2022-23 Rotarian of the Year

At our June 29, 2023, Rotary Club Celebration at the Denver Country Club on June 29, Club Rotarian came together for our annual Continuation of Leadership celebration with President Lisza Gulyas and to ring in the new year with incoming President Mark Wipper!  As has been our tradition, we honored our Rotarian of the Year and NEW Rotarian of the Year.  Congratulations and Thank YOU Denver Rotarian’s for your many accomplishments and hard work this past Rotary year!

2022-2023 Rotarian of the Year

Debbie Beasley

This year, Club 31 is pleased to honor Debbie Beasely as our Rotarian of the Year for 2022-23!

According to the many nominators,

“She demonstrates understanding of the needs of people in under resourced communities and passionately advocates for assistance to such areas.”

“She is a tremendous role model to all Rotarians, but particularly in the area of women in finance.”

 “She must be a glutton for punishment, but I think she’s actually just a Rotarian’s Rotarian, because she cannot let any project fall through the cracks for our Club and shoulders SO MANY responsibilities.”

 “She technically never ‘retired’, but rather quit working for Wells Fargo the same year she became President and started working for Rotary full time…for free!  She is a true inspiration.”

“She is one of the most humble people I know, never asking for praise, even though she deserves more than we could ever give her.”

Debby’s MANY accomplishments over the last 8 years that covers all aspects of Rotary’s six avenues of service…

  • Member for more than 8 years
  • DRCF Gold Fellow
  • TRF Paul Harris Fellow +8
  • Leadership Positions Held: Past Club President, Club Secretary & Club Director
  • New Member Sponsor
  • Former New Rotarian of the Year
  • Committee Involvement: Peach Sale, Membership Team, TRF Support, Rotary Book Club, Fellowship Host, Fundraising Support…just to name a few
  • Chaired Positions: New Member Orientation, TRF Support Chair for more than 6 years & Strategic Planning
  • In 2019-2020, served on our Strategic Planning committee and worked to help change our Club’s mission and our Diversity and Inclusion Policy
  • Supports every fundraiser and has even hosted a pizza and wine night at their home for a fundraising auction item
  • Co-hosted and planned the most recent Rotarians for Peace workshop.
  • Only held 2 in-person meetings the entire year of their presidency during Covid and did it without one complaint!
  • Currently serves as our Assistant Governor for Area One, a three-year commitment.


Denver Kids Hires Jay Grimm as CEO

Denver Kids is excited to share news that isn’t broadly known yet – we’ve identified our next CEO!

Denver Kids has hired Jay Grimm, who is set to join the team later this month. He comes to us after nearly 5 years at Denver Public Schools as their Director of the Whole Child / Student Equity & Opportunity department. He is an experienced director and nonprofit leader who has served as Executive Director of Aurora Public Schools Foundation and the Denver Indian Center. Jay is a Metropolitan State University of Denver graduate and a Livingston Fellow. Jay has played an important role in supporting the partnership between DPS and Denver Kids and has advocated for the organization and its students.

Jay has a great mix of leadership, fundraising, and programmatic experience. That, along with his passion for youth development and dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging, makes us believe that he’ll make a significant impact in advancing the work of Denver Kids!

In addition, for those who attended our Gala in November, they may remember Jay as he was honored as a Community Impact Award winner. Denver Kids looks forward to connecting Jay with Club 31 in the coming months!

Family of Rotary

Good News from Club Board Director Alison Oyler-Mitsch…

As you know, Alison has had more than her share of travails over the last two years. She successfully started her new company pre-Covid but then the storm winds came: a severe decline in business with Covid, a breast cancer diagnosis, an older woman hitting the gas unintentionally and smashing into her business, and her exhaustion from radiation therapy.

Alison submitted her resignation under the crush and financial duress. When her resignation came before the Board, the response was immediate. The Board offered to pay her dues using our Angel Fund if that would affect her resignation. It did, and she withdrew her resignation with gratitude for the dues relief and the large outpouring of affection from the club.

A reminder to everyone: Our Angel Fund is designed to help members when they are under financial duress by paying their membership dues..

