GCAHL is comprised of motivated leaders appointed by the Governor of Colorado who are passionate about enhancing the health of all Coloradans.
Their geographical reach is wide and their expertise is a valuable resource as we strive to build a healthier Colorado.
Get to know them below!
Tawny Espinoza, President, Appointee
Tawny Espinoza is the Vice President of Business Development at Community Hospital in Grand Junction, CO. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Performance and Wellness, with concentrations in both Exercise Science and Corporate Fitness, and a master’s degree in Business Administration. Tawny is currently the Past-President of the Colorado Mesa University Alumni Board, a Strive Board Member, and was appointed to the Governor’s Council for Healthy and Active Lifestyles in 2016.
Tawny is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach through Wellcoaches, as well as a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor. She has taught Pilates at Crossroads Fitness Center since 2007, and is their Pilates Coordinator/Trainer. She enjoys stand-up paddleboarding, rafting, triathlons, hiking, cooking and doing anything active with her family!
Tiffany Coolidge, Vice President, Appointee
As a certified personal trainer and owner of Blunt Force Training, Tiffany Coolidge is a strong proponent for strengthening lives and building better communities. At her gym, she leads a team of 12 trainers and over 400 active clients. She is instrumental in developing nutritional programs coupled with functional strength improvements to help clients reach targeted weight and fitness goals.
All that sweat equity doesn’t just happen inside the gym though. She loves flexing her fund-raising muscle whenever she’s needed. Her tireless spirit and powerful attitude has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars by partnering with clients and local charities. Tiffany also helped develop a strength and conditioning program for East High School’s woman’s lacrosse team.
In 2013, 5280 Magazine awarded Tiffany with its Editor’s Choice for Denver’s Best Personal Trainer.
Tiffany worked in Governor Bill Owens’ communication office, then managed and consulted on over 2 dozen political campaigns. She is an active member of USA Boxing and served as Member of the Board for the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Christine Fallabel, Treasurer, Appointee
Christine Fallabel, MPH, is the Regional Director of State Government Affairs and Advocacy for the American Diabetes Association, leading all legislative and regulatory priorities for Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Kansas. Her work helps protect people living with diabetes from facing discrimination in school and the workplace, helps push policies for adequate and affordable health care, and focuses on social determinants of health to address systemic, environmental, and population-based health disparities. Christine is also a freelance writer for Diabetes Daily.
She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of Delaware, and her master’s of public health degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. In her spare time, she likes to trail run, do yoga, and cook vegan food with her husband. She has been living with type 1 diabetes for the past 18 years, and was appointed to the Governor’s Council in 2016.
Adrian Gomez, Secretary, Appointee
As a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Physical Therapy Connections, P.C., Adrian promotes the importance of Active and Healthy Lifestyles. Adrian performs preventative screens, fitness tests, and develops movement based corrective strategies for dysfunction or weakness. Adrian conducts employee screenings, and manages the worksite wellness program for Physical Therapy Connections’ small team of 8 employees and advises on topics for improved productivity that he believes are mostly nutrition and movement based. Adrian also screens and runs week long educational camps for firefighters, parole officers and athletic teams as community service. Adrian serves as President for POWA, a youth wrestling club that promotes the growth and development of lifelong athletes of any level. Adrian helps with fundraising for POWA to award scholarships to student athletes who meet special criteria.
Adrian graduated from Colorado State University – Pueblo in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion (emphasis in wellness promotion). He has certifications for movement based screenings, natural movement training, and corrective exercise.
Yoli Casas, Appointee
Yoli G. Casas is the founder and CEO of ViVe Wellness, a non-profit organization that addresses the health equity and wellness needs of many of Denver’s low-income Latino youth, many of whom face significant health disparities and a lack of access to physical activity. Yoli and her team reach over 500 underserved children and families every year. ViVe teaches critical skills like swimming , but also shows kids and their parents the value of play and the benefits of healthy living through wellness programming and exercise classes.
