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CYC Leadership Team

The four members of our leadership team bring a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector to CYC. Together with our board, our Leadership team ensures that CYC is doing all it can to improve educational outcomes for Colorado students.

Mary Zanotti, she/her Executive Director

Mary started working at CYC in 2008. Her experience in the nonprofit sector spans from direct service, program management, operations, and HR.  Before coming to CYC she worked for eight years at Urban Peak, where we worked closely with CYC’s eventual founder.  She has held many roles within the organization since 2008 and has been Executive Director since 2015.

Fun fact: I love to garden!  Each year I plant way too many things and have to give away tons of vegetables.

Favorite subject or teacher in school: I loved taking typing in high school.  It was so rewarding to learn an actual skill and I had no idea at the time how useful it would be throughout my life!

Why CYC?: I love knowing that we can have an impact on so many levels.  We can support students in their learning and access, and can also affect change on a larger systems level.  The many staff and AmeriCorps members that come through our organization take what they learn from their time with CYC and it trickles out into the larger education landscape.

In the community: I volunteer at the food pantry at Brent’s Place, am the past Board Chair of the Community Resource Center, and am involved in my sons’ education and interests.

Vanessa Notman, she/her Associate Executive Director

Vanessa started working at CYC in 2011. Vanessa has held many roles within the organization including direct service with students and starting our first AmeriCorps program, Corps for a Change, in 2015. Vanessa is an AmeriCorps alum and has loved being a part of bringing and expanding national service through CYC across Colorado.

Fun Fact: I am better at parallel parking than anyone I know.

Favorite subject or teacher in school: I loved any art or writing classes and in college was the Opinion Editor for the school newspaper.

Why CYC? So many reasons!  I appreciate our ability to adapt to the changing needs of our communities while maintaining a strong lens of equity in how we approach our work. I love our commitment to learning and unlearning, our focus on professional development for our staff and members, our understanding of how we can improve access for students, and our willingness to get creative in how we solve problems.

In the community: I volunteer with my neighborhood association, am an active member of my kids’ school community, and co-facilitate an equity-minded parenting group.

Julia Hughes, she/her Senior Director of Development & Communications

Julia started working at CYC in 2018. Her experience in the nonprofit sectors spans from program and volunteer management to development at Urban Peak, Mile High United Way, and the Y of Metropolitan Dallas.

Fun fact: While working at the Y, I received my commercial driver’s license and my group fitness certification – all in the same year. Other duties as assigned?

Favorite subject or teacher in school: I loved my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Brennar, who was tiny woman that overflowed with kindness. She read aloud to us every day after lunch, and I remember how much I enjoyed being transported to different times through books.

Why CYC?: I appreciate the multiplier effect of both national service and education, and I love that my work supports this each and every day.

In the community: I’m proud to serve on Steering Committee for the Institute for Leaders in Development, volunteer with kids’ swim team and schools, and be the mom to Austin and Avery.

Gil Catbagan, he/him Senior Director of Finance

Gil joined CYC in June 2023. His diverse professional background with various nonprofit organizations includes experience in finance, human resources, IT, marketing, and operations.

Fun Fact: I am a huge fan of John Grisham’s writing. I have read all and will continue to read each book he publishes.

Favorite subject or teacher in school: In high school, my favorite teacher was Mr. Erickson who taught creative writing. During class he would play music, which he introduced me to the music of Bruce Springsteen.

Why CYC: CYC is making a positive impact on the lives of our future leaders, and I want use my experience and knowledge to help CYC continue to grow and expand.

In the community: I am an Advisory Council member for the Accounting Program at Emily Griffith Technical College, as well as volunteering on an as-needed basis with our neighborhood community.

Manuel Aragon, he/him Senior Director of Programs

Manuel has nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience, with a background in community engagement, project management, and film/tv production. He previously worked at six nonprofit organizations where he gained experience in building community-led programming and initiatives, inclusive spaces, and art experiences. Manuel graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film/TV. He was born and raised in the Northside of Denver, CO, where he still lives with his wife, Sarah, and four kids.

Fun fact: I have an irrational obsession with gummy bears. There’s one specific type, Swirly Bears, that aren’t carried in many places, so I look for them in every grocery store, gas station, 7-11 on every trip that our family takes.

Favorite subject or teacher in school:  I have so many teachers who influenced me and made school fun. The first pair that come to mind are my middle school band/choir teachers: Mr. Miller and Ms. Clayton. Both of them were so passionate about helping kids find their passions; that lesson has stuck with me to this day.

Why CYC?: I love CYC’s mission and values and the direct educational impact that we can have on so many communities in Colorado

In the community: I am heavily involved in the Denver arts community. I am the co-chair of the Pen America Denver chapter and serve on the board of directors for Tilt West and The Word, a non-profit organization working to build a publishing community that will fight for inclusivity. I’m also the official band-dad/roadie for my sons’ band.

Board of Directors

James Blanchard
Owner and Manager
Blanchard Family Wines

Mindy Marler
Past Chair
Principal Project Engineer
The Tech7 Company

Kate Drahn
Chair Elect
Senior Vice President of Credit

Becca Stevens
Growth Point Resources

Ed Cannon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Clinical Teaching Track
University of Colorado – Denver

DJ Close
Deputy Director
Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation

Lindsay Gartner
Senior Director of Finance

Winters Heafey
Required Properties

Erica Kadi
Manager, Management Consulting

Maksim Kim
Senior Director, Business Operations

Alli Levy
Leadership & Business Coach
Viewpoint Coaching Collective

Carrie Miller
Senior Actuary-Director
Allstate Insurance Company

Rebecca Musielak
President/Executive of Design
nested design + build

Michael Paul
Dinsmore & Shohl LLC

Herb Quintana
Q3 Consulting, Inc.

Cherronda Richie-Rogers
Learning Consultant
American Family Insurance

Brad Yoshimitsu
Broker Associate, Realtor
Corcoran Perry & Co.

Lorena Marquez Zimmer
Chief Impact Officer
Denver Health

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