Jane has always felt a deep connection to the natural world around her. This love of nature led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from University of Northern Colorado, followed by a master’s degree in the Climate Change and Society program at North Carolina State University. She has seen the impacts of a changing climate from coast to coast and has made it her mission to foster more sustainable and equitable communities through her work. After college, Jane moved to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon to improve the resilience of local rural communities and to assist in developing a COVID-19 recovery plan for economic districts across the state. She is excited to return to Colorado to support the trailblazing effort of the Regenerative Recovery Coalition. In her free time you will most likely find her exploring the outdoors with her husky in tow, listening to live music or hanging out at a local brewery.
Chris is a self-proclaimed geek who loves learning about the latest and greatest energy efficiency technology for work or home. If you ask him why he lives for sustainability, he would say it is for the betterment of the world for his children’s future. This focus is the foundation of his investment in leading the organization‘s effort for many of their green building certifications, including their recent LEED Platinum accomplishments. He is also an active member of USGBC’s Market Leadership Advisory Board for Colorado and is on the Sustainability Committee for Denver’s International Facility Managers Association. When not working, Chris is normally spending time with his family, doing DIY projects at home, skiing or golfing.
Esperanza Chairez Uriarte
Esperanza‘s love for the natural environment and the people who take care of it first began in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she was born and raised. She left her hometown to study environmental studies and Latin American studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts where she became especially interested in environmental justice issues. After graduating she worked abroad as a research assistant studying Peru’s tropical forest conservation program on the ground. She decided to move to Colorado to be closer to mountains and family and where The Alliance Center’s holistic view of sustainability especially resonated with her. Outside of work you can find her participating in community theatre, playing capoeira or riding her bike.
Valeria is fascinated about the interconnectedness of environmental issues and considers herself a global citizen. She has seen firsthand the innovative sustainability solutions created through the power of resiliency over her time traveling to 20 different countries all over the world. Valeria graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in ecosystem science and sustainability. Although she enjoyed working in science, she found her love in nonprofit work, and her path led her to The Alliance Center. Outside of work you can find her reading, planning her next big trip or daydreaming on a hammock.
An avid adventurer, Elizabeth is from Austin, Texas but has also called Indonesia, Morocco, the Philippines and Chicago home. She recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where she majored in Environmental and Urban Studies and minored in Creative Writing. During college, Elizabeth spent a summer traveling all over the Rocky Mountains with a conservation corps, which cemented her desire to pursue a career in sustainability. She is thrilled to be returning to the region long term! In her free time, Elizabeth likes to try new vegan restaurants, study foreign languages, write poetry and brainstorm environmentally friendly adventures.
Shay’s dedicated her life to making environmental issues more approachable and relatable to the general public. Born and raised on a cotton farm in West Texas, she most recently lived in Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado and California. Shay utilizes her understanding of the diverse lifestyles in the US and masters in environmental communications to engage folks of all walks of life in environmentalism. Outside of work you can find her reading, hiking or hanging out with her best dog friend, Rosie Mae.
Originally from Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley, Cori moved to Denver in 2018 and has since found her community within The Alliance Center walls. With a background in hospitality management and environmental studies, she finds a strong sense of purpose in helping others and exploring earth’s most natural landscape. During a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, Cori became extremely in tune with how little we actually need to be happy. She stands by the motto, "less is more," and knows it is one major way that we can live more in accordance with nature than in conflict. When not at work, she is likely outside and along a trail!
Dani’s passion and enthusiasm to better herself, the community and the planet are carried throughout every aspect of her life. She earned her master’s degree in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver. She’s vegan. She picks up trash while walking down the street, creates kits for people experiencing homelessness, volunteers and fosters with a local rescue, and she has taken it upon herself to improve Denver’s waste diversion rates. Dani is a certified TRUE Waste Advisor and was Colorado Recycler of the Year. When she isn’t busy trying to save the world, Dani likes to relax by doing yoga or a puzzle, watching Friends or exploring Colorado’s trails.
Jason has always been attracted to market-based solutions to hard, important problems. This led him to pursue a degree in finance and economics before spending his early career focused on impact investing, microfinance and fair trade topics domestically and abroad. His international experiences in south and east Asia ultimately led him back home to focus on sustainability challenges in his home state. A LEED Accredited Professional, Jason oversaw The Alliance Center‘s award winning, LEED Platinum building renovation and has been responsible for maximizing the impact of The Alliance Center’s collaborative shared working space and green building efforts ever since. When not supporting The Alliance Center community, Jason is on the ground playing with his three young kids and getting outside the city limits as much as possible.
Jonathan is the resident “numbers guy” at The Alliance Center and appreciates how simple actions incorporated into daily routines, like composting, biking to work, or reusing coffee cups, add up over a lifetime. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from Saint Louis University and rounded out his education with a year spent volunteering abroad. This helped shape his world views related to treating fellow humans and our planet with dignity and respect. Jonathan joined the Alliance to better align his career with his personal interests after several years in the public accounting grind. He is a Certified Public Accountant and brings a variety of transactional and industry accounting knowledge to his role. When he’s not immersed in a spreadsheet, you can find him taking advantage of the year-round outdoor opportunities Colorado has to offer.
Mariah has called Colorado home for most of her life and loves working to protect this incredible state. She spends each day supporting the work of our talented tenants and making The Alliance Center THE place to be. She is a problem-solver who loves thinking about the most efficient ways to get things done. In her downtime, Mariah enjoys knitting, sampling craft breweries and running, as well as going to the park or to the mountains with her husband and rescue pup.
Brenna Simmons-St. Onge
Brenna works day in and day out to create an equitable, inclusive and sustainable future. With a background in corporate social responsibility, she spent over 10 years developing and implementing sustainability programs for some of the world’s leading hotel brands. Her endless passion to create a better future drove her to the nonprofit realm. She has served on Denver Mayor‘s Sustainability Advisory Council as well as the University of Colorado’s Managing for Sustainability Advisory Council since 2014. Brenna was named one of the top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals in 2015 and received the City of Denver’s Community Builder Sustainability Award in 2017. As a Colorado native, Brenna loves spending any free time she has in nature. From rock climbing to white water rafting, you name the outdoor activity, and there is a good chance of finding it on Brenna’s roll call for adventure.