Meet the Team

Shelly Mahon

Executive Director, Board Chair

Shelly is passionate about supporting parents in navigating the challenging, emotional, and rewarding experience of having a loving, lasting relationship with their child.

She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Prevention Science and specialties in adolescent development, program development and evaluation, and parent-child relationships. As the Executive Director, Shelly is responsible the oversight and direction of the organization, fundraising, advocacy, and managing external relationships and collaborations. Shelly believes that PEN provides a context in which parents can both celebrate their accomplishments and have constructive conversations when real issues arise. She has been with PEN since 2007, first as a parent volunteer, then as a consultant and board member. Shelly has been the Executive Director since Jan. 2015.

Paula Nelson

Co-Founder, Board Chair

Paula's vision is to address the underlying issues impacting the health and well-being of youth and families, rather than employing a bandaid approach to problems.

As a co-founder and a member of the initial task force addressing increased substance use issues in Boulder, Paula led efforts to establish PEN as a strength-based organization that capitalizes on family strengths and builds protective factors. To Paula, this is at the core of PEN’s work. Paula is also a co-founder and member of the HOPE Coalition of Boulder. She served as a board of the Second Wind Fund of Boulder, been a PEN school team leader, and been active on SIT and PTOs at all school levels since 2001. She is the mother of 3 grown children and hopes that PEN’s legacy will continue on as a support for families in the future.

Kate Spector

Program Director, Board Member

Kate is passionate about helping first-generation students and families from the Latino community navigate the pathway to graduation, college admission, financial aid and career planning.

She is trained as a licensed school counselor and served as the post-secondary counselor in the Adelante program serving first generation students in Boulder High School. Kate’s skills in research and content creation support the growth and coaching goals of PEN while ensuring the fidelity of PEN messaging. She has supported PEN since 2003, serving as a PEN school leader and developing many of the programs PEN teams currently employ. She has also served on PTOs, SIT, and DPC since 2001.

Sandy Hay

Secretary, Board Member
Retired Nurse
Sandy highly values the personal connections and many learning opportunities PEN provides, not only as a parent of young adults, but as a board member.

She has participated in the Parent Engagement Network since 2004. She has been a PEN School Team leader at both middle and high schools, board secretary and committee member. Professionally, Sandy is retired from a 25 year career as a registered nurse, specializing in cardiac intensive care. In addition, as the sole staff nurse in 3 new hospital based cardiac rehabilitation programs she has experience in team management, program and protocol development, and patient education. She personally attributes PEN to being a dependable and necessary support during many parenting challenges, especially durizng the teenage years. Sandy is a married mother of 2 grown sons.

Ed Johnson

Treasurer, Board Member

Master’s Degree from M.I.T in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering

Ed believes that becoming a parent is a critical aspect of growing as a person.

He shared, “I high school teacher once said this to me. As a teenager at the time, I figured I already knew everything and completely dismissed her. Now, more than 20 years later, I see how right she was as my sons have challenged me in ways that nothing else has. PEN helps parents navigate the ever-changing playbook that is raising children and I’m glad to be helping such a vital part of our community.”

He is currently the CTO and Co-founder of Goally a local company focused on developing high-tech tools for parents. Prior to joining PEN, he was a Partner, CFO, and Instructor at FunGram delivering STEM education to elementary and middle school children throughout Boulder Valley School District. He shares:

Ed has lived in Colorado since 1998, and enjoys mountain biking and hiking with his wife and 2 young boys. Ed has served as the treasurer since 2016.

Rosabelle Rice

Board Member

Translation & Interpretation Specialist

Rosabelle believes that everyone should be valued, respected and seen as an individual.

As the translation and interpretation representative for PEN, she is passionate about ensuring that our entire community has access to the support and services they need. Rosabelle is the acting chair of the Latino Advisory Board to the City of Lafayette, a Federally Certified Spanish Interpreter, and a Certified Medical Interpreter.  She manages interpreters and translators in over 20 languages for clients ranging in diversity from Immigrations and Naturalization Services, to Architectural and Medical firms in the Denver and Memphis area. She was a member of Escuela Bilinguel Site Improvement Team (SIT) from 2006-2008, advocating for Spanish speaking parents and helping ensure that interpretation was provided on an ongoing basis. She is past chair of the Parent Teacher Organization chair at Pioneer Bilingual Elementary, Lafayette.

Brianna Mahon

Board Member & Social Media Marketing 

Owner & Founder of Triarc Digital Marketing & Social Media Agency

Bri's passion is to use marketing as a positive tool to pass along PEN’s mission and vision.

Bri joined the PEN team in 2016 and runs all marketing and social media programs.  As a yoga teacher and business owner in the marketing world, Bri seeks to share authentic and balanced living through all social media platforms. Bri has lead high school girls’ empowerment groups, mission trips and youth group events for teens, taught music and yoga to kids of all ages, and studied adolescent psychology. She understands the role social media plays in our lives, and believes in the importance of sharing the impact it directly has on teens, families, and relationships. Bri hopes that her work with PEN has a meaningful and long-lasting impact.

Debbie Brinley

Board Member & Support Staff

President, Bright Side Mediation LLC 

Debbie Brinley is passionate about her work with families and creating a more positive, peaceful world.

Her professional work as a mediator, parenting coordinator/decision maker and restorative justice practitioner allow her to pursue these passions. Debbie graduated from Bucknell University, cum laude, with a degree in psychology and a concentration in English literature and received her law degree from George Washington University School of Law. She was a litigator with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. for many years and in 2010 founded her own business, Bright Side Mediation, LLC. She is also a trained crisis counselor and has many hours of professional training in motivational interviewing, dispute resolution, mediation, restorative justice, substance abuse prevention and parenting coaching.  Debbie believes that PEN’s work is critical to providing parents with the tools and support they need to navigate the wonderful and challenging journey of parenthood.

Lori Dulberg

Board Member

Energetic collaborator focused on student success at Front Range Community College

Lori is passionate about helping people of all ages become the best version of themselves.

She is MBTI qualified, and has an MBA and M.Ed. Her experience includes business, sales management, organization development, high school counseling and college advising. She currently works in an advising role for Front Range Community College. In this context, she gets the privilege of watching young adults consider their career options and make plans for their future. Lori and her family recently moved to Colorado from Chicago and she has fallen in love with spending time exploring Colorado by hiking and participating in snow sports. She plugged into the PEN community right away, and enjoys the organization because she believes that the people inspire her to be the best version of herself.

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