The Colorado Court Improvement Program is led by staff housed at the Colorado State Court Administrators Office and advised by a multidisciplinary task force. The Executive Members vote on budgetary items. 

This task force includes certain members as required by the Federal Children's Bureau as well as other stakeholders in Colorado's dependency and neglect system. 

CIP also collaborates with multidisciplinary work groups in order to implement the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan and provides guidance and assistance to Best Practice Court Teams. 

CIP Task Force Members


CIP Chair and Co-Chair__________________________________________

  1. Judge David Furman

Court of Appeals Judge

  1. Judge Gail Meinster

Presiding Juvenile Judge/ Jefferson County

CIP Taskforce Members_____________________________      ____

Justice Maria Berkenkotter

Supreme Court Justice/ SC Liaison

Executive member

Paul Barnett 

Director, Child, Youth, and Family Behavioral Health- Behavioral Health Administration

Executive member

Chris Henderson

Executive Director of Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR)

Executive member

Korey Elger

Ongoing Manager, Division of Child Welfare at CDHS’ Office of Children, Youth and Families

Executive member

Shana Kloek

Clerk of Court/ Arapahoe County

Executive member

Jennifer Mendoza

Judicial Educator at SCAO

Executive member

Melissa Thompson

Executive Director of Office of Respondent Parent’s Counsel (ORPC)

Executive member

Judge Amanda Hopkins

Rural Judicial Officer Representative

Executive member

Judge Brett Woods

Chief Judge/ / Denver County

Executive member

Judge Linda Billings-Vela 

Judicial Officer Representative

Executive member

Jennifer Stewart

County Attorney/ Larimer County

Executive member

Brenidy Rice

Director of Court Services at SCAO

Executive member

Ashlee Arcilla     

Deputy Director of Office of Respondent Parent’s Counsel (ORPC)


Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center

Cara Nord                                   

Youth Empowerment Attorney (YEA!) at Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR)

Colene Robinson                        

Professor, University of Colorado

Gretchen Russo                           

Judicial and Legislative Administrator, OCYF

Jenny Bender                               

Director of Colorado CASA

Kallen Thornton 

Office of Behavioral Health- Manager of Gender Responsive Services

Jennifer Mullenbach                   

Deputy County Attorney/ Jefferson County

Dr. Kathi Wells

Kempe Center, Child Abuse Pediatrics

Kippi Clausen                               

CEO, Unfolding Directions

Claire Collins     

Practicing GAL

Lucile Echohawk                          

Senior Advisor at Denver Indian Family Resource Center

Ret. Robert Lowenbach                

Retired Judge

Judge Pax Moultrie            

Judicial Officer Representative

Simone Jones                                

Deputy Court Executive/ Adams County

Dorinda Robinson-Thompson

Problems Solving Courts/ Restorative Justice, SCAO

Judge Don Toussaint  Judicial Officer Representative
Judge Stevie Gagliano  Judicial Officer Representative   

CIP Staff_________________________________________________________________________________       

  1. Joel Borgman 


Family Law Program Manager

  1. Megan Kearsley


Court Improvement Program (CIP) Coordinator

  1. Jess Sucherman


CIP Legal Specialist