The Playworks Colorado Advisory Board is a group of change-makers who believe in the power of play and are active ambassadors for Playworks. These playful professionals contribute their personal time to share the mission of Playworks: to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play.
Chief Marketing Officer, WellBiz Brands, Inc.
Currently the Chief Marketing Officer of WellBiz Brands, Inc. (FIT36®, Fitness Together®, and Elements Massage®), Ackerman is a veteran of the Health & Wellness industry with a keen sense for adapting to the ever changing and growing landscape. Before joining the WellBiz Brands, Inc. team, Trever served as head of marketing for Les Mills U.S. and 24 Hour Fitness prior to that, where he was responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of marketing, communications and brand development strategies.
A non-traditional marketer, Trever focuses his efforts on connecting marketing with both top and bottom line growth. Ackerman drives growth by designing programs that differentiate the brands through keen consumer and market insights. He is passionate about building high-performing teams, helping people move more and providing opportunities to give back to our communities. Trever holds an MBA from Georgia State University and a BSBA from the University of Denver.
Vice President, Sports Logic
Rick Cord has enjoyed a diverse professional background that has spanned a variety of roles, industries, and geographies. Since 2011 he has served as the Vice President of Partnerships and Marketing at the USA Pro Challenge – the largest professional cycling event in North America and single largest spectator event in the history of the State of Colorado. Rick’s business (and sports) career began in 1991 when he worked in sales, marketing and operations with the (NBA) Denver Nuggets and later the (NHL) Colorado Avalanche. After five years he left the sports world to pursue an International Business degree that would lead him to his second career in the technology industry. For 14 years Rick worked with several Fortune 500 telecommunications, networking and software companies in roles such as business/partner development, project management, M & A, operations, sales, and marketing. His time in technology also afforded him the opportunity to work extensively in building international partnerships in Europe, Latin America and Asia. With a strong affinity for sports and Colorado, he was eventually drawn back to Denver in 2010 where soon thereafter he began working with the USA Pro Challenge.
Rick is a longtime proponent of sports as an aspect of youth development – fostering basic skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and a positive work ethic. He also has a great passion for international travel and photography, having spent time in nearly 50 countries and territories – his passport and camera always at the ready.
Rick earned a MBA in International Business (Finance & Spanish) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Colorado.
Senior HR Partner, First Western Trust
Monet, a military brat, has had the privilege of living in several different countries to include; Japan, Philippines, Germany, and Turkey. This has allowed her to experience different cultures and provide a refreshing viewpoint to her personal and professional interactions.
Monet is a Senior HR Partner for a private bank, First Western Trust. Part of her many responsibilities at First Western include overseeing talent management and employee relations functions as well as serving on the FW Connects Committee, which organizes quarterly philanthropic events to foster greater community involvement.
Prior to First Western, Monet served as an HR Market Director for Walmart; responsible for all things HR in every Walmart store from North Denver to the Wyoming border.
A married mother, with a two-year-old daughter, Monet still finds time to participate in different organizations like Firefly, Dress for Success, United Way, and DSF by lending her time, resources, and knowledge.
Monet is not all business though; in her spare time she enjoys attending a professional sports game, interior decorating, or traveling with her husband Jeremie.
Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank
Mark is a Managing Director in Silicon Valley Bank’s Colorado office. He serves as a banking partner for technology, life science and clean technology companies of all stages in the Bank’s Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions. Mark is part of the Bank’s Structured Finance team that specializes in providing creative debt and banking solutions for some of the world’s most innovative companies.
Mark is a native of Colorado having grown up in Aurora. He is a graduate of the University of Denver where he obtained his Bachelors of Science and Business Administration with a focus in Economics. Mark enjoys time with his family and friends, participating in community and outdoor events, and local sports teams.
Colorado Marketing Leader, RSM US LLP
Leila is an 11-year marketing professional and serves as marketing manager for RSM. She is responsible for all brand and communication-related initiatives in Colorado as well as advancing RSM’s technology and management consulting marketing impact across the firm’s Central Region. Leila holds a master’s degree in international and intercultural communications from the University of Denver and a dual bachelor’s degree in history and communications & rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh, where she also captained the gymnastics team.
