99 West 12th Avenue, Denver, Colorado | EXHIBIT IS CLOSED

CELL Staff

Melanie Pearlman

Melanie Pearlman

President & CEO
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Tom Ruppel

Chief Operating Officer
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Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark

Vice President of Outreach & Engagement
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Elizabeth Cychosz

ELIZABETH C. JOHNSON

Education & Projects Manager
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Melanie Pearlman

Melanie Pearlman

President & CEO
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Tom Ruppel

Chief Operating Officer
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Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark

Vice President of Outreach & Engagement
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Elizabeth Cychosz

Elizabeth C. Johnson

Education & Projects Manager
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JACQUELINE GRAHAM

Writing & Communications Specialist
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LESLIE HAMDORF

Manager of Curriculum & Instruction
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James Hippensteel

James Hippensteel

Manager of Education & Programs
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Libby Hodgin

Associate Communications Manager
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BECCI JACOBS

Education & Outreach Specialist
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Samantha Jones

Samanatha Jones

Database and Administrative Coordinator
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CAITLYN LAUCHNER

Education & Outreach Coordinator
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RUDOLF LEYBA

Education & Special Projects Coordinator
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SAMANTHA NEVILLE

Database & Administrative Associate
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MAGDALENA PEREZ

Education & Special Projects Coordinator
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MEG ROBBINS

Education & Special Projects Specialist
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ANDY STANLEY

Database & Administrative Associate
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BAILEY YAMSHAK

Special Projects Coordinator
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Hannah Haebig

Special Projects Intern
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Jacqueline Graham

Writing & Communications Specialist
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Leslie Hamdorf

Manager of Curriculum & Instruction
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James Hippensteel

James Hippensteel

Manager of Education & Programs
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Libby Hodgin

Associate Communications Manager
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Becci Jacobs

Education & Outreach Specialist
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Samantha Jones

Samanatha Jones

Database & Administrative Coordinator
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Caitlyn lauchner

Education & Outreach Coordinator
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Rudolf Leyba

Education & Special Projects Coordinator
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Samantha Neville

Database & Administrative Associate
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Magdalena Perez

Education & Special Projects Coordinator
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Meg Robbins

Education & Special Projects Specialist
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ANDY STANLEY

Database & Administrative Associate
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Bailey Yamshak

Special Projects Coordinator
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Hannah Haebig

Special Projects Intern
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Cailin Shioshita Pickett

Associate Database and Operations Manager
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Stephanie Whitehouse

Digital Marketing Coordinator
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Marketing Associate
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Melanie Pearlman

Melanie Pearlman

President & CEO

Melanie Pearlman has managed the administration, programming and strategic planning for the CELL since its inception, ensuring the organization’s relevance to the community and furthering its mission. Melanie is a member of the Colorado Thirty Group and serves on the board of the Denver Police Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America. She is the recipient of the FBI Director’s 2012 Community Leadership Award and was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. Melanie received her M.A. in International Management and Foreign Affairs from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Tom Ruppel

Chief Operating Officer

Tom Ruppel oversees the execution of the CELL’s strategic plan. He has held a variety of positions with the organization since joining in 2014. Tom received his M.A. in International Security with a Certificate in Homeland Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Connecticut College.

Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark

Vice President of Outreach & Engagement

Jordan Clark helps provide organizational oversight and spearhead strategic outreach efforts for the CELL. He identifies and establishes key partnerships across the country to implement the CELL’s various educational and public safety initiatives. Jordan has been with the organization since 2012 and holds a B.A. from Colorado State University in International Studies and Political Science and a minor in Spanish.

Elizabeth Cychosz

Elizabeth Cychosz

Education & Projects Manager

Elizabeth Cychosz Johnson supports the development of new CELL educational initiatives, updates existing programming, and assists in the implementation of both digital and in-person programs. She holds an M.A. in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego, a B.A. in both Anthropology and Journalism from Ohio University and is a Certified Associate in Project Management with the Project Management Institute.

Jacqueline Graham

Writing & Communications Specialist

Jacqueline Graham joined the CELL in 2022 and is responsible for planning and implementing all marketing efforts for educational programs and events. She is an extremely passionate marketing professional who believes in telling stories that empower and uplift the community. She holds an MA in Writing from Edinburgh Napier University and a BA in English Literature and Political Science from Denison University.

leslie hamdorf

Manager of Curriculum & Instruction

Leslie Hamdorf joined the team in 2023 and supports the educational programs of the organization. Leslie earned her Doctorate in Education from Fielding Graduate University in Educational Leadership and Change and a special focus on her educational theory, Action Leadership for Adolescents. Leslie brings experience in implementing various cross-cultural programs, management of K-12 educational programming, and service work with AmeriCorps to the CELL team. 

