Who we are

Come visit us at the Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop in downtown Denver! We share an office suite on the 2nd floor with Streetsblog Denver, ULI Colorado, and NRDC.

WalkDenver Staff:

Jill Locantore – Executive Director

Jill is responsible for implementing the strategic goals and objectives of WalkDenver, including education, research, and advocacy for policies and practices that lead to a more walkable Denver. Previously, Jill served as Principal Planner for the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), where she worked with more than 50 local governments to develop and implement Metro Vision, the Denver region’s long-range plan for sustainable growth and development. Jill also worked for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments where she supported regional efforts to coordinate land use and transportation planning in suburban Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Throughout her planning career, Jill has focused on the intersection of land use and transportation with environmental sustainability, economic development, public health, and social justice issues. Jill has a Masters degree in community planning from the University of Maryland, as well as a Masters degree in cognitive psychology from the University of Toronto.  Read Jill’s opinion piece in the Denver Post, “It’s not about congestion, it’s about freedom.”

Jill can be reached at jill.locantore@walkdenver.org.

Jessica Vargas – Program Coordinator

Jessica is the program coordinator for the Vision Zero Community Program, a collaboration between WalkDenver and the City & County of Denver. She also provides technical assistance to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) on their Community Active Living Coalition. She previously managed WalkDenver’s leadership development program Project Shift and partnered with DDPHE on the Safe Routes to School Travel Plan program. Jessica has also worked on bicycle advocacy projects in Los Angeles County, California and interned for the planning department at the City of Lakewood, Colorado. Jessica graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning in the spring of 2018.

Jessica can be reached at jessica.vargas@walkdenver.org.

Cindy Ambs – Neighborhood Organizer

Cindy is our newest team member.  Her main focus will be public outreach for the Friends of the Little Saigon initiative and and exploring the possibility of creating a new business improvement district (BID) on the South Federal Boulevard Corridor.  Her bilingual skills will be instrumental in public outreach for the Little Saigon “placemaking” project. She will be obtaining community feedback through in-person and online surveys that help decide how to improve pedestrian walkability on South Federal. Previously, Cindy was an interpreter for the Community Language Cooperative here in Denver.

Cindy can be reached at cindy.ambs@walkdenver.org

WalkDenver Board of Directors:

Leanne Jeffers – Chair

Leanne Jeffers, MPH, is the Director of the Leadership for Healthy Community Design (LHCD) Program for the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL). Leanne earned her Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles and for over 25 years has worked in the health and public health sectors, with an emphasis on community health, health promotion, and professional development. In addition to Directing the LHCD Program, Leanne manages the Coaching Programs within the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program and Advanced Physician Leadership Program. Since starting with RIHEL in 2003, Leanne has also managed the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP), coordinated Emergency Preparedness training for public and environmental health professionals, supported other leadership development activities through the Institute, and provided training, facilitation and coaching to build professional and community capacity in the area of healthy community design. Leanne recently served on the Denver Regional Council of Governments Metro Vision Planning Advisory Committee, and is currently the co-chair for the Built Environment Strategic Collaborative, a Colorado statewide group of advocates and professionals engaged in fostering health through the built environment.

Leanne can be reached at boardchair@walkdenver.org.

Theodore Wenzlick – Vice Chair

Ted Wenzlick is currently employed by TIAA-CREF (Financial Services for the Greater Good) in the Denver office. He received his B.A. from the University of Central Missouri and his M.B.A. from Fontbonne University. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ted recently relocated to the Denver metro area in June of 2014. While back in Missouri, Ted volunteered with several non-profits in leadership roles, such as the Missouri YMCA Youth In Government Program (state committee member) and the Alumni Board of Fontbonne University (past board president) for several years. Ted was also honored to be appointed by Former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden to the Missouri Community Service Commission where he served on several committees that worked to promote the AmeriCorps/Vista program state wide. Ted looks forward to continuing his volunteer service in Denver! On a personal note: Ted likes to combine his love of travel with his love of baseball: he usually attempts to visit a few cities a year to explore the sites and to catch a game!

Jennifer Addair – Treasurer

Jennifer works at REcolorado as Manager of Product Management, where she has been instrumental in launching numerous new products, including a new MLS/public records system, new construction, and rental offerings. She has an MBA with a concentration in Marketing and Technology Management from UCCS, and a BA in Economics from Virginia Tech. Jennifer is passionate about being a pedestrian and public transit user, and is very excited to be part of the WalkDenver board and co-chair of the Program Committee. She lives in the Union Station/Central Platte Valley neighborhood with her husband and two cats. In her free time, Jennifer volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver, and enjoys traveling, cooking, exploring Denver, hiking, and reading.

Susan Gelbart – Secretary

Susan has been a resident of Denver for almost 30 years and moved to Colorado from Georgia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. She recently retired from health care to become a REALTOR® at HomeSmart Realty Group. During Susan’s 20 year career in health care she worked at Dominion Diagnostics, Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and the University of Colorado Hospital. In 2004, she became a Fellow in the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) Advanced Leadership Training Program. Since 2008, she has been a volunteer coach for RIHEL serving both as a peer coach and coach team leader. Susan is a member of the Denver Cherry Creek Rotary Club and serves on the Community Service Committee for that club. In addition, she works with the Rotary Mental Health Initiative.

Mallory Luebke – Program Committee Chair

Coming soon

John Arceneaux

John has worked in various roles in the Mortgage Industry for 25 years and is currently a Mortgage Counselor with Hallmark Home Mortgage. He is very involved in volunteering and community outreach programs and most recently served as Board President of Rebuilding Together Acadiana , a non profit that renovates and retrofits homes for the elderly and handicapped. John was also Chairman for 9 years of the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority, an entity which builds low income housing, saves historic buildings, builds parks, and assists first time home buyers. 

