On March 15, The Kempe Foundation will honor two individuals at our signature Imagine 2018 Luncheon – Reggie Bicha and Linda Alvarado. Both of this year’s honorees are commended for their dedication to children through professional and personal accomplishments and commitments. We are grateful to have both of these individuals as long-time supporters of Kempe and leaders in our community.
2018 Kempe Professional Award Honoree Reggie Bicha serves as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. Since his appointment to this role in 2011, Mr. Bicha has engaged in bold initiatives to redesign and refocus the delivery of human services. Under his leadership, CDHS has attracted national attention for its innovation and leadership. In addition, Mr. Bicha has led major advances in the delivery of child welfare services, established a statewide mental health crisis response system, retooled juvenile justice using trauma-informed approaches and employed a 2Gen approach to fight poverty. Mr. Bicha is being recognized for his unparalleled commitment to human services and to the health and well-being of our local community.
2018 Kempe Imhoff Family Community Award Honoree Linda Alvarado is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Alvarado Construction, Inc. In addition to her many professional accomplishments in the commercial construction industry, Ms. Alvarado is actively involved in supporting a number of charitable organizations, many of which are dedicated to the well-being and advancement of children and families. She is also dedicated to opening doors and increasing opportunities for women and people of all ethnic backgrounds to enter new careers. She is a passionate supporter of the work of Kempe and well deserving of this honor.
Congratulations to this year’s honorees – we thank you for your passion and dedication to Kempe’s mission to keep all children safe and healthy by supporting experts in the field, advocating for children and engaging with communities. And we look forward to celebrating you on March 15!
Register today for Imagine 2018 and help us celebrate these incredible individuals!
The Kempe Foundation is gearing up for an important 2018 legislative session. Throughout the summer, the Foundation has been networking with legislators and other stakeholders, laying the groundwork for policy priorities that will continue to improve the quality of life for Colorado children and families. As we head into the 2018 session, the Kempe Foundation has three primary legislative priorities:
- Strengthening our Foster Care System. The Kempe Foundation has worked with stakeholders and other partners to identify areas where better support is needed for foster care kids, parents, and families. The Child Welfare Training System continues to add modules so foster care families have the right tools and training to best serve the children in their home. We continue to be involved and generally supportive of efforts underway by the Department of Human Services as well as county department of human services to create an environment so children and families thrive in the foster care system.
- Access to Mental Health Services for Kids. Kempe was involved in the initial passage of the Colorado Child Mental Health Treatment Act to ensure families can access community, residential, and transitional treatment services without entering the child welfare system. This year the Act is up for reauthorization and Kempe is at the table in discussions as to the Act should look like moving forward. The Governor has requested additional money to fund the program in the next fiscal year so it can serve additional children.
- Budget Support for Prevention, Intervention, and Wrap Around Services. The Kempe Center is home to many amazing and impactful programs including Fostering Healthy Futures, the Child Welfare Training System and SafeCare Colorado which the Center operates in partnership with the Department of Human Services. Each year the Kempe Foundation plays an integral role ensuring continued funding for both SafeCare and the Child Welfare Training System. The Kempe Foundation also works closely with the Department to educate legislators on the importance of both programs and how the improve the quality of life for caseworkers and families alike. Kempe also supports and will support efforts to increase funding for the Tony Grampsas Youth Services grants of which Fostering Health Futures is a recipient.
As we welcome 2018, we are also excited to welcome Denise Jendrusch as our Development Director.
“We are delighted to have Denise on our team,” said John Faught, Kempe’s President and CEO. “We are confident that her wealth of experience and longevity in the Denver community will bring continued success to our organization.”
As Development Director, Denise will be responsible for developing and executing Kempe’s annual fundraising plan. She will also secure sponsors for Kempe’s major events, and cultivate relationships with donors who wish to support the Foundation’s mission. Denise will also focus on building the Kempe Ambassadors program, a group of professionals who work in concert with the Kempe Foundation to provide awareness, education, advocacy and fundraising support.
“I am eager to use my experience and expertise in new ways to make a difference in the community I live in,” said Denise. “I have worked with many nonprofits throughout my career and I have a strong passion for helping Kempe succeed.”
Prior to joining Kempe, Denise was the Advertising Director for the Denver Business Journal for more than 20 years. There, she was responsible for developing new revenue through event sponsorships and both print and digital advertising. She also managed business development and cultivated strong relationships with local business and nonprofit leaders.
You can reach Denise by email at Jendrusch.Denise@Kempe.org or by phone at 303-864-5308.