Leila and her husband, Brian, are active, grateful parents to three energetic, young sons – Tait, Sage and Klay. Leila also coaches gymnastics part-time at Pinnacle Academy in Evergreen, CO. After having witnessed the impact of Playworks on school culture, classroom learning environment, and student confidence, combined with her parenting and coaching adventures, Leila is thrilled to work with an organization with such a positive impact on Colorado’s children.
Clayton Sparks is a certified public accountant and partner at EKS&H LLLP. He has over 10 years of taxation and consulting experience and serves clients in a variety of industries, which include commercial and residential real estate, construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and professional services. He is passionate about serving others and building trust, both in the professional setting as well as the greater community. He and his wife Sonja moved to Colorado in 2012, and they welcomed their first child Hayden into the world in June 2015. Being relatively new to Colorado and a new father, he is excited to be involved with an organization that has such a positive impact on children. He received a bachelor’s of science in business administration from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
Senior Congressional Aide- US House of Representatives
Stephanie Syner has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in social work from the University of Denver. She joined Congresswoman DeGette’s Denver team a year ago to focus on community outreach, the Latino community, and immigration issues. Stephanie enjoys working with nonprofits, community members, and other city agencies planning community events. During her tenure she has organized the following events that have received honorable recognition: Hoops for Peace, Sun Valley Trick or Treat Street, KABOOM playground build, gotten over 800 turkeys donated for low-income families for Thanksgiving, and six community resource fairs that served more than 8,000 constituents throughout District 9. She is also active with the Denver Public Schools Superintendent Parent Forum to help schools grow and fill the education gap. An important aspect of her life is family. Her eleven-year-old son Darius is very active in sports and engaged in many school activities that keep her very busy. She also has a 3-year-old Shitzu Poodle (Rosie) that runs the house.
Market Leader (Director), Walmart
Robert Trujillo is a retail and leadership professional, currently serving as a senior level director at Walmart. Robert currently leads a team of over 100 salaried members of management and close to 3000 associates that will produce approximately $750 million dollars in annual sales. In various roles, Robert has lived across the United States where he has consistently been able to grow sales, improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer service scores.
In 2014, due to Robert’s involvement in the community, mentorship programs, and work related results, he was nominated and selected for membership into the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility, one of only 30 individuals across the United States for this honor.
Robert has a passion for inner city youth and has served in various board positions over the past decade. Robert received his MBA in 2010 from Regis Jesuit University, and also holds his professional project management and operational management certificates.
In his free time, Robert enjoys running his photography business and spending time with his wife and two young children (Robbie and Ryan), ages 5 and 4.
Founding Partner, Boom Broadcast & Media Relations
A Cleveland native, Joni and husband Bryan relocated from Chicago to Denver in 1997. They have two boys, Kyle and Jack (Colorado natives!) 19 and 17 who are active athletes – one in high school, one in College. Joni, Bryan and their two dogs, Hank and Chester spend time away from work, play and volunteering watching their boys play baseball whenever possible. Joni is also a certified yoga instructor and spends time practicing and teaching yoga on a Stand Up Paddle Board during the summer months.
Professionally, Joni Winkler, founding Partner of Boom Broadcast & Media Relations, has worked in marketing communications for over 25 years. The breadth of her work includes developing campaign strategy, research through execution for clients in a variety of industry including consumer, financial services, health/medical, business to business and cause-related NGOs.
Joni, with partner Barbara Kelly, launched Boom 12 years ago. Advancing cause-related messages on behalf of clients such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Stand Up To Cancer, and The Joyful Heart Foundation (Nomore.org,) The March of Dimes, and National Stroke Association, among others – has become a pillar of their business and some of the most satisfying of her career. Prior to launching Boom, Joni served as Director of Client Services at West Glen Communications – a video production and broadcast company serving the PR industry. Consumer clients include Facebook, Intuit, NASCAR, Go Daddy, Seventh Generation and McDonald’s Corporation.
Prior to West Glen Joan worked as Account Services liaison at Reece & Company Advertising (now Barnhardt CMI) in Denver where she managed print, radio and direct marketing for the Vail Valley Resort and Destination Hotels and Resorts, along with regional cellular client Com Net. Prior to moving to Denver Joan worked for Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine in Chicago as Advertising Manager. She began her career in publishing for Cleveland based Penton Media, where she advanced from junior advertising sales manager to Business Development Manager on Restaurant Hospitality Magazine and Progressive Architecture Magazine out of the company’s Chicago office.