Gina Maione Earles
Gina joined Blue Sky Bridge as Executive Director in 2012. She has extensive experience managing and working with numerous nonprofit and for profit organizations across the country, overseeing program and financial management, fundraising, communications, marketing, events, external relations, operations, and organizational dynamics. Gina also serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Children’s Alliance. Gina received her BA from Northwestern University and MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College. Born in Indiana, she lived on both coasts before settling permanently in Boulder with her husband and two sons. She enjoys the beautiful Colorado outdoors and escaping to her home art studio.
Michelle Amato, LSW
Michelle Amato joined Blue Sky Bridge as a Family Support Advocate in 2017 and transitioned to a Therapist in 2020. Michelle is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Colorado. She has a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work with an emphasis in Mental Health from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Colorado at Boulder. Michelle has previously worked with children and adolescents on a short-term crisis stabilization inpatient unit, and has experience providing individual, family, and group therapy through a school-based mental health program. Most recently, Michelle worked for the Department of Human Services on their Sexual Abuse Recovery Team where she provided ongoing social work services to children and families dealing with sexual abuse and sex trafficking issues.
Katie Ashburner, MSW
Katie Ashburner has her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Juniata College and her Master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina. She has been working at Child Advocacy Centers since 2008 and joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2014. Katie is trained in the Childfirst South Carolina Forensic Interview protocol, the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s protocol for interviewing children, and the Colorado Semi-structured Narrative Process for interviewing children. As a forensic interviewer, she is responsible for gathering the greatest amount of reliable information in a child-sensitive, developmentally-appropriate and legally-defensible manner during interviews with suspected child abuse victims. Katie also participates as a trainer for the Colorado Children’s Alliance Forensic Interview Semi-Structured Narrative Process.
BILINGUAL FAMILY SUPPORT ADVOCATE/MDT COORDINATOR
Viviana joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2021. She earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Peace & Justice Studies from Regis University. Since graduating, she has had the privilege of working alongside adult and child survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse, and human trafficking. Most recently, she supported Court Appointed Special Advocates who devoted their time to advocating for children in Denver. Viviana looks forward to advocating for resilient young people and their families in a complex justice system at Blue Sky Bridge!
Allison Breed, MSW, LCSW
Allison Breed joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2017 as a Therapist. Allison received her Master’s degree in Social Work in 2005 from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University joint program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Olaf College. Allison has worked in community mental health with young adults, as well as worked for several years in schools supporting and empowering adolescents. She was a school social worker in Boulder Valley School District, and also a Prevention/Intervention Specialist at a middle and high school in St. Vrain Valley School District. Allison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provides Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Blue Sky Bridge to children, teens, and caregivers impacted by traumatic experiences. Using TF-CBT, Allison strives to meet families where they are to help them in their healing, as well as to strengthen their resiliency and overall wellbeing.
Tava first joined Blue Sky Bridge as a BSW intern in 2020 before becoming a part of the staff in early 2022. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Brandman University. Tava works to support the Education Team with coordination of our programs with BVSD and SVVSD and also supports the Development & Outreach Team with administrative duties. Tava is passionate about empowering children and supporting families, and she is honored to be a part of the team.
Gretchen Fair, LCSW
Gretchen joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2017. She has a Masters of Social Work from the National Catholic School of Social Service and a B.A. from Duke University. For the past decade, Gretchen has worked with survivors of interpersonal violence as a therapist and advocate in non-profits and in private practice. Gretchen works from a strengths-based model that emphasizes each individual’s inherent ability for growth after trauma.
Robin Friesen-Holwell, MS, LMFT
PROGRAM DIRECTOR & THERAPIST
Robin Friesen-Holwell joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2014, after working as a Family Support Advocate during her Master’s level internship. Robin holds a Master’s degree of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. During her time at Blue Sky Bridge, Robin has worked on strengthening and expanding prevention education across Boulder County. Robin gives a variety of trainings about the issue of child sexual abuse, how adults can recognize it and respond appropriately, and how adults can talk to kids about their bodies. She is committed to the goal of expanding awareness of these issues in order to create a safer community for children and families. As a therapist on staff, Robin works with children and families who have experienced trauma and are on the journey of healing. Robin is a nationally certified TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) therapist, is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), and is a member of AAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists) and APSAC (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children).
Raine Garcia, MA, LPC, ATR-P
BILINGUAL THERAPIST (she/ella)
Raine joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2019. Raine’s formal training was at Southwestern College where she graduated with a dual Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Art Therapy. Prior to her employment at Blue Sky Bridge, she provided trauma informed psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults in private practice, education systems, inpatient facilitates, and non-profit sector. She is a nationally certified TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) therapist and is currently training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy). Raine’s individual and group sessions also incorporate aspects from creative, mindfulness, somatic, and humanistic therapeutic modalities in order to support wellness, growth, and healing.
BILINGUAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATE
Claudia volunteered in the School-based Education Program for 5 years before joining the staff in 2017.
She truly believes that prevention education can make our communities safer for children. She is trained as a Stewards of Children facilitator. Claudia grew up in Mexico City. She holds a BSEE and a MSEE from Stanford University.
BILINGUAL FORENSIC INTERVIEWER/FAMILY SUPPORT ADVOCATE
Martha joined Blue Sky Bridge at the beginning of 2021. Previous to her work at Blue Sky Bridge, Martha supported survivors of sexual violence at Boulder County’s sexual violence resource center, Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA). While working as a Bilingual Victim Advocate at MESA, Martha collaborated with Boulder County’s District Attorney’s Office to establish the county’s first Sex Trafficking Task Force. Martha is eager to support youth and families that come to Blue Sky Bridge for interviews and therapy. She earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Loyola University Chicago.
EDUCATION TEAM ASSOCIATE
Anne graduated from C.U. in 1985 and never left Boulder. After earning her CAC (Certified Addictions Counselor), she spent most of her working years with high-risk youth in the Denver/Boulder area. Anne’s favorite aspect was the outdoor education component primarily for its profound impact on transforming children’s lives. Anne has always volunteered in her community, and especially admires this staff and their dedication. Since volunteering with the BSB education program the past 7 years, she is thrilled to officially join the Prevention Education Team and stand by her goal to keep kids safe.
Maryssa O’Dell, MA
FAMILY SUPPORT ADVOCATE/FORENSIC INTERVIEWER
Maryssa joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2020. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Refugee Care, working with displaced peoples and survivors of violence providing psycho-social care and case management to families and unaccompanied minors. She first began working in Child Welfare as an adoption worker guiding foster and kinship families through the process of adoption and guardianship. Most recently, Maryssa worked as an intake worker for the Child and Family Services Department in Adams County, assessing child safety with families.
EDUCATION TEAM ASSOCIATE
Marce graduated with a bachelors in social work from Utah State University. She started her career as a child welfare social worker and loved being part of the solution to combat child abuse. She loves teaching and empowering children to keep their bodies safe and having a voice. This work is her lifelong passion and is honored to be a part of this team!
FORENSIC SUPPORT ASSOCIATE
Bella joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2020. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology-focusing in criminal justice and a minor in Anthropology. After graduation, Bella joined Blue Sky Bridge as a case support intern before being hired as a staff member. Currently, she assists the child advocacy programs with administrative duties while also being a co-supervisor for the internship program. She is committed to helping keep kids safe and is honored to be a part of this team.
DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
Melissa joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2018. She has worked in education-focused nonprofits since 2014, serving youth in grades 1-8. She credits her AmeriCorps year with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County for impacting her career path. Melissa served as the Communications & Development Associate for America SCORES Cleveland, a health and literacy focused nonprofit serving youth in Cleveland Public Schools before moving back to Colorado. She is excited to support the work of Blue Sky Bridge through fundraising, event planning, and a range of communications work. Melissa holds a B.S. in Visual Communication in Photojournalism from Ohio University.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH
Don joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2020. Following a successful career in Operations in the for-profit environment, Don transitioned to more meaningful work at The Humane Society of Boulder Valley. There he served as Vice President of Development and Operations for this very well-known non-profit organization. Don advanced the organization in planned giving, large scale events, corporate sponsorship, major gifts, and organizational efficiencies throughout. In addition, Don has served as a board member/organizer and Charity Committee chairman for the Colorado Grand, a significant car rally providing over $500,000 to small Colorado charities each year. Don looks forward to advancing Development at Blue Sky Bridge to raise funds, support the mission, spread the message, and to grow the services we can offer our community. Don is passionate about giving back to the community and protecting our children. He holds a B.S. degree in Operations from California Polytechnic University.
Jeff joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2018. Coming to us from financial services management in a corporate environment, Jeff wanted to parlay his skills and experiences into meaningful administrative and logistical support for Blue Sky Bridge’s clinical and educational programs. His transition to the non-profit world was influenced by memories of years past, serving the needs of kids through education and volunteering opportunities. He’s proud and excited to be part of a mission which tangibly protects and serves children and families, and advances abuse prevention goals through educational outreach. He holds a B.A. in History from Lafayette College.
Trish Wood joined BSB in 2016. Trish has been working in the areas of violence prevention, cause marketing and community outreach for most of her career. Most recently, Trish worked at LEVI (Longmont Ending Violence Initiative) where she was responsible for domestic violence prevention/education and victim assistance. Trish also helped initiate the collaborative grant with BSB to develop Project Pinwheel, a child sexual abuse awareness project that targets the Longmont community. Trish holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of Colorado and is committed to spreading the prevention message throughout our community.
Mercedes A. Bransfield
COLORADO CERTIFIED COURT INTERPRETER
COLORADO CERTIFIED COURT INTERPRETER