 

James Hippensteel

James Hippensteel

Manager of Education & Programs

James Hippensteel joined the CELL in 2021 and is responsible for the development and implementation of the organization’s education programs, tours and curriculum. He also helps craft and implement annual school outreach strategies and trains and evaluates exhibit educators. James received both his B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Montana-Missoula.

Libby Hodgin

Associate Communications Manager

Libby plans, develops, and implements marketing and communications strategies. She joined the organization in 2024 and has a proven track record of making meaningful contributions to the nonprofit sector through marketing, project management, graphic design, and events. Libby holds an M.S. in Applied Economics from Oregon State University, a B.S. in Economics from Washington State University (GO COUGS!), a certificate in graphic design from Bellevue College, and a certificate in project management from Cornell University.

 

BECCI JACOBS

Education & Outreach Specialist

Becci Jacobs joined the team in 2022 and supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s educational programs. Becci earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver with a specialization in Children and Youth: Risks and Healthy Development. Becci brings her experiences in nonprofit management, mental health, K-12 education, and community engagement to the Mizel Institute team to ensure we are meeting the needs of students, stakeholders, and partners.

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones

Database & Administrative Coordinator

Samantha Jones joined the CELL in 2021. She specializes in data collection and is responsible for tracking attendance for the CELL’s programs and events. Samantha graduated from Colorado Christian University with a B.A. in English Literature Research.

Caitlyn lauchner

Education & Outreach Coordinator

Caitlyn Lauchner joined the CELL in 2023 and supports the development and implementation of the organization’s education programming, as well as assists with school and community partner outreach. She earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Linfield University and her M.A. in Peace and Justice from University of San Diego Kroc School. Caitlyn brings experience in educational programming, community engagement, and research to support the CELL’s efforts. 

 

rudolf leyba

Education & Special Projects Coordinator

Rudolf is responsible for assisting with research, development, and implementation of new and existing programs across the organization. Rudolf received his M.A in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

 

 

samantha Neville

Database & Administrative Associate

Samantha has worked for the CELL since 2022. She is involved with the database management and administration of programs and events for the Exhibit. She graduated with a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University.

 

Magdalena perez

Education & Special Projects Coordinator

Magdalena Perez recently joined the CELL and is a part of the education team that delivers impactful messages to all ages and communities. She holds an M.A. in International Security specializing in human security and human rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Magdalena also holds a B.A. in International Studies and Italian from the University of Denver. 

 

MEG ROBBINS

Education & Special Project Specialist

Meg Robbins is an Education and Special Project Specialist for the Mizel Institute. She is proud to have joined the Institute in November 2019. As part of the educational team, Meg is responsible for providing programming opportunities for elementary and high school aged students, developing engaging curriculum, and building partnerships with fellow educators across the front range. She is passionate about contributing to the museum’s mission of celebrating diversity, spreading messages of equality and equity, and combating hatred in all its forms.

Andy Stanley

Database & Administrative Associate

Andy helps ensure the organization is operating at its best. He has been with the team since 2023. Andy has a passion for helping others and a drive to make change a reality through his roles in the financial, service, and nonprofit sectors. Taking the skills and knowledge gained from his experiences, Andy hopes to help improve the lives of those in his community.

 

Bailey Yamshak

Special Projects Coordinator

Bailey Yamshak joined the CELL in 2022 and is responsible for coordinating a wide variety of events for the CELL, including the CAP and various community events. She recently earned her M.A. in International Security from the University of Denver, specializing in Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Bailey also holds a B.A. in both Criminal Sociology and Psychology from Auburn University. She has been working in the security and public safety fields for 7 years.

Hannah Haebig

Intern

Hannah supports all areas of the organization, joining the team in 2024. She is a first-year graduate student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Hannah is working on her Master’s in International Studies, focusing on conflict in the Middle East.

 

cailin shioshita pickett

Associate Database & Operations Manager

Cailin Shioshita Pickett joined the Mizel Institute in 2022 and is responsible for leading reporting and analysis efforts, database administration, and operational support for educational programs and community events. Cailin holds a B.A. in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in Health and Wellness from the University of Denver.

 

Condoleezza Rice

Sec. Condoleezza Rice

66th U.S. Secretary of State

Dr. Rice was the 66th United States Secretary of State and President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, Rice also served as Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs. While an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is the current Tad and Dianne Taube Director and Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, a professor in Global Business and Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC.