In 2017 She was honored through the Latina First Foundation as the first Latina Coach in the sport of Triathlon in the USA, as well as the first Latina scientist to study and publish research papers on Aerobic Capacity, Body Composition and Strength Changes of Aging in Hispanic women. She recently joined Denver Public Health to educate and advocate on the Voices for Healthy kids Campaign, making each day healthy for all children.
Yoli has a master’s degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with an emphasis on cardiovascular health from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Yoli’s 34 year career has improved over 7,000 athletes’ quality of life. Yoli transforms people’s lives though sports and wellness. She is thrilled to be appointed to the Colorado Governor's Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles and to continue with her life passion of inspiring everyone to live, play and engage in an active lifestyle. Yoli’s vision is for “a world where everyone can play – especially our children”
Colleen Grandis, Appointee
Colleen Grandis is the Wellness Strategy Manager for DaVita, where she is responsible for the overall design, development, and implementation of DaVita’s teammate workplace wellbeing programs and initiatives. Prior to her employment at DaVita, Colleen was leading the wellness strategy for Denver Public Schools. In addition to serving as an appointed member of the Colorado Governor's Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles, she sits on the American Heart Association’s Corporate Health Committee and the National Business Group on Health; Institute on Innovation in Workforce Well-being.
She completed her B.S. in Human Nutrition and Food Science, at the University of Kentucky, and Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is personally dedicated to the mission of inspiring and providing the opportunity for others to make healthy lifestyle and environmental changes through education and community collaboration. Outside of work you can find Colleen traveling, playing volleyball, skiing, or cooking up a new recipe.
Saara Happanen, Appointee
Saara is the owner of Performance is Haapanen, a Denver based personal training company that specializes in healthy lifestyle changes. Saara has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology. She specializes in motivational research and how to create a climate that leads to success. Saara strives to change lives through fitness and education, pushing everyone to be their best selves.
She is a NASM certified personal trainer and a former elite springboard diver. In college, Saara won multiple Mountain West Conference medals, including gold, for the Wyoming cowgirls and continued on to represent Finland at the 2008 World Cup, where she finished 30th in the World and first overall alternate for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
She joined the council in 2015 to lend her talents, experience and passion for healthy living to the people of Colorado. In her free time she enjoys drinking home brews and other craft beers with her husband, playing with her boxers, and exploring all that beautiful Colorado has to offer.
Tim Houston, Appointee
As an Enrollment Specialist with Paladina Health, Tim works closely with patients and corporate clients to increase enrollment in Paladina Health’s direct primary care model of healthcare. Through strategy, innovation, and outreach to members, Tim is able to accomplish the goal of providing an innovative model of healthcare to patients. This goal closely aligns with Tim’s overarching professional goal of improving the well-being of others. Tim also serves as a leader on Paladina Health’s wellness committee, establishing different wellness initiatives for his teammates.
Prior to Paladina Health, Tim held faculty and advising positions in higher education at the University of Colorado - Boulder, University of Southern Maine, and University of Notre Dame. At these universities, he taught a number of health education and exercise science courses, while also serving as a strength and conditioning coach. Tim enjoys skiing, soccer, hiking, and trail running.
Laurie Kelly, Appointee
Laurie Kelly, CPT, CES is the owner of Dragonfly Fitness and Multisport. She believes most adults know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for optimum wellbeing - but they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, often stressful lives. Her mission is to help others make lasting positive changes that will lead to a lifetime of health.
Laurie spent 35 years in the fields of public accounting, auditing, risk management, and banking. Most recently, from 2007 to 2018 she served as the Director of Compliance for CoBank ACB, a $130 billion Farm Credit System institution, where she built and managed the bank’s anti-money laundering, fraud, and economic sanctions compliance programs. In May 2018, Laurie retired from her lengthy corporate career to feed her entrepreneurial spirit and pursue her passion for fitness and wellness.
Throughout her corporate career, Laurie developed a love for road cycling, then triathlon. Having completed over 40 triathlons during the past 15 years, she understands the challenges of balancing fitness and wellness with a busy, stressful work life.
Laurie is a NASM-certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, a Road Runners Clubs of America Certified Adult Running Coach, an ITCA Certified Triathlon Coach, and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach. She volunteers as a Triathlon Coach for Team In Training, a program where participants train to complete an endurance event while fundraising to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s fight against blood cancers.
