Alumni Association Board at their summer Retreat, First Row (L to R): Emma Harrington Kane ’07, Winnie Ellsworth, Elsa Woolley ’11. Second Row: Jared Harding ’97, Karl Koch ’05, PJ O’Neil ’07, Zack Tucker ’01, Katie Cordes ’03, Aimée Nieuwenhuizen ’06. Third Row: Kyle Rajaniemi ’07, Lisa Harrison Ellsworth ’79, Isabel Gary Harper ’09, Terrie Dickinson Warren ’73, Austin Carpenter ’05, Max Shaw ’08. Not pictured: Chris Bailey ’02, VJ Brown ’11, Caroline Cramer ’11, Brian Fisher ’02, Georgia Grey ’08, Ben Hock ’07, Brian Parks ’96, Ashley Peterson ’06.
For 24 Colorado Academy alumni, their connection to CA continues after they leave campus. They serve on the Alumni Board administering the activities of the Colorado Academy Alumni Association. The Board helps plan alumni events, raises donations for the CA Fund, and represents CA and the Alumni Association in the community.
Chris Bailey ’02 attended CA for 14 years. His sister Amber Bailey graduated in the class of 1988. Chris attended CU Boulder for undergrad and DU for law school. He met Bree, his wife of 10 years, at CU. They have two dogs, Milo and Logan, and currently live in Englewood.
VJ Brown ’11 spent seven years at CA and received his Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies, with a minor in Anthropology, from Davidson College in North Carolina. He is a 2018 graduate of the Urban Leadership Foundation of the Colorado Connect Leadership program and a participant in 2020 Colorado Civic DNA. Currently, he is the Program Manager for Moonshot edVentures. Previously, VJ worked as Program Manager for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, where he supported civic leadership programs for rising professionals and college students. He also helped develop and lead the organization’s strategy around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to that role, VJ participated in the Fellowship program with El Pomar Foundation, supporting the foundation’s grant making and community outreach programs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Civic Canopy and Chinook Fund, and supports a number of organizations in Denver through facilitation and strategic planning and is working towards his certification to be a leadership coach. In his free time, you can find VJ exploring the outdoors or cheering on local sports teams. Go Nuggets!
Austin Carpenter ’05 attended CA for all but his Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. He graduated from Western State University in Gunnison, Colo. After time in the corporate world, he spent time in the U.S. Army. Austin returned to Colorado to pursue a graduate degree in International Business and is currently working with Arrow Electronics in Cyber Security. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys climbing, skiing, biking, mountaineering, and much more.
Katie Cordes ’03 attended CA from 1st-12th Grade, and then attended Washington University in St. Louis. After some time in New York City, she moved home to Denver in 2014 and now works in corporate strategy and development. She loves spending time with her dog, Bleecker, and thinks that a good time outdoors involves a patio, a book, and a glass of wine.
Caroline Cramer ’11, a super-lifer, achieved certified “old” status this year after watching her youngest sister graduate from CA this past June. She spent seven years in San Antonio and Austin obtaining two degrees from Trinity University, washing down world-class Tex-Mex and barbeque with a Shiner in hand, and serving private and public clients in the tech sector as part of PwC’s assurance practice. With Colorado tugging at her heart-strings, Caroline departed Texas with “y’all” ingrained into her daily lexicon and pivoted into the strategic finance space at Xactly. Outside of the work grind, she spends her time reading a new book every week, finessing her golf swing, exploring new hiking trails, and being tolerated by her spunky Shiba Inu.
Lisa Harrison Ellsworth ’79 was a part of the early movement to add girls to CA. She had the privilege to work with all of CA’s headmasters as either a student or a parent. Her three children graduated from CA in 2010, 2013, and 2017. Lisa has enjoyed working with the younger alumni who are currently on the Board and being a part of CA’s continued growth as an innovative school. She is currently working at a Denver Public School in Grade Two as a paraprofessional and is a retired women’s sports official in Field Hockey, Basketball, and Lacrosse.
Brian Fisher ’02 began at CA as a Sophomore. While his time at CA was relatively short, it did not diminish his appreciation for the school. Brian played Baseball and Golf at CA. Both sports teams have been much more successful since Brian graduated, but he is pretty sure that is a coincidence. Brian graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in History and received his JD from DU. Brian worked as an attorney for four years before happily exiting the legal world. Brian now works in commercial real estate finance for Northmarq Capital. Brian and his wife Jamie live in Denver with their daughter Riley and son Chase. In his free time, Brian enjoys golfing and brooding over the downfall of the Husker football program.
