DEAN is a unique collective impact entity governed by its Leadership Team and operated by professional staff. DEAN’s Leadership Team includes members from a wide variety of sectors – higher education, K-12, business, non-profit, government, and philanthropy.

Therese Ivancovich

Therese Ivancovich

Executive Director


With over 20 years of non-profit, strategy, marketing and education experience, Therese Ivancovich is the Executive Director for the Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN).  Therese works with a community-wide network of non-profit, business, government and education partners to improve college outcomes for Denver students.

Formerly the principal of a strategy and marketing consulting practice, Therese worked with senior executives to deliver on their organizational goals.  In previous roles, Therese served as the Senior Western Regional Manager for the National Association of Manufacturers and spent several years working in Silicon Valley, where she focused on marketing, communications and partnership development for companies including Compaq Computer Corporation and Technology Network (TechNet). She began her career working on statewide and congressional campaigns in the State of Indiana.

Therese serves on the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and is a member of the Santa Clara University Board of Regents.  Therese is also a member of the Leadership Denver Class of 2011.

Therese holds a B.S. in Economics from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Therese lives in Denver with her husband, Greg Sissel, her daughter, Clara, and Pippin, the family dog.

Jennifer Superka

Jennifer Superka

Partnership Director


As Partnership Director for DEAN, Jennifer convenes, supports and engages Action Team and individual network members.  Jennifer facilitates monthly Action Team meetings, each focused around a specific issue related to college attainment for Denver students.  Jennifer helps to ensure that each meeting is focused on data and attainable outcomes, and works with team members to implement team action plans.

Jennifer joined DEAN after eight years as the Associate Director of the Strategic Issues Program at the University of Denver, where she helped organize year-long panels which examined a single public policy issue on a non-partisan basis.  Jennifer helped research and write about topics such as Immigration, State Government, Legislative Accountability and Higher Education during her tenure.

Prior to SIP, Jennifer practiced as an attorney for five years.  She worked full time in the University of Denver’s Office of Financial Aid as she earned her law degree, moving from Student Financial Services Advisor to Work-Study Coordinator to Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

In addition to her J.D., Jennifer holds a B.A. in history with a minor in Southwest Studies from Colorado College.  She lives in Northwest Denver with her husband, Brian, where she proudly serves as the president of Sunnyside United Neighbors, Inc.


Gordon Banks
Senior Vice President

Erin Brown
Executive Director, Office of Children’s Affairs
City and County of Denver

Denise Bryant
Director of Workforce Development,
Office of Economic Devlpt.
City and County of Denver

Minna Castillo Cohen
Senior Director, Community Impact and Investments
Mile High United Way

Tisha Corbett
Director of Student Services
Emily Griffith Technical College 

Dr. Rhonda Epper
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Community College of Denver

Laura Giocomo
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 

Genia Herndon
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Partnerships and Student Engagement
University of Colorado Denver

Melinda Higgs (Ex-Officio)
Colorado Nonprofit Development Center

Monique Lovato
CEO/Executive Director
MiCasa Resource Center 

Antonio Parés
Education Policy Director, Office of Children’s Affairs
City and County of Denver

Dr. Kim Poast
Executive Director, Office of College and Career Readiness
Denver Public Schools

Dr. Mark Potter
Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Studies
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Rosemary Rodriguez
District 2 Representative, Board of Education
Denver Public Schools 

Joyce Schlose
Chief People Officer
Goodwill Industries of Denver 

Edie Sonn
Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs
Pinnacol Assurance

Rana Tarkenton
Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer
Denver Scholarship Foundation


City & County of Denver

Community College of Denver

Denver Public Schools

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Emily Griffith Technical College

Ford Foundation


Lumina Foundation

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Mile High United Way

University of Colorado Denver

USCM/USA Funds National Education Pathways with a Purpose Award

Connie Burwell White and William W. White Foundation