Caitlin Navratil

Special Projects Coordinator

Caitlin Navratil started at the CELL in 2021 and is responsible for supporting CELL marketing and special projects. She is currently finishing her MA in International Studies at the University of Denver, specializing in Intelligence Analysis. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Bethel University. Caitlin is a 2021 and 2022 Boren Fellow and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

David Engleberg

David Engleberg

David H. Engleberg has lived in the Denver area since 1992. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the University of Utah where he earned his B.A. and M.B.A. degrees. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1967 – 1973. He also resided in the Los Angeles area for a number of years. He has held senior executive positions in the health care and insurance industries. For the past 20 years he developed numerous residential and commercial real estate projects in the Denver area. Since 2010, Engleberg has been the owner of Capitol Cigars. Engleberg served on public, private and non-profit Boards, including being Chairman of the Board of National Jewish Health. Engleberg is married and has four children, one in Denver, two in Israel, and one in Portland, Oregon. He currently has six grandchildren. His hobbies include tennis, golf, fly fishing and watching football.
Melanie Avner

Melanie Avner

Director of Communications

Melanie Avner develops, implements, and maintains the CELL’s annual marketing and communications strategy, driving promotional opportunities and initiatives for exhibits, events, training and programs. She has been with the organization since 2016 and holds a B.A. in English from Lafayette College and an M.A. in Public Communication from American University.

Heather Olsen

Vice President of Operations

Heather Olsen drives the CELL’s fundraising, outreach and programmatic efforts to ensure the organization meets and exceeds its annual goals and directives. She has served the organization in several roles since coming on board in 2015. Heather has an M.A. in Museum Studies with a concentration on Exhibition Development and Design from The George Washington University and a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Business Administration from Fordham University.

Rick Sapkin

Rick Sapkin

Founder and Managing Principal, Edgemark Development

Rick Sapkin is a Founder and Managing Principal of Edgemark Development, with more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience with a strong presence through the Midwest, Rocky Mountains and western United States. Sapkin has been involved in various real estate developments, including several million square feet of retail development and, more recently, high-end self-storage facilities. He has established a proven track record for entrepreneurial business transactions specializing in commercial development, redevelopment, and urban projects. Sapkin received his B.S. in Business Administration in 1983 from the University of Denver.

Blair Richardson

Blair Richardson

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Bow River Capital Partners

Blair Richardson is Chairman and CEO of Bow River Capital and has held executive positions in international sales and trading of public equity and debt securities for nearly 25 years. In 2011, Richardson was named one of the most influential people in Denver by 5280 Magazine (“The 5280 Fifty”). Richardson was with Morgan Stanley and Company from 1987 to 1995, serving as President of Morgan Stanley Japan in Tokyo, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong, and Managing Director of the Equity and Fixed Income Department in New York. Prior to forming Bow River Capital, Richardson was Managing Partner of B.E. Richardson Investments, which invested in a variety of industries and real estate throughout North America. Between 1996 and 2002, his company made over 20 private equity investments. Richardson is the founding partner of Bow River Capital, which today manages over $688 million of AUM and is on their 7th fund.

Michael Pollak

Michael Pollak

Co-Founder, Hyde Park Jewelers

Michael Pollak, co-founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, started by selling turquoise and Native American jewelry after class on the lawn of the University of Denver in 1973, where he graduated with a BSBA. He has spent extensive time in New York, Geneva, Vicenza and Hong Kong, cultivating his skills, knowledge and expertise in gemology, fine jewelry and Swiss timepieces. With more than 40 years in retail management, developing five regional, luxury jewelry stores, Pollak became Chief Executive Officer of Hyde Park Jewelers in 2007. He has received numerous industry awards, including induction into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame in 2008 and Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 1999. Pollack has held board positions with Jewelers of America, Natural Color Diamond Association and the Mizel Institute. He is a co-founder of Diamonds in the Rough, a non-profit organization to support the efforts of youth-based nonprofits and local charities.

Courtney Mizel

Courtney L. Mizel

Director, MDC Holdings, Inc.

Courtney L. Mizel is a Principal at Mizel Consulting, where she has worked for over 20 years. In this role, Mizel advises companies in various industries on matters relating to business management and strategy, including operations, business development, marketing, as well as legal matters. She is also a Founding Director of the CELL. Mizel is involved in a number of non-profit activities, including serving on the Boards of Directors of Zimmer Children’s Museum, Sharsheret National and JQ International. Mizel received her Bachelor of Science in Economics with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. She is the daughter of the MDC Holdings, Inc., Executive Chairman of the Board Larry A. Mizel, and she joined its Board of Directors in 2017. Her legal and business achievements and diverse-yet-highly-relevant experiences provide the Board with enhanced business, operational, governance and legal perspectives.