And the news is getting better! Here are her words today:

Good News! First of all I want to thank everyone for your support, kind wishes and caring during the past few months! They have been some of the hardest months of my life but coming into the studio and just getting all of the support made it some of the best few months of my life! I am truly blessed to have so many friends around me! Thank You!

I am done with my radiation treatments! I have some more healing to do but I am through the toughest part! This past week I got to “Ring the Bell” (it was actually a gong) but it was such a great feeling!

It had just been 13 months since my last mammogram when they found the 13 mm invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer, so I ask you to keep up on your yearly screenings! I know a lot of you have made your appointment since hearing my news and it makes me so happy! Early detection is key!

Now a plug to Club 31 members for Alison’s business: Please join Alison and her team for a special St. Patrick’s Day event dancing to a fusion of Zumba, Nia & world dance set to Celtic & River Dance music on Thursday, March 16 from 4:15 – 5:15 pm. Open to all ages and abilities. Come Shake your Shamrocks! Plus enjoy a Free Healthy Green Smoothie afterwards! Don’t forget to wear green! Here is a link to register for the class: https://momence.com/s/71722128

Alison Oyler-Mitsch, Owner
Refresh Studios, 950 Jersey St, Denver, CO 80220-4596
Email: alison@refresh-studios.com

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Gina Yacone
Regional CISO

Date Joined: 1/13/23
Rotary Sponsor: Transferring Rotarian

Gina is the Information Security Official for TRACE3’s mountain state region. Prior to Trace3, Gina managed several organizations’ overall security strategy and operation. Gina is pursuing her master’s degree in cybersecurity. Normally, you can find Gina on a conference stage. She has spoken at over 50 events regarding information security.

Prior to her work in information security, Gina was a licensed private investigator for Barry A. Cohen, P.A., in Tampa, FL. While there, she specialized in high-profile, complex litigation.

As a Rotarian, Gina was an active member of the Rotary Club of Raleigh. She was awarded Rotarian of the Year in 2019 & 2021, and was the club’s Director of Service Project (2019 & 2020), Director of Fundraising (2021), a Public Relations Committee member (2018-2022), the Global Grant Co-Chair (2018-2019), the Habitat for Humanity Co-Chair (2018-2019), and a Signature Gala Committee Member (2019).

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database www.DACdb.com

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Christopher Williams
Founder & Principal
Custament Partners

Date Joined: 2/2/23
Rotary Sponsor: Kris Hemenway


Christopher O.H. Williams is a global executive with 25+ years’ experience leading transformational enterprise change at some of the world’s best-known sport and lifestyle fashion companies and consumer brands. His areas of expertise include strategy and transformation, brand management, international business and go-to-market.

He is currently the Founder and Principal of Custament Partners LLC, an impact advisory firm that caters to supporting disruptor and challenger brands, organizations, and leaders. He is also a Board Director of Reach University, a pioneer of apprenticeship-based degrees in teaching and Chair of the Board of Enda Athletic, a private sportswear brand inspired by Kenyan long-distance runners.

Previously, he was the 1st President and a Board Director of African Leadership University (ALU), 1,500 students) in Mauritius and Rwanda.

Christopher retired from active corporate work in 2018. Over 2 decades, he held senior executive roles in Strategy, Sales, Finance and General Management at adidas, Nike, VF Corporation and Gap. He started his professional career in Investment Banking in Analyst and Associate roles at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers.

He is a former Executive-in-Residence at both ALU and European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin) and sits on the advisory boards of Mizizi African Consumer Holdings, a U.S.-based house of African brands, Pacific University College of Business and Emory & Henry School of Business. He is also a member of both the National Association of Corporate Directors and Private Directors Association. He regularly writes, lectures, and gives keynote speeches to audiences on the topics of Brand Management, Systems Thinking, Multi-Cultural Experience, Consequential Leadership and Courage.

Christopher earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA in Economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude and Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics honors.

