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Chapter Leadership


    Mikki Gates, SHRM-SCP

    With more than 20 years navigating the wild world of People & Culture, I'm your go-to strategic HR leader, currently as the Head of HR for iDE (International Development Enterprises). I'm all about bringing some serious pizzazz to the workplace – whether it's fine-tuning processes, crafting inclusive and engaging employee experiences, or just making sure everyone feels like they've hit the career jackpot.

    At the heart of it all, I'm a firm believer that our employees' safety and happiness come first. Because, let's be real, a happy workplace is a productive one.

    Beyond the HR hustle, you'll catch me leading the charge at our local TEDx events, sharing and soaking up awesome ideas. I've also got a bit of wanderlust in my veins – there's nothing like exploring new corners of the globe and getting a taste of different cultures.

    But here's the twist – I'm also a certified escape room junkie. Give me a puzzle, mix in some teamwork, and I'm in my element. Because who says HR can't be a bit quirky and a whole lot of fun?

    In a nutshell, I'm on a mission to sprinkle some fun into work life while keeping things running like a well-oiled machine.

    With all of this, I am honored to serve as the President for Colorado Springs SHRM and look forward to working with all the amazing HR folks in our community.



    Clint Calli, M.J., SPHR

    Clint started his career in HR within the retail sector.  He was an HR Operations Manager for Kohl’s, supporting several stores throughout Colorado, including Castle Rock, multiple stores in Denver, and Grand Junction. He moved from that role to a Store Manager, leading teams of various sizes in both Pueblo and Denver. During his time with Kohl’s, he was a District HR Captain, where he supported training, company initiatives, and rollouts for over 1500 employees in 15 locations. He also served as the campus recruiting captain for the University of Colorado system.

    Clint is currently the Director of HR with Space Foundation, where he has been since 2018. Clint supports team members and leaders within the organization in all facets of HR. The highlight of his time there has been leading the HR function through tremendous growth, where the organization’s workforce doubled in size over a 2-year period. Clint earned his undergraduate degree from UCCS and has a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane Law School.

    Though they had moved away at one point, Clint and his wife, Stephanie, couldn’t stay gone and were drawn back to Colorado Springs. They are passionate about our community and intend on staying here with their two children.


    Immediate Past President 

    Jen DeFranco, MA HRM, ODCP, SHRM-SCP, PHR

    Jen DeFranco has been in the HR field since 2002. She has spent most of her career in the non-profit sector as well as some time with a PEO. She enjoys mentoring, coaching, strategic planning, employee relations, benefits management, and organizational development.

    Jen currently works as an HR Consultant for the Employers Council. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Webster University. She holds her PHR and SHRM-SCP.  

    Jen grew up in Indianapolis and has called Colorado her home since 1998. She enjoys walking our beautiful trails, knitting, paper crafts, and coffee.




    Nina Woodard, SHRM- SCP

    Ms. Woodard serves currently as the President and Chief ‘N’ Sights Officer for Nina E. Woodard & Associates.  Ms. Woodard strives to heighten confidence in business leaders as they move into the Indian and other foreign marketplaces, help them increase their understanding of the cultural nuances influencing business in foreign markets, and engage in more meaningful and productive communications with their new colleagues; all to increase business results.  In addition to her consulting practice, Ms. Woodard is a  Lecturer at UAGC and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.  She founded her consulting company after a 32-year banking career with 25 years of emphasis in Human Resource Management at the Executive Level.  After being an SHRM member and leader for many years, she launched the SHRM India office as the first Managing Director in 2006, after experiencing the opportunity while on an international assignment.

    She has a bachelor’s degree in Management and an MBA and is certified as a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management and an SPHR/GPHR by HRCI. She serves on the National Global Expertise Panel for SHRM and the California State Council of SHRM as a part of the continuity committee. She is a Business Advisor for  Husys Consulting in India and to the Board of Directors for JBS and their VetCTAP program. On July 1, 2022, Nina became the Chair of the Board of Directors for Colorado Springs-based Safe Place for Pets ( She is the Past President of San Diego SHRM, and following her move to Colorado, she is a member of the Colorado Springs SHRM Chapter.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Skill Beyond Boundaries as UK based startup.



    James Gourley

    Hello, my name is James Gourley, and I am a Psychology graduate from the University of Iowa. During my time as an undergrad, I worked jobs in retail and food service while volunteering as a research assistant in two psychology labs. I moved to Colorado in 2022 to enjoy the outdoors and soon after landed an HR internship with Space Foundation. Entering as a very green intern I was very grateful to gain a lot of knowledge and experience in HR and am now the HR Coordinator at Space Foundation. I have enjoyed getting to know the staff, interviewing and hiring new employees, and being able to run our internal morale committee to help plan things that brighten the team’s days.

    I have grown very accustomed to the Colorado lifestyle and spend most of my free time camping, hiking, going to concerts, or snowboarding.


