Meet The Team 2020-06-01T20:07:59+00:00

Our Team

Jini Puma, PhD
Jini Puma, PhDPrincipal Investigator - COWP Director
Jini received her doctorate from the University of Denver in Quantitative Research Methods in 2007. Dr. Puma is currently an Assistant Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health where her research and evaluation interests are in early childhood obesity prevention, immigrant health, and community-based participatory research methods.  Dr. Puma lives with her husband, four children and two step-children.  In her free time, she enjoys doing activities with her family, such as traveling, skiing and reading.
Deanna LaFlamme
Deanna LaFlammeProgram Director
Deanna is a program director and has a Master’s in Communication Studies. She has worked with COWP program since 2012. She oversees the day-to day operations and supports program development, research and evaluation activities. She has over 20 years of program management and evaluation experience. She has conducted hundreds of key informant interviews on a wide range of topics including: food security, mental health needs of mid-west farmers, and palliative care. Originally, from Connecticut she has lived in Colorado since 1994. In her free time, she enjoys playing ice hockey, skiing, and hiking.
Gloria Richardson
Gloria RichardsonProgram Director
Gloria is a program director and has a Master’s in Public Administration with over thirty years experience in developing and implementing programs in health & wellness for underserved communities. She has been a part of COWP since its inception and her passion is working with Early Childhood Education Communities to improve health and well-being of children, staff and families. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her grandchildren, and large family celebrations.
Tracy Doig
Tracy DoigProgram Manager
Tracy joined the COWP team in 2012 as a member of the Steering Committee and as a contractor/consultant providing services to Denver Great Kids Head Start. She researched and developed the Physical Activity and Workplace Wellness components. As a member of the leadership team, she provides guidance for the Physical Activity and Nutrition Education components. She participates in developing partnerships and leads the quality improvement initiatives within COWP. Tracy has over 25 years of Early Care and Education experience, and received her Master’s degree in Education Administration and Public Policy from the University of Denver. She is an active member of the Triad Early Childhood Council, Colorado Department of Health and the Environment, Health in Early Childhood Collaborative, and the Colorado Head Start Association. Tracy is a Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program Fellow. She spends her free time with family and friends in the mountains, traveling and attending sporting events.
Diane Brogden
Diane BrogdenProgram Manager
Diane earned her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at CU Denver. She has worked in the field of nutrition education and curriculum development for 20+ years. She lives in Denver and enjoys hiking, cycling, cooking, and camping with her two daughters and her dog. In her free time she also loves watching college basketball!
Charlotte Farewell
Charlotte FarewellProgram Manager/SR PRA
Charlotte has worked with the Culture of Wellness in Preschools program since 2012. She oversees and facilitates two of the COWP components: 1) PSE change process with wellness teams to make policy, system and environment changes within preschool sites, and 2) COWP Workplace Wellness program. She also participates in monitoring and evaluation activities. Previously, she received her MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2012 and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral program in Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys hiking and trail running, yoga, and traveling!
Emily Melnick
Emily MelnickSenior Health Promotion Coordinator/Sr PRA
Emily is a Senior Health Promotion Coordinator with the Culture of Wellness in Preschools. She joined the Culture of Wellness team after completing her Masters in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health and is passionate about working to improve young children’s health. She coordinates the Culture of Wellness Nutrition Education Program and also leads professional development trainings for preschool teachers and staff on increasing opportunities for physical activity. Emily is a Chicago native who has happily relocated to Colorado and enjoys spending as much time in the mountains as possible!
Jennie Quinlan
Jennie QuinlanProgram Evaluator
Jennie received her Masters of Public Health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2005) with a concentration in Global Health. She has 15 years of experience working both internationally and domestically in the public health arena. She arrived to the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center in 2016 after living in Texas for 10 years working at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for the OB/Gyn department doing community-based participatory research with under-served populations as an Outreach Coordinator, Project Coordinator, and Evaluator for women’s health research programs in cervical/ breast cancer prevention as well as adolescent reproductive health.  In her free time, you can find Jennie horseback riding and hiking with her German Shepherd mix, Hobeaux. 
Sharon Scabro
Sharon ScabroProgram Evaluator
Sharon has worked as a biostatistician on the COWP program since 2012. She received her Masters in Biostatistics with a focus on epidemiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  For the past 30 years she has participated in research focused on diabetes and obesity associations and prevention in the home, in the community and in the school.  Sharon enjoys hiking, biking and x-country skiing with her family and friends in the glorious Rocky Mountains.
JoDee Relph
JoDee RelphRMPRC Center Administrator Manager
JoDee joined the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center in 2015. Her role is to manage the office, budgets, financials, HR, and purchasing for all the grants under the RMPRC. JoDee ‘s background includes 20+ years of administration and office management along with grant management and procurement.
Chantal Friesen
Chantal FriesenRMPRC Finance Specialist
Chantal is the Finance Assistant for our team and has worked for the last 8 years in various administrative and customer service positions in the education, aviation and non-profit realms. Chantal grew up in Kansas but heard the mountains and community of Denver calling her name and has now made it her home. Outside of supporting our team, she loves being in the great outdoors and spending time with friends and family.
