Kevin joined FRESC as Executive Director in January 2011 after five and a half years with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 in Denver. There he led union staff and workers within the healthcare and property service industries to organize unions, negotiate collective bargaining agreements and resolve contract violations. Kevin also contributed to the implementation and strengthening of the labor management partnership at Kaiser Permanente, one of the only collaborations of its kind. At SEIU Local 105, he directed a program of member engagement to develop the leadership of members in their union, their communities, and the political process. Previously, Kevin worked as a community organizer on campaigns including healthcare reform, day laborer rights, and municipal budget cuts. As a student at Yale, Kevin organized for the community benefits campaign at Yale-New Haven Hospital with FRESC’s sister organization, Connecticut Center for a New Economy.
Kevin is a proud transplanted Coloradan. As a collaborative leader who thrives in team projects and alliances, he represents FRESC on the board of the Partnership for Working Families, the national network to which FRESC belongs. He is passionate about and active in the struggles for LGBT rights and comprehensive immigration reform. In his free time, Kevin enjoys to hike, cycle, and cook.
Melanie joined the staff in March 2011. She handles all bookkeeping, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, and office management. Over the last 17 years, she has held many administrative roles in the private and nonprofit sector, including with the Denver Botanic Gardens and, for the past five years, Specifications by Design. She worked as the Personal Assistant to U.S. Ambassador Marilyn Ware (Finland from 2006-08) and her family’s foundation. Melanie, a native of Denver, received her BA from Regis University. She loves horses.
Samaria began as an Organizer with FRESC in March 2012. She has strong labor organizing experience with Colorado WINS (Workers for New Innovative Solutions) and Service Employees International Union Local 105. She enlisted hundreds of state workers to join the union and trained them to lobby at the capital for their issues, to provide guidance to management to improve state services, and to stand up for social justice in their communities. Samaria was an active member of a team with the Department of Human Services workers where they enhanced and created procedures to improve quality public services in nursing homes, youth detention facilities, and state hospitals. A parent of three in Denver Public Schools, she is a parent liaison for NE Denver Public Schools. She is very active in community groups that tackle social justice issues, from re-entry programs to women’s rights. She’s worked on civic engagement, ballot initiative work, and GOTV in past elections. She is a native of Colorado who grew up in Northeast Denver. She’s happy to be a part of FRESC’s mission to support good jobs and strong communities.
Felicia joined the FRESC team in January of 2013.During the last 10 years, Felicia has been involved in fund development for social justice organizations that work to improve the lives of low-income people. She has served as the deputy director for New Mexico Voices for Children, the president of the New Mexico Association of Fundraising Professionals, development director for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and was the president and CEO of her own nonprofit consulting firm, the Griffin Group. Felicia is currently working to acquire her CFRE certification from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has extensive knowledge and experience in fund development and stewardship.
In her free time, Felicia loves to travel and spend quality time with her husband and five children.She also is the Chair for the Aurora Human Relations Commission, she serves on the MLK Commission and Aurora’s 7/20 Commission.She is on the Board of the Community Resource Center and volunteers at her children’s school.
Rev. Daniel Klawitter serves as FRESC's Religious Outreach Organizer and joined the FRESC staff in 2007. Daniel coordinates clergy and religious support for various FRESC, community and Labor Union campaigns that touch on worker's rights issues and economic development. In addition to being an ordained Deacon in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church, Daniel has 5 years of previous experience as a Union Representative in the Health Care Division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 in Denver. In 2002, he received a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Justice and Peace Studies from Iliff School of Theology. Before coming to Colorado, Daniel worked as an intern with a migrant workers’ rights organization in the Philippines and as a community organizer in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sara joined the FRESC staff in June of 2012.Born in Tucson, AZ, she has been fighting for disadvantaged communities across the Southwest for over a decade.Sara worked as the coordinator for Reaching Higher!, a program to help refugee youth in the Phoenix area attend college. She was heavily involved in electoral politics and registered hundreds of voters in the 2004 and 2006 elections.Sara received her Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in Spanish and Political Science in 2007.Following graduation, she worked as a researcher for the Ironworkers International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers, fighting for good jobs for immigrant rebar workers in Arizona and Colorado.She received her Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School at UT Austin in May 2012, where she focused on immigration policy.She is passionate about economic justice and immigrant rights. Her work at FRESC centers around involving low income communities and communities of color in local and regional transit and transit oriented development planning processes to increase equity across the region.
Rachael joined FRESC in 2006 with a background in research, community and labor organizing as well as nonprofit office administration work. She supports many of FRESC's campaigns through research, data analysis and writing. She also does publication layout and maintains FRESC’s website. Rachael holds a master’s degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts where she focused on strategic research including researching economic development projects and community reaction to US day labor populations. Her bachelor’s degree is in Women’s Studies from Mount Holyoke College
Amanda Snipes joined FRESC as a special project community
organizer after working on electoral campaigns for four and a half years.
During her time on the campaign trail, Amanda has served every staff position –
from intern to communications director to campaign manager. The highlight of
Amanda’s electoral career was directing the paid canvass operation for Colorado
Democratic legislative candidates in the Fall of 2012. After the election, Amanda worked at the Colorado Capitol
as a Legislative Aide for State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada).
Amanda came to Colorado from her hometown, Oklahoma City, after managing a
legislative campaign for the first openly transgender candidate in Oklahoma
history (Brittany Novotny). As a political science student at the University of
Central Oklahoma, Amanda served as the President of the campus chapter of the
Young Democrats of Oklahoma and was elected to be the group’s Senator for two
consecutive terms. In her spare time, Amanda, her girlfriend and their dog
(Ike) hike Colorado’s beautiful open spaces.
Desiree hails from the Metro Denver area and has spent her professional career working with immigrant workers and working class families. She is thrilled for the opportunity to work with FRESC and hopes to apply both her labor and community organizing experience to campaigns that strengthen the middle class in Denver.
Previously she organized with SEIU local 105 where she helped to bring hundreds of new janitors from the northwestern suburbs of Denver into the Union and lead a team of organizers that trained workers to protect the rights won in their contract.
Desiree also organized with Metro Organizations for People, where she worked with volunteer leaders who wanted to improve their communities through organizing. She led campaigns for equity in the budgeting practices of Denver Public Schools, improved transportation options for public school children, and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant youth.
Desiree holds a Masters Degree in Community Social Work from the University of Denver and speaks fluent Spanish.