Our Board Members

Ken Hayes, ACCESS Housing board member.

Kenneth Hayes—President

Deputy State Public DefenderBoulder County
Email: ken.hayes@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: November 2014
County of Residence:
  Denver County
Committees: Facilities Committee, Kitchen Cabinet Committee

Brief Bio: Ken Hayes is a Deputy State Public Defender in Boulder where he diligently represents indigent individuals who are charged with criminal offenses.  He specializes in juvenile representation and also represents adults who are charged with felony offenses.  Ken received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Political Science.  Go Rams!  He then traveled a few miles south to study Law a Denver University where received his Juris Doctorate in 2013.  Having been actively involved in ACCESS Housing since November 2014, Ken has served as President of the Board of Director since January 2017.  He believes housing is a fundamental human right and the foundation for living a fulfilling and happy life.  Ken is dedicated to ending homelessness and leads ACCESS Housing as an organization that collaborates with community partners to achieve the goal of housing for every individual who desires to be housed.  In his free time, Ken enjoys athletic endeavors – both watching and participating – and spending time relaxing with his partner, Jess, and their beloved family and friends.

Steven James, ACCESS Housing board member

Steven James – Vice President

Director of Business DevelopmentTRELORA
Email: steven.james@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: June 2018
County of Residence:  Denver County
Committees: Kitchen Cabinet Committee, Event/Volunteer Planning Committee

Brief Bio: Steven James has been with TRELORA since 2015 working to bring an antiquated industry into the 21st century, all while saving clients thousands of dollars on the purchase or sale of their new homes.  His career in Real Estate has provided him a unique insight into the issues of affordable housing and homelessness we are currently facing in Colorado.  While Colorado has done a great job increasing the services and assistance for homeless or near homeless individuals, there is still a significant gap in services for families that are experiencing the same troubles.  The work of ACCESS is helping to close this gap while providing community and compassion for all involved.  Steven moved to Denver from St. Lous in 2013 and had been striving to make a difference in his new community since Day 1.  In addition to volunteer work with a variety of charitable organizations, Steven is a member of the Leadership Foundation through the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and also a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Leadership Foundation.

Meagan Yannitelli, ACCESS Housing board member

Meagan Yannitelli – Treasurer

Technical Accounting ManagerCentennial Resource Development
Email: meagan.yannitelli@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: January 2018
County of Residence:  Denver County
Committees: Finance Committee

Brief Bio: Officially from Phoenix, Arizona, Meagan moved to Denver in 2012.  She remains an avid University of Arizona Wildcat and holds dear to her alma mater.  She holds both an undergraduate and a graduate degree from the University of Arizona.  Meagan is a new mom, with the birth of her daughter in August 2018.  Meagan has always held the needs of the homeless and indigent near to her heart.  She has volunteered in homeless shelters and has kept a supply of blankets in her car to distribute to those in need.  Homelessness is a priority to Meagan, and she is excited to contribute her skill set to this worthy non-profit organization.

Kurt Jones, ACCESS Housing board member

Kurt Jones – Secretary

IT Project ManagerSunflower Bank
Email: kurt.jones@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: August 2018
County of Residence:  Adams County
Committees: Finance Committee

Brief Bio: Kurt is an IT Project Manager at Sunflower Bank where he helps teams deliver technology for infrastructure, banking, and compliance projects.  Kurt has called Colorado home throughout his life and is a native of the state.  He received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Northern Colorado and became a certified Project Management Professional while working at IBM in Boulder, CO.  Kurt has been involved with ACCESS as a volunteer since October 2017 taking on several projects to upgrade technology to improve the environment for the staff.  He has a passion for giving back within his community and saw the mission of ACCESS as a way to tackle a pervasive issue in his district.  Kurt is married to Michelle and enjoys time outdoors and running around with her and their two older daughters.

Candyce Cline

Associate Municipal JudgeWestminster Municipal Court
Email: candycec@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: June 2016
County of Residence:  Jefferson County
Committees: Facilities Committee

Brief Bio:  As part of her professional work, Candyce sees individuals facing homelessness on almost a daily basis.  A stable place to call home underpins everything we do – we can’t work, can’t feed our families, safely raise our kids, or beat addiction if we do not have somewhere safe and secure to return to every day.  No child or adult deserves to be without a home.  Candyce is passionate about helping individuals facing homelessness obtain stable long-term housing, and ACCESS Housing plays an integral role in our community by addressing this issue.  Before coming to the Westminster Municipal Courthouse, Candyce served as a Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District and was a Law Clerk in the 20th Judicial District.