Andy Miller

Andy Miller

Managing Principal, Miller Frishman

Following graduation from the University of Denver with an accounting degree, Andy Miller worked as a CPA for the international accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. In 1980, he joined with four other partners as Loup-Miller Development Company, which designed and developed shopping centers, apartment communities, office buildings and warehouses across the United States. After the real estate debacle of the 1980s, Miller co-founded Sevo Miller, Inc., in 1990. Sevo Miller built, managed, marketed, leased and sold commercial real estate for many institutions and third-party owners across the country. In 1993, Miller and David Frishman co-founded Realty Funding Group, a mortgage and finance company that has acted as a mortgage broker and mortgage banker for numerous commercial real estate projects across the U.S. In 2009, Miller and David Frishman founded Miller Frishman Group, which specializes in multi-family apartments and retail shopping centers.

David Mandarich

David D. Mandarich

President and Chief Executive Officer, MDC Holdings, Inc.

David D. Mandarich has been associated with the MDC Holdings, Inc., since 1977 and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2020. In 1999, he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer, a title he also held in 1996. Mandarich was previously elected Co-Chief Operating Officer in 1994 and Executive Vice President of Real Estate in 1993. He was a Director from 1980 until 1989 and has been a Director continuously since 1994. 

James A. Lustig

Jimmy Lustig

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Management

A seasoned leader in business, Jimmy Lustig has executive experience at various companies. He has proven himself to have the entrepreneurial spirit that drives new ideas to success while working within the established frameworks of highly regulated industries. Lustig was previously a shareholder and employee of a commercial bank headquartered in Denver, of which his family members were the majority shareholders and which was later sold to Zions Bank. He also founded GEA Entertainment, a music publishing industry consolidator. Lustig balances his professional career with a variety of charitable endeavors. He and his wife run the Lustig Family Foundation, through which they contribute to numerous organizations and institutions that embody their values. Lustig is proud to do his part in supporting educational, cultural, and social endeavors that will shape generations to come.

Walter Isenberg

Walter Isenberg

Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Hospitality

Walter Isenberg started Sage more than 30 years ago with partner Zack Neumeyer. As CEO of Sage Hospitality Group, he directs all company operations including management, real estate investment and brand development, with an emphasis on community giving and teaching the next generation of great leaders. Results-driven and creative, Isenberg is a member of the Union Station Alliance, the group responsible for revitalizing Denver Union Station and creating the high-performing Crawford Hotel. He created Sage’s art program which provides locally curated art in newly built or renovated hotels. Isenberg is a member of Marriott International’s Owner Advisory Board and the American Hotel Lodging Association Government Affairs Committee, as well as a board member of Visit Denver, which inducted him into the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame in 2010.

John Ikard

John A. Ikard

Chairman of the Board, Firstbank Holding Company & Chairman of the Board, National Western Center

John A. Ikard stepped down as CEO of FirstBank in March 2017, after a 36-year career with the bank including serving the last 17 years as CEO of FirstBank Holding Company. He served as Chairman of the American Bankers Association, the largest financial trade association in the country representing more than 3,500 institutions. In 2010, Ikard was honored with the prestigious “Community Banker of the Year” by American Banker magazine. On a local level, he has served as Chairman of the Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation, Chairman of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Denver Area Boy Scout Council, and Chairman of Colorado Concern, one of the State’s most influential political/business organizations. Ikard previously served on the Board of Governors for the Colorado State University and was awarded CSU’s Harry Morgan Award as an outstanding alumnus in 2012.

Arlene Hirschfeld

Arlene Hirschfeld

Born and raised in Denver, Arlene Hirschfeld has been making significant and enduring contributions to the community for 35 years. After working as a teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, Hirschfeld made a career of working nearly full-time for various causes. She has volunteered for nonprofits, including JEWISHcolorado (where she served as the third female president in the organization’s 57-year history), the Denver Art Museum, Rose Community Foundation (where she was the first female board chair) and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Hirschfeld currently serves on the boards of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Denver Art Museum. She is a member of Rose Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Services Committee. She is also an honorary trustee of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Her belief in the importance of volunteerism to enhance the quality of life of individuals and the community has fueled her work.

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