Davis Phinney Foundation

The Davis Phinney Foundation is dedicated to helping people with Parkinson's live well today through our free programming, content, and quality of life research. Your generosity will help us inspire and educate people affected by Parkinson's, the fastest-growing neurological disease in the world.

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Rebecca Reifel, Events and Development Manager
Start Date: 2020

Rebecca (a.k.a. Becca, Becs, Rebe, Becky and "hey, you") joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in January 2020. Her background is in events and volunteer management with nearly 15 years of experience in the nonprofit world. She has a bachelor's degree in public relations from Syracuse University and an MBA from Johnson & Wales University. Rebecca was connected to the Davis Phinney Foundation through two things close to her heart-cycling and her father, who is living well with Parkinson's.

When not on her bike or helping people celebrate every victory, Rebecca can usually be found either at the rink playing hockey and teaching learn-to-skate programs, or cuddling with her two rescues, an energetic Potcake dog named Tank (ask her about Potcakes!) and her sassy calico cat Addy.

Davis Phinney, Founder
Start Date: 2004

Davis Phinney's background spans a highly successful professional cycling career (including numerous victories and an Olympic medal), and subsequent careers as a national network broadcaster and sports marketer. Diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's in 2000, he refused to give in to the disease and set his sights on living well today, rather than waiting for a cure. His tenacity coupled with his infectious positive attitude and dedication to exercise and overall wellness laid the groundwork for the Davis Phinney Foundation, which he founded to help to inspire and inform those living with Parkinson's.

Polly Dawkins, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2011

Polly brings 25 years of for-profit and nonprofit experience to the Davis Phinney Foundation. That experience includes transforming a struggling UK-based organization into a multi-million dollar venture and, closer to home, leading a local fundraising chapter of an international literacy organization. Polly's track record managing organizations responsibly and with transparency dovetails with her humanitarian worldview. She is committed to making wise use of the Foundation's resources, enabling it to extend its reach while staying true to its mission. Polly holds an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in International Studies from Earlham College. She lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. Polly is an avid cyclist and indoor cycling instructor, a voracious reader and world traveler.

Melissa Cowan, Educational Event Manager
Start Date: 2019

Melissa is our Educational Event Manager.

Richard Cook, Development Director
Start Date: 2018

Rich brings 25 years of business leadership experience to the Davis Phinney Foundation. That includes 10 years as executive director of a therapeutic recreation, experiential education and adaptive sports center, plus many years working in strategic growth, marketing and development roles for non-profit and for profit organizations.

Over his career, Rich has worked in concert with the cycling and active-outdoor industries with organizations including the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, the International Mountain Bicycling Association and Outward Bound. He has developed diverse programs in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Education, Apple Computer, Subaru of America, National Park Service, Trek Bicycle Corporation, Coors Family Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation, among many others. An avid mountaineer with summits in Alaska, Nepal and South America, Rich is a passionate believer in the life lessons and therapeutic benefits of time spent outdoors in nature.

Rich holds a B.S. from the Leeds College of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a degree in Wilderness Studies from Colorado Mountain College. When he isn't in the office or meeting with the Foundation's many donors and supporters, he's likely out riding bikes, running, climbing or skiing with family and friends from far and wide.

Shane Stutzman, Director of Finance
Start Date: 2017

Shane joined our Team in May 2017. Shane has experience in various accounting and finance roles; most recently as the Controller for a local newspaper in Flagstaff, AZ. Shane has been volunteering and fundraising with the Foundation since 2011. He is personally aware of living with Parkinson's as his father has the disease. When not at the office, Shane can be found on one of his bikes exploring or roaming around Colorado, the U.S. or the world.

Jenna Deidel, Director of Programs and Outreach
Start Date: 2017

Jenna joined the Davis Phinney Foundation team in the fall of 2017. Her eclectic background includes e-commerce, retail, and non-profit marketing for companies ranging from a chainmaille jewelry supplier to the nation's most diverse orchestra. She is passionate about connecting individuals with experiences that improve and transform their lives and using both traditional and innovative marketing approaches to increase the impact of the organizations she supports. Jenna is a Colorado native who spent the last 14 years in Chicago and is excited to be back home. She and her husband are both professional tap dancers (really) and love cooking and spending time with their rescue dog Maybelle.

Gabriella Dimotsantos, Program Manager
Start Date: 2018

Since earning her degree in Neuroscience, Gabriella has fostered her passion for education and community development. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Longmont St. Vrain and spends much of her time volunteering in the community. Gabriella is often reminded she cannot stand still as she spends her free time doing home improvement projects, dancing, and hiking with her sweet dog, Stratus. Known for being clumsy, Gabriella often wonders how she can dance when she can barely walk without tripping into something.

