Board of Directors
(Group Photo) William Graf, Bruce Berger, John Blinn,
Claudia Svarstad, Megan Burg, Don Messer, Bonnie Messer,
William Bradford, Clietta Terry, Sue Hamm, Ben Galloway,
Valerie Jackson (Names are listed L to R, Top to Bottom)
Additional Photos L to R: Larry Sondgeroth and Elainne Blinn
Bruce Berger, Board Treasurer is a Denver health care economist. He served 25 years as Deputy Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. He & his wife, Ruth Ann Russell, have been generous supporters of the Center & leaders of Park Hill UMC.
Elaine Blinn, M.S.W., is a licensed clinical social worker and a psychotherapist in private practice. Elaine's commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS has led to volunteer service in India, Thailand, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, West Africa.
John Blinn, M.Div., secretary of the Center for Health and Hope, is a retired pastor in the United Methodist Church. A spiritual director and spiritual retreat leader with CompanionSpirit, he has produced three musical CDs. John's commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS has led to volunteer service in India, Thailand, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, West Africa.
William Bradford, M.A., MBA, is a retired publisher from Denver, Colorado. He was president and CEO of the Bradford Publishing Company for 35 years. Brad is active in the Denver-Boulder LGBT community and has been a long time supporter of organizations that provide support to those living with or affected by HIV. He is also a supporter of the Denver arts community.
Megan Burg, Board Vice President. Megan holds an M.Div. and serves as the Associate Pastor at Arvada United Methodist Church. She has been engaged with the Center for Health and Hope since her student days at the Iliff School of Theology when she worked as the Center's Administrative Assistant. Megan provides key leadership in spearheading the Denver Golf Swinging@AIDS event.
Ben Galloway, M.D., well-known Denver retired forensic pathologist, serves twenty counties in Colorado, and serves on the Board of Belle Bonfils Foundation. Previously he was Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Deputy Coroner of Denver, and served on the pathology staff of Denver General. Denver Health Foundation named him a 2012 Denver Health Star.
Sue Hamm, Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Denver, has a private practice specializing in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Educated at Catholic schools and the University of Wisconsin, she lives near Black Hawk, CO, and feels a "deep sense of responsibility to make the world a better place for all."
Valerie L. Jackson, D.Min. in homiletics from The Iliff School of Theology, Denver, also holds degrees from Tufts University and the Interdenominational Theological Center. Founder/CEO of Triple Threat Ministries, she is the former senior pastor at University Park, and now serves as pastor at Cameron UMC. Valerie is the Congregational Resource Minister, Mile High Metro, for Mountain Sky Conference.
Bonnie J. Messer, Ph.D. is a counseling psychologist in private practice in the Denver area. Previous service includes the professional counseling staff at the University of Denver. Bonnie has partnered with her husband, Donald, in many programs around the world, as they have addressed the global HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Donald E. Messer, Ph.D. President Emeritus and Henry White Warren Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology at The Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado, is president of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Center for Health and Hope. Speaking and leading workshops has taken him to more than 30 countries around the world. He is author of 15 books including: Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: Christian Churches and the Global AIDS Crisis (2004), Ending Hunger Now: A Challenge to Persons of Faith (2005), 52 Ways to Create An AIDS-Free World (2009), Names Not Just Numbers: Facing Global AIDS and World Hunger (2010), and Celebrating God's Love: Living into Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (2015).
Larry Sondgeroth, B.S. in Organizational Leadership. Larry graduated from Vincennes University with an Associate’s degree in finance before attending Purdue University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership with a minor in finance. His work background has included manufacturing, mortgage banking and he has spent the last 15+ years selling residential real estate in the Denver Metro area. Larry has volunteered and served on various boards. Organizations that he has assisted include, Colorado Business Council (Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce), Harmony-A Colorado Chorale, Project Angel Heart Bread and Butter Club committee, Denver Board of Realtors Government Affairs Committee, Junior Achievement and the Park Hill Home tour committee.
