Class Notes: Winter 2022


Sandra Dallas (BA ’60) was inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame. Sandra began her writing career as a reporter for Business Week and later became its first bureau chief. While a reporter, she began writing books and has published 16 novels and four young adult books.


Peter McNab

Peter McNab (attd. ’70–’73) has been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Peter played three seasons with the Pioneers before enjoying a 14-year NHL career. He has been a Colorado Avalanche analyst for 26 years and currently calls games on Altitude TV.


Joel Cooper (BA ’76) was profiled in Phi Beta Kappa’s “The Key Reporter.” The story reflects on his personal and professional achievements. Joel is a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa.


Brian McMillan (BS ’82) has been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2022 edition. Brian was selected by his peers at Brooks Pierce law firm for his work in eminent domain and condemnation law. 


Ken Wagers (MT ’85) has joined the College of Idaho Board of Trustees. Ken is vice president of client information services at Kelmar Associates. 


Andrea Gelfuso (BA ’85, JD ’90) has published a book of funny stories about living in Italy, “My Modena: A Year of Fear, Laughter and Exhilaration.” Andrea serves on the Jefferson County Cultural Commission and on the Lakewood Advisory Commission.


Jonathan Ward

Jonathan Ward
(MS ’91) co-authored the memoirs of pioneering astronaut Eileen Collins in “Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission.” Jonathan’s previous book, “Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew,” is being made into a feature film by MakeSay Films and the Gotham Group.


Thomas Blomster (MA ’92), music director with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, was granted the Order of the Polar Star by the president of Mongolia for his composition “Postcards to Mongolia.” He is the first Western composer to conduct and compose for the Mongolian State Morin Khuur Ensemble. The award is the highest civilian award Mongolia can present to a foreign citizen.

Nikki Sparks Maloney (BA ’92) received a Pandemic Heroes Award from the Colorado Lawyers Committee for her contributions to underserved Coloradans as a member of the Colorado COVID Legal Relief Team. 


Ryan Martin (JD ’97, LLM ’98) has been hired as the assistant general manager of the New York Rangers and general manager of the Hartford Wolf Pack. Ryan previously spent 16 years with the Detroit Red Wings, including 11 years as an assistant general manager. 


Idelle Fisher (BFA ’99) has partnered with People and Pollinators, a Colorado nonprofit, to redesign a new website for the organization. Idelle is the owner of Pickle-Wix Web Design in Denver.


Kyle Schlachter

Kyle Schlachter (BS ‘03) was elected mayor of Littleton, Colorado, and was sworn in on Nov. 16 to a four-year term. Kyle has been involved in Littleton government since 2017. 


David Wright (PsyD ’04) has joined meQuilibrium as senior vice president of health care sales. David previously served as director of behavioral health and EAP sales and account management for Anthem.


William (Billy) Doherty (BSBA ’06) has been promoted to president of Doherty Staffing Solutions. Billy has 15 years of experience in workforce solutions and employment services.

J.R. Berninzoni (MAS ’06) has been named vice president of sales for Williams & Fudge in Rock Hill, South Carolina. J.R. joined the company in 2007 as a sales representative after nine years with IBM.


Laura Jepsen (BSBA ’07) is director of donor engagement at Colorado Public Radio. Her early career was in commercial real estate finance. She later
transitioned to helping families through philanthropy. Laura lives in Denver with her husband, John Jepsen (BSBA ’08).


Yahaira Rose

Yahaira Rose (MPS ’08)
was featured in The Columbus Dispatch as an Everyday Hero for her work mentoring girls and women in central Ohio’s immigrant and Latinx community through her organization, Proyecto Mariposas, or Project Butterflies.

John Jepsen (BSBA ’08) has joined Validic as chief financial officer. Previously, John led finance and accounting at CirrusMD and spent several years in the health care technology sector in corporate strategy and investment banking roles. He lives in Denver with his wife, Laura Jepsen (BSBA ’07). 


Melissa Muscato (BA ’11) was married Sept. 10, 2021, in Larkspur, Colorado. The officiant was Katie Gaetner and matron of honor was Elizabeth Stauffer, good friends and fellow grads whom Melissa met at DU. 


Dennis Michel (MBA ’12) was appointed to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. board of directors. Dennis has more than 17 years of experience in finance and information services. 

Travis Jürgens

Travis Jürgens (CERT ’12) was featured in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune during the 60th anniversary celebration of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra of which he’s the music director and conductor. 


Luann Atkin Koester (CRTG ’14) has published her first children’s picture book, “Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone,” inspired by a trip to Ireland where she also kissed the Blarney Stone. The book combines Luann’s love of travel, language and humor.

Ross Treleven (MBA ’14) was named to the South Sound Business 40 Under 40 List recognizing some of the best, brightest and most ambitious professionals in the southern Puget Sound region of Washington state. Ross is president of Sprague Pest Solutions.


Steven Visioli (JD ’16) has been elected partner of Broxterman Alicks McFarlane PC. Steven previously was a senior associate at the Denver family law firm.

Trip Renard (BSBA ’19) joined Mountaingate Capital as an associate in the Denver office. Previously, Trip was an investment banking analyst at Piper Sandler.


Jeremy Walls (BA ’18) has joined the business law team at Moss & Barnett, where he will work with clients on a broad range of business and financial transactions. 


Chaz Davis (MSW ’19) was honored by the City of Boston with a dedicated “Chaz Davis Day” on Oct. 6, 2021. Chaz is recognized for his achievements in track and field and his dedication to people experiencing loss of vision and blindness. Chaz, who experienced vision loss as a college freshman, competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and later the Boston Marathon. He works for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired charity group, “Team with a Vision.”

Joaquin Gallegos

Joaquin Gallegos (JD ’19) was appointed to serve the Biden-Harris administration as special assistant to the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs within the Department of Interior. Joaquin will help to strengthen government-to-government and nation-to-nation relationships with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. He also will advocate for the tribes.


Marie Negaard (BFA ’21) curated and participated in an art show in October at a new downtown Colorado Springs art venue. Marie decided to pursue art as a profession while a sophomore at DU.


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