Pamela Bisceglia is the Executive Director of AdvocacyDenver. As a parent of a child with a disability, Pamela gained practical experience regarding the rights of children and adults with disabilities. Her professional experience is marked by her devotion to individuals in need, first-hand knowledge of the operation of public systems and their obligation under state and federal law. Pamela stands with a team whose principal focus is on achieving equal rights and social justice for people with disabilities through individual advocacy and systems advocacy at the state and federal level.
Scott Utash is the Director for Operations and the Mental Health Advocacy Program. 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.
Linda Brooks is an Advocate for Adults. She 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.
Bob McGill is a Child and Family Advocate for Spanish-speaking families of children 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.
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.
Heather Peters is a Child and Family Advocate. She joined AdvocacyDenver in August, 2018. Heather graduated from Towson University with a psychology degree. She worked in different urban public school systems as a paraprofessional, a teacher and as a Family Liaison for children with special needs. In the role of Family Liaison, Heather connected families with community resources, helped families navigate through the Individualized Education Program, Section 504 process and understand educational rights of children with disabilities. Heather has, and continues to serve on a range of councils and boards..
Stephen Fusco is a child and family advocate: Stephen practiced law for 12 years and decided to enter the field of education in 2013. He received a Masters in Education with a focus on Behavioral/Learning Disabilities in May, 2016. While working on his Master’s Degree and later his doctorate in educational leadership, he worked at a residential treatment facility for children with severe behavioral and learning disabilities. Stephen also ran a special education department at a large elementary school with approximately 980 students (95% English language learners and Title I) as a member of the administrative team. Stephen moved to Colorado to serve as Deputy General Counsel at an urban school district. Stephen is finishing his doctorate in educational leadership at Denver University and volunteers his time as a pro bono attorney for the Center for Special Education Law. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his partner Dale and their dog Phoebe. Stephen enjoys cooking (I am Italian…it’s a requirement before you leave home), hiking 14’ers, yoga, swimming, and traveling the world.
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.
Melissa Palacio is AdvocacyDenver’s Administrative Assistant, working alongside leadership to support adult and child advocates. Melissa attended Western Cuna Management School at Pomona College majoring in Business Management, and Front Range Community College holding a certification in Certified Event Rental Professional. She’s a passionate volunteer for Special Olympics Colorado and other events supporting people with disabilities. Melissa volunteers her time to a non-profit organization serving as a Coach, mentoring leaders of small women groups that are working through life’s unique circumstances. These professional and personal experiences have paved a way for Melissa to devote her skills in supporting the active voice AdvocacyDenver upholds in the community.
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.