Jamie Powers
Jamie PowersSenior Health Promotion Coordinator - Denver, CO
Jamie joined COWP in January 2016 as a Policy, System and Environment and Workplace Wellness Facilitator. She now leads the Workplace Wellness component. She has her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Missouri – Columbia and will be starting a PhD in Research Methods and Statistics at the University of Denver. Jamie enjoys spending time traveling and exploring the Rocky Mountains.
Nichelle Hernández Ortiz
Nichelle Hernández OrtizHealth Promotion Facilitator - Denver, CO
Nichelle is a Denver native who has worked in community nutrition for the past 5 years, particularly with under-served and refugee populations. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013. Nichelle is passionate about educating families with nutritional best practices and recommendations while maintaining strong cultural traditions. Nichelle lives in Aurora, Colorado with her husband and her two youngest children. She enjoys cooking, traveling and learning about different cultures from all over the world.
Joanna Coleman
Joanna ColemanHealth Promotion Facilitator - Denver, CO
Joanna has a Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, an ECE coaching credential and is a Colorado Early Childhood approved trainer. Before joining Culture of Wellness, she was an ECE and Elementary bilingual teacher for 8 years in Denver. She joined the COWP team in Spring of 2016 and applies educational and bilingual strategies to facilitate hands on Parent Wellness Workshops. In her free time, Joanna loves nature and enjoys hiking, running, and snowboarding.
Brenda Mendoza Ortega
Brenda Mendoza OrtegaHealth Promotion Facilitator- Denver, CO
Brenda joined COWP in August of 2017, she is a Health Promotion Facilitator and also assists with the development and coordination of Text2BHealthy Colorado. Brenda graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a dual degree in Biology (B.S.) and International Studies (B.A.), and a minor in Economics. Her multidisciplinary background is a result of her passion for culture and science. Her professional goal is to promote health education in diverse communities. She has several years of experience in the field of nutrition education working with COWP’s partner program the Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP). Brenda enjoys learning about different cultures, trying foods from around the world, working out, and cooking.
Kendra Gilmour
Kendra GilmourSenior Health Promotion Coordinator - Denver, CO
Kendra is a Colorado native who has worked as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher for the past 5 years. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders in 2012 from the University of Wyoming and continued on to complete her Master’s in Education from Regis University with a focus in Early Childhood Special Education in 2016. Kendra is passionate about health and fitness as well as working with young children. Kendra currently lives in Denver, and enjoys hiking, working out, reading, and spending time with her very active 6-year-old nephew!
Kathy Leedom
Kathy LeedomSenior Health Promotion Coordinator - Denver, CO
Kathy is a Senior Health Promotion Facilitator with a master’s degree in elementary education from Adams State University. She has 24 years of classroom teaching experience. Helping students, families, and schools become healthier has always been her passion. Her pastimes include organic gardening, hiking, yoga, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Miriam Kellerman
Miriam KellermanHealth Promotion Coordinator - Denver, CO
Miriam is a Health Promotion Facilitator for the COWP Program who joined in August 2019. She has a BA in Business Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Translation Studies from the University of Denver. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 4 furry children and her husband, finds balance by practicing meditation and yoga, while feeding her academic appetite by learning about science and health subjects, and very passionate about sharing it with others. She brings her background of almost 6 years in wellness promotion and experience working with underserved communities to the RMPRC. She is very happy to finally call Colorado her home and wants to contribute to the greatness of this community.
Emily Maiurro
Emily MaiurroSenior Health Promotion Facilitator - Colorado Springs, CO
Emily graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and a Spanish minor and is currently working on a Masters degree in Health Promotion at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Prior to joining the COWP team, she worked for the Early Childhood Council in El Paso County, and taught elementary school for three years. Outside of work she enjoys the company of her husband and dog. Together, they love spending time with friends and family, exploring the outdoors, traveling, and cooking.
Melissa McMartin
Melissa McMartinSenior Health Promotion Coordinator - Colorado Springs, CO
Melissa joined the Culture of Wellness in Preschools team in March 2016. Prior to joining the COWP team she worked for the Early Childhood Council in El Paso County, and taught elementary education for 11 years. Her role coordinating the Nutrition Education and Physical Activity components combine her passions for health and wellness and teaching perfectly. Melissa lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, two children, and hyper Labrador. When not working, you will find her out on the trails mountain biking, running or practicing yoga.
Lisa Gonzales
Lisa Gonzales Senior Health Promotion Coordinator - Pueblo, CO
Lisa graduated from Colorado State University-Fort Collins in 2008 earning her BS in Health and Exercise Science and graduated in 2013 with a Master’s in Public Health. Her recent career was with the Pueblo City-County Health Department working in Emergency Preparedness and Response. Lisa facilitates the Policy, System and Environment and Workplace Wellness for Pueblo School District 60. She has been married for 5 years and loves spending time with her 2 small children, family, and friends. She enjoys taking pictures, scrapbooking, traveling, and volunteering.