Meet Our Subject Matter Experts

David Nelson

Chief Executive Officer

Read David's Bio Here

David Nelson is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Independence, a non-profit agency covering twelve counties on the Western Slope. CFI provides services to individuals with disabilities and helps consumers achieve their goals of becoming self-sufficient.

David earned a BA in Administration of Justice with a minor in Small Business Management from Arizona State University. He is certified in Benefits Management and Planning in SSA from the Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a Community Work Incentive Coordinator for Western Colorado for nearly 20 years and was the Tri-state team lead for WIPA staff covering Colorado, Wyoming, and Nevada.

He loves to serve in the community and his church and has been involved with many agency committees and boards.  His current professional and community involvement includes being a board member for Doors to Success, serves as a member of the Family Self Sufficiency Committee with the Grand Junction Housing Authority, is a committee member with Disability Resource Alliance (DRA), a resource group for service providers working with youth with disabilities, and is a member of Colorado Benefits Collaborative group for CWIC/CPWIC’s in Colorado.

He is happily married father of five children. His hobbies include hiking, camping, reading, and spending time spoiling his two grandchildren.



Billy S. Allen

Director of Programs & Operations/Disaster Coordinator

Read Billy's Bio Here

Billy joined CFI in December 2020. He may be new at CFI, but certainly not new in IL centers. Billy is our Director of Programs & Operations at CFI. He has been actively involved in IL centers one way or another since 1992. Born deaf, Billy acquired language and spoke his first sentence at age 9 years old and grew up in a special education environment. His true personal comfort zone is in ASL with friends, family, and social gatherings. 

Billy has a BA in Social Work, minor in Government Law from Gallaudet University. He holds a dual Masters in Social Work/Administration Policy & Planning from Rutgers University.

Billy is the first Deaf National Certified ADA Coordinator. Sometimes he can be seen teaching ASL or Social Work at a local college. He is a lifelong advocate for all cross-disabilities and their family members.

He enjoys time with his wife (a deaf and 5th generation Coloradan) along with their two hearing boys doing outdoor and family activities, and just cruising around taking in the majestic sceneries of Colorado.

Katherine Lopez

Communications & Marketing Manager

Read Katherine's Bio Here

Katherine is originally from the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. In 1976, she moved to Boulder, Colorado. She has always been an artist at heart, specifically a graphic designer and photographer since 1988, working in printing, signage, and newspaper environments.

She earned an Associate in Advertising Design from The Colorado Institute of Art, Denver. After graduation, she moved to Waukegan, Illinois. She launched her career as a graphic designer and client liaison for Haapanen/Burkett, Inc., creating various projects for clients ranging from small businesses and local governments to Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare. Missing Colorado, she returned in 1993 and soon began a Western Slope experience as a designer at the Eagle Valley Enterprise newspaper in Eagle. After moving to the Grand Valley in 2002, she accepted a design position at the Grand Junction Free Press. In 2006 she joined The Daily Sentinel, becoming a lead designer in 2008.

Her design expertise is behind the branding for the Dalton Trumbo sculpture in Downtown Grand Junction and the collection of nine sculptures commissioned by Legends of the Grand Valley, part of ‘Art on the Corner.’ She also created the branding for Colorado Archaeological Society – Grand Junction Chapter, as well as Grand Valley bands, including Stray Grass, The Doubious Brothers and Tune Weavers Collective. She joined the Center for Independence in October 2020, amid COVID-19, to help reshape branding, communications, outreach, resource development, and advocacy for people with disabilities within the communities CFI serves. She developed the first Disability Hospitality Station for the Palisade Bluegrass Festival and has collaborated with CFI’s Young Visionaries to create the branding for their vision impaired youth program and peer support group.

Katherine is an avid hiker and enjoys camping, southwest native cultures, live music, art, spending time with her friends and family, and being immersed in the marvels of western Colorado and eastern Utah landscapes. 

~ Grand Junction Office: Serving Mesa & Delta Counties ~
Mary Moore

Housing Coordinator & Youth Services

Read Mary's Bio Here

Mary Moore was born with Cerebral Palsy which meant that she walked with crutches for most of her life. She now uses a manual wheel chair or a scooter to get around. She has been blessed with a service dog named Tarka trained by Canine Companions for Independence to assist her with aspects of her daily life.

Youth coordinator and housing advocate at the Center for Independence in Grand Junction, Colorado, Mary has been with CFI for more than twenty years. She loves teaching life skills to youth with disabilities, wanting to encourage them to dream, to try, to develop a strong sense of self, and to be empowered and engaged citizens in their community. The unique voices and perspectives of youth matter.

