YESS Institute Board Members

Anne-Marie Braga

Anne-Marie Braga has worked at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for over a decade to improve the health and well-being of children, youth and families across the state. Currently, she oversees a variety of initiatives aimed to improve programs, practices and policies related to maternal wellness; early childhood; youth and young adults; community engagement; and health equity. In her previous life, she dedicated over 10 years as a case manager in rural Arkansas; provided counseling and service learning activities to inner-city youth in New York City; and managed early childhood programs in both New York and Colorado. She believes whole-heartedly in taking a strengths-based approach and consistently work with youth and families to improve the systems that impact their lives. Anne-Marie has received a variety of state and national awards for her work and holds a Masters of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

 Kerri Booth, Esq., Board Chair

Kerri is the Assistant County Attorney for the Adams County Attorney’s Office. She specializes in the areas of real estate law, litigation and corporate compliance. She is active in the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations with specific involvement in the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  Ms. Booth was involved in the Colorado Bar Association’s Pilot Project Mentoring Program; this program is quickly becoming a benchmark for attorney mentoring programs in the U.S. She received a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law in Southern California and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara where she holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. While at UCSB, she majored in Law and Society where she studied the social effect of law on society and society on the development of law and policy.

Diane Bassett, Ph.D. – Hiatus

Diane is a Professor Emerita in the School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado. She has taught general and special education in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, and in both public and private schools. Dr. Bassett is the co-author of four books that center on student self-determination, effective services for students with mild/moderate disabilities, and efficacy-based transition practices. She is a past President of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and is also honored to have received the prestigious Oliver P. Kolstoe award from DCDT for her work in transition. At UNC, she has been awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellent Teaching in Graduate Education, the College of Education Outstanding Scholar Award, and the Outstanding Service Award, among others. Dr. Bassett’s professional interests include working with adolescents and adults of all abilities, student empowerment, school reform, and program development. Her personal interests include travel, skiing, biking, reading great literature, and digging in the dirt. Dr. Bassett has taken a hiatus from the board and has joined the YESS team as a consultant. She will provide her expertise in instructional coaching and train the program managers in the best teaching practices.

Jason Clark

Jason is the site director for College Track-Aurora. He has an MA in Higher Education from the University of Denver and a BA in Romance Languages and Literature from Colorado College. Originally from Spanish Harlem in New York City, he has been in Colorado for 15 years. Jason previously worked as the director of admissions & outreach at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education, as a college advisor and retention manager for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, and as a high school Spanish teacher in Colorado Springs. As a first-generation college student, Jason is passionate about college access, equity and success.

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Joél Contreras

Joél worked in the Information Technology area of pension fund giant TIAA-CREF for nearly 19 years!  He played significant roles in almost every area of the company’s technology division including Database Management System, Network Infrastructure, Project Management, Disaster Recovery, and Systems Programming.   In 1995, he was selected as one of two IT managers to help expand TIAA-CREF’s business operations from New York City to Denver, Colorado.  Together with his wife (Giovanna), Joél started a language interpretation and translation company in 2004.  The company, named Cesco (pronounced “Chesco”) Linguistic Services, Inc., has become a viable local entity contracting hundreds of local language professionals. Joél was formerly the part owner as well as the President and CEO of an online foreign language learning company called Learning Like Crazy, Inc. He also serves as Board Chair of ExecConnect and the Connect Denver Foundation.

Monica Reger Williams, Treasurer

Monica is a Vice President of Support Services at FirstBank, where she oversees the bank’s Fraud Prevention and Branch Operations areas. Monica has been with FirstBank for six years, two of which were spent as a loan officer, and the others as a manager of various sales and operational departments.  Monica brings experience in finances, business administration, project management and personnel management. She also serves on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board and is a member of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI).  She has been involved with a number of Denver-area non-profits including Samaritan House, Wild Plum Center, Junior Achievement, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity. Monica graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.  In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding and traveling.

 Nance Maguire, Ed.D., Treasurer

Nancy is a Co-founder and the Executive Director of Excelsior Academy in San Diego, California.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Kansas in General Education, Special Education, and Spanish.  Her Master’s Degree was taken at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in the fields of Learning Disabilities and Social/Emotional Disorders.  Nance sat for her Doctorate at the University of San Diego in Educational Leadership. Her field experience as a teacher ranges from public to private education; general to special education at all grade levels- including bilingual special education; and post-secondary education at the University of California San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, and other community colleges in San Diego.  Her work with children has earned her awards in teaching excellence, community outreach, and advocacy for the needs of special students.  As an educational consultant, she has worked in Canada, Mexico, and several states in the United States sharing knowledge and best practices in special and general education programs. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, traveling, sports, reading, learning, and enjoying life!

Jermyn Davis

Jermyn Davis is currently a Management Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, LLP in Denver, Colorado where he focuses on higher education transformation. Prior to Deloitte, Jermyn was Chief of Staff to the President at Colorado College. In that role he oversaw the daily functions of the office of the president, including developing strategic initiatives, serving as liaison between senior administrators and other external constituents, and representing the president on various college committees. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Chinese Studies and Political Science.