Announcing a new community foundation for South Metro Denver

Former Littleton Mayor Susan Thornton has announced that a new community foundation has been established for the south metro area. The mission of the South Metro Community Foundation, she said, is to enhance and improve the quality of life for all people living in the South Denver Metro area.

The Foundation will support programs and projects that enhance educational, civic, environmental, artistic, and other quality-of-life-promoting projects and activities within the South Denver Metro area.  Other areas of focus may include improving intercultural relationships, housing and health equity, and transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities. 

The role of the South Metro Community Foundation includes:

  • Initiating projects and programs to enhance the quality of life for all people in the area. 
  • Accepting donor-directed funds.
  • Making grants to nonprofits that share the SMCF’s vision and mission.
  • Serving as a fiscal agent for smaller community organizations that do not have nonprofit status, but that support one or more of the Foundation’s programs or projects.

Thornton said that after months of careful study, the SMCF has decided that its first project will be to help raise funds for a Homeless Services Navigation Center for people experiencing homelessness, to be located in Englewood. The state-of-the-art Navigation Center will provide information about services to people who are unhoused, and will track their progress. The SMCF will also educate the community about homelessness, including its causes, its impact on children, families and the community, and possible solutions.  

Founding Board members of the Foundation are:

  • Board Chair – Susan Thornton, former Littleton Mayor; Founding Chair of Immigrant Pathways Colorado and the Littleton Leadership Academy; former Denver Post columnist
  • Vice Chair – Bebe Kleinman, CEO/Executive Director, Doctors Care
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Paul Parish, Retired Managing Partner, Management Consulting, Grant Thornton LLP; past Board Chair, Break Bread; former President, Littleton Rotary Foundation.
  • Denise Barton – Senior Vice President, First Bank; former Vice President, Relationship Manager for JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Beth Best – Executive Director, Littleton Public Schools Foundation
  • Karen Blilie – former Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member, Greenwood Village; Chair, Centennial Corps Salvation Army 
  • Sandra Blythe-Perry – Executive Director, Integrated Family Community Services
  • Mauricio Carbone – Outreach Pastor, Mission Hills Church
  • Dave Ferrill – Former regional affairs director in the Office of Mayor Hickenlooper, and a similar role in the Governor’s economic development office; public affairs, economic development and international development positions in the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Board of Trustees, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver
  • Linda Haley – Division Manager, Housing, Community Develop and Senior Resources, Arapahoe County
  • David Henninger – Board President, Caring for Colorado Health Foundation; former CEO/Executive Director of Bayaud Industries
  • Nelly Limon – Coordinator, Sheridan Rising Together for Equity
  • Linda Olson, Ph.D. – Mayor, City of Englewood; Executive Director, Pioneer Leadership Program at Denver University
  • Corey Reitz – Executive Director, South Metro Housing Options
  • Mike Sandgren – Mission Pastor, Wellspring Church; leader of Change The Trend

The South Metro Community Foundation is also establishing an Advisory Council to provide guidance to the foundation at intervals.  Members include:

  • Tara Beiter-Fluhr, Mayor, City of Sheridan
  • Mike Braaten, Deputy Executive Director, South Suburban Park and Recreation District
  • Tom Brooks, President/CEO, Denver South Economic Development Council
  • Donald Burns, Ph.D., founder and Senior Adviser, Burnes Institute of Poverty Research, Colorado Center on Law and Policy
  • David Carroll, President, Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Shirlaine Castellino, Director, Spring International Language Center
  • Diana Doyle, Ph.D., President Emerita, Arapahoe Community College
  • Brian Ewert, Ph.D., Superintendent, Littleton Public Schools
  • Zach Frederick, Littleton business owner, Frederick Export; leader of the Littleton Rotary Foundation’s International Group
  • Bob Golden, former President, South Metro Denver Chamber; President-Elect Littleton Public Schools Foundation; immediate Past President, Colorado Society of Association Executives
  • LaDonna Jurgensen, retired CPA; Treasurer, Littleton Rotary Foundation; former Littleton City Councilwoman
  • Jeff Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer, South Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Drew Lang, Owner, The Lang Investment Group; Littleton Business Chamber Board member
  • John Lay, Executive Director and Chief of Staff to former Colorado Governor Lamm; former President & CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA; and former President/CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Jillyan McKinney, Chief Executive Officer, Littleton Adventist Hospital
  • Rev. Tom Melton, founding Pastor, Greenwood Village Community Church (retired); Principal, Melton Leadership
  • Randy Pye, founding Mayor, City of Centennial; President, Fulcrum One
  • The Rev. Craig Smith, Lead Pastor, Mission Hills Church
  • Brian Vogt, former President of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce; CEO of the Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Carrie Warren-Gully, Arapahoe County Commissioner, District 1