Andrea Nederveld, Appointee
Andrea Nederveld is a primary care physician who lives in Grand Junction, CO. She works for the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and MarillacHealth in Grand Junction. She is a clinician researcher developing ways for people of lower income or with lower social capital to live healthy lives through equity in nutrition, physical activity and mental health. When not working, she enjoys time with her family and dog and being outside in our great state!
Tayler Overschmidt, Appointee
In addition to the honor of the Governor's appointment to the Council, Tayler Overschmidt is an appointee of Denver Auditor Timothy M. O'Brien and she is his Director of Communications. She works with subject matter experts, government officials and her communications team to share important information about auditing and how the city is run in a digestible and understandable format for the public.
She spent seven years working as a television news producer in markets in Colorado, North Carolina and Missouri. She worked at 9News in Denver before leaving to work for the City of Denver. During her time at 9News and other stations she worked on projects and stories championing active and healthy lifestyles. She worked on events such as the 9News sponsored Race for the Cure in Denver, and the WFMY News 2 sponsored Women's Only 5K and Race for the Greenway in Greensboro.
In her free time, she volunteers to coach an after school program at a local elementary school through Girls on the Run of the Rockies. She also enjoys running half marathons and spending time in the gym. Tayler graduated with honors from the University of Missouri with a major in Broadcast Journalism.
Shawna Romero, Appointee
Shawna Romero is an innovative, seasoned health/physical activity leader possessing comprehensive knowledge, supporting education initiatives in Colorado schools/communities. She possesses 13 years of program management and leadership, obesity-prevention initiatives and non-profit management. As the Denver BOKS Coordinator, she conducted outreach and created awareness in public and private schools and organizations throughout Colorado. In addition to serving as an appointed member of the Colorado Governor's Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles, she served as an Arapahoe Community College Exercise Science Adjunct/Representative; attending four college conferences connecting with over 200+ potential students.
She completed a B.S. in Organizational Leadership at Colorado State University and is a certified Exercise Physiologist through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Currently, she is a student at University of Northern Colorado pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching Physical Education and Physical Activity Leadership.
She is dedicated to supporting Colorado schools and communities find opportunities to increase physical activity and develop a healthy lifestyle. Away from business, she enjoys eating and buying locally grown food, biking, traveling and spending quality time with friends and family.
Amit Shah, Appointee
Amit is currently Head of Operations for Virta Health. Virta is the first clinically proven treatment to reverse type 2 diabetes other chronic metabolic diseases safely and sustainably without the use of medication or surgery. Amit works with the team to deliver personalized, evidence-based care to patients across the US. He has been a team member at Virta Health since 2016.
Prior to joining Virta Health, Amit was an early team member at Paladina Health, a direct primary care subsidiary of DaVita. Before that, Amit was a founding member of DURON Energy, a start-up focused on providing reliable, affordable energy to people living at the bottom of the pyramid. Amit has also worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Amit received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his BS and MS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Amit likes to fly airplanes, bike and be outside with his wife and dog.
Amanda Wagner, Appointee
Amanda is Colorado Mountain Girl through and through. Born and raised in Glenwood Springs, current resident of Carbondale and a graduate from the University of Colorado with degrees in Psychology and Communication.
She learned quickly out of collage that she can't do what she loves if she did not spend time consistently focusing on her personal health and wellness. So after 10 years in the hospitably industry, she quit her job, got her Personal Training and Health Coaching Certifications and help start TAC Fitness & Wellness Center in Basalt. That was 8 years ago. Amanda is committed to inspiring, cultivating and celebrating health and vitality throughout Colorado. Her aim is to assist individuals and organizations in total health and encourage awareness of health-related issues to empower individuals to lead a healthier and fuller life. Amanda is also an Ambassador with Health Links, Chairman of the Board of the Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of My Community Health Foundation.
Her life motto is: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER."
