Developmental Pathways Announces the Retirement of CEO Melanie Worley

Melanie Worley, CEO, retiring on August 2, 2019

With our most heartfelt gratitude, we are honored to announce that Melanie Worley, Chief Executive Officer, will be retiring on Friday, August 2, 2019. After much contemplation, communication, and planning, Melanie feels that now is the right time for her to move on to the next stage of her life, to pursue other passions, and to take time to enjoy her family. 

Melanie’s first engagement with Developmental Pathways was while she was serving as a Douglas County Commissioner. In 2001, Melanie was instrumental in getting Referendum 4A on the ballot in Arapahoe and Douglas counties. With her support, the referendum passed by popular vote, establishing a one mill tax that would go to Pathways each year. This mill levy funding continues to be essential to Developmental Pathways, allowing us to support nearly 8,000 people annually. Following the referendum passing, Melanie was welcomed as a Developmental Pathways board member. After 10 years as a Commissioner and in conclusion of her term on the board ending, Melanie joined DP full-time as the Director of Communications, was promoted to VP of Communications & Public Affairs, and finally as CEO in 2012.

She is the recipient of countless notable awards and honors, including being named the Colorado Counties, Inc. Commissioner of the Year in 2001, winning the Colorado Counties, Inc. Distinguished Service Award in 2008, and receiving the Distinguished Service Award from ADMHN in 2009 for her work in helping protect benefits for people with mental illness. Additionally, in 2015, Melanie was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the Respite Care Task Force. 

Melanie has lived a life dedicated to the service of others and has helped our organization transform both internally and externally. Among numerous other posts, Melanie has previously served and currently serves on multiple boards:

  • Alliance Colorado – Board of Directors
  • AllHealth – Board of Directors
  • ANCOR – Board of Representatives
  • Respite Taskforce
  • Chamber of Commerce of Highlands Ranch – Board of Directors
  • Douglas County Business Alliance
  • Parker Arts Culture and Events (PACE) – Board of Directors
  • Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Douglas County Housing Partnership – Finance Committee
  • C-470 Citizens Advisory Committee – Executive Director
  • South Denver Metro Chamber – Co-Chairperson of Transportation and Women in Leadership Mentor
  • Denver South Economic Business Partnership – Board of Trustees
  • Colorado Counties, Inc. –  Secretary
  • Formed the Partnership of Douglas County Governments
  • Founding Member of the Douglas County Housing Partnership
  • Denver Regional Council of Governments – Chairperson
  • Move Colorado – Former Executive Director

Her life’s work has been to bring communities together and make life better for others. Melanie loves people; they energize her. One of her greatest gifts is her genuine ability to connect with others and as such, she has grown tremendous alliances across our communities and has tirelessly promoted legislation at our Colorado State Capital to advocate for the developmental disability and mental health communities. She is a cornerstone in our community, and while we will miss her, we are truly excited for her future endeavors.

Please join all of us at Developmental Pathways in thanking Melanie for all she has done to make a sizable dent in our universe for both our organization and local communities.

We are also pleased to announce that Matt VanAuken will step in as the Interim CEO, effective immediately. Matt has been instrumental to the success of the organization, alongside Melanie, and we are exceptionally confident in his leadership ability and unwavering commitment to the well-being of our employees, individuals served and the larger community.