Give us a brief overview of your personal and professional background.

I am a Virginia native but decades ago, I migrated very indirectly to Colorado via Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle. Here in Denver, I formed an economics consulting firm, Coley/Forrest, that specialized in public finance, water resources impacts, real estate and financial feasibility

I hold economics degrees from William and Mary and the University of Michigan. I consider myself a life-long learner. In that spirit, I have taken quite an eclectic set of classes and earned certificates in physics, social entrepreneurship, music theory, track and field, storytelling and others. 

How did you learn about SVP Denver? 

I learned about SVP through staff at The Denver Foundation. Having retired from my business practice, I wanted to roll up my sleeves and work with nonprofits, directly. They guided me to SVP Denver, a project of The Denver Foundation.

Why did you join SVP?

I saw an opportunity to be a hands-on problem-solver for nonprofits in a collaborative setting.  

What’s your experience with SVP Denver been so far?

I have worked with several nonprofits including A Child’s Song, Denver Urban Scholars and now, Clothes for Kids. In each case, I have been able to use some acquired skills, learn new skills, work with fabulous people and hopefully, do some good. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

When I was about four, I wanted to be a tap-dancing nurse because I thought doctors’ offices were too scary and needed some fun. I think the emphasis was on tap-dancing, not medical practice. Over the decades, my goal morphed into becoming a backup dancer with Tina Turner. 

Most recently, I had the unusual opportunity to help start the Colfax Marathon with the powerful support of the cities of Aurora, Denver and Lakewood.

(photo below is Jean at Laguna Azul in Argentina in 2020; click for a larger version)