Personal and Family
Christopher enjoys global affairs, travelling, painting, and writing. He has lived and worked in 13 cities across the United States, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Today, he, his wife, and two young children live in Denver, Colorado.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database www.DACdb.com

Rotary District 5450 Area One Peace Rally


Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
Time: 6-8 PM
Place: Posner Center, 1031 33rd Street Denver, CO 80205
Cost: $50 per person. Guests under 12 are free of charge


Please join President Lisza Gulyas and Assistant Governor Debbie Beasley along with the Rotary Clubs of Cherry Creek, Denver, LoDo, Mile High, and Five Points RiNo to a special event discussing peace.  The event will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 6- 8 PM at the Posner Center located at 1031 33rd Street Denver, CO 80205.

‘Buchi Anikpezie, our Rotary District Governor will be on hand to open the program. Our speaker will be Charlie Hunt, LoDo Rotarian who served in the Peace Corps in Vanuatu. Charlie will share about his service there and about our Rotary partnership with Peace Corps. In addition, a panel discussion including Rotarians Jim Halderman, Vadym Ostrovskyy (Cherry Creek), our very own Sid Brooks (Denver), Charlie Hunt (LoDo), Nick Melrose (Denver Mile High), and Mike Wright (Five Points RiNo).

Elevated hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Chef Diana Flores with a Peace on Earth inspired catering theme with Mediterranean, Ancient, and Latin flair. Vegan and gluten-free options will be available. Guest over 21 will also be given two drink tickets for beer, wine, or soft drinks.

The program also includes Ukrainian folk music and singing. You will not want to miss this! To register, visit this link:  https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50085/Event/area-1-peace-rally. Reservations will be open through March 28th. We look forward to seeing you there. Peace!

Club 31 Welcomes New Members

Carol Core
Loan Officer
Security First Financial

Date Joined: 1/13/23
Rotary Sponsor: Shannon Stone

Carol Core is a long-time mortgage lender with Security First Financial, one of 300 branches of a larger parent company, Primary Residential Mortgage. Carol’s branch is the number 1 branch in the US. Offering a full service of all types of residential mortgage loans, including reverse.  Carol loves helping people, especially first-time home buyers and working more complex deals. Carol especially enjoys empowering women in the home buying process.

Carol is an award-winning author of her first book, 50 Sanity Saving Tips for Caregivers: You don’t have to kill yourself to keep them alive, and co-author, with her granddaughter, of two children’s books. She is a humorist, a speaker and expert in strategic finance.

Family and friends call her the glue that keeps them all together. Carol is a “glass half full” kind of girl and considers herself a self-made extrovert. She adores spending time with her grandchildren and loves travel.


For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database www.DACdb.com

Club 31 Welcomes New Members

Bart Allen
Associate Broker
Tributary Real Estate​​​​​​​

Date Joined: 12/14/22
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard
& Shannon Stone

Bart Boranian Allen was born and raised in Fresno, CA and went out to the desert to attend the University of Arizona. After understanding his passion for real estate during his time in Arizona, Bart earned his master’s degree in Real Estate and The Built Environment from the University of Denver.

With a passion for philanthropy and community building, Bart is a board member for the Society of Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian relief to orphaned Armenians. He also serves as a buddy mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2019 and is on the membership committee for Mile High Young Professionals. Bart’s mother has been a part of rotary for 25+ years and he is very excited to continue his mother’s legacy!

In his spare time, Bart enjoys traveling, water skiing, and scuba diving.



Ryan Fila
Heart Led Media

Date Joined: 12/14/22
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard
& Harriet Downer

Ryan is a photographer/videographer by trade and storyteller by passion. He loves galivanting the globe – experiencing the spectrum of life! Ryan’s documented Paris Fashion Week, war in Ukraine, and earthquakes in Haiti – but he’s also found joy in the safaris in Kenya and community in the Peruvian Andes.  His desire to explore is almost insatiable, but Denver is his grounding place. Ryan was born in Littleton, and much of his family still lives in this state.  Since Colorado has become as much of home as he’s ever known Ryan’s chosen to set up a media company focused on event photo/video & social media management.

Lover. Athlete. Confused. Mornings. Decaf. Average. Brother. Dynamic. Doer. Present. Imperfect. Creator. Process. Vegetarian. Living.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database www.DACdb.com