    Vice President of Programs

    Heather Kissack, Ph.D., M.S., CTP

    Heather has more than 20 years of human resource experience. She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development and is a Certified Training Professional (CTP). She has served as the chief human resources officer with several employers and possesses significant experience in all areas of the industry including, but not limited to, learning and development, policies and compliance, performance management, talent acquisition, total rewards, employee relations and coaching, and employment/job classifications. Recently, Heather founded Kissack HR Consulting and currently works to help clients reach their business goals by supporting their human resource needs.


    Vice President of Membership

    Erin Johnson

    Erin Johnson is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a decade of dynamic experience, currently acting as the Human Resources Manager for DSoft Technology. 

    She has a passion for continued learning and development and empowering teams to reach their full potential. Erin’s dedication in fostering a positive work environment led her to contribute to the development of effective processes and employee engagement initiatives.

    Her enthusiasm for employee relations is evident in her ability to address workplace concerns with sensitivity. Her cross-industry exposure, ranging from non-profit to municipalities, has honed her ability to adapt HR strategies to various work cultures. With a proven track record in change management, benefits administration, and compliance, Erin is a versatile HR professional who combines deep expertise with a forward-thinking approach. Her commitment to fostering collaborative environments and nurturing talent continues to make her a driving force in managing people operations. As an HR leader, Erin is eager to take on new challenges and her passion for promoting a culture of inclusivity and positivity showcases her impact in the Human Resources field.


    Director of Certification

    Melanie White

    Melanie "Lanie" White has been in HR since 2004 and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the profession. She has worked in various industries, including DoD, hospitality, and education. While she brings experience in many HR functions, she considers her area of HR expertise to be employee relations, as she enjoys roles where she can partner with leaders to provide coaching and guidance regarding employment law, performance management, and succession planning to department supervisors, managers, and executive staff. She is extremely passionate about driving positive change and dedicating time to company-wide projects that focus on large- and small-scale solutions geared towards improving critical aspects such as employee retention, engagement, and culture.

    Melanie earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, both from the University of Central Arkansas. She also holds her SHRM-SCP and PHR certifications.


    Vice President of Technology & Social Media

    Samuel Long

    Samuel Long is a Colorado native working as a Human Resource Support Specialist at UC Denver Anschutz for the Department of Surgery. 

    Previously, Samuel was a director of marketing & media for UCCS SHRM, and with experience working with local small businesses such as “Hey Good Lukken!”  for market analysis improvements and opportunities for growth. 

    He has a stalwart enthusiasm befitting a renowned HR professional with vigor on the future of Human Resources as it relates to data analytics and the philosophical nature of what goes into being a reliable source of information to the HR community some of which include: observation, engagement in a digital age, cultural appreciation & integration, investment into vocational training, and how empathy cultivates societal change in the digital age.



    Director of Belonging

    MelindaJoy Mingo

    As the founder/president of Significant Life Change, Inc.© Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo has worked in multifaceted capacities such as high-impact leadership training for individuals and organizations, equity and inclusion training, racial justice contextualized curriculum development, national and international motivational speaking, and diversity initiatives at the grassroots and community level. She has worked in the Human Resource Development(HRD) field for over 20 years in various career capacities as a human resource director, supervisor of volunteers, corporate assessments and strategic planning consultant, a human resource recruiter for the law enforcement arena, and an employment law professor. 

    In the state of Colorado, she has conducted diversity, equity, and inclusion training seminars for agencies such as Leadership Pikes Peak, the Denver Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Colorado Springs Police Department, the Department of Corrections, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and for the Denver Institute of Urban Studies to name a few.


    Director of Government & Legislative Affairs

    Maggie Roddy, Esq., SHRM-SCP


    Bio coming soon





    Director of College Relations

    Jade Johnson-Masuen, SHRM-SCP

    Jade Johnson-Masuen is an HR professional with over 10 years of experience. Jade has been immersed in all aspects of HR throughout her professional career. She has worked with defense, medical, logistics, and National Governing Body (NGB) employers in the local Colorado Springs area.  Jade’s areas of focus include employee relations, labor relations, full-cycle recruiting, engagement, DEI, benefits administration, performance management, and change management.




    Director of Workforce Readiness

    Grace Ferguson

    Grace Ferguson has more than 10 years of experience in Human Resources in a variety of public and private entities.  She also has more than 10 years of experience working in Secondary and Higher Education where she developed a passion for work-based learning, career-connected education, CTE, concurrent enrollment, career exploration, and talking with students about finding career paths that fit their interests and strengths.

    In her free time, you will find Grace helping students and adults with resumes, cover letters, and preparing for interviews.  She loves to cheer on her beloved Purdue Boilermakers and going to the beach where she can wade, swim, snorkel, paddleboard and shell hunt.  Grace is a foodie at heart and you can find her trying the best local eateries and donut shops in whatever town she is visiting.