Vanessa Castillo

Vanessa works for the City and County of Denver as an Environmental Officer. In this position, she supports affordable housing, neighborhood stabilization and equity projects throughout Denver. Prior to working with the City, she worked with the State of Colorado as a Program Specialist in the field of hazard mitigation. She has a Master’s of Science in Planning from Florida State University and a BA in Geography from Boston University. She spent two of her most formative years in Togo, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, during which time she helped to organize female community leaders around the rights of women in public and private spaces. As a carless bike commuter, she is passionate about creating streets that are pedestrian and bike centered and contributing to a shift in Denver that envisions streets as spaces for community rather than only spaces for driving. She lives in the West Colfax neighborhood, where she has found some of the best Mexican taquitos in the city.

Margaret Olek Esler

Margaret Olek Esler is an attorney at Polsinelli PC.  Her practice focuses on real estate law, including development, acquisitions and divestments, leasing, financing, and environmental issues.  Margaret is a proponent of community engagement and real property and infrastructure development that promotes cultural and socioeconomic diversity.  She lives in Arvada with her husband and two rambunctious dogs, and works in LoDo in Denver.

Mark Fetterhoff

Mark Fetterhoff was born and raised in Colorado Springs. He graduated from Drake University where he studied Politics and Public Relations. Mark was introduced to walking and livability issues while working for aging and health nonprofits, including AARP, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the New York Academy of Medicine. Currently, Mark manages the AARP Foundation ElderWatch program, which is a partnership between the Colorado Attorney General’s office and the AARP Foundation that educates older Coloradans about fraud and scams. You might find Mark walking to work, sporting events or local breweries.

Robin Fleischmann

Robin grew up in New Jersey and has an undergraduate degree in business administration from Washington University. After a working as a commodities trader in New York City, she switched careers and earned a planning degree from New York University where she specialized in economic development, managing large public-private development projects in the city as well working with small towns upstate that were dealing with changes in the economy. After moving to Denver, she became interested in urban planning for healthy communities. Volunteering for WalkDenver is a natural fit for Robin since walkable neighborhoods are essential for healthy neighborhoods.

Allison Forrest

Allison has 15 years of experience working on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters and education. As the Responsible Investment Officer at Resource Capital Funds (RCF), she has lived in Perth, Western Australia and Denver, Colorado conducting ESG due diligence site visits globally. Allison chairs five Social and Environmental Committees for RCF’s public and private portfolio companies where she works to ensure that companies implement mining best practice, review ESG metrics/performance and evaluate ESG risks and opportunities. Prior to working at RCF, Allison worked at Agrium Inc. (now Nutrien) as a Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Advisor where she was responsible for annual Sustainability Reporting and internal reporting to the Board Environmental Committee. Allison received a B.S. in Environmental Policy with a minor in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a Colorado native and enjoys telemark skiing, cross country skiing, walking her pug and golden retriever and home design.

Molly North

Molly is a graduate student in the Civil Engineering department at the University of Colorado Denver. She has worked in the transportation field as a co-founder of Rolling Spokes Bike Tours, the Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Fort Collins, and the Executive Director of BikeDenver. She volunteers at her kid’s school to organize active living and healthy eating events; she is the President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Student Chapter; she is on the Steering Committee for the Colorado Transportation Symposium; and she tends a 4,500 sq ft garden in Sunnyside. She and her husband co-founded a consulting firm, Majestic Collaborations, which connects bands, brands and agencies to their communities. They enjoy hiking, biking and skiing with their 10- and 12-year-old sons and their rescue dog.

Andy Peters

Andy Peters is an attorney Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti P.C. where his practice focuses on land use and First Amendment matters and related litigation.  He received a B.A. in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.  After moving from St. Louis to Colorado’s high country, he found his way to Denver in 2010 and has been passionate about making the city less car-dependent and more walkable for all its citizens ever since.  He and his family live in Park Hill, though you’re just as likely to find them strolling through Capitol Hill or wandering in one of the state’s many wilderness areas. 

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith works as a computer programmer at Valdez International. She received her B.A. in Historic Preservation from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands in 2010. She moved to Denver in 2011 from the suburbs of Southern California, in large part motivated by Denver’s robust public transportation and mobility networks. She is passionate about walkability for all generations and abilities. She also volunteers with History Day Colorado, and helped the Aurora History Museum organize and preserve artifacts from the Trolley Car 610 renovation.

Katie Tate

Katie Tate is the Community Relations Specialist at PDC Energy, an exploration and production company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. At PDC Energy, Katie is charged with employee advocacy and executing PDC’s external volunteer and charitable strategy.  Katie has served in a variety of roles at PDC Energy and was awarded the Denver Association of Division Order Analysts’ (DADOA) Presidents Club Award in 2016 for her work on the DADOA board as the Newsletter Chairman. Katie was also selected to be a part of the 2018 EnGen program run by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and voted one of the Most Influential Women in 2018 EnGen program. Katie is committed to volunteering her time to causes she believes in and served as the Volunteer Communication Coordinator at Bike Denver – a role in which she was awarded Volunteer of the Year. Katie and her husband live in Denver with their two dogs and one rabbit. The two Colorado natives spend their weekends outdoors – backpacking, hiking, running, biking and walking to local breweries. The dogs often join them, but the rabbit generally declines.