Chris Weiss

Executive Director

Chris joined the Second Wind Fund team in April of 2016 as Development Director, and became Executive Director in November 2019. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2007 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After college, he served in the United States Peace Corps in the country of Belize from 2008-2010. Upon returning to the U.S., he worked for Urban Peak – a Denver non-profit that provides a variety of services to youth experiencing homelessness – in the Education & Employment Department as a Job Retention Specialist then the Development Department as the Development Manager. Chris brings a passion for making the world a better place and serving those in need.

Mandy McKnight

Controller/Director of Operations

Mandy has been working in the nonprofit industry for 15 years in the areas of accounting, operations, and marketing. Her relationship with Second Wind Fund began in 2005 when the program was beginning to expand throughout Jefferson County Schools. At the time, she worked for the fiscal sponsor of Second Wind Fund before it became an independent nonprofit. After several years of working for a local public jazz radio station, Mandy returned to Second Wind Fund in 2010. Mandy continues to be inspired by the hope and dedication of the donors, suicide loss survivors, and volunteers who support Second Wind Fund.

Bill Heaston

Program Director

Bill joined the Second Wind Fund in November of 2021. With fifteen years of non-profit management experience, his passion is serving children and families through their most difficult of times. An Omaha native,  Bill attended Creighton University (2005), where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Upon graduation, Bill worked in Boston’s Dudley Square at a family homeless shelter and eventually at a non-profit called Friends of the Children where he mentored youth in the public school system and supervised other mentors. Bill completed his Master’s Degree in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago in 2010 and worked with the State of Illinois handling abuse and neglect cases on the Southside. Prior to joining SWF, Bill was an integral member of the management team for ten years at Completely KIDS, an Omaha non-profit that serves vulnerable children and families in the afterschool setting. During his tenure, he saw major agency growth and development including the expansion of mental health services to children in afterschool programs. Bill is an avid Creighton Bluejay’s fan and a happy dog dad to two pups, Millie and Phineas.

Mary Houlihan

Provider Engagement Manager

Mary joined the Second Wind Fund team in March of 2020 as the Referral Specialist and was promoted to Provider Engagement Manager in March of 2021. After graduating from Knox College with an educational focus in Psychology and Inter-Group Dialogue practices, Mary worked for a local Colorado community mental health center where she provided clinical care to youth. Both in the community and in the home, Mary was fortunate enough to support middle school students in prevention and early intervention, as well as work to provide trauma focused care on an in-home therapy team. Mary is driven by her passion for supporting healthy systems, both big and small, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Elyse Baumgardner

Referral Specialist

Elyse joined the Second Wind Fund team in March of 2021 as Referral Specialist. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, she began volunteering in the nonprofit sector. At the Rose Andom Center in Denver, she supports survivors of intimate partner violence by connecting them with resources to aid in their healing process. Elyse is driven by a passion to empower others as well as the desire to make a difference in the community.

Olivia Pilcher

Western Slope Community Manager

Olivia joined Second Wind Fund as the Western Slope Community Manager in March of 2022. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs from Northern Arizona University in 2011 and a master’s degree in social work from University of Denver in 2015. Prior to joining Second Wind Fund Olivia worked in various capacities in the social work field including positions in community resource navigation, substance use treatment, and disability rights advocacy. Olivia lives in Grand Junction and enjoys spending time outdoors and enjoying all Western Colorado has to offer.

Michelle Aquino

Development Director

Michelle joined the Second Wind Fund team as Development Director at the end of August 2021. In 2006, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Management from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and in 2009 received her Master of Science degree in Non-Profit Management from The New School University in New York, NY. After graduate school, Michelle worked on the development team at The Michael J. Fox Foundation from 2009-2015 where she planned, produced, and executed the Foundation’s five annual benefit events, raising approximately $6 million per year. From 2015-2019, she worked as the Events Manager for several nonprofits such as buildOn, the One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Love and Americares where she continued to produce and plan events across the country. Michelle is passionate about raising critical funds for nonprofits and serving the community to help those in need.

We believe that all communities and people are affected by suicide and that open, honest communication about the pervasiveness of suicide is critical to reducing its incidence.

Together, we can work to eradicate youth suicides.

Board of Directors

Michael Juba
Attorney, Hardy & Juba LLC
Board President

Orrick Nepomuceno
Talent Acquisition Partner, Executive Search, Becton Dickinson
Board Vice President

Andy Kerr
County Commissioner, District 2 – Jefferson Board of County Commissioners
Board Member

Barbara Downing, Ph.D.
Student Equity and Discipline Manager, Denver Public Schools
Board Member

Kayla Fulginiti, LCSW
Director of Programs, Dear Jack Foundation
Board Secretary

Jane Lineman, Ph.D., NCSP
Student Safety Coordinator, Denver Public Schools 
Board Member

Cynthia Giffen, MA, NCC, LPC
Therapist, Synchronicity Counseling LLC 
Board Member

Marjorie Laird, Ph.D., LMFT, LPC
Therapist, Marjorie Laird LLC
Board Member + Co-Founder

John Schliep
Finance Director, RMHC – Denver
Board Member

Madelon Lapidus
Attorney, Holland & Hart LLP
Board Member

Bryan Wallace 
Managing Director, Bridgepoint Investment Banking
Board Member

Ken Wiig
Advisory Board Member

Kathy Valentine, M.Ed.
Chairperson, HOPE Coalition of Boulder County
Advisory Board Member