Dana Wood, Appointee
Dana Wood is currently the Coordinator for the Garfield Healthy Communities Coalition at Garfield County Public Health in Rifle, CO. She manages $2M in grant funds focused on implementing projects and policies around healthy eating, active living and health equity. Dana currently serves as a board member for the Rifle Farmers Market and has served on the Governor’s Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles since 2016. In addition, she is a past Planning and Zoning Commissioner and City Councilor for the City of Rifle. Dana has her BBA in Advertising from Western Michigan University and her MBA in Nonprofit Marketing from Walden University. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, hiking with her dog, biking, reading, swimming and travelling.
Jamie Hackbarth, Health and Wellness Strategist, Governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Jamie Hackbarth is the Health and Wellness Strategist for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). She is executing a statewide initiative to cultivate a culture of health and wellness in businesses and communities statewide while simultaneously enhancing local economic vitality. She sees the power businesses can play in enhancing the quality of lives of their employees and citizens in their communities. Jamie is an Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Certified Consultant and lead trainer for SBDC Health and Wellness Champions statewide. Jamie has partnered with the Governor's Council of Active and Healthy Lifestyles to align the Councils' strategies with the State's health and wellness agenda to strengthen Colorado's value proposition.
Prior to joining OEDIT, Jamie served as a Peace Corps volunteer for 2+ years in rural Peru focused on community development projects. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Miami University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. In her free-time, you can find Jamie playing in the mountains, doing yoga, diving into a new book and spending time with her loved ones.
Cortney Cuff, Events and Community Relations Manager Center for Work Health and Environment, Health Links
Cortney is the Events and Community Relations Manager for the Center for Health, Work & Environment and Health Links. She assists the center’s faculty and staff with various events, community outreach activities, and the membership program. Prior to joining the Colorado School of Public Health, Cortney worked in the legal industry. She has experience in business development, event planning, and marketing. Cortney received her Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Change Management from the University of Colorado Denver in 2016.
Dan McKenna, Liaison Officer to Governor's Office Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
As the Wellness, Safety and Student Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dan manages a comprehensive employee wellness and safety program for approximately 1400 state employees, advises on public health interventions, and provides consultation on best practices with state government and the public. At the request of the Governor and Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dan serves as the Liaison Officer for the Governor’s Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles which awards the Governor’s Award for School Health and Wellness and the Governor’s Award for Worksite Wellness.
Dan graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Denver with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2003 and is trained in individual and family counseling. He is bilingual in Spanish and English. He has specialty training in biofeedback and more than 20 years of experience working in the areas of wellness, stress management, rehabilitation, and pain management.
Josh Lee, Past President
Josh is currently scientific director for a healthtech startup based in Boulder. He has a B.S. in nutrition from Texas State University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in physiology from The University of Texas at Austin. As a graduate student, Josh’s research focused on the effects of heat stress on cardiovascular/cerebrovascular function and mechanisms of blood flow regulation at rest and during exercise in both healthy and diseased populations. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Utah School of Medicine where his research centered on elucidating mechanisms of cardiovascular dysfunction in various chronic disease states.
Josh is passionate about promoting healthy, active lifestyles and plant-based diets as means of improving population health and reducing the economic costs associated with preventable disease. Josh is also an avid cyclist and triathlete; he is a sub-9hr Leadville 100 MTB finisher, 12-time Ironman finisher (including 4 finishes at the World Championships in Hawaii) and 3-time competitor at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. He also enjoys reading, learning, and spending time with his family and friends.
Joshua Scott, Past President
Josh wears many professional hats, he is an instructor in the Colorado School of Public Health for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health; Associate Director of Continuing Education for the Center for Health, Work and Environment; and the Director of Stakeholder Relations and Curriculum for Health Links Colorado. He currently teaches an interdisciplinary symposium course for occupational and environmental health trainees. His research interests include Total Worker Health interventions, wildland fire fighter exposures, and risk assessment.
Prior to coming to Colorado, Josh was a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame teaching health education, nutrition, stress management and exercise physiology. While teaching, Josh spent his summers directing a youth adventure camp across the Colorado Front Range called Avid 4 Adventure. He is a former college athlete, avid outdoorsman and passionate advocate for healthy workplaces.