Aileen McGinley is the Executive Director of AdvocacyDenver. Ms. McGinley has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and more than 30 years of experience in the field of developmental disabilities. Her focus since 1995 has been advocacy for individuals, systemic change and community development. She has administered various private and state-funded projects targeting systemic change in the areas of family support, criminal justice and self-determination.
Catherine Strode is Advocacy Denver’s Policy and Outreach Specialist. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from UCDenver with an emphasis in health care policy. Formerly the Coordinator of the Health Care Advocacy Program, Catherine conducts interviews with state legislators and policy makers, tracks legislation pertinent to AdvocacyDenver’s initiatives and represents the organization at policy events that impact our community. Catherine has been working at AdvocacyDenver since 2011.
Pam Bisceglia is the Coordinator for Child and Family Advocacy. As a single parent of a child with a disability, Pam has first-hand knowledge of family resources in Denver. Problem-solving, sensitivity, experience and knowledge of community resources for children and adults with disabilities are among her strengths. She is a devoted professional for individuals in need, bringing deep knowledge of public school operations and their obligation under state and federal law. Pam has been with AdvocacyDenver since 2011.
Linda Brooks spent 12 years as a Service Coordinator for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and 11 years investigating allegations of Mistreatment, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (MANE). She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in Children’s Rehabilitation and a Master’s degree from Drake University in Vocational Rehabilitation-Personnel Counseling. She is a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!).
Kaley Day is an Advocate for Adults. She is a graduate of the University of Denver, majoring in Strategic Communication with an emphasis in nonprofit organizations. Kaley, a Colorado native, has an older brother with disabilities and has grown up in the advocacy community. She has been with the organization since 2011 and previously served as the Coordinator for Communication and Grant Development.
Andrew Franklin joined AdvocacyDenver in 2014 as a child advocate. He has a B.S. in Crime and Delinquency Studies from Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. He is originally from Lincoln, NE. He’s worked as a juvenile corrections officer, a special education para and as a child protective service worker, investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. He has also worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in residential and vocational settings.
Bob McGill advocates for Spanish-speaking families of students with disabilities. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from William Jewell College. His work for AdvocacyDenver draws on more than 15 years’ experience in personal and public advocacy for farmworkers and recent immigrants; program evaluation and development; and assisting non-profits and public agencies that serve Latina families in the areas of education, health and immigration.
Tony Sears has been an Advocate for Adults at AdvocacyDenver since 1998. Tony holds a BA in Psychology and has worked in the mental health field for more than 19 years, the past ten years of which have been in the developmental disabilities field. Additionally, he works with public agencies and advocacy organizations in crisis intervention, criminal justice, dual diagnosis (developmental disabilities and mental health), and RTD’s Access-A-Ride Appeals Committee.
Children’s Mental Health Program
Scott Utash was hired as the advocate for the Children’s Mental Health Program at AdvocacyDenver in the fall of 2015. Scott holds a B.S. in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Scott has more than 35 years of experience working for and advocating with people with disabilities and previously served at AdvocacyDenver (1999-2000) as the Justice Coordinator for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or Mental Illness. He also served on the Board of Directors for AdvocacyDenver.
Center for Special Education Law
Michael Breeskin is Counsel for AdvocacyDenver, and he is the attorney for the organization’s Center for Special Education Law. Mr. Breeskin has a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and previously served as Senior Attorney for the nonprofit organization that the Governor of Colorado designated as the Protection and Advocacy System for people with disabilities in the state.
Kelli Christian is the Legal Assistant at AdvocacyDenver. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management, and moved to Denver from Alabama in the summer of 2014. She has a background in finance and administration. She served in a temporary capacity at AdvocacyDenver over the summer and fall of 2014 and became captivated by AdvocacyDenver’s mission, accomplishments, and office culture. She joined the team as a permanent member not long after.
Health Care Advocacy Program
Mary Sims is AdvocacyDenver’s Healthcare Advocate and Wellness Educator. She brings over 13 years of nonprofit experience working with children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mary is also a registered yoga instructor specializing in adaptive and accessible yoga. Mary serves as the Advocacy Team Leader for the international organization of Accessible Yoga. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX. Her work is driven by a passion to empower individuals to live happy, healthy, and meaningful lives.
Laura Pollock is AdvocacyDenver’s Office Assistant, working alongside Sally Tanner and Theresa Bratrsovsky to support Adult and Child Advocates. Laura attended the University of Arizona and Southern Methodist University, majoring in English. She has a broad background of working in residential real estate, corporate and wedding event planning, hospitality, film and politics. She is also a professional photographer who loves all the outdoor experiences afforded by Colorado.
Charlene Lawrence works part-time for AdvocacyDenver and has been doing miscellaneous office work assignments with us since 1998. Charlene has been an AdvocacyDenver client and an integral part of the ARC and People First Community since the mid-nineties. She received an award from the Arc of Denver for her dedication to volunteerism in 1995, as well as the John Bear award in 1998. AdvocacyDenver helped assist Charlene in buying her first condo in 2000, where she still resides with her husband of 11 years, Mike, who is also a client of AdvocacyDenver. Charlene is passionate about dogs, shopping, meeting new people, Starbucks coffee and her beloved church community. Charlene enjoys eating meals with friends at her favorite restaurant, Golden Corral.