Georgia Grey ’08 graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2012 with a major in English Literature and minor in Elementary Education. Georgia founded her own holistic nutrition business, WBH Nutrition CO, where she specializes in autoimmune disorders, weight loss, and kid/family nutrition. She works one-on-one with her clients to help them feel their best through the healing power of food. When she is not coaching her clients, you can find her skiing, hiking, doing anything outdoors, or being with friends and family.
Jared Harding ’97 attended CA from Grades 1-10, and looks back fondly on incredible learning experiences, friendships, Giant Relay Days, field trips, sports, Interim, and so much more. Currently, Jared works in digital marketing for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and lives in Denver with his wife, Rachael, and their three daughters, Emma (10), Lucy (7), and Josie (5).
Isabel Gary Harper ’09 graduated from Colorado College in 2013 with a major in Environmental Science and minor in Education. She then earned an MS in Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in 2016. Isabel began her career in the oil and gas industry as an Exploration Geologist for EOG Resources in Midland, Texas, and is now back in Denver doing the same work for Centennial Resource Development. Isabel is an avid outdoor person and spends her free time fishing, skiing, and traveling with her husband, John, or bird hunting with their two English Setters.
Ben Hock ’07 is the Director of Creative Services at CenterTable, a digital marketing agency located right by Coors Field. He earned his BFA in Animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where he also met his wife, Andrea. In his spare time, he serves as the Marketing Director for PawsCo, a local animal rescue. He’s also a Certified Cicerone® (a beer sommelier) and home brewer. Ben and Andrea live in Virginia Village with their daughter Lily and rescue dog Lenny.
Emma Harrington Kane ’07 attended CA in Grades 6 through 12 and headed up to chilly Maine to attend Colby College, where she graduated with a BA in Psychology. As a fifth-generation Colorado native, Emma couldn’t resist her long-standing Colorado heritage, and she returned in 2011 to start her career. She is passionate about identifying strategic growth opportunities and building efficient business models to support expansion across industries as they integrate eCommerce. Emma’s favorite time is spent with her giggly 6-month-old daughter McKenna, her loving husband Eddie, and a wiggly pup.
Karl Koch ’05 attended CA for 3 years. He played Lacrosse and Soccer and attended Goucher College, where he played Lacrosse and graduated in 2009 with a major in Business Management. Karl lives in Capitol Hill and works for Twain Financial Partners, an investment management firm specializing in tax credit, structured debt, and real estate transactions. He enjoys skiing, fly fishing, mountain biking, backpacking, and cheering on all Denver sports teams in his spare time.
Myles McGinnis ’08 attended CA from K-12 as a lifer. At CA he played Golf, Soccer, and Lacrosse. Myles graduated from The College of Wooster in 2012, where he played Lacrosse for the Fighting Scots. Myles has since spent time in various roles in the Colorado real estate world, from commercial and residential sales to land development. Currently Myles enjoys spending time with his wife Mo and managing Max Shaw’s expectations as Fantasy Football League Commissioner.
Aimée Nieuwenhuizen ’06 attended CA from Grades 4 through 12. While at CA, she was a Cross Country runner and Soccer player; she also served several leadership roles in the AfricAid club and played piano in several honors recitals. Aimée obtained a BA in Spanish from Davidson College, a BA in Psychology from Queens University of Charlotte, and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from CU Denver. She is a primary mental health therapist at the inpatient level of care at a psychiatric hospital. In addition to sitting on the CA Alumni Board, Aimée serves on the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorder Foundation.
PJ O’Neil ’07 attended CA from grades 3 through 12 and then attended CU-Boulder undergrad and Cal-Berkeley for business school. He is happy to be back in Colorado after a long time away in NYC and the Bay Area. PJ married his best friend from high school, Hannah Kleiner ’07, 10 years after convincing her to go to senior prom with him on the stairs in front of the old Upper School. They are happily living in City Park with their puppy Pearl and love exploring the mountains regularly. PJ recently founded Nomad, a real estate technology business that guarantees rental income for residential landlords.
Brian Parks ’96 attended CA from Grade 7 through Senior year. While at CA, Brian was the inaugural Mustang mascot and paved the way for future generations of mascots. He and two classmates also founded Students H.O.P. E., which still takes place at CA in December. Brian attended Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., where he earned his BA in Communications and then followed that up with his MBA at the University of Denver. Brian is currently the President of Commercial Lines for CCIG, a locally owned and operated commercial insurance agency in Greenwood Village. Brian serves on the Board of Directors at National Jewish Health. He is married to Dana Pluss Parks and has two boys, Carter (10) and Reid (8), and a labradoodle puppy, Baylee (1.5). He spends most of his free time coaching his boys in soccer, flag football, and lacrosse, or in the mountains skiing.