Mary assists people with disabilities in finding and securing housing. She has helped people transition from nursing homes back to their communities. She teaches classes on service animals, emotional support animals, fair housing, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is gratifying for Mary to assist others with disabilities working toward enhancing the quality of their life. Mary feels honored to be an employee of CFI working alongside coworkers who are amazing people and believe deeply in our mission.

Originally from Louisiana, Mary loves southern food, is a serious fisherman, as well as a diehard New Orleans Saints fan. She attended the University of Southern California and graduated with divisional honors with a degree in Critical Studies in Cinema Television and has a Master in Library Science with an emphasis in Archives from Simmons College in Boston.

She has a wonderful family whose love and support inspire her every day.

Tracy Morton

Disability Benefits IL Specialist/CPWIC

Read Tracy's Bio Here

A native of Grand Junction, Tracy started working at age 19 as a CNA and then moved up to Medical Assistant. She spent time as an Assistant Director of the Oasis House for Mind Springs. Beginning her tenure at Center for Independence as an AmeriCorps volunteer as a way to pay down my student loans, Tracy has worked at CFI since August 2012 and has worked in vocational and direct services.

She worked in the Montrose office for 5 years at which time she was also doing housing advocacy. She earned her Community Work Incentive Counselor (CWIC) certificate in 2018 and now she does Benefits Counseling.

In her off time she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors.

Amy Johnson

Records Management Assistant/Receptionist

Read Amy's Bio Here

Amy Johnson has over 20 years of front office experience which has helped her excel in her many positions. She joined the CFI team back in 2019 and quickly expanded her position from receptionist to include records management. In 2022 she achieve her notary certification so she can continue to assist CFI consumers with their independent living needs. 

She very much enjoys the work she does and looks forward to being part of the CFI team for a long time. Amy loves to read and enjoys time with her daughter and feline family member, Jack.

Tami Walter

Records Manager/Ticket to Work Administrator

Read Tami's Bio Here

A native of Colorado, Tami was born in Southwest Colorado and moved to Grand Junction at a young age. After graduating high school she began her yearning for travel by moving to Anchorage, Alaska and exploring. She then moved back to Aspen, Colorado for 3 years. In 1986 the yearning for a change took her to Sebastopol, California and she developed a passion for wine while working in the industry there. In 1999, Tami moved back to Colorado to be near her family and the slower pace of Grand Junction.

Her career at the Center for Independence began in 2014 and has evolved over time from Administrative to her current position of Records Manager and Ticket to Work Administrator. Her responsibilities include monitoring the company’s records to ensure compliance with State and Federal guidelines. She states, “Working with people with disabilities has been very rewarding. Seeing them smile is what makes it all worthwhile.”

She spends time creating art, gardening, enjoying time with family, and her two fluffy felines

Morgan Robb

Vocational & Youth IL Specialist, Marketing Assistant

Read Morgan's Bio Here

Morgan started her journey with CFI back in 2017 as a student intern through Colorado Mesa University’s Social Work program. She quickly fell in love with working with this community and realized she’d found where she wants to spend her career. After being hired as an offical employee she began learning all she can to best help the community.

She currently works as a Vocational and Youth case manager, helping community members learn valuable job and life skills in order for them to live as independently as possible. When not working with consumers, you can find her behind the scenes on the website or in marketing, putting her computer knowledge to use.

When not working Morgan enjoys downtime at home with her family and pets playing video games, board games or exploring the Great Outdoors. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan and feels most at home when surrounded by water so it is not uncommon to find her out on the lakes on a paddleboard when the weather permits. 

Mona Gordon

Business Manger

Read Mona's Bio Here

Mona Gordon began working part-time at PDQ Bookkeeping in 2008, which was CFI’s bookkeeping service at that time. In 2016, when her colleague semi-retired, she was offered a position at CFI. It began as a part-time position and quickly grew into a full-time position.

Her background was mainly in the hospitality field prior to CFI, so learning about the non-profit world has been both exciting and stressful, however she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Her motto: “It’s important to learn something new every day and at CFI that’s a given.” When she is not at CFI, she can be found enjoying time with family or in the garden (weather permitting

Timothy Brown

Man with a beard smiling

CTS Coordinator

Read Tim's Bio Here

Tim was born and raised in Colorado. Upon graduating from high school he entered the United States Navy. When he was discharged he began a career in ministry which focused on serving teens, those suffering from addiction, feeding the hungry, visiting the incarcerated, and working with the services’ community at large. 


He then served veterans through a nonprofit program called Veterans Upward Bound (VUB). Through VUB he was able to join the veteran’s service provider’s community which enabled him to widen the scope of his services to include assisting the homeless. Tim also worked at Ariel Clinical Services where he served as a mentor to youth who were in foster care and who had autism. Additionally, he assisted adults with disabilities who were looking for employment.    


He enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loves to go fishing in remote places. His car always has his fishing gear in it should he happen upon a stream and have a rendezvous with a beautiful trout. 

Daniel Smith, BA

Daniel Smith, case manager

Satelite Manager of Programs & Operation

Read Daniel's Bio Here

Daniel, a Colorado native, spent his childhood in Montrose Colorado before returning from suburban Chicago in 2010. He attended Colorado Mesa University, where he studied Sociology and Social Work before graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology in 2014. Until his arrival at the Center for Independence, he spent eight years working at Mesa Developmental Services in a variety of capacities, most recently as a Lead Case Manager serving adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). He has a passion for helping others achieve their potential in full-measure as a co-equal partner and advocate.

 In his spare time he enjoys hiking, camping, vintage computers, programming, and playing with his dog, Bay.

Chamaine Ready, MA

Disability Benefits IL Specialist

Read Chamaine's Bio Here

Chamaine Ready is a Western Slope, Colorado native with family ties to the area dating back to the early 1900s. She came to the Center For Independence in September of 2022. Chamaine’s professional background has primarily been in education, but she has also worked in case management and oversight of community programs for at-risk families in Mesa County. She began her career as a teenager, working at summer youth camps and providing respite care with The ARC of Mesa County for children with disabilities. She worked for Mesa Developmental Services for years, providing services in group home settings and teaching within the Early Intervention Program. She obtained her BA and state certification to teach for Mesa County schools and then received a MA in education with a Special Education teaching licensure. Her teaching career spanned all age ranges from pre-school to high school, serving children with disabilities and their families in the classroom and with case management. She specialized in working with children experiencing mental health challenges and cherished her days with the children and families she served. She has had other great opportunities to serve the community, whether managing programs for families at Hilltop’s Family Resource Center, training adults with disabilities within the vocational program at Strive, volunteering for Partners’ after-school program for at-risk youth, volunteering for Joseph Center, a local day shelter and service provider for those experiencing challenging living situations, or serving in her church in the music ministry. Aside from her work at CFI, she is a founding board member of Bravestone Project, a grassroots, local non-profit organization on behalf of people who have experienced sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or human trafficking.
Chamaine enjoys spending time with her adult children and grandchildren. She loves the outdoors and spending time in nature. When she is not out in the hills with her family, she takes pleasure in all forms of the arts, photography, music, and writing. She is published and has penned many poems and children’s stories. She loves sharing stories and music with children, passing along a love for literature and song.

Jennifer Shook

Aging & Disability Vaccination Collaborative (ADVC) Coordinator

Read Jennifer's Bio Here

Jennifer grew up on the Western Slope of Colorado. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Exercise Physiology and Adaptive Physical Education at Mesa State College. She began her career at the Center for Independence as a Recreational Coordinator for 8 years. Always working with individuals with disabilities, she worked as a Group Home Supervisor at Mesa Developmental Disability, Foster Parent and Youth Advocate with Gateway Youth and Family Services, Grant Writer for Colorado Discover Ability and as an Advocate. She worked as an advocate for over 19 years, gaining experience from Disability Law Colorado and The Arc Mesa County. She especially enjoys advocacy for youth in special education, public access and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Medicaid, waiver services, housing and guardianship).

Jennifer returned to work with Center for Independence in October 2023 as Coordinator for the Aging & Disability Vaccination Collaborative. This grant assists seniors and individuals with disabilities access vaccinations.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and friends, crafting, reading and is rarely seen without one of her faithful pups. Her favorite quote is “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” Henry Ford

Joanne Stamp

Low Vision & Senior Program

IL Specialist

Read Joanne's Bio Here

Joanne Stamp is the Low Vision & Senior Program Specialist at CFI based in the Grand Junction office. Imported from Great Britain over 22 years ago, she adds additional elements to CFI’s diverse culture. When she was younger and still living across the ‘Pond’, her degree in childcare led to jobs in hospitals, schools, the private sector, and social services.

Life in the USA began for Joanne in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she eventually went back to college to study for a degree in Mental Health & Certification as a Mental Health Technician. After 13 years of living in Las Vegas, Joanne moved to Grand Junction and became a student intern at CFI to complete the capstone project and practicum part of her studies. Joanne’s experience as a student intern and then as a volunteer at CFI included working within the low vision, vocational, recreational and youth programs. Her first post at CFI was part-time as the Low Vision Program Coordinator, later transitioning to full-time working as the Program Manager. Joanne’s favorite part of her job at CFI is working with her consumers in a practical setting and using technology to solve problems and make life easier and more fun.

To the consumers in the CFI Low Vision Program and the Western Slope Visionaries Peer support group Joanne is known for her British accent causing her to “talk funny,” and as the person who has ideas and solutions to help them overcome some of the daily challenges of low vision.

