Board of Directors


Rebecca Arno is Chief Operating Officer of the Barton Institute for Community Action. She has more than three decades of experience in the philanthropic sector, including as Vice President for Operations and Communications for The Denver Foundation, and Vice President of Communications for the Daniels Fund. Rebecca has served on numerous boards including as chair of the Washington, D.C.-based Communications Network and of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. Rebecca earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and teaches in the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership Program at University of Denver. She is currently board chair of Lighthouse Writers Workshop and serves a board member of the Colorado Safe Parking Initiative.


Rudy Melena has been an educator all his life. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he graduated from Colorado College with a BA in anthropology and a minor in elementary education. He taught fifth grade for 18 years in Canon City, Colorado where, in 1991, he was selected Elementary Teacher of the Year for Fremont County. He was an elementary principal in Jefferson County for 14 years. Kyffin Elementary, where he was principal for 9 years, was consistently ranked excellent by the state. In 2002, he opened Blue Heron Elementary in Grant Ranch, managing the construction budget and developing the school’s educational philosophy. During his time in Jefferson County, he successfully facilitated conflict mediation that involved families of minority students and administrators. Rudy participated in the Book Project developed by Lighthouse Writers. During the two-year program, he wrote 16 short stories and a novel. His short stories have appeared in and Green Hills Literary Lantern. He has served on the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Writers since 2015.


Gary Dudley has specialized in financial reporting and tax matters for more than 40 years. His first career of 36 years was with Deloitte where he was the Tax Partner in Charge of the Kansas City, Houston, and Denver offices in the different phases of his tenure with the firm. For the last 10 years, he has worked with the Kinder Foundation and Kinder Family Office in Houston where he currently serves as Chief of Staff. He has also served on the Board of Directors with the Ronald McDonald House in Houston and the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Denver. Gary and his wife Kathryn have a daughter and son as well as five grandkids who continue to keep their lives very interesting with travel and sports at their mountain home near Tabernash.


Mark Bell has practiced law in Colorado for 25 years emphasizing finance, real estate and business. He holds a preeminent ranking in his practice areas and is currently a shareholder with the Tulsa-based firm, Hall Estill, P.C. Beyond law, Mark's passions are alternative music and literature. Mark is an avid but mediocre guitarist and writer of poetry and dark fiction. His favorite haunts are the Tattered Cover on Colfax and the Continental Club in Austin, Texas where he attended college. His community involvement is extensive and focuses on furthering the arts and assisting those suffering from addiction or homelessness. Mark serves on the Colorado Public Radio Community Advisory Board, the Stain'd Arts Board of Directors, and facilitates for Refuge Recovery, a national Buddhist based addiction recovery program. Mark has two amazing daughters and enjoys every day with his radiant and eclectic partner.


R. Alan Brooks teaches graphic novel writing for Regis University’s MFA program, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. He’s the author of “The Burning Metronome” and “Anguish Garden” - graphic novels featuring social commentary. His award-winning weekly comic for The Colorado Sun, “What’d I Miss?” has been praised for its direct engagement with social issues. His TED Talk on the importance of art reached 1 million views in 2 months. His graphic novel work is featured in the Denver Art Museum's renovated Western exhibit. He hosts the Museum of Contemporary Art - Denver's podcast - "How Art Is Born", as well as his own “Mother F**ker In A Cape” comics podcast, and has written comic books for Image Comics, Zenescope Entertainment, Pop Culture Classroom, and more.


Angelle C. Fouther is currently the Director of Communications for Urban Land Conservancy. Angelle has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communications with organizations that include Denver Botanic Gardens, The Denver Foundation, and LiveWell Colorado. She is also the principal of Kindred Communications LLC, which offers equity-focused strategic communications support to clients based in the Denver Metro area and throughout the U.S. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Angelle is driven to aid local communities marginalized by racial and economic disparities. As such, Angelle was the founding chairperson of Montbello Organizing Committee, a nonprofit organization in Far Northeast Denver committed to engaging and equipping residents to address issues such as food access, economic development, and transportation. She has also served in leadership roles on several boards and as a mayoral appointee to the Denver African American Commission, Blueprint Denver Task Force, and the Denver Planning Board. Angelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Arts and Culture - Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Denver. She lives in Denver with her husband, Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr. and has two adult daughters, Danielle and Daryn.


