Board of Directors

What is a Board of Directors

A Board of Directors is a group of individuals elected to oversee an organization’s operations, strategy, and finances. They serve as our governing body and ensure we meet legal and ethical standards.

Our nonprofit has a policy and governance Board of Directors that partner with our leadership team to ensure we serve our community by emphasizing values, vision, and empowerment while remaining accountable to our mission.

Did you know?

Nonprofits are corporations that are not owned by anyone. Instead, they are the responsibility of a board of directors who share a duty to support the agency’s mission.

Board Commitments

In support of our vision and mission, the board is committed to:

  • Ensuring all individuals with disabilities in our community receive support.
  • Joining our community in the innovation and implementation of person and family-centered practices.
  • Being a customer-service focused agency, both internally and externally.
  • Actively and transparently collaborating with federal, state, and local partners.
  • Optimizing mission resources by diversifying revenue streams and cultivating our talents, interests, and abilities.

Board Duties

All nonprofit board members are committed to meeting these three primary board duties:

  • Duty of Care: A director must act with the care that a person in a like position would reasonably believe appropriate under similar circumstances (business judgement rule).
  • Duty of Loyalty: Requires directors to act in good faith for the benefit of the corporation and its shareholders, not for their own personal interest.
  • Duty of Obedience: A director must ensure that the nonprofit obeys applicable laws and regulations, follows its own bylaws, and that the nonprofit adheres to its stated corporate purposes/mission.

Our Board of Directors

  • Under current board bylaws, our board membership ranges from 7-15 persons serving staggered terms.

  • Roughly 40% of our Board of Directors includes individuals in service and/or family members of those in services.
Jenn Conrad smiling in a blue suit

Jenn Conrad


Jenn Conrad’s career started over 20 years ago, serving those with I/DD who often had co-occurring behavioral health needs. As the Vice President of Clinical Services with Signal Behavioral Health Network, Jenn oversees regional safety net behavioral health services contracted through the state Behavioral Health Administration. This includes oversight of care coordination and quality management of crisis services, substance use treatment, recovery services, and programs serving children, youth, and families. As an LCSW and CCM, Jenn’s career is dedicated to ensuring access to high-quality whole-person care, coordination of services, and health equity. She is an active participant and leader in behavioral health initiatives and committees in both Arapahoe and Douglas Counties and across the state. Jenn is a member of the Denver START Program Advisory Council, a nationally recognized program providing mental health crisis care specifically for individuals with I/DD.

Jenn is married with two teenage youths in the Douglas County School District. When not supporting her kids in swimming and basketball, Jenn enjoys time with loved ones, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Michaela McDonnell

Vice President

Dr. McDonnell is from Iowa and has called Denver home for almost 30 years. She is a Board Certified Dermatologist, operating her private practice in Lakewood since 1988. Dr. McDonnell’s professional interests include skin cancer screening, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, acne, eczema, psoriasis, alopecia, and various cosmetic and surgical procedures. She is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Academy of Dermatology, Colorado Dermatologic Society (past President), Iowa Dermatologic Society, Arapahoe Medical Society, and Colorado Medical Society.

Dr. McDonnell has four teenage children: three daughters and one son, who is served by Developmental Pathways. She enjoys spending time with her family skiing, hiking, traveling, and being a huge supporter of her children’s athletic and academic endeavors. In her spare time, she is also an avid runner competing in the Boulder Bolder and several other local races alongside her family.

Nancy Sharpe


Nancy Sharpe served as Commissioner representing District 2 with Arapahoe County. As Commissioner, Nancy oversaw the human services, finance, and human resources departments. She chaired the Colorado Counties, Inc. Health and Human Services Steering Committee and was vice chair of the National Association of Counties Human Services and Education Steering Committees. She also served as a Governor appointee on the Colorado Executive Leadership Council on Child Welfare.

