire populations of people can thrive. By working with those who are most vulnerable and giving them the space to heal, we will be impacting lives in ways we could never imagine. Additionally, providing low-cost, high-quality mental health care is absolutely critical in our society, and I’m excited to be a part of the solution!
I most recently was the Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director at The Delores Project, a shelter for women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. In that role I implemented Trauma Informed Care across the organization, which included a transgender inclusion and a racial equity project. I also co-led the organization through the process of building 130 units of affordable housing in partnership with another non-profit. 35 of those units are for those chronically homeless with a disability with a high level of services.
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Low-Cost and Medicaid Therapy & Assessment