Annual Conference Recap 2019

Annual Conference Recap 2019

It was another successful conference thanks to Erica Norris and her planning committee! The Hotel Talisa in Vail was a spectacular location and the conference was filled will lots of opportunity to learn, network, and be inspired.

Passing the Gavel

The conference kicked off with the epic ‘passing of the gavel’ to the new president. Unfortunately, due to the resignation of President-Elect, Heidi Markey, I literally just passed the gavel from my right hand to my left hand, as I will be your CAFAA President for another year. Here are the lucky folks who were elected to serve with me on the next board:

  • President-Elect: Jill Robertson, Colorado School of Mines
  • Vice President: Dean Wilson, Community College of Denver
  • Treasurer-Elect: Barb Marshall, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Secretary: Gina Wenzel-Garza, Arapahoe Community College
  • 4 Year Public Sector Rep: Anum Siddiqui, Metro State University
  • 2 Year Public Sector Rep: Brent Edwards, Front Range Community College
  • 4 Year Private Sector Rep: Aubrey Rapacz, University of Denver
  • Proprietary Sector Rep: Kirsten DeSart, Paul Mitchell the School
  • Service Sector Rep: Shawn Murphy, Sallie Mae

Programming & Philanthropy

Emily Burns with CDHE, and NASFAA’s Megan McClean provided virtual presentations at the conference covering state and federal legislative updates. We also had a federal update presented by David Bartlett with the Department of Education. And of course, the conference would not have been complete without an update from our RMASFAA President, Myra Pfannenstiel!

We also had an inspiring keynote speaker, Amy Charity, who challenged us all to be our authentic selves. My favorite part of the conference each year is when we announce how much money we raised for our designated charity. This year, we held a silent auction and raised $1,500 for A Precious Child. I’m in awe of CAFAA’s generosity.

Award Recipients

On Thursday night, we all got dressed up for the Gala, where the following CAFAA award recipients were honored:

  • Student Success Champion of the Year: Shannon Webber, Red Rocks Community College
  • Lifetime Membership: Eileen Griego, Colorado State University
  • President’s Service Award: Erica Norris, FATV

Congratulations to these very deserving women!

Conference Committee & Corporate Partners

A big thank you to the conference planning committee:

  • Erica Norris, FATV
  • Cynthia (Cyndi) Montoya, Front Range Community College
  • Kristina Moss, Pikes Peak Community College
  • Ella Frazier, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Shawn Murphy, SallieMae
  • Anum Siddiqi, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • LeAnne Schnader, Colorado State University
  • Allie Masse, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Sara Gossman, FATV
  • Dan Harris, Community College of Denver
  • Mike Pearce, Colorado Community College Systems
  • Justin Martinez, Front Range Community College
  • Ciel Senechal, College Ave Student Loans

I would also like to thank the corporate conference partners: SixUp, Wells Fargo, Citizens Bank, CampusLogic, Discover Loans, FATV, KHEAA, CommonBond, College Ave Student Loans, Elm Resources, SOFI and Sallie Mae. Thank you for your continued support of CAFAA.

Thank you to the entire CAFAA membership for allowing me to serve as your president last year, part of this year and next year. I’m truly honored to serve in this very important role!

Ofelia Morales
Director of Financial Aid
University of Colorado Boulder
CAFAA President (3rd time’s a charm)