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
FAMILY SUPPORT ADVOCATE
Michelle Amato joined Blue Sky Bridge as a Family Support Advocate in 2017. 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
PROGRAM DIRECTOR & FORENSIC INTERVIEWER
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 for the last five years and joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2014. Katie is trained in the Childfirst South Carolina Forensic Interview protocol and the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s protocol 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 manages our Child and Family Advocacy Program and the development of new programs for the center.
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.
Gretchen Fair, LCSW
THERAPIST, PREVENTION EDUCATION ASSOCIATE
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 from the University of Phoenix and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. During her time at Blue Sky Bridge, Robin has worked on strengthening and expanding prevention education across Boulder County. She works with a team of staff members and volunteers within the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts educating third grade students about touching rules and body safety. 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. Using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Robin provides kids and caregivers with support and skills to increase their resiliency and reduce their negative responses to the trauma.
Amanda Fuentes, MA
Amanda Fuentes graduated from Adams State University with a Master’s Degree in Counseling-Clinical Mental Health. Amanda began working with the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center as a Family Advocate in 2010 and became a Forensic Interviewer in 2012. She has worked in a variety of nonprofit agencies that serve children and families providing victim and mental health services for over eight years. Amanda joined the team at Blue Sky Bridge in February 2018. She also participates as a trainer for the Colorado Children’s Alliance Forensic Interview Semi-Structured Narrative Process.
BILINGUAL PREVENTION 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.
Faith Motter, MSW
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATION
Faith Motter joined the team at Blue Sky Bridge in November 2015. Faith has over 10 years of experience as a fundraiser. Her love for development began in New York City in 2007 where she co-founded and directed an organization, Restore NYC, whose mission is to end sex trafficking in New York and restore the well-being and independence of foreign national survivors. While at Restore, Faith was responsible for financially building the organization from the ground up. Prior to joining Blue Sky Bridge, Faith was the Director of Development for a youth-serving nonprofit in northwestern North Carolina where she managed all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and communication. A native to Philadelphia, Faith received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Administration from Temple University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Erik Padilla, MA
FAMILY SUPPORT ADVOCATE/MDT COORDINATOR
Erik Padilla joined Blue Sky Bridge in 2018. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Master of Arts in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity, and a double major in Sociology and Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Criminology. Erik’s passion is in helping children who are victims of Child Abuse and support their families by providing crisis intervention and community resources. Erik’s career experience has been in Child Welfare, as an Intake Caseworker, Erik investigated allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect of children from birth until the age of 18. His primary responsibility was to assess for safety and provide protection to children who are battered and abused, severely neglected, and/or dependent. Prior to Child Protection, Erik worked for a Prevention Unit through Weld County School District Re8. As a case manager Erik connected families to community resources, provided brief counseling, and intensive case management. Erik also planned and executed programs that addressed students’ emotional distress and behavioral problems. On his free time, Erik loves to spend time outdoors with his family, play guitar, do art, and serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Ft. Lupton Boys and Girls Club.
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. Most recently, Melissa served as Communications & Development Associate for America SCORES Cleveland, a health and literacy focused nonprofit serving youth in Cleveland Public Schools. Melissa 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.
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
CONTRACT GRANT WRITER