Board of Trustees
STRIVE Prep’s Board of Trustees brings a deep passion and diversity of perspectives to accelerate our impact in classrooms, campuses and communities across Denver.
MEET OUR BOARD
Helem Aranguti, Southwest Parent Council Representative
Helem is a parent of STRIVE Prep students at STRIVE Prep – Federal, STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill, and STRIVE Prep – SMART. She attends over ten school events a year and volunteers regularly with both schools. She is an advocate for her children, schools, and STRIVE Prep in the STRIVE Together program. She is employed by the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Reed Dixon, Rye Ridge Resources
Reed has owned and managed his own business in the oil and natural gas industry since 2015. Previously, he had differing financial and business development roles in the manufacturing, tech, and energy sectors. He graduated from the University of Denver with a finance degree and business ethics/legal studies minor. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Denver with his wife and two daughters.
Ulysses Estrada, IBM
Ulysses is a consultant for IBM in Washington DC. Prior, Ulysses was an Associate at the Middlesex Coalition for Children, where he created data reports used to drive policy at the local and statewide level. In previous years, Ulysses served a three-year term on the Denver Mayor’s Youth Commission and was a Denver Youth Representative at the National League of Cities Conference. Ulysses graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and Government, and is also a member of STRIVE Prep’s founding class.
Dietz Fry, Endeavour Capital
Dietz is a Principal at Endeavour Capital, a firm that he joined in 2004 and opened a Denver office for in 2009. Previously, Dietz worked at Green Manning and Bunch, attended the United State Air Force Academy and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Biochemistry. He lives in Denver with his wife and sons.
Abi Fayedi, Principal at MBHE Holdings
Abi is a Principal at a private investment firm in Denver. He has 15+ years of investment banking and private investing experience and has advised numerous companies on M&A, capital formation, and general corporate development. He holds an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University and an Executive MBA from the University of Denver. He grew up in Colorado and lives in Denver with his wife and four children.
Leticia Gonzalez, Far Northeast Parent Representative
Leticia Gonzalez-Ibarra is an immigrant born in Mexico who moved to Colorado as a teenager. She is the proud parent of a STRIVE Prep – RISE tenth grader. Leticia is a graduate of Regis University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Healthcare Administration. She was recently an appointee for Mayor Hancock’s administration; she is now the Director of Administration at the CEO’s office at Denver Health & Hospital Authority. Leticia is involved in her community and attends regular neighborhood meetings, community gatherings, social justice rallies and parades that emphasize civic responsibility. Leticia is married (Alberto) and has three children Adriana (16), Ephraim and Antonio (both 23).
Peter C. Groff, MCG2 Consulting, LLC
Peter C. Groff is the Principal and Chief Strategist at MCG2 Consulting, LLC and is a noted public policy innovator, national policy and political analyst, and leadership lecturer. Groff has held senior level positions at all three levels of government and has more than 25 years of public service impacting education, criminal justice, and health care. He is currently serving as a policy and political consultant to numerous individuals and entities across the country. Before starting his consulting firm, Groff served as the first ever Visiting Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. During both of President Obama’s terms, Mr. Groff served as Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education. President Obama also appointed Groff to the White House Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars. Groff served as the 47th President of the Colorado State Senate, where he was the first African American in Colorado to ascend to the post and only the third African American in the nation’s history to hold the gavel as State Senate President.
Chris Henderson, DHI Group
Currently serving as a Senior Advisor to the Colorado Impact Fund, Chris has a background that includes leadership roles as financial professional and a public and private sector leader. Specifically, he spent the first half of his career investing in growing businesses at Vestar Capital Partners, where he was a managing director. Since leaving Vestar in 2005, Chris has held a series of strategic and operational leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer of the City of Denver under Mayor John Hickenlooper, Senior Advisor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Chief Operating Officer of ASI Government, a professional services firm, and, most recently, Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Administrative Company, a non-profit that manages the $10 billion universal service program on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission. Chris holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. He lives in Denver with his wife and two daughters.
Abenicio Rael, Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion at Front Range Community College
Operating as the Chief Diversity Officer, Abenicio provides leadership for professional development and initiatives that create an equitable environment for the college and community. In this role, Abenicio also leads the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council and the Strategic Planning team in shaping equity components of the overall strategic plan. Abenicio has experience in leading programs that provide academic services, educational equity and planning, and college access to historically underserved populations. His expertise lies in strategic planning, academic program development, and fostering community relationships has earned him an appointment by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver Latino Commission. Abenicio’s personal and professional passion lies in Diversity, Equity, and Community and serves as an advocate for communities of color. Abenicio is a Doctoral Student at the University of Colorado Denver in the “Educational Leadership for Education Equity” track and focuses his research on Hispanic-Serving Institutions. As a Chicano born and raised in Denver, Abenicio was a non-traditional student and the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Josh Rael, Executive Director of Alliance Colorado
Josh serves as the Executive Director for Alliance, a nonprofit statewide association of Community-Centered Boards (CCBs) and Program-Approved Service Agencies (PASAs) in Colorado. Alliance members serve over 20,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and employ over 4,000 direct support professionals and IDD case managers throughout Colorado. Josh is a Colorado native and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado State University-Pueblo, a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management at the University of Colorado-Denver. In 2020, Josh received the prestigious “40 Under 40” Award from the Denver Business Journal. In 2011, Josh was selected to attend President Obama’s White House Hispanic Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. And in 2007, Colorado’s Governor Bill Ritter appointed Josh to the Colorado Creative Industry Board (formerly the Council of the Arts) for two terms.
Kayla Tibbals, Nexus Policy Group
Kayla Tibbals is a native of Colorado with experience in both political campaigns and state advocacy at the Capitol. Kayla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and Russian from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kayla, has lobbied for nearly a decade at the State capitol. As a Partner at Nexus Policy Group, Kayla uses her extensive experience in issues impacting education, healthcare policy, non-profits, and energy to benefit her clients. She has deep knowledge of the business issues and the business environment at the capitol and is well connected with legislators of both parties. Before joining Nexus Policy Group in 2012, she previously held the position as lead lobbyist for the education advocacy organization, Stand for Children Colorado. Notably, while at Nexus, during the 2014 legislative session, Kayla successfully lobbied on behalf of the Colorado League of Charter Schools for the largest increase in capital funding for public charter schools ever. Kayla has extensive experience with educating and empowering networks and memberships to take action at the state and local level.
Amber Valdez, Valdez Public Affairs, LLC
Amber is a Colorado native and partner at Valdez Public Affairs, LLC, a governmental consulting firm. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado State University and holds a Master of Public Administration from University of Colorado Denver. Amber is a voting member of the National Western Stock Show and was a finalist for the Hispanic Chamber of Metro Denver’s Young Professional of the Year award. She lives in Denver with her Yorkie Poo, Dexter.