In 2014, Nancy partnered with 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler to start Not One More Child in Arapahoe County, a coalition of community partners working together to prevent child abuse and neglect in Arapahoe County. Nancy represented the County’s interests on the Denver South Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors, C-470 Policy Committee, Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority Board, Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority, and the High Line Canal Trail and Cherry Creek Basin Working Groups. She also served on the Arapahoe County Housing Authority, Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority, Denver South Transportation Management Association, and Urban Drainage and Flood Control District Board of Directors.

Abe Laydon


Abe Laydon was elected Douglas County Commissioner, District I, in November 2018 and began serving his first term in January 2019. Laydon’s top priorities as County Commissioner include cutting taxes, providing real transportation solutions, ensuring responsible growth, working collaboratively with law enforcement and the school board to make sure we have proven safety solutions ready and in place to protect our kids, and making sure we have clean and abundant air and water for generations to come.

As County Commissioner, Laydon seeks to collaborate with everyone in Douglas County – citizens, the press, business leaders, civic servants, and nonprofits – to deliver good things for the community. He has an open-door policy and invites the opportunity to connect with all constituents and collaborators.

In addition to his fundamental responsibilities as a County Commissioner, Laydon also serves as a representative of Douglas County, by way of Board appointment, to the following area organizations: Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority Board, Arapahoe/Douglas Workforce Investment Board, Centennial Airport Community Noise Roundtable, Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Control Authority, Community Services Block Grant Tripartite Board, Developmental Pathways Board of Directors, Douglas County Community Foundation, Douglas County Youth Initiative Advisory Board, and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

Carrie Warren-Gully


Carrie Warren-Gully is serving her second term as Commissioner, representing District 1 of Arapahoe County. She serves as the Board’s Chair for 2023. As Commissioner, Carrie is the internal liaison for the Attorney’s and Commissioners’ offices and the Human Services department. Carrie represents the County’s interests on various boards and committees, including the Arapahoe County Board of Social Services, Boundary Control Commission, Housing Authority, and the South Metro Denver Chamber Board of Directors.

Carrie’s goals are to represent all the citizens of her district and listen to their individual, diverse, and collective needs because the decisions made today will impact our quality of life for generations to come. Arapahoe is one of the fastest-growing counties in Colorado, and while that growth means increased economic opportunity, it also presents a host of challenges.

Carrie will focus on continuing to promote the expansion of access to mental health care, from our teens to our families to our more mature citizens; supporting our local businesses to grow and compete in an ever-changing world; encouraging new and forward-thinking transportation infrastructure; and working on creating more affordable and accessible housing for all residents of Arapahoe County.

Carrie has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and Political Science from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Her career path has involved working in a behavior studies lab at Denver University, running a bed and breakfast, and eventually landing in the conservation non-profit arena. Carrie served on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education for seven years, and she started Books to Life, an audiobook production company, in 2014.

Born and raised in Englewood, CO, Carrie is passionate about the great outdoors. She and her husband, Jim, have three boys that attended Littleton Public Schools, and they spend much of their family time skiing, hiking, backpacking, and camping.

Daniel Sampson

Daniel Sampson is the founder/CEO of Driven By Our Ambitions (DBOA, LLC) and Director of AuroraWorks. He founded DBOA in 2014 to help young adults and student-athletes enhance their opportunities to attain post-secondary education. With AuroraWorks, he supports their parent company — CommunityWorks’ mission of empowering the unemployed and those with barriers to employment to become self-supporting through job preparation and placement. Sampson has worked closely with Title I schools in Washington, D.C. and the Denver Metro Area to successfully elevate the chances of their student populations’ entry into college debt free.

In 2017, Sampson expanded DBOA to reach criminal justice-involved youth/young adults, focusing on services that give them pro-social options to decrease recidivism. DBOA currently contracts within the following state departments in Colorado: Division of Youth Services (formerly DYC), 18th Judicial District Colorado Youth Detention Continuum (formerly SB94), and 18th Judicial District Adult and Juvenile Probation.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Sampson was the Assistant Director of Communications for the Washington Redskins during the 2010-2014 seasons. During his time with the Redskins, Forbes’ fifth Most Valuable Sports Team in the World, he was responsible for media relations strategies. He directed the team’s internal and external communication relating to the football business. In 2013, Sampson was recognized as one of the Top 30 under 30 young professionals striving for excellence and making a difference within the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV) community.

