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2024 Luncheon Video
2024 pledge video

Watch the Pledge of Allegiance and Tribute Recording from the House!

The Pledge of Allegiance [11:48 - 12:17]

The Tribute [19:45 - 23:28]

*unfortunately, audio is not available until AFTER The Pledge

Watch the Pledge of Allegiance and Tribute Recording from the Senate!

The Pledge of Allegiance[18:18 - 19:40]

The Tribute [24:20 - 35:35]

March 4

March 4 @ 11:00am - 12:00pm

March 11 @ 8:30 - 9:30am

March 11
2024 Photos
2024 Pledge Leaders

Meet the 2024 Pledge of Allegiance Leaders 

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Dominique from Denver County

Pledge in the House Chambers


Dominique is a motivated individual who is a natural leader in her community.  For the past eight years, she has worked full-time at JFS's Cardinal Health worksite. In her free time, Dominique enjoys doing puzzles—especially 3D ones—hanging out with her family, participating in the JFS Arts and Community Exploration program, having fun bowling and doing all types of art projects.

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Keith from Jefferson County

Pledge in the Senate Chambers

Keith resides in Jefferson County in a home he shares with a housemate, with support from the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center.  “It's my man cave!” Keith shares with a happy smile. He is a history buff and loves the painting of George Washington’s Mount Version that decorates his room. He also loves visiting the local library, walking to Einstein’s Bagels to get coffee and talk with people, participating in Special Olympics bowling,  and track and field, and doing activities through Active Belief, a Day Program. In his childhood, Keith was a Boy Scout, where coming together to say the Pledge of Allegiance was important to building a sense of community.

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Download the Tribute as a PDF >


Meet the 2024 IDD Awareness Day Luncheon Speakers


Representative Shannon Bird

2023 Alliance Legislator of the Year

Rep. Bird represents House District 29, which includes both the Adams County and Jefferson County portions of the city of Westminster. Originally elected in November of 2018, she is now serving in her third term in the General Assembly. Representative Bird is the Chair of the Joint Budget Committee and Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Committee. She previously served as the Chair of the House Finance Committee. Rep. Bird has also been a member of the Business Affairs & Labor Committee, the Pension Commission, the Pension Review Subcommittee and the Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning Tax Policy.

Growing and maintaining a strong state economy, housing affordability and high-quality public education are Representative Bird’s three policy priorities. A few examples of her work in these areas include legislation that doubled the state’s annual tax credit for affordable housing, Colorado’s Occupational Credential Portability Program, which allows licensed professionals moving to Colorado to have an easier time transferring their licenses so that they can begin working sooner and the Small Business Recovery Loan Program, which established a $50 million low interest rate loan fund for Colorado small businesses recovering from the 2020
COVID-19 pandemic recession.

She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned a B.A. in Economics. She later graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver, earning both an MBA and an MS in Finance. Representative Bird completed her education by earning a J.D. at the University of Denver College of Law.

Representative Bird has served her community in numerous ways. She was the citizen chairperson for her school district’s bond and mill levy override campaign; served as board chair of the Five Star Education Foundation and also served on the Westminster City Council just prior to being elected to the Colorado General Assembly. 

As the Chair of the Colorado Joint Budget Committee, which oversees the Medicaid budget for Colorado, in 2023 Alliance honored Rep. Bird for prioritizing underserved communities while also recognizing the business realities that community-based providers face in delivering critical services to those communities. We thank her for supporting the Govenor's request for targeted rates for HCBS last year.

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Kathy Frank

2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year

Kathy Frank was the proud recipient of the “2023 Alliance Direct Support Professional of the Year” award.  

Kathy has worked in the field of Human Services for over 34 years!  She is a strong advocate and leader for all the individuals with whom she works, past and present.  Kathy has worked at several Human Service Agencies over the years, including Martin Luther Homes, Bethphage, Community Support Services Inc., Laradon, Developmental Pathways and Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC) in their residential programs, prior to starting at Dungarvin 5 years ago.   Since she started at DDRC, 17 years ago, Kathy has been committed to those individuals, maintaining a part-time position while working at Dungarvin.


Kathy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, with the addition of classes to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).  Several years ago, Kathy and a friend started “Kathy’s Culture Club”.  Their mission was engaging women who were diagnosed with Down Syndrome, accompanying them to various plays, concerts and events around Denver’s culture scene.


Kathy still enjoys going to the theater, loves bowling, reading, taking walks, and the color purple!

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Molly Kirkham


Molly Kirkham serves as President of the statewide organization Speaking for Ourselves (SFO). SFO is a self-advocacy organization that cares about human rights and social justice issues like:

  • Real jobs with real wages, not jobs we may not like, have no choice about and pay less than minimum wage.

  • To live as independently as we can. To have a say in where we live and with whom we live.

  • To be treated with respect when we do need support from a program. To direct the kind of program we have.

  • To be part of the community, not separate.

  • To close institutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • The use of People First language in all settings.

  • Fair and informed treatment by law enforcement and judicial system for people with all types of disabilities. Representation in the legal system by membership in juries for people with disabilities.

  • To have rewarding relationships of our choice.

  • Full accessibility at EVERY location in EVERY community, with consideration to EVERY type of disability.

  • To set our own goals.

  • To have our needs, interests and choices considered by legislators in all levels of government.

Molly is passionate about many things, but her current favorites are theater and advocating for people with disabilities. She identifies as a person with special needs but doesn’t let this limit her in any way. Outside of SFO and her disability advocacy work, she’s a regular participant in Phamaly theater productions. Molly loves acting in plays at Phamaly Theater Company. In her spare time, Molly hangs out with friends, reads books, and goes on walks. “I really love helping people. It gives me a wonderful feeling, and I love seeing the difference I make.” Molly’s goals in life are to get a good job and make a difference in the lives of the people she meets every day!

