Samantha (Sam) Temple joined the RPCV Colorado board as Vice President in May 2022 and became President in January 2023. Sam served alongside her husband in Tanzania 2012-2014 as an Environment Education and Sustainable Agriculture volunteer. Sam has resided in Denver since her return from service and keeps her connection to East Africa close through her work and research. As the co-founder/Director of a Denver-based international organization, the East Africa Fund, Sam works with a network of local NGOs in East Africa to improve and promote the development of the third sector. While based in the U.S., Sam works to educate funders, donors, and development professionals on the importance of local partnerships and local ownership. As a researcher, lecturer, and PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Denver, Sam studies USAID policy and teaches courses in nonprofit management and international development. She is completing her Phd in Public Affairs and received a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. When not working Sam is gardening with her two-year old Simon.
Savanna Berezniak joined the RPCV board as Vice President in March 2023. She served in Madagascar as an Education Volunteer 2010-2012. Following completion of her Peace Corps service, Savanna returned to her home state of Colorado, where she continued to work in education for 8 years until the birth of her son. Savanna recently completed a Peace Corps Virtual Service Project, supporting Cameroonian NGO by helping them improve and expand their online presence. Savanna enjoys getting outside to hike, garden, or snowboard, as well as spending as much time as possible with her family.
Sonja Meintsma joined the RPCV Colorado Board as the Secretary in May 2021. She served as an Agriculture & Food Security Volunteer in Zambia, 2015-2017. Sonja works as the Regional Director for the Southern Region of Colorado with Drive Clean Colorado. Based in Colorado Springs, Sonja acts as a Drive Electric Colorado Coach delivering education and resources to advance EVs and EV chargers. She holds a Master of Public Affairs with a focus in sustainability and policy analysis from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology & African Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota—her home stat
Randy Monson is both treasurer and 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.
Lauren Leary serves as the Northern Colorado Regional Representative, forming the group up in Fort Collins in 2020, and joining the state group on the Board in 2021. Lauren completed her Peace Corps service in Armenia from 2012-2014, where she was dual placed at the National Institute of Education providing methodology training to regional teachers, and supporting project planning efforts on economic development and youth projects at a local NGO, Syunik Development NGO. Her path since Peace Corps has been windy, getting her Masters in Sustainable Development: International Policy & Management with a focus in Monitoring & Evaluation from the School for International Training, and working at a variety of development organizations, but she now finds incredible joy working alongside a passionate team at the United Way of Larimer County as the VP of Impact.
Christina Thomas joined the RPCV Colorado Board as the Southern Colorado Representative in March 2023. She served as a Community Development volunteer in Ukraine from 2011-2013. Christina works in Community Relations for Northrop Grumman, one of the largest Aerospace and Defense companies in the world. She manages grant making and employee volunteerism opportunities for a nine-state area in the U.S. focusing on K-12 STEM education for underrepresented populations, support of U.S. service members and veterans, health and human services initiatives for communities in need and environmental justice and conservation programming. She holds a Master of Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State’s School of Sustainability and an MBA with a focus in international business from Tennessee Tech. In her free time, Christina loves to explore Colorado’s nearly 10,000 miles of mountain bike trails and volunteer as a ride guide for the Colorado Springs’s Women’s Mountain Bike Association (WMBA). She also plays indoor and outdoor soccer, both women’s as well as coed – which she gets to do with her husband and adult children!