Mel Dizon, Director of Education
Start Date: 2018

Mel Dizon (rhymes with Dijon) joined the Davis Phinney Foundation as the content manager in January 2018. A long time social worker, teacher and therapist, Mel changed gears in 2005 and hung out her shingle as a freelance writer and spent the next 12 years writing many thousands of words. Her clients included entrepreneurs, national law firms, government contractors, student housing organizations, New York Times Bestselling authors, app developers, schools and tech companies like Ribbit and Google.

She decided to join the Davis Phinney Foundation so she could work on a mission and toward a vision she believes in and because she thought that working in an office with other humans every day sounded even better than white wedding cake. When she's not writing or trying to organize all the things in life, you'll find her trying to keep up some streak, making the "world's best" chocolate chip cookies or drinking scalding hot like the sun decaf chai.

Patty Manwaring, Database Coordinator
Start Date: 2016

Patty joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in the Summer of 2016. She's passionate about work that engages both mind and heart and has focused her career in local and international NGO program development.

Born in NYC and raised in Vermont, Patty loves living in Colorado, but the Green Mountain State holds her heart. C'mon, have you tasted Sugar on Snow? Patty has a creative spirit and is the designer and co-owner of a boutique jewelry company located in Boulder. She is also a master doodler with an uncontrolled Sharpie obsession.

Claire Herritz, Development Officer
Start Date: 2018

Claire joined the Davis Phinney Foundation's development team in May of 2018. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in May of 2013 with a major in history and minors in anthropology, religious studies and international studies. After college, she moved to Colorado to embark on new adventures. Outside of work, Claire enjoys travelling to new mountain towns, playing with her cat Lou and exploring Denver's food scene. She's also currently pursuing her master's in public administration from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Lauren Kehn, Victory Crew Manager
Start Date: 2011

Lauren is a smooth blend of adventure, art, Seattle rain, and song. She is a half-iron(wo)man and a francophile. Like Snow White, Lauren once ate a poisoned apple and lived to tell the tale. When she's not snapchatting pictures of her kid, she is appreciating beauty in simple things, rising to the challenge, or exploring outdoors with her 6'6" tall husband.

Kayla Ferguson, Program Manager
Start Date: 2018

Kayla joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in October 2018, leaving behind the world of corporate event sales. A passion for "experiences" led Kayla to leave corporate Hollywood and spend a year (2015-2016) traveling to 29 different countries from Japan to Peru. It is also what led her to a career in event and program management. A simultaneous passion for health and wellness is what ultimately led her to the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Jorie Parwani, Development Manager
Start Date: 2015

Jorie joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2015 and manages corporate and foundation relations in support of the priority programs and initiatives of the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, her work focused on grant making and donor relationship management in support of Parkinson's disease research in academic medicine. Jorie received her BA in Global Studies from the University of Iowa and her MA in Public Policy Administration, with a focus on health care policy from Northwestern University. A native of Chicago, Jorie currently lives just outside the Windy City with her young family.

Aimee Phillips, Digital Marketing Manager
Start Date: 2019

Joining the Davis Phinney Foundation's marketing team in September 2019, Aimee has 12 years of experience creating engaging, relevant, and powerful brands and campaigns. A passion for health and wellness-and the opportunity to help others live well-brought her to the foundation.

A native of the Midwest and recent California expat, Aimee spends her time outside of work running and hiking with her husband and two Vizslas, cooking healthy, nourishing food and exploring her new home state.

Sara Linn, Ambassador Leadership Program Manager
Start Date: 2019

Sara is the newest member to join the Davis Phinney Foundation as the Ambassador Leadership Program Manager. As a Colorado native, Sara is extremely passionate about reinvesting in the communities that have shaped who she is today. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a BS in Human Physiology and a minor in Business Administration, Sara moved back to Colorado to play an active role in positively impacting the health and wellbeing of those throughout the state. If you can't find Sara enjoying all that Colorado has to offer, you can find her playing "Paw Patrol" with her two amazing nieces.

Liz Clendinen, Office Manager
Start Date: 2019

Liz joined the Davis Phinney Foundation team in Spring of 2019. She brings with her 17 years of customer service experience and a passion for connecting with people - be it in person, over the phone, or through email.

A native Texan, Liz enjoys using the word "y'all" as frequently as possible. When not in the office, she can be found attempting to make a myriad of things such as deodorant, kombucha, candles, ginger ale, laundry detergent, yogurt and chapstick to name a few.

Erika Deakin, Public Relations Coordinator
Start Date: 2019

Erika is a former journalist who loves to use her inquisitive nature to tell important stories. The intersection of health care and quality-of-life issues is something that resonates with her focus on what really matters. The Davis Phinney Foundation is close to her heart: Everyone of all abilities deserves the opportunity to live his or her best life. Her hobbies include volunteering with farmers markets, skiing, gardening, running and yoga. She's an accidental dance mom, and has never met a dog she hasn't liked: Her current favorite is named Poppy.

Kelsey Bryant, Marketing Associate
Start Date: 2019

Kelsey is our Marketing Associate.


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