Experience that counts! Our program management team has an average of ten years of service with our agency, a majority of our staff has personal experience with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and two of our program managers have been host home providers.
Barbara Kenyon Mohrlang, Executive Director
Barb has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. She started out when she was a teenager at a day camp in Long Island, NY in the summers and has worked with individuals with I/DD ever since. She worked in recreational programs, was a job coach, was live-in staff and was an assistant group home manager.
Barb also worked with the Residential Director of the CCB to open the first PCA (24 hour staffed apartments) in Glenwood Springs in the 80’s. While there, she was an advisor for People First and had the opportunity to travel in Europe with a group of self-advocates following the International People First Conference in London.
When she moved to Denver, she worked for a short time as relief staff for an apartment program, and as direct support staff in respite apartments. Then she began working at CLA in 1989 as a Program Manager. After a few years she became Assistant Director and, in 1995, she became the Executive Director. Barb has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from St. John’s University, New York. Barb has been with CLA since 1989.
You can call Barb at extension 218, or you can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Martinez, Residential Director
Charles worked for an independent living center for seven years as an independent living specialist, which consisted of training and teaching people of all disabilities how to live as independently as possible with family or in their own apartments.
Charles also did some work in the transition program for high school students. He was involved in the housing program at the center, which included locating housing and resources for the disabled homeless population.
He began working at CLA in 1997 as direct support and community connector. He then became a program manager and is now the Residential Director. As another asset to CLA, Charles is bilingual.
Gregg Wilson, Day Program Director
Gregg started working in this field because he truly wanted to help people. He began working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities at another agency in 2000, providing direct care for individuals living in apartments.
Gregg started with CLA in 2001 working with individuals to integrate them into the community and help them become more independent. In addition, he assisted individuals obtain jobs in the community. From 2001 to 2005, he was also an adviser for People First of Denver, a self-advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 2013, Gregg became the Day Program Director and was a main player in developing and implementing C.L.A.S.S. Gregg has a background in music education and plays in a blues band when he’s not at CLA.
Carmen Matthews, Program Manager
Carmen received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas in 2000. She started working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities shortly after. She started at CLA as an Employment Consultant and Community Partner and then became a Program Manager. Carmen has been with CLA since 2001.
Melanie Carroll, Program Manager
Melisa Ruiz, Program Manager
As a mother of two children with significant needs, Melisa Ruiz has pursued her passion for advocating and supporting both her own children and others with exceptionalities and those in supporting roles for over 16 years. Melisa has a Masters in Special Education from Grand Canyon University, a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University, and a Dual B.S. in Criminology and Sociology from Kansas State University. Melisa is also a Board Certified Advocate in Special Education from the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). Melisa has her Certification in Pyramid Plus and Conscious Discipline, and loves advocating for positive solutions for all. Melisa comes to us from Early Childhood Education programming, where she has been a Disabilities Coordinator for the past several years. Prior to that Melisa was a teacher to children ages birth through 12 years old in both Military Program and Early Head Start and Head Start Programming.
In her down time Melisa enjoys spending time at home with her family, which includes 5 cats and two dogs. Melisa, her husband and sons all enjoy spending time playing video games together, and watching lots of Marvel and Star Wars Movies. Prior to Covid Closures Melisa and her entire family also loved to travel and spend time seeing new places, exciting landmarks, and exploring the unique history of each individual State. Melisa also enjoys reading and cleaning her house to her favorite music.
Debi Kerr, Nurse Consultant
Debi started volunteering in a nursing home at the age of twelve and started getting paid when she was 15. Debi went to school while she worked in the nursing home and became an RN in 1985. She worked as evening charge nurse RN at the same nursing home until 1987.
She then worked at the Medical Center of Aurora as a charge nurse for a 38 bed medical/cardiac floor for ten years. She taught cardiac rehabilitation for post cardiac patients for 3 years and volunteered as respite camp nurse at Easter Seals for three summers. Debi has volunteered as a nurse for Boy Scouts, school outings, muscular dystrophy camp, and vision and hearing screening through Cherry Creek schools for nine years. She then started working at Heritage Club of Aurora when it first opened its doors and was a wellness coordinator supervisor with 96 elderly residents. Debi has also worked at a twelve bed Alzheimer’s unit. Debi then joined CLA in 2001.
Allison Kennedy, Nurse
Allison is a caring advocate for our service recipients. She has been an RN since 2008 and thoroughly enjoys monitoring the health of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. She is instrumental in all aspects of our medical program, assisting our nurse consultant with the specialized medical needs of our service recipients.
Allison takes great pride in her regular personal visits to individuals in our program to ensure their health and well-being and has become a compassionate advocate for their medical concerns.
Allison often volunteers with Special Olympics and has served as a mentor for many of the recreational activities of our service recipients.
She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in nursing through Frontier Nursing University with the goal of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Taylor Jones, Administrative Director
Taylor has been with CLA since September 2016. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Science at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where she majored in Sociology. Before moving to Colorado she worked in the nonprofit field as an Advocate and Executive Assistant for an agency that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She spends most of her time chasing around her two sons and enjoys working on projects and spending time with her family. Taylor has always had a heart for helping people and was thrilled to join the CLA team.
Betty Piperato, Controller
Betty has a Bachelor of Science Business degree with an emphasis in Accounting. She has been working in all aspects of the accounting field for almost 30 years. She has worked for various types of companies including non-profit and for-profit, but her heart has been set in the non-profit world! Betty started with CLA in 2009.
Linda Watkins, Employment Consultant
Linda Watkins received her BSBA and MS from Kansas State University. She has worked in the healthcare industry, educational institutions and various other non-profits. Her first introduction working with adults with developmental disabilities was while working for a nonprofit in New Zealand. She began work with CLA in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the employment goals of our clients. When she’s not working you will find her biking, hiking, skiing and golfing in Colorado’s big backyard.