Meet Our Board of Directors
Karen Hart, Board President
Karen is a Literacy Teacher Coach in the Aurora Public Schools. Helping educators reach their teaching potential and supporting them in the classroom is what she enjoys the most about her job. Karen and her partner Meredith have one adopted daughter who is African American, adotped domestically. Karen and her family have attended African Caribbean Heritage Camp for the past eight years and Karen has served on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years. “Being a part of such a life-impacting organization brings true satisfaction to my life. Heritage Camps helps to bridge the gap between one culture to another and allows us to blend together two cultures (or more) into one household. That’s the magic of camp.”
Marion Delanoy, Board Treasurer
Marion is a CPA and shareholder at Brinkerhoff Revenig & Corrigan, P.C. in Denver. She and her husband Rich have three adopted children from Korea, who are now adults. They have participated in Korean heritage camp for almost 20 years. They also have a bio daughter who keot coming to camp even afer her Korean siblings “graduated!” Marion says she is on the board because “attending camps, both as campers and counselors, has made a world of difference for my kids and I want to make sure every child adopted into a different culture also has an opportunity to have these experiences.”
Maria Collett, Board Secretary
Maria is a paraprofessional in a Jefferson County elementary school. She and her husband Tim have three adopted children, 18 year old twin boys born in the Philippines, and a 12 year old daughter born in Korea, so they have been involved in both the Filipino and Korean Heritage Camps for many years. “Our family has enjoyed Filipino and Korean Heritage Camps for eleven years, and it has been a wonderful experience. We have all learned so much, and the camps have opened up many avenues of conversation about culture and adoption within our family. I am excited to be able to contribute to HCAF as a board member, and look forward to giving back to an organization which has given so much to our family.”
Sharon Blender, Past Board President
Sharon & her husband Paul Grabowski have been part of Cambodian Heritage Camp for 10 years along with their 12 year-old son Adam, adopted from Cambodia. Sharon says what she loves about HCAF is “how we teach families to fully embrace & respect their child’s culture, community and identity in a positive, normalized, fun environment. We love all of the amazing people we have met through HCAF.” Sharon has spent 25+ years in the high tech industry in Global Sales, Strategy & Planning.
Denise Chapman, Board Member
Denise is a senior manager at JDSU where she leads the field training and communications team. She and her husband Rick have two daughters (ages 9 and 6) and one son (age 8) adopted from the United States and one son (age 7) adopted from Russia. The Chapman family became involved with Heritage Camps initially by attending Russian, Eastern European and Central Asia Heritage Camp and now also attends Domestic Adoption Camp. Denise says she is on the board because “camp has been such a gift for our family. Both REECA and DAC provide all of us with unique experiences and insight we can’t get anywhere else. Being on the board is an opportunity for me to give back to an organization that has given our family so much.”
Corissa Gold, Board Member
Corissa is a licensed professional counselor and certified art therapist who serves and supports families in Colorado. Working with individuals and families touched by adoption is a special area of focus for Corissa. As an adoptee, she understands the complexities found within this amazing and multidimensional population. Her professional and personal perspectives makes her an advocate for the betterment of the services provided to adoptees and their families. She has a master’s degree from Naropa University in transpersonal counseling with a focus in art therapy and a Master’s in Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Colorado. In addition to her client work, Corissa is a national speaker, facilitator, and artist.
Wendy Hanophy, Past Board President
Wendy is a self-employed biologist and technical writer, who recently retired from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. She and her husband Rick have one teenage daughter, adopted from China. Wendy and her family have been part of Chinese Heritage Camp since it began. “Heritage Camps has meant the world to my family. We jumped right in at the first offering of Chinese Heritage Camp. It’s an honor to serve on the board and enable all adoptive families to have a HCAF experience.”
Michele Horn, Board Member
Michele Horn is an attorney currently employed with the U.S. Department of Labor. She and her husband, David Harder, have four adopted Chinese Children – two teenage girls and two elementary aged boys. They have been going to Chinese Heritage Camp for eleven years and Michele has been a Coordinator for the past six years. Michele brings with her the experience of having served on numerous boards in the past.