Elaine Holoboff is a former academic who received her Ph.D. at King's College London, taught there on national security issues in the former Soviet Union, published numerous articles on this subject and was Executive Director of a Program on Post-Communist Security Studies. She lived in London for twelve years, Hong Kong for four years, New York for eight years, and Denver for ten years. She has travelled extensively to over 60 countries. She currently works full-time writing fiction, has completed two novels which she is submitting for publication and is working on a third novel set in Russia and Ukraine. Her short story “Second Coming” won the prestigious Canongate short story prize in the United Kingdom and was published in the book Original Sins (out of print). She has written poetry all her life and published a number of pieces in journals.


Juliette LaChapelle is a mediator, advocate, master planner, and a firm believer in the power of story—the stories we read or write and share with others, and even those we write and keep to ourselves. Her own stories are mostly fiction or fantasy and draw heavily on the years she worked as a federal prosecutor and civil rights attorney. She is the owner of JLC Resolution LLC, and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Harvard Law School, and The London School of Economics and Political Science. She enjoys tennis and rowing and most of the adventures cooked up by her partner and their two boys.


Alex Leach (she/her) is the Nondiscrimination Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDHPE). Prior to her role at CDPHE, Alex served as the Assistant Director of Institutional Equity at Mines. Alex is passionate about civil rights and equity and teaches as an Adjunct Faculty in MSU Denver and DU’s schools of social work. Alex received her Bachelor’s Degree from Dartmouth College, a dual MSW/MPH from the University of Michigan, and a law degree from the University of Denver. 



Dino Enrique Piacentini is a writer whose work has been published in The Massachusetts Review, The Toronto Globe & Mail, Gulf Coast, The Atticus Review, and Confrontation, among other places. He has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Houston; the Boldface Emerging Writers Conference; Denver Lit Fest; and Inprint Houston; and served as Fiction Editor at Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Before arriving in Denver, he lived for many years in San Francisco, where he worked as an arts administrator at the Mexican Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and Galería de la Raza, and served on the Board of Cine Acción and the San Francisco Triathlon Club. He also worked for over a decade as an independent development consultant for a wide range of non-profit organizations, including the Museum of the African Diaspora; the Red Cross; the Asia Society; National Museum of Women in the Arts; Climate One; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Inprint Houston; and San Francisco State University. Currently, he teaches creative writing at the University of Denver and Lighthouse Writers Workshop.


Karen Rosica, PsyD, is a psychologist/psychoanalyst in private practice in Denver. She is a faculty member at the Colorado Health Sciences Center at the Denver Psychoanalytic Institute, an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues:The International Journal of Relational Perspectives and a former creative nonfiction teacher at Lighthouse. 



In 1978, Kit Mura-Smith was one of four founders of Trimble Inc. Today, Trimble is an industry-leading technology company that's transformed the way the world works by delivering core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data analytics; she retired in 1999. Kit is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Applied Social Anthropology and Santa Clara University School of Law. Her board experience includes Palo Alto Fine Art Center (a public/private non-profit), serving as a trustee of UCSC Foundation, Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance Project, and Women's Foundation of Colorado. She is married to John A. Ware, drummer/artist, and has three children and six grandchildren.


Cathy Sunshine received her MBA from Colorado State University, is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society, is a Certified Management Consultant* (Institute of Management Consultants), a Fellow in the Family Firm Institute, and is a member of the International Women’s Forum. She has served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Denver’s School of Professional Psychology. She has post graduate training from the Bowen Institute in Family Systems Theory, Comparative Theories of Family Therapy at The University of Denver. She has designed and taught courses in “The Art and Science of Executive Coaching," family systems change management and organization structure and design. She serves on the Board of Shalom Park and is a second generation Denverite. She has two grown children, three grandchildren and two fabulous puppies!


Annette Taylor is a molecular geneticist and lover of the arts. She is currently scientific director of molecular genetics at Esoterix Coagulation, Laboratory Corporation of America. Previously the founder, president, and CEO of Kimball Genetics, she has extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing, and education to empower patients and physicians. Annette is board-certified in both clinical molecular genetics and genetic counseling. She earned a PhD in microbiology and immunology from UCLA, a master's in genetic counseling from the University of Colorado, and a bachelor's in biology, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College. She has more than 50 scientific research publications in the fields of fragile X syndrome and celiac disease. Annette has served on the American College of Medical Genetics Quality Assurance Committee and Intellectual Property Committee and has contributed to guidelines for genetic testing. She has also served on the Department of Veteran Affairs Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee and in the Personalized Health Care Working Group of the Department of Health and Human Services. Annette has taken classes at Lighthouse Writers since 2011 and is a previous member of the Book Project. She has served on the board of directors at Lighthouse since 2016. Annette embraces story and metaphor in all of the arts, and she especially loves theater and the visual arts in addition to the literary world. She enjoys photography and the wild west outdoors and cherishes time with beloved friends and her daughter.