His motto: if your heart is beating, keep moving.

Chris Erickson

Originally from Iowa and a Colorado resident for more than 18 years, Chris Erickson resides in Lone Tree. As EVP & Regional Manager of Pacific Western Bank’s Colorado Commercial Real Estate team, Chris is responsible for expanding the bank’s presence with established real estate developers and investors seeking commercial real estate loans throughout the Rocky Mountain region. An industry veteran of 20+ years, Chris holds a BA in Finance from Central College in Pella, IA.

Rick Newell

Rick Newell is a self-advocate, an Eagle Scout, a Thespian, a musician, and a public speaker. He graduated from the Metropolitan State University of Denver with two certificates: event and meeting management and hotel management.

Rick had the pleasure of testifying for the Colorado State legislature and working with Senators Irene Aguilar and Owen Hill on Senate Bill 16-038, “Transparency Of Community-centered Boards,” and John Kefalas, on Senate Bill 16-077, “Employment First For Persons With Disabilities.” Both bills for which Rick has testified have now been signed into law.

Rick served as the governor-appointed youth member of the Statewide Independent Living Council for three years starting in 2016. He represented Colorado at the National Council on Independent Living Annual Conference held in Washington, D.C. He met fellow self-advocates from all over the world! During his term, Rick had the opportunity to help create the inaugural Youth Leadership Forum at a university campus in Colorado where students with disabilities can learn about leadership skills.

Rick works part-time as an usher at Denver Center for The Performing Arts Complex. Rick also works for Argus Event Staffing doing security for concerts and sporting events and at The Festive Cup Coffee Shop and Gift Boutique as a barista and cashier. Rick also works as a banquet setup person at Hilton Denver Inverness in the Facility Set Up department.

For fun, Rick loves to hang out with friends, meet for dinner and a movie, or go bowling and Elitch Gardens. He enjoys traveling (nationally and internationally, including a semester of study abroad in Prague), writing and performing music, singing in his church choirs, performing with the puppet ministry at his church, acting and singing with the Wesley Players, swimming, and working out.

Rick is excited to serve on the Developmental Pathways Board of Directors as a representative of the I/DD community and affect positive change, now and into the future.

Katiah Scisum

Katiah Scisum is a newly appointed parent advocate. In August of 2022, she packed up her family and moved from Washington State to Colorado – a place she had previously lived and always wanted to return to. Katiah currently works as a parent caregiver for her young daughter who receives services through Developmental Pathways.

Katiah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations and has also been awarded a minor in Journalism and a Leadership Certificate. She previously presented a rhetorical analysis at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research and has worked/interned as an event coordinator; communications assistant; social media manager; and website designer. After moving to Colorado to seek the best medical care and support system she could find; Katiah joined a local non-profit support group (Colorado Mama Tribe) for parents of children with varying disabilities and support needs. She currently volunteers as an active member of the fundraising committee with Colorado Mama Tribe and has found respite and connection that was otherwise missing from her life before.

Katiah is looking forward to learning all there is to know about DP and the services and resources they have continued to provide the I/DD community. She is excited to be able to offer her own direct insight and to be a part of a life-changing group of people.

Mike Abramovitz

Mike has spent over 30 years in tax, a Big Four accounting firm, as well as leading public company tax departments. He has years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, as well as managing tax reporting for SEC financial statements. He has experience taking companies public, mergers and acquisitions, running accounting and finance departments, stock options and equity issues, and tax provisioning (ASC740). He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has a BBA and MAcc from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

Mike has been with his wife Tammy for over 30 years, and they have twin boys, Harry and Isaac, who are making their way in the world. Harry, a huge train fan, photographer, and videographer, is starting his own welding business, and Isaac, graduating from the United States Air Force Academy, is off to pilot training.