Gigot Hudspeth, President Elect
Gigot is an IT engineer for Navy Federal Credit Union. His favorite activities include spending time with family, skiing, mountain biking and travel. He and his wife, Eli, have one teenage son who was adopted from Guatemala. Gigot embraces the opportunities at Latin American Heritage Camp to learn about and celebrate his son’s ethnicity. Gigot is moved by the positive, lasting and loving impact that camp has on attendees. He enjoys supporting HCAF’s mission to be a post adoption resource and advocate for children and families with diverse heritages. Spreading the word about the importance and value of Heritage Camps and helping steer HCAF to a lasting and vibrant future are some of Gigot’s greatest passions.
Sanjiv Nariani, Board Member
Sanjiv is a Senior Project Manager at KDC Architects/Engineers, PC in Denver. Sanjiv, his wife Namita, and their two daughters, have been instrumental in bringing authentic India culture to our Indian Nepalese Heritage Camp for many years. Sanjiv joined the board because “after 12 years of being in awe of the generous parents nurturing these balanced & beautiful adopted children and both surpassing differences and man-made limitations to form a wordly family unit, I feel privileged to be on the board of this organization.”
Stephanie Roberts, Board Member
Stephanie and her husband Mark have two children (ages 6 and 3), one of which was adopted domestically. Stephanie currently works for a not-for-profit child placement agency, Creative Adoptions Inc., as the Adoption Program Manager. Prior to working for Creative Adoptions, Stephanie was an event planner for large corporations and conference organizers. Stephanie and her family attended their first African Heritage Camp in 2012 and immediately realized that ACHC would be part of their summer plans for years to come. “ACHC had a profound impact on both my husband and me. Our daughter is just a little too young to understand how Camp will benefit her, but she talks about next summer quite often, so we believe that is a positive start!” Stephanie looks forward to helping HCAF’s mission by outreach to other child placement agencies, families and adoptees.
Jeanne Ryan, Board Member
Jeanne (Jean) is the Controller for a law firm in Denver, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. She and her husband Michael have 2 children (ages 8 and 11) who were adopted in the United States. Jeanne was on the planning committee for the first Domestic Adoption Camp (DAC) held in July 2011. She wants to offer her services to the HCAF board because “HCAF helps adopted children develop positive self-esteem. Although my kids look like they might be my birth children, our family has unique needs that can only be fulfilled meeting and working with other adoptive families.”
Devon Shendleman, Board Member
Devon is an East Indian Adoptee with deep roots in Colorado. He was schooled here at University of Denver & University of Colorado and has built small businesses that blanket the Denver Metro Area. Devon brings an adoptee perspective, business sense and a great amount of passion for the adoptee experience to the board.
Valerie Towery, Board Member
Valerie and her husband, Jeff, have been involved with Chinese II Heritage Camp for 10 years. Their two daughters, both adopted from China, have grown up going to camp and look forward to it each year. They especially appreciate the pre-camp knowledge and consulting opportunities they get from their parents’ roles over the years as Coordinators, Director, and T-shirt designer. “There’s a special connection with other campers that defies the short length of time they actually spend together. There are friends our girls get to see only once a year for just about 3 days, but they are some of the strongest, most meaningful relationships they have.” Valerie has performed many Coordinator roles at camp and served as Director for 2 years, but felt it was time to join the Board to participate in the strategic path of camps. She is proud to represent her Camp and learn from the experience of others. When not at camp, playing with kids, practicing yoga, or enjoying Colorado, Valerie works in the financial services realm specializing in regulatory compliance.
Eric Voogt, Board Member
Eric is President of the law firm Inman Flynn Biesterfeld & Brentlinger, P.C. based in Denver, Colorado. Eric and his wife Alison have a nine year old son, Mason, and a six year old daughter, Sophia. They adopted Sophia from Hanoi, Vietnam. Eric loves to travel, play tennis, ski and bike. Eric and Alison deeply appreciate the positive impact that Vietnamese Heritage Camp has on not only Sophia, but their entire family. They love the feeling of community and the confidence it gives their daughter. Eric is looking forward to helping continue HCAF’s great work for adoptive families.
Scott Wong, Board Member
Scott is a financial consultant. He and his wife Dawn have two adopted children, a daughter born in China and a son born in Korea. They have been involved in both the Chinese and Korean Heritage Camps for over 15 years. Scott is currently Co-Director of the Korean Heritage camp and his wife is Co-Director of the Chinese Heritage Camp. Scott joined the Board of Directors to give back to the heritage camp families and staff for all they have done for their children. This amazing group provided their son and daughter a sense of family and community support needed to address any adoption and or cultural issues.