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Key Leadership

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Matt VanAuken

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Matt brings more than 20 years of executive leadership and management experience to Developmental Pathways. He is currently serving as the 2020-21 Alliance Board President and participates on the Executive Committee. Matt has served several state and local capacities to advance services for people with I/DD in Colorado, most recently as a Governor-appointed member and President of the Colorado State Board of Health from 2018-2019, and as a senate-appointed member of the Healthcare Policy and Financing’s Medicaid Provider Rates and Review Advisory Committee. Matt also serves as the President of the Colorado Coalition of Developmental Disabilities and is an active participant in the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). 

Matt is a former chairperson for the El Paso County Human Services Advisory Committee, and former Board member for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Previously, he worked as the Director for Children, Youth, and Families for Jefferson County Human Services after transitioning from a career in the restaurant industry where he was Vice President of Operations for Hard Rock Café and Vice President of Operations for Olive Garden. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management from Western Governors’ University. Matt lives in Colorado Springs with his amazing wife and two beautiful children.

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Bob Ward

Chief Strategy Officer

Bob joined Developmental Pathways in January 2005 and provides executive leadership over all Case Management functions. Bob is the father of a young man with autism in a Medicaid Waiver Program. Prior to coming to Pathways, Bob worked in both the private sector and government for over 20 years as an attorney and executive manager. He has experience in special education issues, healthcare, banking, and Medicaid. Bob currently serves on the state Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council. He is a past chair of the Colorado Special Education Advisory Council. Bob is a graduate of the State University of New York and the University of Denver College of Law.

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Erica Kitzman

Chief Operating Officer

Erica joined NMSC in February 2014, overseeing the human resources (HR) and learning and development teams.  Since then, she has had the opportunity to lead varying shared business services teams, including communications, project management, legal, maintenance and facilities, finance, and information technology.  In partnership with company leaders, she has played a key role in enhancing internal service delivery and innovation, stabilizing teams, developing future leaders, and helping to prepare for continued growth.

Prior, she worked at Qdoba Restaurant Corporation for 11 years, the last seven of which she served as an HR Director.  She began her professional career over 20+ years ago with Wild Oats Markets, where she served in several progressively responsible HR roles in the field and at their corporate office.  Erica received a B.A. in Psychology from CU-Denver, and has proven experience building engaged, high-performing teams, strategic planning and driving results through operational execution.

“Empowering others to be purposeful and achieve more, whether our staff or individuals we serve, is deeply meaningful to me.  I am proud to serve our mission and support our incredibly dedicated and talented professionals conducting ‘business with purpose.’”

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Cindy Lichti

Vice President of Programs and Services

Cindy joined the DP team in August 1979 and has responsibility for leading the programmatic services and supports offered through Community Outreach and Early Intervention.  Having devoted her career to working in behalf of people with developmental disabilities and delays she has experience in running or overseeing every service/program within the agency.  She is skilled and highly trained in management and supervision, developmental disabilities and early childhood rules and regulations, complex Medicaid Waiver implementation and oversight, budget management and non-profit leadership.  Cindy proudly holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Social Work from Colorado State University and a Masters of Public Administration for the University of Colorado at Denver.