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Marcella Schieffelin

Parent Advocate

Marcella Schieffelin is a mother to two neurodivergent adult children. She is a JFK Partners LEND program graduate as a Parent Advocate and has published a parent tip sheet titled “Supported Decision-Making: What Parents Need to Know.” She is currently a member of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council as the Vice Chair of Planning & Grants and Interim Chair of the Membership Committee. Ms. Schieffelin is also a member of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International, and Colorado Moms Demand Action. Marcella is a music therapist, certified life coach, and interfaith leader with equal experience in education, healthcare, and special projects with various non-profit and non-government organizations.  Her work is centered around human and civil rights, with extra attention to inclusive, whole-person-centered practices.

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Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera

Closing Remarks

Dianne Primavera is serving her second term as Colorado’s 50th Lieutenant Governor. In her role, she leads six programs: the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, the Office of eHealth Innovation, the Colorado Disability Funding Committee and Disability Policy, the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, Serve Colorado, and Aerospace and Defense. 

Dianne is a lifelong Coloradan and longtime Broomfield resident. She was part of Regis University’s first graduating class of women and received a masters degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to her role as Lieutenant Governor, she worked as chief executive officer (CEO) of Susan G. Komen Colorado and served eight years in the State Legislature, representing Broomfield, Superior, and parts of Erie and Westminster. Throughout her service, Dianne was highly regarded for her success working across the aisle to pass legislation advocating for people with disabilities, expanding access to health care, and supporting Coloradans’ access to quality cancer screenings and treatment. 

In 1988, Dianne was a single mom raising her two daughters here in Colorado when she received a terminal breast cancer diagnosis and was told she had five years to live. Since her first diagnosis, Dianne battled cancer three more times and survived when many people feared she wouldn’t live to see her daughters grow up. Her personal experience with cancer inspired her to make it her life’s work to ensure every Coloradan has access to affordable, high quality health care.

In her free time, Dianne enjoys ballroom dancing, taking after her father who was known for his eagerness to get on the dance floor, even on his 95th birthday. She is a proud grandma and enjoys sharing home cooked meals with family and friends.

2024 Award Finalists

Meet the 2024 Award Finalists!

Meet the 2024 Advocate of the Year Finalists!
Read their n
ominations HERE >


Kris Housel

Agency: Arc of Weld County
Time with TBA: 11 years     
Years as an Advocate: 11+ years

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Mandy Kretsch

Agency: Imagine!

Time with Imagine!: 11 years

Years as an Advocate: 40+ years

Meet the 2024 Direct Support Professionals of the Year Finalists!
Read their nominations HERE >

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Mamadou Ouattara

Agency: Developmental Disabilities Resource Center
Time with DDRC: 15 years
Years as a DSP: 15 years


Peggy Sullivan

Agency: Laradon

Time with Laradon: 16 years

Years as a DSP: 30 years

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Jolene Bowers

Agency: Mosaic

Time with Mosaic: 21 years

Years as a DSP: 21 years

Meet the 2024 Case Manager of the Year Finalists!
Read their n
ominations HERE >


Linda Medina

Agency: (formally with) Envision
Time with Envision: 27 years
Years as a CM: 40 years


Kerra Sandlin

Agency: Mountain Valley Developmental Services

Time with MVDS: 10 years

Years as a CM: 14 years

2024 Award Nominees

Congratulations to all 2024 Nominees


  • Skyler Fogle: Array Clinical + Therapeutic Services

  • Donald Grider: Continuum of CO

  • Charles Mathis: Continuum of CO

  • Oly Valdez-Nixon: Continuum of CO

  • Mamadou Ouattara: Developmental Disabilities Resource Center

  • Renee Chiles: Dungarvin

  • Janyce Dixson: Dungarvin

  • Richard McDowell: Dungarvin

  • Marlene Gomez: Easterseals CO

  • Caroline Gelatt: Envision

  • Crystal Perez: Envision

  • Diana Box: Horizons Specialized Services

  • Jennifer Kidwell: Horizons Specialized Services

  • Carmenita "Minnie" Lewis: Imagine!

  • Bren Lindemann: Imagine!

  • Steven Morales: Inspiration Field

  • Ashley Avila: Integrated Life Choices

  • Rebecca Casias: Integrated Life Choices

  • Chris Janson: Integrated Life Choices

  • Connor Kraphl: Integrated Life Choices

  • Peggy Sullivan: Laradon

  • Jolene Bowers: Mosaic

  • Cindy Warren: Mosaic

  • Skye Rust: Overture

  • Victor Teguh: Overture

  • Angel Ramirez: Parker Personal Care Homes

  • Sybil Goldman: Roundup Fellowship

  • Delania Love: Roundup Fellowship

  • Vivian Sass: Starpoint

  • Meredith Eisinger: Stepping Stone Support Center

  • Dawn Faulkner: Stepping Stone Support Center

  • Florence Hornbeck-Kaiser: The Resource Exchange

  • Brianna Delmont: Wellspring Community


  • Jana Spring: Ablelight

  • Michelle Loose: Developmental Disabilities Resource Center

  • Amanda Brown: Developmental Pathways

  • Jessica Crawley: Developmental Pathways

  • Linda Medina: Envision 

  • Barb Tessely: Foothills Gateway, Inc

  • Deanne Colbert: Foothills Gateway, Inc

  • Lauren Clements: Imagine!

  • Steve Conley: Imagine!

  • Kerra Sandlin: Mountain Valley Developmental Services

  • Tom Whattoff: Mountain Valley Developmental Services


  • Kris Housel, Arc of Weld County

  • Mandy Kretsch, Imagine!

Event Contacts:


Arc of Colorado:

JFK Partners:

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