Ashley Peterson ’06 attended CA in Pre-K then came back for Grades 6-12. She played Lacrosse and Field Hockey at CA, and attended Bowdoin College, where she also played both sports and won two NCAA National Championships. She graduated from Bowdoin with a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish. Ashley has been living in Denver since college and works for VF Corporation as a Marketing & eCommerce Analyst on the JanSport and Eagle Creek brands. In her free time, she can be found outdoors doing pretty much anything adventurous and takes her dog Dyson along whenever she can.
Kyle Rajaniemi ’07 attended CA from Grades 3 to 12. While at CA, Kyle sang in Cindy Jordan’s choirs and played Lacrosse. He moved on to Hamilton College, where he graduated in 2011 with a degree in Communications while also playing NCAA Hockey for the Continentals. In 2015 he earned his MPS in Branding from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and finally made it back to Colorado in 2017, after getting married to his wife, Laura. Kyle is now the Marketing and Brand Manager for Yeti Cycles and spends far too much time biking and skiing, and even more time with his dog, Mowgli.
Maxwell Shaw ’08 attended CA from Pre-K-Grade 12 and is a proud super-lifer. During his time at CA, he enjoyed Golf, photography, and working as a camp counselor during the summer. Max graduated from Davidson College in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. He spent four years as a behavior therapist before earning an MBA in Health Administration at CU Denver. Recently, Max completed an Administrative Fellowship at the University of Colorado Hospital and now works as an internal process improvement consultant for the hospital and greater UC Health system. Max enjoys competing for the title in his CA ’08 friends Fantasy Football League. He lives with his wife Chelsea in Denver.
Zach Tucker ’01 attended CA for Grades 8-12, commuting each day from Evergreen. After making one fateful attempt at rappelling from the old gym as the mustang mascot and losing the headpiece, he stuck to playing Tennis and Baseball and oddball experiments in the chemistry lab. Zach received a BS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University, then spent the next 13 years in New York as a bond trader. He returned to Colorado in 2017 to work with Smith Capital Investors, living with his wife and daughter Whitney in LoHi (and soon a baby boy in January). They like to hike, ski, and drop discarded yogurt on their dog Crosby.
Terrie Dickinson Warren ’73, a “pioneer” when CA went coed in 1971, loved the academic, athletic, and theatrical opportunities CA offered. Even though she lived outside of Colorado from CA graduation until 10 years ago, she has maintained friendships with many of her classmates from ’73 and also friends from ’72, ’74, ’75, and ’76. After working in college admissions and coaching middle and high school field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse in Texas for over 20 years, Terrie has opened her calendar to spend more time with her family and to “give back”—and is eager to serve on the CA Alumni Board and also to offer pro bono advice/assistance to aspiring college applicants, especially for first-generation applicants. Most often found on various mountain golf courses, hiking trails, and ski runs, or trying to succeed at mountain gardening, Terrie is also well known in Breckenridge for her intricate knowledge of Summit County happy hours.
Elsa Woolley ’11 joined the Alumni Board in 2017 and now serves as the President. Elsa studied Art History and Business at the University of Puget Sound, and works in commercial real estate development in Denver, focusing on historic preservation and affordable housing. She also serves as her university’s class president and as a Trustee on the Four Mile Historic Park Board. In her spare time, Elsa enjoys spending time in the mountains with her fiancé Joe and their two dogs. She has loved reconnecting with CA through the Alumni Board and is eager to
help other alums reconnect also!
Honorary Board Member
Gordon Smith ’79 serves as an emeritus member of the Alumni Board. He graduated from Colgate University, majoring in Economics and Psychology. He then obtained his MBA from CU Denver in ’89. Gordon began in the family horse business and then moved into financial services. He finally found his passion when entering the fundraising business in ’95 with National Jewish Health, specializing in Planned Giving. Still with National Jewish today, he is now the Associate Vice President of Development, Planned Giving. He travels the country meeting with dedicated donors to discuss creative, non-cash opportunities to support the hospital. He also speaks nationally on Gift Planning. Gordon spends his spare time skiing, biking, playing tennis, and competing in triathlons and such.