Charleen Ramirez-Mares, Director of Programs
Start Date: 2018
Charleen Ramirez-Mares is a first generation college graduate with a degree in Chicano Studies from Metropolitan State University Denver. Shortly after graduating Charleen began working as a teacher at La Academia, a small private school in West Denver, eventually becoming the principal until the school closed in June of 2018. Her work with youth, for the past 25 years, has been fostered by her passion for social justice, community, and educational equity. Charleen is a native of Los Angeles, has been happily married for 20 years, and she has two wonderful teenage children.
Reilly Sanborn, Director of Finance
Start Date: 2017
Reilly Sanborn has 15 years of nonprofit financial experience and currently oversees GIMD's accounting, financial management and operations functions. A Colorado native, Reilly returned to Denver after a decade in New York City working with nonprofit arts organizations. After spending six years as the Executive Director of the Foothills Art Center in Golden, she focused her attention on supporting the needs in her community by serving as the Director of Finance at the Denver Inner City Parish prior to joining Girls Inc. of Metro Denver in 2017. Reilly holds a BA in Theatre from New Mexico State University.
Melina Bixler, Director of Evaluation, Training and Advocacy
Start Date: 2015
Melina Bixler brings thirteen years of experience engaging young people through multiple projects including violence prevention education, youth entrepreneurship, youth activism, and peer-education. She believes that young people are creative and innovative with the capacity to become agents of change. Melina is passionate about creating a space where young people can exercise their creativity, realize their potential, and become leaders in their own lives. She has an MA in Sociology of Gender and Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London, with research interests in gender-based violence prevention education strategies and girls' empowerment programs. Melina has experience leading youth development teams on three continents, including rural Ghana, southeast London, UK, and the Denver-Metro area. After completing an internship with Girls Inc. of Metro Denver in 2004, Melina felt deeply committed to the mission and vision of GIMD and she hoped to someday return to our organization. She is excited to journey back home to Colorado to join the GIMD team and looks forward to her new role as the Director of Programs.
Sonya Ulibarri, President & CEO
Start Date: 2012
Sonya Ulibarri is a seasoned executive with over 18 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining GIMD in 2012, Sonya was the Executive Director of YouthBiz Inc. and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. She is passionate about girls' empowerment and youth development issues and has extensive experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, strategic planning, and social enterprise. An active leader in the community, Sonya is on the board of the national Girls Incorporated organization and the BabiesNow! Foundation. She is a 2017 Latino Leadership Institute Fellow at the University of Denver, 2011 Lead the Way Fellow with the Women of Color Policy Network, and 2010 Livingston Fellow with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Sonya has a B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado.
Sara Hazel, Director of Development
Start Date: 2017
In fall 2017, Sara Hazel joined GIMD's senior management team as the Director of Development. Prior to this, she spent 8 years with the American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming as the Senior Director of Donor Relations, managing a team of staff focused on individuals and major donors. Sara has spent time volunteering for non-profit organizations including City Year Denver, Women's Global Empowerment Fund, Geneva Glen Camp and Junior Achievement. Her drive and passion is based on a servant-leadership approach with a focus on the underserved. While not raising money for humanitarian causes, Sara also writes a book review blog. Sara completed a B.A. in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Oregon and received a Master's in Public Administration from DePaul University.
Board Development / Board Orientation