Joanne is the mother of two grown children in their 30’s and she has one granddaughter. She likes gardening, cooking, and is an avid dog lover.

Caroline Wehrmann

Disability Benefits IL Specialist/I&R

Read Caroline's Bio Here

Caroline just recently joined CFI.  She and her husband Mike moved to Grand Junction 2 ½ years ago from Colorado Springs.

Prior to working at CFI, Caroline worked for Strive at the Botanical Gardens and Uniquely Yours helping individuals with learning disabilities.

While living in Colorado Springs, she worked in the dental field for 30 + years as a dental assistant, Patient Coordinator and as an Insurance coordinator.

She has two grown daughters  and 3 beautiful grandchildren. In her spare time Caroline loves to craft and really enjoys camping and kayaking with her husband.

Lehua Delong, RID-NIC

ASL Interpreting Services/Deaf Services Program Manager

Read Lehua's Bio Here

Lehua DeLong has been employed with the Center for Independence since 2017 as the Deaf Services Program Manager. As a nationally certified interpreter she has worked in various settings providing communication access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. With nine years of experience as a certified interpreter she has worked in multiple areas throughout the community including medical environments, university interpreting and theater. Currently, in addition to interpreting, she is coordinating interpreting services for the counties that the Center for Independence serves.
She enjoys hiking, camping and playing with her two young kids. Anytime she has the chance to get outside with her family, she is grateful.
For ASL interpreting services email: [email protected] or call VP: 970-812-1746/Call: 970-852-2036.

Joe Lopez

Maintenance Director

Read Joe's Bio Here

Joe has been leading the maintenance department at Center for Independence since 2009. He keeps CFI a safe, clean and productive environment for employees and consumers in the main office in Grand Junction, as well as overseeing upkeep on the satellite offices.

He enjoys the opportunity to work with such a great staff, witnessing all the assistance and support that consumers receive through CFI’s case managers to improve their ability to live independently. He is also honored to drive the CFI bus to take consumers on outings and adventures, such as the Low Vision group. He receives great pleasure in witnessing how people with disabilities are always willing to share their knowledge and help others.

Randy Summy

Maintenance Support

Read Randy's Bio Here

Randy has been with CFI since 2018. He helps keep CFI clean, safe and things working properly at the headquarter’s office and satellite offices. Randy is a very kind man who makes it a priority to make people laugh though sometimes he might tease you in good fun.

Randy was born and raised in Iowa and graduated from Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD) in 1976. Randy has an AA degree in Automotive Technology from Des Moines Community College. Some of Randy’s past employment has been with moving companies doing shipping and receiving work and warehouse management. He moved to Colorado from Utah in 2015.

Randy is a wonderful father of six kids. He has been married to his wife Carol since 1985. Randy loves to ride his bicycle to work, as well as spend time adventuring with his wife on weekend trips. During his free time he loves to fix and make things, especially woodworking. He has even done a few projects for CFI, such as our Spin-to-Win wheel for events.

~ Glenwood Springs Office: Serving Eagle, Pitkin & Garfield Counties ~

Coleen Graves

Disability Benefits IL Specialist

Read Coleen's Bio Here

Coleen Graves is a disability benefits case manager, low vision coordinator, and Colorado transitions coordinator for our Glenwood Springs office. 

Coleen started her college education at Metropolitan State College—Denver, where she studied jewelry design/metalsmithing and business. Coleen moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1989 for a summer and fell in love with the area. While working and raising a family, Coleen returned to college in 2003, and graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. 

Coleen has worked for several local nonprofit organizations, where she found her passion working with individuals with disabilities, helping individuals access their communities, and making sure all people have a voice. 

When not at work, you can find Coleen metalsmithing in her home studio, or out enjoying the beautiful mountains of Colorado with her family and dogs.

~ Montrose Office: Serving Montrose, Ouray & San Miguel Counties ~

Tracy Morton

Disability Benefits IL Specialist/CPWIC

Read Tracy's Bio Here

A native of Grand Junction, Tracy started working at age 19 as a CNA and then moved up to Medical Assistant. She spent time as an Assistant Director of the Oasis House for Mind Springs. Beginning her tenure at Center for Independence as an AmeriCorps volunteer as a way to pay down my student loans, Tracy has worked at CFI since August 2012 and has worked in vocational and direct services.

She worked in the Montrose office for 5 years at which time she was also doing housing advocacy. She earned her Community Work Incentive Counselor (CWIC) certificate in 2018 and now she does Benefits Counseling. In 2022 Tracy passed the non-attorney rep certification exam to continue to expand the services she can offer her consumers. 

In her off time she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors.

~ Salida Office: Serving Chaffee, Gunnison, Hinsdale & Lake Counties ~