A portrait of Nathan Ripley, owner and creative director of Ripley Studios

Nathan Ripley

Owner & Creative DirectorRipley Studios
Email: nathan.ripley@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: May 2015
County of Residence:  Arapahoe County
Committees: Event/Volunteer Planning Committee

Brief Bio:  Nathan Ripley is the Owner, and Creative Director of Ripley Studios, a design and branding agency focused on creating an excellent brand design for consumer packaged goods companies.  Outside of ACCESS Housing, Nathan is an avid cyclist, photographer, hiker, snowboarder, and proud wearer of many hats.  Nathan first joined ACCESS Housing as a designer, creating the ACCESS Housing brand identity, and soon thereafter was elected to the Board of Directors.  Since that time, ACCESS has significantly evolved due to the resilience and dedication of its board members, staff, and volunteers.  There is a thread of perseverance and strength which runs through ACCESS’ families, staff, volunteers, and board members.  Nathan gets inspired by the universal optimism which runs through this entire organization.  While there are more obstacles ahead, the progress that ACCESS has made while helping Colorado families overcome their obstacles, has been an incredible reward.

Donald W Burnes

Founder & Board ChairBurnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness
Email: don.burnes@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: July 2018
County of Residence:  Adams County
Committees: Finance Committee

Brief Bio:  Don Burnes is currently the Chair, Board of Directors, for The Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver where he is also an Adjunct Professor and a Scholar in Residence.  He is the Co-editor of and a contributing author to a new book on homelessness, Ending Homelessness:  Why We Haven’t, How We Can.  A local philanthropist concerned with the issues homelessness and housing, Don served on the State Interagency Advisory Group on the Homelessness for Governor Hickenlooper and served in a similar position for Governor Bill Ritter.  He has been a member of Denver’s Road Home Advisory Commission and the Colorado Housing and Homelessness Funders Collaborative.  Don has also been an executive director for various nonprofits, a historian, a researcher, and educational policy consultant for the U.S. Congress, a prolific writer, a philanthropic consultant, and active in the faith-based policy community around issues of homelessness and poverty.  He is the co-author (Alice Baum), of A Nation in Denial:  The Truth About Homelessness and numerous articles about homelessness.  He is currently working on his third book.  A New Approach for Ending Homelessness:  Lessons from Lived Experience.  He received his BA from Princeton, his MAT from Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D. in education from Columbia University.

Gaelyn Feeney-Coyle, ACCESS Housing board member

Gaelyn Feeney-Coyle

Social WorkerColorado Division of Housing
Email: gaelyn.feeneycoyle@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: January 2018
County of Residence:  Jefferson County
Committees: Event/Volunteer Planning Committee

Brief Bio:  Gaelyn has been fortunate to develop a professional career that aligns with her passion of ending homelessness.  Soon after graduating from Colorado State University in 2007, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to become a full-time volunteer for a low-income senior housing project in Camden, NJ.  While gaining a unique perspective on the day-to-day struggles that low-income families face overcoming adversity, it was important for Gaelyn to return to Denver to serve similar communities in her hometown.  Soon after returning to Denver in 2009, Gaelyn worked as a Case Manager or Father Ed Judy House and developed and managed the alumni program for women and children transitioning into permanent housing.  In 2013, she joined a team of dedicated individuals at Volunteers of America to implement a VA funded program, Supportive Services to Veteran Families (SSVF), which connects veteran families in the Denver Metro Area with housing assistance.  Continuing to work for Veteran’s, Gaelyn began working with the Colorado Division of Housing (DOH) in 2016 to coordinate permanent housing vouchers with the VA Supportive Housing program.  In her current role as Homeless Program Specialist for DOH, she specializes in the state and federally funded programs that use Rapid Re-housing to connect families throughout Colorado with long-term stable housing.  The opportunity to serve on the Board of ACCESS allows her to remain connected with other individuals who share her passion of ending homelessness and explore creative ways to educate the community on the impact ACCESS makes in the lives of Adams County families.

Matt Ragonese, ACCESS Housing board member

Matt Ragonese

Sales DirectorOUTFRONT Media
Email: matt.ragonese@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: January 2018
County of Residence:  Denver County
Committees: Facilities Committee

Brief Bio:  Growing up in a suburb north of Boston, Matt moved to Colorado to attend college at Colorado State University and settled in Denver in 2000.  Matt enjoys the winter sports Colorado has to offer and is looking forward to sharing this love with his newborn daughter.  Matt has volunteered in homeless institutions, working in food kitchens, and making it a priority to serve people without shelter.  He believes that every person is entitled to adequate food and housing, in addition to the opportunity to be gainfully employed.

Liz DiGiacomo, Access Housing board member

Liz DiGiacomo

Labor Standards AdministratorColorado Dept. of Labor
Email: liz.digiacomo@acchouse.org

Board Member Since: July 2018
County of Residence:  Jefferson County
Committees: Event/Volunteer Committee

Brief Bio:  Liz has worked for the State of Colorado for five years.  Before moving to Colorado, Liz lived in Boston for four years, attending law school at New England School of Law with a focus on employment law.  She attended the Univesity of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate degree, in the same state she grew up in.  She recently joined the ACCESS Housing Board in July to become more involved in the Denver community, with a desire to help those who are transitioning between homes.  Liz is married to Dave, who is also an attorney.  They have a very cute dog named Finn.  Together, they go on hikes in the mountains to catch bunnies and squirrels.