Courtney Mizel

Founding Board Member

Courtney L. Mizel is a Principal at Mizel Consulting, where she has worked for over 20 years. In this role, Mizel advises companies in various industries on matters relating to business management and strategy, including operations, business development, marketing, as well as legal matters. Mizel is involved in a number of non-profit activities, including serving on the Boards of Directors of Zimmer Children’s Museum, Sharsheret National and JQ International. Mizel received her Bachelor of Science in Economics with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. She is the daughter of the MDC Holdings, Inc., Executive Chairman of the Board Larry A. Mizel, and she joined its Board of Directors in 2017. Her legal and business achievements and diverse-yet-highly-relevant experiences provide the Board with enhanced business, operational, governance and legal perspectives.

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Melanie Pearlman

President and CEO

Melanie Pearlman is president and CEO of the Mizel Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a more educated, conscientious and empowered community. Pearlman manages the administration, programming and strategic planning for the Mizel Museum and the CELL, ensuring both centers’ relevance to the community and furthering their missions. Pearlman is the recipient of the FBI Director’s 2012 Community Leadership Award and was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. She received her MA in International Management and Foreign Affairs from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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Tom Ruppel

Chief Operating Officer

Tom Ruppel oversees the execution of the Mizel Institute’s strategic plan. He has held a variety of positions with the organization since joining in 2014. Tom received his M.A. in International Security with a Certificate in Homeland Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Connecticut College.

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Jordan Clark

Vice President of Outreach & Engagement

Jordan Clark helps provide organizational oversight and spearhead strategic outreach efforts for the Mizel Institute. Jordan has been with the organization since 2012 and holds a B.A. from Colorado State University in International Studies and Political Science and a minor in Spanish.

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Elizabeth C. Johnson

Education and Projects Manager

Elizabeth Cychosz Johnson supports the development of new Mizel Institute educational initiatives, updates existing programming, and assists in the implementation of both digital and in-person programs. She holds an M.A. in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego, a B.A. in both Anthropology and Journalism from Ohio University and is a Certified Associate in Project Management with the Project Management Institute.

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Megan Robbins

Education and Special Projects Coordinator

Meg Robbins is an Education and Special Project Coordinator for the Mizel Institute. She is proud to have joined the Institute in November 2019. As part of the educational team, Meg is responsible for providing programming opportunities for elementary and high school aged students, developing engaging curriculum, and building partnerships with fellow educators across the front range. She is passionate about contributing to the museum’s mission of celebrating diversity, spreading messages of equality and equity, and combating hatred in all its forms.

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Becci Jacobs

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Becci Jacobs, MSW joined the team in 2022 and supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s educational programs. Becci earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver with a specialization in Children and Youth: Risks and Healthy Development. Becci brings her experiences in nonprofit management, mental health, K-12 education, and community engagement to the Mizel Institute team to ensure we are meeting the needs of students, stakeholders, and partners.

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James Hippensteel

Manager of Education and Programs

James has over 20 years of experience in secondary, higher, and public history education. A proud graduate of the University of Montana, he had coursework in international human rights law and diplomatic history – and taught a History of Terrorism course for several years in North Carolina. James cherishes connecting with students and trainees on a deep, personal level, and he specializes in creating safe, kind spaces for challenging conversations.

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Samantha Jones

Database and Administrative Coordinator

Samantha Jones joined the Mizel Institute in 2021 as the Database & Administrative Coordinator. Samantha believes that accurate data collection and efficient coordination are critical to assisting the organization in fulfilling its goal of developing more educated, conscientious, and empowered communities. In addition to data analytics, she also supports fundraising efforts and donor communications. Samantha holds a BA in English Literature Research from Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, CO.

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Cailin Shioshita Pickett

Associate Database and Operations Manager

Cailin Shioshita Pickett joined the Mizel Institute in 2022 and is responsible for leading reporting and analysis efforts, database administration, and operational support for educational programs and community events. Cailin holds a B.A. in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in Health and Wellness from the University of Denver.

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Samantha Beck

Database & Administrative Associate

Samantha has worked for the Mizel Institute since 2022. She is involved with the database management and administration of programs and events for the museum. She graduated with a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University.

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Lexi Reich

Public Relations & Communications Specialist

Lexi Reich joined the Mizel Institute in 2022 as part of the marketing team. She holds a dual degree in Journalism and English from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is passionate about writing stories that uplift the local community.

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Jacqueline Graham

Writing & Communications Specialist

Jacqueline Graham joined the Mizel Institute in 2022 to support the marketing team. She is an extremely passionate writer who believes in telling stories that empower the community. She holds an MA in Writing from Edinburgh Napier University and a BA in English Literature and Political Science from Denison University.

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Bailey Yamshak

Special Projects Coordinator

Bailey Yamshak joined the Mizel Institute in 2022 and is responsible for coordinating a wide variety of events for the CELL, including the CAP and various community events. She recently earned her M.A. in International Security from the University of Denver, specializing in Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Bailey also holds a B.A. in both Criminal Sociology and Psychology from Auburn University. She has been working in the security and public safety fields for 7 years.

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Magdalena Perez

Education & Special Projects Coordinator

Magdalena Perez recently joined the Mizel Institute and is a part of the education team that delivers impactful messages to all ages and communities. She holds an M.A. in International Security specializing in human security and human rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Magdalena also holds a B.A. in International Studies and Italian from the University of Denver.

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Rudolf Leyba

Education & Special Projects Coordinator

Rudolf is responsible for assisting with research, development, and implementation of new and existing programs across the organization. Rudolf received his M.A in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

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