Board Members

Our Board Members

Suzanne Smith is the President of the RPCVs of Colorado, taking on this role in May 2015. Suzanne served in the role of Advocacy Chair from 2012 through 2015 and will continue to head up many of the advocacy efforts for the RPCVs of Colorado while in the role of President. Suzanne served as a Health Extension Volunteer in Mongolia from 2005 to 2007, where she enjoyed the cold winters but was always grateful for the warm summers. Suzanne now works for a Denver-based nonprofit that supports Community Health Centers. 




Corey Higel is the Vice President of the RPCVs of Colorado and took on the role in 2015. Corey served in Cambodia from 2011-2013 as a Health Extension Volunteer. During Corey’s service he worked on community outreach with the local health center and helped develop a small nutritious porridge shop to help serve children in the surrounding areas. His favorite time was “Angkouy Langing” (ask him about it) at dusk and eating more rice and mangos than you can shake a stick at. Corey currently works for Xcel Energy doing gas engineering and operations.




Mary Heinemann is the Secretary of the RPCVs of Colorado and started this role in the fall of 2015. Mary served as a Health Extension volunteer in Tanzania from 2012- 2014. During her time in Tanzania, Mary worked on community development and outreach programs focused on gender equality, youth empowerment, chicken husbandry, water sanitation, HIV/AIDS and Malaria education as well as media/film projects. She recently led a trip of American students back to Tanzania to explore the beautiful country and culture through experiential education. Mary currently works as a Health & Life Skills Specialist with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver.




Matthew Rysavy is the Treasurer of the RPCVs of Colorado, taking on this role in 2015. Matthew served in Niger from 2004-2006 as a Natural Resource Management Volunteer. During his service he worked on food security, access to markets, and environmental education. He misses the sand and millet. Matthew currently works for the state of Colorado in education.





Arianne Burger works on Special Projects for RPCVCO and has served on the board in different capacities since 2007. She served as an Economic Development volunteer in the Republic of Kazakhstan from 1999-2001, assisting the national office of Junior Achievement of Kazakhstan and teaching at KIMEP University.  Ask her about jazz in Central Asia, if you want to know more about her secondary project. She works for the Colorado Department of Education, and is always excited to talk with RPCVs about becoming a licensed teacher in Colorado!




Valerie Hopkins is the Webmaster and also handles grants from the Don Curtis Giving Fund. She has served on the Board since 2009. Valerie served as an Education Volunteer in Samoa from 1999-2001 and got to experience the last sunset of the millennium on a beach. She taught computer studies to high school students and now currently works in IT here in Denver.





Becca Lipman is the Community Connections Chair and has served on the board since fall of 2011. She served in Albania from 2008-2010 as a Community Youth Development Volunteer. In service her favorite activities included helping to start a summer camp and country wide youth clubs called Outdoor Ambassadors that encourages kids to think about and get out into the environment and helping to organize a Model United Nations program in which over 150 students learned about world issues. Since returning to the States, she has gotten her teaching license in Secondary Social Studies and now teaches middle school in Denver.  She continues to share her love of the outdoors by working with Girl Scouts Camps in the summer.




Randy Monson has been the Membership Chair since 2008 and liaises with the Fort Collins RPCV community. He served as a TEFL teacher in Cote d’Ivoire from 1978-1980 where his lesson plans included improvised conversations between Bob Marley and Mohammed Ali. He still cultivates an extensive African music collection, though no longer dances to disco. Currently, Randy is CFO of Envirofit International, a social enterprise leading the development and distribution of clean cookstoves.





 Kellie Thompson is the Welcome Wagon Action Team Chair and has served in this position since 2015. She is a native a Colorado and after graduating from CSU, she was a Community Health volunteer in Ecuador from 2010-2012. While teaching about nutrition and family planning in a rural indigenous village in the mountains, she managed to learn a little Kichwa and not get too sunburned. She now works at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless at the Stout Street Health Center.




Geena Torti is the Social Events Chair and has served in this position since 2015. She served in Albania from 2012-2014 as an English Teacher and learned to xhiro and drink raki with the best (and oldest) of them. Organizing athletic student groups and extracurricular activities were her favorite part of her service. Also, the Adriatic coast and Eastern European Alps were nice. Originally from Texas, she moved to Denver for grad school and now works in public administration. 

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