A self-described thought disrupter and warrior for nonprofits, Melissa is the Principal of Vertical Strategies, Executive Director of the Eastern Plains Healthcare Consortium, and Assistant Professor at Regis University. She is committed to creating nonprofit sustainability through navigating uncertainty, and inspiring students who have a similar passion. She has spent the last 20 years working in human service and healthcare related nonprofits, and is most currently passionate about working with organizations across the United States.
As a previous pianist and music therapist turned administrator and teacher, Melissa brings a unique perspective when it comes to creating solutions for social justice. Influenced by her son, students, and nonprofit professionals, she aspires to never stop working for a more just world.
For more information, visit her CV here.
A masterful problem solver with over ten years of experience working in Healthcare Operations/Administration and Finance. Megan brings experience in full scope practice administration at both clinic and hospital levels, expertise in EHR and practice management systems, policy development and implementation strategy, and has a proven history of effective implementation of procedural and systematic change at both local and national levels. Her diverse background has created a unique understanding of global systems and the ability to recognize areas of opportunity within new or existing systems and effectively implementing opportunistic change with positive outcomes.
Megan is committed to strengthening systems and empowering non-profits to break barriers and execute high level services through sustainable means and is grateful for the opportunity to work with such diverse entities striving toward the development of just and equitable programs.
As a diligent critical thinker and passionate relationship builder, Felipe is often pushing the boundaries of what is possible. By challenging conventional problem solving, guiding trust building processes, and performing root cause analyses, Felipe supports creative and technical actions vital for strategic development and pursuit.
As an avid wisdom seeker and storyteller, he has spent the better part of the last 25 years gaining perspective from 150 human cultural groups ranging by geography, identity, progeny, and belief. He has 15 years of focused study and practice in: Environmental and Occupational Health Science, International Business, Spanish Literature and Language, Labor and Food Systems, and Human Ecology. He has 10 years of focused work and leadership, serving in various roles from front-line to executive, in Labor and Community Organizing. Mostly in developing and carrying out strategies to build dignity and respect with working people and the most affected communities. Learning from failure and accomplishment, he has been part of several systemic and institutional campaigns for change at the business, organization, community, city, county, region, and national level (international is on the horizon).
His influence and values are strongly built on growing up in an immigrant working class family in rural Midwestern area of the United States and as a decedent of growers/foragers/artisans, healers, and creatives/inventors. Currently, he serves as a principal with Vertical Strategies, as Team Lead with the Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County, and as Culture of Health Leader Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Felipe lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, two children, and extended families.
Dwayne is a health and equity advocate working locally, globally, and everywhere in between to help build healthier communities. He has held leadership positions in several prominent non-profit organizations and has helped to advance local, state and federal policies, promote health equity, and worked to eliminate disparities across multiple determinants of health. Dwayne is an appointed member and co-chair of the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African-American Males (MCAAM) and the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) where he Chairs the Health Subcommittee. He also serves on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia Philanthropy Network, American Heart Association, Kynett Foundation, Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program, and the Alliance for Agriculture in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dwayne is a former Peace Corps volunteer, and is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader.
Principal- HMRx Advisors
Tarra Gerlach manages a team of professionals to provide the highest level of transactional and operational services. She has 13 years experience in medical management and 15 years experience in accounting and financial management. This includes the opportunity to act as the finance manager for hospital based physicians, including radiologists and anesthesiologists and as the practice administrator for an ophthalmology practice specializing in corneal surgery. Tarra has also owned and operated her own accounting firm specializing in QuickBooks consulting and bookkeeping/accounting support. In addition to bookkeeping, accounting and tax services, Tarra has facilitated strategic planning sessions, budgeting meetings and performed analysis on office efficiencies, joint ventures and potential practice purchases.
Tarra earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Nebraska and her Masters in Business with an emphasis in accounting from Regis University. She has served on the Colorado Medical Group Management Association as corporate liaison. She currently serves on the board of three non-profits. Tarra supports the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute as Treasurer, as well as Secretary for the American Academy PTO.
Senior Advisor- HMRx Advisors
Mike has managed physician groups since 1985. His health care career began in clinical research and cardiopulmonary diagnostics after completing his undergraduate degree in Biology/Physiology in the 1970s.
Mike graduated with an MBA in the early 1980s, and was a founding partner of Healthcare Management Systems, a practice management group on the west coast. Since arriving in Denver in 1991, he has held positions with HealthONE and Centura, and was Clinic Administrator for a primary care group from 1997 – 2003.
He earned his Doctorate in Business Administration/Health Services, and has been full time faculty at Regis University since 2001. Mike is currently Professor in the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions at Regis University, and has attained the distinction of Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Office Admin and Accounting- HMRx Advisors
Jess is a detail oriented, highly organized, and driven accounting student with more than 12 years of administrative experience, 8 years of managerial experience, and over 15 years of customer service. Jess currently holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness. The emphasis in corporate fitness has allowed her to focus her studies on the management and entrepreneurial aspects of health, fitness, and recreation. Jess has experience working with non-profits, government entities, and private businesses/corporations. Through her work in recreation management, Jess found her passion in accounting, which led her to pursue her second bachelor’s degree in accounting with the end goal of obtaining her CPA license. In her spare time, Jess loves to spend time doing outdoor activities with her son and volunteering.
Veronica has been an organizer and researcher in the labor movement for 15 years. She has worked for the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) and several other service worker unions and workers’ centers. At ROC, she led East Coast One Fair Wage efforts and conducted strategic and corporate research. Veronica is a recipient of the Berger Marks Foundation “Edna” Award for female social justice leaders and a Data and Society Fellowship. She also earned an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics.