Kristin Battenfield

Board President and Director

Board member since: 2017

Area of Expertise: Marketing/Advertising

Kristin’s toy story:

My entire childhood, I remember going to my grandparent’s house in Arizona once or twice a year and a colorful jester pull toy would be peeking around a corner waiting for my sister and I to play with it. We would fight over who got to pull it around the house first to make the loud “musical” noise on the hand-made xylophone. This toy was handmade by our mom’s cousin who is like an uncle to us…he is an accomplished artist in California now but some 40+  years ago he made this toy so that there was always something fun to play with that “lived” at our grandparent’s house.   

Fast forward to 2007 when my amazing 98 year old Grandfather was a few months from passing away: I went to Phoenix to visit him and one afternoon, when the great-grandchildren, five other cousins, and too many relatives to count had somehow disappeared from Grandpa’s assisted living apartment he looked at me and said “I want you to have The Toy”.  Yes, he still had it.  There at the assisted living complex, so when kids came to visit, the musical jester sat peeking around a potted plant on the floor.  He said that the jester belonged in my 130 year old house in Denver and he told me to put it in my bag before anyone else noticed.  It was my favorite toy then and it is, by far, one of my prized possessions now.

Kristin’s Professional Background:  

Kristin grew up in Nebraska and graduated with honors from Missouri State University. She moved to Denver in 1997 and has been in media and advertising for twenty years. After selling newspaper, outdoor advertising, TV and digital medias – Kristin opened her own marketing consulting firm in 2016.   KBat Communications specializes in media placement, digital strategies and non-profit consulting. Kristin has been involved in the Denver non-profit community for 12+ years.   She was a big sister at Big Brothers/Big Sisters, she volunteered for Komen Colorado for 3 years and she then served on the Komen Colorado Board of Directors for 5 years – along with 1 year as Board President.  Kristin has been a member of the Dolls for Daughters® board since early 2017 and is thrilled to be helping kids in the Colorado community.

Learn more about Kristin on her business website:   www.KbatCommunications.com

Becky Steffa

Becky Steffa

Board Vice President and Director

I have worked at FirstBank 23 years and am currently the Director of Consumer Loan Processing.  I oversee many of the teams that conduct the daily operations for consumer lending at FirstBank.  I have been on the board for Kenzi’s Causes since February 2018 and love being a part of such a great organization!  I love to see the smiles on the faces of the kids that the organization reaches. All children deserve to have basic supplies they need to go to school and to have a present to open at Christmas time.  It warms my heart to be a part of it.

Carey Benson

Director

Carey’s Toy Story:

As a child I was an avid reader and we always had books galore in the house. However, I was obsessed with horses as so many other young girls are and specifically with the Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I loved the idea of a horse running through the desert; wind in its mane and tail, and of course whipping my hair as I flew along with him on his back. The shiny jet-black coat and brilliant look in his eye as he floated across the sand effortlessly and gracefully is an image I will forever have in my mind.

Christmas is my favorite holiday; it’s full of family, amazing food, laughter, and of course, presents! My mom is Mrs. Clause on steroids and always makes Christmas special for everyone. It was during one of these amazing Christmas’s my family gave me Farley’s Black Stallion book and a Breyer model horse. I played with that horse everyday for way longer than I would like to admit and the cover of that book is worn and tattered and still sits in my bookshelf today. I also still have the horse, which also sits on a bookshelf reminding me to always dream and always remember to fly.

Carey’s Professional Background:

Carey grew up in the great state of Wyoming with our founder Jessica. They were friends since preschool and reconnected when Carey moved to Denver. Carey went to college at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and studied Psychology. She then attended Springfield College in Massachusetts for her Masters in Education of Athletic Counseling and Sport Psychology.

Carey worked for IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL for 7 years as a Mental Conditioning Coach until the mountains and seasons called her back west. She then worked for the University of Denver Athletic Department in their Student-Athlete Support Services department assisting student-athletes with life outside the playing arena.

While at DU she earned her MBA and decided to venture into the world of staffing where she currently works as a Staffing Executive for Robert Half’s Accountemps, recruiting and managing finance and accounting professionals.

When Carey reconnected with Jessica in 2012 she learned of Dolls for Daughters and felt compelled to volunteer right away not only to support her childhood friend, but also to give back to the Colorado community. As someone who has worked with children her entire adult life and LOVES Christmas (and the holidays in general) Carey is a believer in the mission of Kenzi’s Causes by helping underprivileged families and children, especially during the holidays!

 

Samm Tillotson

Samm Tillotson

Director

Board member since: 2020
Area of expertise:Legal, Business Management, Insurance, Finance

Sammantha Tillotson is an Associate Attorney in Baker & Hostetler LLP’s Complex Commercial Litigation Group. Sammantha’s practice encompasses a wide range of business litigation including breach of contract disputes, insurance defense, and products liability.

Sammantha obtained her B.S. in Business Management from Metropolitan State University. During her time at MSU, Sammantha took an active role in student governance, serving as Student Body President of the then 24,000 large student body. After graduating, Sammantha worked for the manufacturing and technology unit of a premier insurance brokerage, IMA, Inc., where she was trained to help clients identify and mitigate business risks. Inspired by her time as a student leader, Sammantha left IMA to attend law school at the University of Denver, where she obtained her law degree. During her time at DU, Sammantha worked as a Legislative Policy Analyst for Colorado House Representative Mike Foote, served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Michael Martinez in Colorado’s Second Judicial District, and served as counsel for low-income individuals through the Sturm College of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic. Sammantha was also chosen as BakerHostetler’s Paul D. White Diversity Scholar her 1L year, a selection which began her path as a civil litigator with BakerHostetler after graduation.

Sammantha is thoroughly invested in Denver and its business community, and she seeks to inspire others on ways build a successful career, especially those with limited resources who face significant challenges. Recognizing that Metropolitan State University “opened a lot of doors” for her, she remains actively involved on the MSU Business Advisory Board, working to connect students with Denver business leaders. Sammantha regularly teaches “life skills” classes at Warren Village, a local charity that provides housing and support to recently homeless single parents. At the classes, Sammantha helps Warren Village residents gain computer skills that will allow them to create resumes and market themselves to potential employers. She also maintains a close connection with the Sturm College of law. Whether it be conducting mock-interviewing, serving as a judge for 1L oral arguments, or guest lecturing in legal writing courses, Sammantha consistently volunteers to further the success of those now coming through the ranks at DU.

Sammantha is a Denver native who lives downtown with her husband and chubby black lab. Her passions include cooking, travel, dogs, and soccer.  She is extremely excited to join the Board and looks forward to being a part of the all great work Kenzi’s Causes is doing in the community.

 

Betsy Duffy

Secretary

Board Member Since 2019
Area of Expertise: Sales/Media/Advertising
Betsy’s Toy Story:
When I was in third grade, my school sold stuffed animal puppets as a fundraiser.  While my brother opted for the exotic kangaroo, I settled in on a safer selection: a brown bear that I named Fuzzy.  He typically had expired dog tags around his neck, giving him an added layer of legitimacy and importance amongst the other toys in the house. He resided on one of my bed posts until my childhood home was sold seven years ago, at which point we were reunited here in Denver.  Now Fuzzy gets stroller rides from my three year old daughter, lucky guy!
Betsy’s Background:
I am originally from metro Detroit.  After graduating from The University of Michigan, I worked in media in Chicago.  During my second year there, I was staffed on a desk that had projects in Colorado.  This was a fateful assignment since I had skied out here while growing up and had always had a desire to live in Denver.  Ultimately, I was able to use connections and get a job selling media space in Denver.  In more recent years, my career has focused on selling large format print production: both as an individual contributor and as a sales manager.  As a 17 year resident, I now call Denver home.  For more information on my work history, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/betsylyons/
Over the past few years, I have become involved with Kenzi’s Causes and seen the positive change this organization makes in our community here in CO.  I look forward to increasing this impact with the help of these inspiring board members, executive team and volunteers.
chad brady

Chad Brady

Director

My name is Chad Brady and I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I am currently the Colorado South Area Retail Leader for KeyBank. I graduated Magna Cum Lauda from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in accounting. I have been fortunate enough to have had a supportive family and endless resources that have helped me become successful at a young age. I joined Kenzi’s Causes Board because I see the support and resources, they provide their families and their local community. Being part of an organization that supports those in needs is my way of paying forward all the support I received growing up.

I married my beautiful wife in 2017 and together we have two sons, Jaxson age 2 and Easton 6 months. We moved to Denver a year and half ago from Florida and we love exploring all that Colorado has to offer. I enjoy going hiking, playing golf and cheering on the Steelers.

Erik Carruth

Director

Board Member Since: 2018

Area of Expertise: Sales/Operations/Logistics

Erik’s Toy Story:

When I was growing up…as a normal little boy…toys did not last long as either they became buried/lost/destroyed…and not necessarily in that order. But…you were not a true kid in South Texas without your trustee Transformer action figure at your side. I remember fondly of staging wars with Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee against Luke Skywalker and Han Solo (Yes, it was not a fair fight)…but those toys and imagination helped make the great times even greater…and the not-so-great times pass by even faster. As I continued to get older, while the toys certainly changed from action figures…to bikes…etc., I never have forgotten those times when it was just me…a mound of dirt…and my toys.

Erik’s Background:

Coming from my hometown of Rockport, Texas….and learning early on that I had a small gift of being able to push people backwards in a little sport called Football, I attended college at Texas Tech University where along with playing football, I earned an undergraduate in Political Science. Upon continuing my post-graduate education in Business Administration/Marketing…I found my career home in the year 2000 with Safelite AutoGlass.

I began my career as an Account Manager building relationships with our clients in West Texas. After a few years, I moved with Safelite to Dallas-Fort Worth with a new leadership role as the Regional Sales Manager. Leading a team from 16 to 32 individuals across multiple states…I was offered an opportunity to re-locate with my family to the Great State of Colorado. Currently, I have the pleasure an honor working with outstanding/inspirational leaders and associates as the District Manager for Safelite AutoGlass in Denver.

Our purpose at Safelite is – “To Make a Difference, and Bring Unexpected Happiness to People’s Everyday Lives.” Being elected to the board for Dolls for Daughters® gives me and our organization the opportunity to really expand our purpose and work towards making a greater difference in our community.

Katelyn Roberts

Director

Kate Roberts has worked as a strategist and operations specialist for a slew of corporate and political clients, including presidential campaigns and Super PACs, the office of a United States Senator, and multiple Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Roberts managed the day-to-day operations of the successful Proposition DD campaign (2019) Amendments Y and Z constitutional campaign (2018) and Raise the Bar constitutional campaign (2016) in Colorado.

Starting as a Project Manager in 2011 at EIS Solutions and working her way to a partner in the company, her client focus is on issue campaigns, advocacy, and community relations activities, particularly for the energy industry. Professionally, Roberts received a Silver Anvil Award in 2013 from the Houston PRSA Chapter for a case study as part of her community relations work with a Global 500 energy company. In 2018, she was named to the 16 Rising Stars in Denver Politics on Denverite’s Who’s Next list. She is also a graduate of the Impact Denver program, a regional board member of the nonprofit Book Trust, and Public Affairs Committee member for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

 

In 2012, Roberts received an MBA from the University of Denver. She also holds a BS degree in international business from Ithaca College in her home state of New York. She currently lives in Denver with her husband Logan Bobzien and daughter Harper.

Andy McClaflin

Director

Andy McClaflin is a visionary in the Financial Planning Market. Beginning his career in 2002, he is always guided by his vision to bring investment services, financial planning, and a complete wealth planning approach to his clients that benefit every investors’ personalized goals. To Andy, your wealth is not only measured by what your statement balance is but the progress toward your dreams and goals. He values relationships above the sale of any product or service and builds client relationships like they are family.

Andy’s commitment to his craft includes, first, the trust established between the client and financial advisor. Throughout his career, those relationships have always been sacred. Secondly, he has aligned his practice with Raymond James Financial Services. He chose Raymond James because of their corresponding dedication to the best interests of clients and their strong reputation as technology driven, ethical investment planning firm. Lastly, Andy has built Aspen Wealth Strategies from the ground up with a team of like-minded, experienced professionals. The caliber of the Aspen Wealth team is unmatched in firms this size. He created Aspen Wealth Strategies as the next evolution in wealth management and planning. It is Andy’s singular view in the area of asset management and retirement planning that the next evolution of investing will be ruled by customer choice, and he created Aspen Wealth Strategies to bring that vision to life.

An experienced Accredited Asset Management Specialist® and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® himself; he has spent 14 years mastering his craft and seeking out the most principled colleagues in the industry to build the Aspen Wealth team. He is also the author of, Retirement Adventure Roadmap, a book that encourages the reader to “discover their best retirement.” Andy also holds his Series 7, 9, 10, 63, 66 securities licenses, Life, and Variable Annuity insurance licenses.

Andy, along with his Team at Aspen Wealth, has a very strong commitment to giving back. He is active in the community as a past Board of Directors member on JeffCo Schools Foundation, chairing the Development Committee, and the Arvada Food Bank, serving as Treasurer. Additionally, Andy participates a member in the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and strong parent supporter of Jefferson County Schools.

Andy lives in Arvada, Colorado, with his wife, Gina and daughter Arianna.

Professional Time Line

  • 2002- Bachelors of Business Administration Fort Hays State University.
  • 2003- 2013 – Financial Advisor | Edward Jones
    • Certified Retirement Planning Counselor | CRPC
    • Accredited Asset Management Specialist | AAMS
  • 2013- Current – Wealth Advisor, Raymond James Financial Services | CEO, Aspen Wealth Strategies
    Named Best in State Wealth Advisors by Forbes and Shook Research 2018 & 2019
Mendelle Elit

Mendelle Elit

Director

Board member since: 2019
Area of expertise: Accounting/Finance

Gift story: My favorite toys as a kid were games…..Simon, Merlin and Uno my favorite. I loved having a group of friends over and playing for hours. As an adult we still enjoy playing games at get togethers. 

Professional Background: Mendie is an Accounting Consultant Engagement Director for a national consulting firm. She is a licensed CPA and has worked for various organizations in manufacturing for the majority of her career.  Her strengths are in partnering with non-finance functions and mentoring young professionals. Early in her career she learned the benefit of helping non-accountants understand financial reporting and identifying opportunities for improvement.  

Mendie attended the University of Colorado in Denver where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting.  Mendie is a Colorado native and currently lives in Castle Rock with her husband. Together they have 6 kids ranging from 18-25 years in age and enjoy spending time skiing, camping, hiking and scuba diving.

Youth Advisory Board Members

Raj

I am Raj, a fifth grader at Good Shepherd Catholic School. My favorite Christmas gift was probably my iPad. My favorite toys are my 5 Rubik’s Cubes. As I grow up so fast, I still can remember the time where I collected 716 pounds of food in school. I went to every classroom and told them about my drive. I was about 5 (a little younger) and in Kindergarten. I am new to the board, as of November 2017. I hope to continue to work with Dolls for Daughters® and Kenzi’s Kids for the rest of my life. I play football, tennis, a tiny bit of soccer every month (no league), and running. I adore Dolls for Daughters® and I am really excited for this year!

Bailey
I have always loved American Girl dolls whether they were a lookalike or the “doll of the year” I had endless dress up clothes and my grandma even built a house set for them. When I was ten I was particularly obsessed with American Girl dolls and all I really wanted for Christmas that year was a curly haired, freckle faced, blue eyed lookalike doll. I hoped and hoped and hoped to walk down the stairs and see her waiting for me in her perfectly pristine outfit and there she was! I had the ability to create any scene with my dolls and give them a script to follow. I loved making little iMovies that showcased their “day to day lives” now that I think about it, maybe that’s what sparked my love for acting….
Bailey goes to school at Stanley BPS and enjoys participating in Language Arts and Social Studies, plays basketball on the school team and loves to act in the different school plays.
Vivek
When I was just learning to talk (around 16 months), I told my parents that I wanted a stuffed animal as big as I was. After seeing my parents take care of me, I too wanted something to take care of. So when they came home one day with a big, brown stuffed dog, I was ecstatic. I shrieked in joy as I ran over to hug my friend. The dog who I eventually named Ralphy became my playmate. At night, when the sound of the AC frightened me out of my pants, I would hug and cuddle with him. To this day, he still sits on the edge of my bed and protects me. He still reminds me of how he was the first thing to give me the gift of friendship.
I am an 8th grader at Kend Denver School. I enjoy painting, skiing, laughing, and participate in Speech and Debate at school. Most of all, I love spending time with my family.
Kam

I have always loved soccer and wanted a pair of soccer cleats a new pair wether it was Nike or adidas or had a sleeve or not. I just really wanted a pair of soccer cleats. I play soccer in my house and outside but wanted a cool pair. I was obsessed with soccer and knew that that was what I wanted. I could barley sleep imagining if I would get them and what they would look like. Soon enough it was morning and walked down the stairs slowly and just hopped to see a pair of soccer cleats and sure enough when I got down the stairs and to the living room there they were. A nice pair of blue and whit pair of Nike soccer cleats. I lit up with happiness I ran over and put them on. That might be one of the reasons that I love soccer so much.

I am a sixth grader at Stanley BPS and enjoy math and gym and am on my school basketball team most of all I love seeing my family.

Ramsey
Ramsey

I am Ramsey, a 7th grader at St. John’s Lutheran School Wash Park. When I was 8 years old, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a beginner’s kit on how to do magic tricks. I spent countless hours learning and perfecting each trick and still love sharing them with my friends and family. That magic kit really helped me to realize that I have a passion for performing and acting and I am now a member of the Colorado Children’s Theatre. I also enjoy playing lacrosse and basketball, making movies, playing piano and skiing and snowboarding. I volunteered at last year’s Kenzi’s Causes Toy Shop and it was so great to see all of the families receive their gifts. I am very excited to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board!

Colter

I’m a 7th grader at Goddard Middle School. I love to play soccer but I would also like to play football. My favorite Christmas gift was my first Xbox I loved this gift because it gave me a way to play with my friends in different ways than I could before. I chose to join Kenzi’s Causes because it so rewarding to see a child’s face light up when they get their Christmas present.

Payton
I am a 7th grader at Goddard Middle School. I am new to the Youth Advisory Board as of April 2019. I enjoy soccer, basketball, playing the violin, reading, and spending time with my friends and family. My favorite gift I ever got was a trip to Yellowstone with my grandparents. I remember how excited I was and that’s when I decided I wanted to help with a non profit. I wanted to help the kids that wanted toys or gifts because I new that the felling of getting a gift that you want is one of the best things that can happen. Being at the Toy Shop really changed my perspective of what Kenzi Causes does. I hope I am able to be involved with the other fundraisers that are coming in the new year. I am really looking forward to helping kids.