Claudia Svarstad, J.D. Denver, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona, has been Vice President of the National Farmer’s Union, active in Bread for the World, and treasurer of the Alliance to End Hunger. She has traveled to India to visit AIDS projects and to various international conferences focused on world hunger.
Clietta Terry, M.A. holds a B.A. in Sociology from Grambling State University, as well as an M.A. in Human Resource Development and Management from Webster University. She has been supportive in all respects of the Center for Health and Hope for the past 12 years and is the current Volunteer Coordinator. Her lengthy professional career included work as a Counselor and Employment Specialist with Denver and Arapahoe County. Throughout her adult life she has served in leadership roles with numerous non-profit organizations, recently serving on the Board of Trustees, and is currently serving on the Board of Trustees at Park Hill United Methodist Church.
William Graf, J.D., Golden, Colorado, is a non-voting participant in all Board meetings. He is a partner at Brant, Stevens & Graf, LLC and has been engaged in AIDS work in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Honorary Board Members
Marla S. Petrini, J.D., is a retired Denver attorney who headed the national labor/employment practice for one of the 20 largest law firms in the world. She is on the Advisory Board of Gilda's Club, a national organization which provides a cancer support community to survivors and their families, and is politically active in the area of gay and lesbian rights. She journeyed to India to work on issues related to HIV and AIDS and she will be traveling to Kenya in 2020.
Dr. Paula J. Murphy, was a retired psychotherapist ( Ed.D.) living in Aurora, Colorado. Paula had taught at the University of Denver School of Social Work and Arapahoe Community College in the area of human sexuality. She and her late husband, Paul, were pioneers in the Denver area, addressing the issues of the church and HIV and AIDS. Together they journeyed to India for workshops addressing the global AIDS pandemic. (Deceased, April 26, 2012)
Dr. Stephen McCeney, a founding Board member, died from complications due to HIV and AIDS in March, 2010. The Denver Post eulogized him in a special article entitled "Advisor Lived With AIDS." Read the Article Here. And a website created in his memory can be found at www.stevemcceney.com. (Deceased March 27, 2010)
Rev. Paul Murphy, a founding Board member and first Vice-President of the Board, died after a short illness in 2006. The Denver Post eulogized him in a special article entitled "Quiet Minister Stood Up for Blacks,Gays." Read the Article Here. (Deceased Oct. 8, 2006)
Former Board Members
Katherine "Kay" Farley, M.Div., serves as co-pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Denver. A graduate of Fisk University and Boston University School of Theology, she is an ordained American and National Baptist pastor. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, & the Rocky Mountain Regional Executive Board of the American Baptist Church.
Ronald T. Glusenkamp, M.Div., was senior pastor of Bethan Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. In 2014 he was named to head a multi-million dollar campaign for the ELCA. Previously he was with the Board of Pensions of the ELCA, and served for 20 years as pastor of church in Missouri and Kansas. A media consultant for church and non-profits, his sermons reflect his deep sense of mission and justice.
Rhonda Dern, R.N., has a master’s degree in maternal fetal nursing from the University of Colorado. A nurse since 1976 in Colorado, she has worked in hospice care and as a labor and delivery specialist. A native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she holds her A.A. in nursing from the University of South Dakota and her bachelors in nursing from the University of Colorado. Besides being an active volunteer Ambassador for the Center for the Church and Global AIDS, she was the past president of P-Flag in Evergreen and chair of Church and Society for the Evergreen United Methodist Church.
Jim Mitulski, M.Div., Interim Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies, Denver, has ministerial credentials with the MCC, United Church of Christ, and the Disciples of Christ. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of sacred theology, having served churches in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Berkeley, where is was campus pastor at the Pacific School of Theology. During his 15 year tenure in San Francisco, he ministered during the height of the AIDS crisis providing pastoral care and conducting thousands of funerals. His international travel related to HIV includes time in Australia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.