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Staff and Board of Directors

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Kathleen (Cass) Cronan

Executive Director (she, her, hers)

Cass has extensive experience working with Denver’s nonprofit community, specifically organizations serving homeless and low-income populations, both as a volunteer and in various leadership roles. She has practiced law for more than 30 years in the Denver area.


Gretchen Roberts

Deputy Director (she, her, hers)

Gretchen has an extensive background in fundraising and social enterprise management. She has worked in non-profits, libraries and schools for more than 20 years. She has a Masters in Regional Planning with a focus on municipal greenhouse gas emission reduction and a Bachelors in Russian Language. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Gretchen started gardening with her grandmother Dot as a small child. She is an avid home canner and she and her family love pickles, pestos and the Utah desert.


Jay Reszka

Case Management Coordinator (he, him, his)

Wisconsin born and raised, Jay has a Master's of Divinity from Notre Dame and has spent his entire working life employed by human service non-profit organizations; much of this time with several metro Denver agencies or churches working with lower income populations. Most recently, he was the Case Manager for a small homeless shelter in Thornton, CO. His passion is helping marginalized and isolated individuals re-discover their unique gifts and talents and regain their place in community.

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Sara Schlabach

Program and Garden Director (she, her, hers)

Sara grew up in Aurora, Colorado and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Human Services and Minor(s) in Sociology & Women Studies. Sara will complete the Master Gardener program exam with CSU Extension April 2021 and has spent the last 10 years working with community members experiencing homelessness at various organizations in Metro Denver. With a deep love for people, earth and art, Sara is thrilled to be contributing to the beautiful mission and community at EarthLinks. One of Sara’s heroes, Wangari Maathai, once said, "We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own...This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life...there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other." EarthLinks is the perfect place to live out this wisdom!


Amylyn Thayer

Administrative Assistant (she, her, hers)

Amylyn is originally from Colorado and after spending two years working with plants in the Pacific Northwest, she is excited to be back in Denver and back at EarthLinks, having previously been an AmeriCorps VISTA member with EarthLinks. She is eager to contribute again to EarthLinks’ distinctive mission of creating community through caring for Earth and craftwork. In her free time she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, reading, and lindy hopping.


Kevin Person

Store Manager (he, him, his)
Kevin has lived in the Denver Metro his whole life. He has a passion for community and creativity. As the manager of the new coffee shop he is helping fill the gap of job readiness training for at risk individuals. His goal is to help them find and share their innate potential. He has lived experience navigating the housing, recovery, and healthcare systems. He finds a way to flourish in challenging environments by always learning and engaging the power of perspective.

Sydney Hunter

AmeriCorps VISTA Member (she, her, hers)

Sydney is a proud of her Kansas City, Missouri origins where she graduated from Rockhurst University with a BA in Non-profit Leadership and Fundraising. She is passionate about environmental justice, economic justice, and walking alongside those experiencing homelessness. Sydney came to EarthLinks to pursue these passions and learn more about gardening and food justice. She has now joined us for another year as our Community Research and Engagement Coordinator.

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Michael Shube

AmeriCorps VISTA Member (he, him, his)

Michael was born and raised in Colorado and fell in love with farming and gardening in 2015, while working on a small family farm in central California. From there he continued his passion for gardening by migrating to another farm in California, interning at the GrowHaus in Denver, working for a small residential gardening company in Denver, and receiving his Permaculture Design Certification from the Denver Permaculture Guild. He began volunteering with EarthLinks in 2018, and is excited to join staff as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working on grant writing and leading the EarthLinks coffee shop.


Kaitlin Aaby

AmeriCorps VISTA Member (she, her, hers)

Kaitlin grew up in Maryland and graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies. Kaitlin is passionate about sustainability, climate justice, and food security. She believes in EarthLinks’ mission to strengthen the connection between people and the planet for mutual healing. Kaitlin is excited to learn more about gardening and beekeeping over the next year. In her free time, she loves hiking, biking, and cooking plant-based foods.

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Hannah Johnson

VISTA Summer Associate (she, her, hers)

Hanna was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, moved here to Colorado for college, and recently graduated with an Associates Degree in General Studies. She hopes to further her education and move towards becoming a dental hygienist, working with nonprofits worldwide and folks that don't have access to dental care. She found EarthLinks through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, and she will be here for a 10 week term. Hanna hopes to continue to volunteer and be a part of this wonderful community that battles food justice and homelessness. In her free time, she loves to spend time outside, in the garden, hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and tie-dyeing! She feels honored to be a part of this beautiful and inclusive community, and give back to others. 

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Graciella Saucedo-Rivera

Colorado Vincentian Volunteer (she, her, hers)

Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Gracie is joining EarthLinks as a Colorado Vincentian Volunteer. She recently graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and a minor in Religious Studies. Gracie is living out her mission of caring for people and the planet through her work at EarthLinks. She especially loves empowering the dignity of her friends and coworkers, and community members on the daily. Her overarching calling is to increase access to and awareness of resources for those in need. Also, to be a comrade. During her free time, Gracie might be out on a walk, listening through an album, or buried in a book.

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Mary Nelle Gage, SL

Ambassador and Sales Representative (she, her, hers)

Mary Nelle is a Sister of Loretto who joined EarthLinks in 2003. Originally from Texas, and a graduate of Loretto Heights, she brings unmatched energy and enthusiasm to EarthLinks, and can be found staffing any number of our booths at festivals where we sell products from the EarthLinks Workshop Program.

EarthLinks Board of Directors

Wendy Handler, Board President
Broker Associate
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Carol Maclennan
Retired, Tri-County Health Department
Mike Boggs
Retired, Wells Fargo Private Bank
Robert F. Hayes, CPA, Board Treasurer
Financial Consultant
Merri Mattison, Ph.D., Board Vice-President
Associate Professor of Sociology
Red Rocks Community College
Sean Harkin
EarthLinks Program Participant
Deborah Bomyea, OP
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Teacher, St. Francis De Sales
Lora Wilson
EarthLinks Program Participant
Janet McIntyre 
Principal, JEM Health Care Consultant
Julia Mecklenburg, MSW, Board Secretary
Colorado Access
Marisa Westbrook, MPH
PhD Candidate, University of Colorado Denver
Rachelle Macur
Senior Sustainability Consultant
Group 14 Engineering, PBC
Elizabeth Staton 
Senior Instructor, Dept of Family Medicine
Univ of Colorado School of Medicine
Maureen Cain, J.D 
Director of Legislative Policy and External Communications
Colorado State Public Defender

EarthLinks Advisory Board of Directors

Jacqueline Leech, SC
Sister of Charity of Cincinnati
Nancy Hoffman, SC
Former Board President
Sister of Charity of Cincinnatie
Cathy Mueller, SL
Co-Foundress, EarthLinks
Sister of Loretto
Bette Ann Jaster, OP,
Co-Foundress, EarthLinks
Dominican Sister of Hope