A public media advocate for 40 years, John has founded community radio and television stations and brought wireless broadband services to cities throughout the United States. In 1980, John founded KBDI-TV in the Denver area, now known as CPT12. In 1983, he started what is now called Voqal — five non-profit organizations that obtained licenses in the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) band. Utilizing the organizations’ spectrum, commercial operator Clearwire, now a Sprint subsidiary, delivers 4G wireless broadband to most major U.S. cities. In exchange for the use of this spectrum, Clearwire provides the Voqal organizations with royalties, which they allocate to their operations and grant-making efforts. In 1995, John started Free Speech TV, a Denver-based progressive TV network which is seen on DISH Network, DirecTV, Roku and the web. John lives in Boulder, CO.
As Voqal’s education program director, Vinny is responsible for building the strategies, processes, systems and relationships that will build the Education Venture Fund’s investor community, deal flow and successful investments. Prior to joining Voqal, Vinny worked over 10 years for nonprofit and educational organizations. Most recently, he worked as the Merage Foundations’ Strategic Partnerships Director where he identified, cultivated and executed development and partnership opportunities for the foundations to maximize social impact in the areas of early childhood development. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY — and a product of NYC public schools — Vinny earned a bachelor’s in history at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s in education foundations, policy and practice at the University of Colorado-Boulder. An accomplished speaker and author, he has published numerous research reports, articles and book chapters. Vinny joined Voqal in 2016.
Cassie is the chief business development executive of Voqal’s Mobile Citizen initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide with affordable technology. Cassie has over 15 years of experience in nonprofit and start-up organizations. Most recently, Cassie served as the vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at Mobile Accord, a private sector company, where she implemented national and international business strategy in the text for social good industry. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder in integrated marketing communications and a Bachelor of Science from Appalachian State University in applied communications. Cassie currently resides in Longmont with her husband, daughter and wonder mutt. Cassie joined Voqal in 2014.
As the controller for the Voqal nonprofits, Hazel is the financial liaison for all programs that run through the Voqal nonprofit companies. Prior to joining Voqal, Hazel primarily worked in construction accounting, including working with companies that built DIA and Coors Field! Hazel has an associate’s degree in accounting and served as a national director of the National Association of Women in Construction. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and cheering for her beloved Broncos. Hazel joined Voqal in 2002.
Michele is program officer for Voqal and is responsible for strategy development, implementation, management and evaluation of the grantmaking program. Prior to joining Voqal, as operations manager for the Colorado Health Institute, she was responsible for building and overseeing the fiscal management and overall operations from the startup phase through their growth into an organization with a $2 million budget and over 20 employees. Michele graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in marketing and international business. When not working, Michele is the ringmaster of a three-ring circus that features her three sons. She loves live music and spending time outdoors with family and friends. Michele joined Voqal in 2012.
As the director of telecommunications strategy, Mark is responsible for guiding Voqal’s efforts to shape public policy at the federal, state and local level. Prior to joining Voqal, Mark served for nearly a decade as a policy advisor in the United States Congress where he was a leader on telecommunications, technology, spectrum and federal IT issues. In addition, Mark served as a senior business analyst at DISH Network. Mark is currently pursuing his Master of Engineering in telecommunications from the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. Mark joined Voqal in 2018.
Molly is the anchor institutions program manager for Voqal’s Mobile Citizen initiative. Molly has worked in educational advocacy and outreach for her entire career. She has worked with underserved students in Austin and Central America, consulted for edtech startups in Boston and addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She is a proud Texan but is happy to call Colorado her new home. She holds her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin and loves traveling, live music and finding the perfect taco. Molly joined Voqal in 2016.
As Voqal’s CFO, Barbara is responsible for the financial stewardship of Voqal. Barbara has nearly 20 years of senior level experience at a mix of corporate, educational and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Barbara served as the chief financial officer for Susan G. Komen Colorado, an organization dedicated to research, prevention and finding a cure for breast cancer. Barbara holds an MBA in finance and a bachelor’s degree in international business, both from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Barbara is an outdoor enthusiast, loves to travel and expresses her creative side with pottery, glasswork and fabric arts. Barbara joined Voqal in 2017.
John joined Voqal’s Mobile Citizen initiative in 2011. He is primarily responsible for developing Mobile Citizen’s nonprofit partners efforts. John joined Voqal from the private sector and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco. In his spare time he reads and suffers many tennis defeats.
Adam is responsible for budgeting and policy development and oversees the Mobile Citizen initiative. Prior to joining Voqal, Adam was the volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics Texas and also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer in Manor, TX implementing literacy programs. Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Sewanee. When not playing with his family, Adam is riding his bike. Adam joined Voqal in 2001.
Kristen is responsible for setting and guiding the strategy for all Voqal communications. Prior to joining Voqal, Kristen developed and implemented marketing and communication strategies for various organizations from the traditional world of banking to the emerging world of digital products. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Butler University and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Colorado. Kristen joined Voqal in 2013.
As Mobile Citizen’s Vice President of Finance, Lisa is responsible for financial management of the Mobile Citizen initiative. Prior to joining Mobile Citizen, Lisa was the controller for a manufacturing firm and a process engineering firm. She started her public accounting career with Grant Thornton immediately upon graduating with a master’s and bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida. Lisa is a registered CPA. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring her new home state of Colorado with her husband, maintaining her foodie status, taking in the arts and traveling. Lisa joined Voqal in 2016.
As chief human resources officer, Julie is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of all phases of Human Resources programs, policies and procedures, including but not limited to compensation, benefits, recruiting and placement, staff development and training. Prior to joining Voqal, Julie worked most recently at Clinica Family Health Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Julie loves the outdoors, hiking, traveling, camping and yoga. Julie joined Voqal in 2014.
As director of accounting and office administration, Becky is responsible for running Voqal’s business office. Prior to joining Voqal, Becky honed her skills in various accounting and business manager positions at Celestial Seasonings, American Educational Company and Gunpark Management. Becky received an associate’s degree in accounting from Front Range Community College and has over 30 years of accounting experience. When not working, she enjoys volunteering, reading and spending time with her family. Becky joined Voqal in 2009.
Brenda is the director of grantmaking for Voqal and is responsible for the strategy, implementation and evaluation of Voqal’s grantmaking and fellowship programs. Prior to joining Voqal, Brenda worked with a global network of 1,700 Kellogg Fellows to promote social, economic and environmental justice. As a program officer at the Colorado Health Foundation, she envisioned, developed and managed several multi-million-dollar funding opportunities, including one to advance equity through advocacy and community organizing. Brenda is originally from Chicago and has degrees from Dartmouth College and Yale University. In her free time, she loves reading, writing and taking random classes. Brenda joined Voqal in 2018.
Harvests, Inc. is a Denver-based consultant group assisting nonprofit organizations with economic strategies to strengthen and extend their reach. Harvests began its affiliation with Voqal in 2004. Originally engaged to develop marketing and recruitment methods forming strategic partnerships with fellow EBS operators, its role quickly expanded to include EBS spectrum acquisition and market intelligence tasks. To date, Harvests has successfully generated in excess of $26 million in contractual revenues for the EBS Companies and their affiliates.
Hollis A. Hope serves as senior philanthropy advisor and is responsible for strategy, program development and impact assessment for Voqal. She leads the consultancy Hope Strategies, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado, providing expert counsel, strategy development and project management for social sector clients.