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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!


Natasha Apodaca

Peer Support Specialist (she, her, hers)

Natasha is a Colorado native and grew up all over this beautiful state in all directions. She loves all of the nature that Colorado has to offer, and finds joy in learning new things. She enjoys being mindful of the world around her from sounds, to colors, to smells. She is very grateful to be a part of the EarthLinks community because it is everything she enjoys in life- arts and crafts, gardening, science, and making the world a better place. Natasha is looking forward to being a light in the EarthLinks community and connecting participants back to the Earth and humanity. She is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and is hopeful to offer trust and safety to the participant community. She is a mother that has overcome many obstacles to see a better life for her and her family. Like many folks at EarthLinks, she has faced multiple barriers, yet came out victorious. She strives to help others do the same! 

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ML Reeves

Production Manager (they, them, theirs)

ML is a non-binary genderfluid artist from Iowa. They received their BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2016. They love being at EarthLinks because it is the intersection of their passion for people, environment and craft. In their free time, they can be found weaving, reading books, lifting weights, and going to live music shows.


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.

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.


Clarke Christina (CC) Greene

Episcopal Service Corps Member (she, her, hers)

Clarke Christina, or C.C., was born and raised in Tallahassee, Fl. She graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and minored in Women & Gender Studies. C.C. has always been passionate about social justice and uses theatre as a way to spread awareness. She is looking forward to her time at Earthlinks to get out of her comfort zone and learn more about the human connection to the earth and other ways of engaging in social justice.


Kaitlin Aaby

AmeriCorps/VISTA (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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Michael Shube

AmeriCorps/VISTA (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.

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Allie Buel

Colorado State University MSW intern (she, her, hers)

Allie is from Austin, Texas and graduated from Texas State University with a BA in Psychology. Allie then moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State University to get her MSW. She is passionate about the intersection of mental health and being outdoors which is what brought her to the lovely state of Colorado. This correlation lead her to EarthLinks due to her passion of helping others find community through the love of the outdoors. In her free time, you may find her hanging out with her pup, Moose or reading!

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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