Felicia Griffin | Executive Director
303.936.0503 x 100
Felicia Griffin is the Executive Director for FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities. She joined FRESC in 2013 after working as the Operations Director for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Felicia started her work in social and economic justice in 2002 and has worked as a research associate, deputy director, consultant, interim director, president and program manager since then. Felicia has worked on economic security policy on the state and national level (in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) and has worked on statewide organizing campaigns to increase Medicaid enrollment for children in poverty. She also has led a campaign funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation called “Race Matters: Policy through a Racial Lens” that focused on reducing disparities for communities of color in housing, employment, health and education. She represents FRESC on the board of the Partnership for Working Families, the national network to which FRESC belongs. Felicia is also the current Chair of the Aurora Human Relations Commission.
Felicia grew up in Aurora, Colorado and was raised by a single mother. Felicia knows firsthand what a good job means to a struggling family. In her first job she was a member of UFCW Local 7 (King Soopers) and she became a union steward at 16 year old. She is committed to opening the doors of opportunity for all workers and their families. Felicia believes in FRESC and feels her experience and passion have led her to this awesome organization.
In her free time, Felicia loves to travel and spend quality time with her husband and children.
Lorrine Banzie | Office Manager
Lorrine joined the FRESC team in March 2015. She was born in Harare Zimbabwe and has spent 16 years in Denver working in the transportation sector, most recently with Union Taxi Cooperative from when it first started operating in 2009 till March 2015. Lorrine was the steward for the negotiations for Union Taxi staff to become unionized. Lorrine’s hobbies are watching soccer her favorite team Manchester United and American Football, a Denver Bronco fanatic. Lorrine also loves to travel and listening to Live Jazz concerts.
Shanta Farrington | Digital Campaign Strategist (@madampolisci)
Shanta joined the FRESC team in 2014. She is a North Carolina native with a background in progressive campaigns, social justice, organizing and international relations. She has and continues to serve as an advocate on an array of issues, including: voting rights, immigration, housing, jobs, environmental laws & regulations and rural resource development. During her time abroad, Shanta served as an ambassador for the Global Leadership Program. Her move to Colorado was inspired by immigrant and refugee integration, open space and wage policy communities. Shanta holds a B.A. degree in Political Science and an M.A. in International Relations-Politics from the University of Manchester, located in the United Kingdom.
Laurel Hayden | Lead Organizer
Laurel joined the FRESC team in September 2015. Laurel is a Colorado native and has a background in human rights and community development. She received her Master’s Degree in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. During her Masters program, she conducted a research project aimed at investigating cases of wage theft within the Denver immigrant community. This experience introduced her to the people that create the backbone of Denver and inspired her to advocate for the rights of laborers. Additionally, she has also worked with the Oglala Lakota community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on community development and solidarity projects. Later, She worked in Quito, Ecuador at an organization dedicated to the Indigenous peoples’ land and water rights. Laurel is thrilled to become a part of the amazing team at FRESC and to initiate conversations that create progressive action within her community.
Melissa Pluss | Organizing Director
Melissa Pluss joined FRESC in 2015 as the Organizing Director. Melissa’s passion for community building and social justice has led her to this work. She feels a sincere calling to grass-roots community organizing and is thrilled to be given the opportunity to develop community leaders, build power, and help transform the social and economic landscape in Denver.
Melissa’s professional background is in community organizing, where she was responsible for bringing hundreds of people together around important social and economic justice issues. During her time in Louisville, Kentucky she was instrumental in getting comprehensive education reform established while at the Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT). Through a grass-roots direct action model CLOUT succeeded in getting the local school district to implement a system wide anti-bullying policy, and the systemic implementation of Restorative Practices as a way to increase graduation rates and eliminate the school-prison pipeline. Melissa also spent time as a mentoring coordinator with a state-wide re-entry program in Kansas to help ex-offenders safely and successfully return to their communities following incarceration. Her work aided ex-offenders in finding employment, housing, services, and meaningful engagement in their communities.
Pamela Resendiz| Deputy Director (@allwehaveisnow)
Pamela Resendiz is a queer, undocumented immigrant from Mexico City, Mexico. They grew up in the suburbs outside of Dallas, Texas since the age of 10. They are a graduate of University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), they completed their B.A. in Political Science. Pamela has been a community organizer and leader since high school; but, they became heavily involved in the movement after they were detained and put in deportation proceedings March 2010. After their release from the Don Hutto Detention center they co-founded and presided over DREAM ACT NOW! at UTSA. DAN! at UTSA was one of the organizations that launched the hunger strike of 2010 at a national level for passage of the DREAM Act during Lame Duck session. Post graduation they completed an internship at the Mexican American League Defense and Educational Fund, continued to work in their community in Austin. Pamela also served as member coordinator under Working America and mobilization coordinator under the Dallas AFL-CIO. They served on the United We Dream Board from 2013-2016, Pamela continues to advocate for workers and immigrants rights and looks forward to building community in Colorado as Managing Director for UNE.
Desiree Westlund Cindric | Deputy Director
As Deputy Director, Desiree oversees FRESC’s campaigns that support working families and ensure that our economic development benefits everyone, especially low-income people and people of color. Desiree joined the FRESC staff in July of 2011. She has spent the last 15 years working with immigrants and working families in Metro Denver. She applies both her policy and organizing experience to campaigns at FRESC. Desiree led the broad coalition that won the Wage Protection Act of 2014 that included power partners- 9to5 Colorado, Centro Humanitario, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, FRESC and Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association.
In previous jobs Desiree led both policy and worker organizing campaigns. Some highlights include: equity in the budgeting practices of Denver Public Schools, improved transportation options for public school children, in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant youth and bringing hundreds of new janitors from the northwestern suburbs of Denver into a union contract. Her favorite part of her job is training community leaders and workers to do their own research to create solutions to the problems they identify in their communities and places of work.
Desiree holds a Master’s Degree in Community Social Work from the University of Denver and speaks fluent Spanish.
Quinntavious Williams| Policy Analyst
Quinntavious joined the FRESC team in July 2015. Quinn is a Georgia native and has a specialization in policy analysis. He received a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota while working with organizations like Good Jobs First in Washington, D.C., Goodwill Easter’s Seals, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Before attending graduate school, Quinn received his B.A. in Philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He also worked with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, United Auto Workers Organizing Institute, and Georgia Stand-Up for Working Families. Quinn is a part of the policy team, where he uses his research and communications skills to support campaigns for Colorado working families.