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New Faces and Changes for the Foundation’s Board of Directors

A Warm Welcome to Our New Board Members

The Foundation is pleased to announce the arrival of three new board members since November – Jason Dewar, Doug Hanisch, and Emily Cranford. We are excited to have them join our team and look forward to what they bring to the organization in the years ahead. Moreover, the Foundation Board is making some changes to the executive committee. Their connection to Outdoor Lab is explained below.

Jason is a longstanding Jeffco Schools employee as a counselor and now as the High School Leaders Program Coordinator for Outdoor Lab. He has a passion for experiential education and, as staff for Outdoor Lab, he knows what happens at Outdoor Lab is a worthy example of everything we do right in education. Moreover, Jason knows that the Outdoor Lab experience is as impactful for the high school leader as it is for the 6th grader.

Doug attended Marshdale Elementary, West Jefferson Middle School, and Evergreen High School growing up.  Doug attended the Windy Peak school as a 6th grader, and then again as a high school counselor.  In addition, three out of four of Doug’s siblings also attended Outdoor Lab as 6th graders and/or counselors.  His mother is a retired Jeffco Public Schools educator, she too attended Outdoor Lab while a teacher.  Lastly, Doug’s oldest daughter was able to attend in 2020, and youngest daughter will attend in the 2022-2023 school year. He has held increasingly responsible roles in the banking sector and today is focused on expanding existing relationships and developing new client opportunities for First Western Trust. Doug joined the Outdoor Lab Foundation because he wanted to be involved in advancing the mission of the Foundation and to ensure the continuity of the program for future generations of sixth graders.

Emily is the parent of two Jeffco students and was so moved by the experience of her daughter and niece's 6th grade adventure at Outdoor Lab that she wanted to learn how she could get involved with the program. Emily has an extensive background in sales and client management for both large Fortune 500 Companies and small organizations.  Emily’s experience includes complex national customer relationship and contract management, marketing, planning and collaborative team leadership.  

In January, we welcomed Kimberly Gieseler as our new Chair. Kim grew up in Lakewood and is an Outdoor Lab alumna, attending Mt. Evans as a 6th grader at Devinny Elementary and as a camp counselor at Mt. Evans when she attended Green Mountain High School. Kim graduated from the University of Denver and is a founding partner at Valorem Financial in Olde Town Arvada She lives in Southwest Littleton with her husband, Greg and their two children, both of whom attend Jeffco Schools. The family loves to ski, camp, boat, hike, bike, travel and root for the Broncos, Nuggets & Avs.

Kim replaces Jens Jensen who will continue to play an important role on the board as our Immediate Past Chair. His stalwart service and leadership to the organization was invaluable during the height of the pandemic and the executive director search. We will continue to lean on Jens for his institutional knowledge and his legal and business acumen.

Lastly, we are setting up the organization for long-term success through succession planning by naming Kristen Meier as Vice Chair. Kristen is a Jeffco native and Golden High School alum.  She was lucky enough to attend both Outdoor Lab sites, Windy Peak with her 6th-grade class and Mount Evans with a summer enrichment program. Kristen is currently director of Human Resources for the City of Golden. Her late mother was a nurse at Mount Evans for many years and Kristen first worked with Foundation to set up an endowment for Outdoor Lab in her mother’s honor. Her mom’s legacy of service to Jeffco kids lives on in Kristen through her leadership on the Foundation’s Board.

The Outdoor Lab Foundation Board is a collection of hard-working and successful individuals representative of the families, business, organizations, and communities of Jeffco. We are thrilled to have the Board operating at full capacity once again. In the coming year, we will work with and through the Board to grow our operating budget, draft a new strategic plan, and create stronger connections into all the neighborhoods that make up the Jeffco School District.

If you are interested in learning more about the Outdoor Lab Foundation Board or would like to become a member please reach out to Bryan Martin, Executive Director at