advocacy

Board of Directors

Rich Lewis

Rich Lewis

Board Chair

Clay Martin

Clay Martin

Board Chair Elect

Clay Martin is a native of Lexington, Kentucky and has been calling Colorado home since 2013. Clay has been an active Realtor since 2015. Through his varied experience he has learned to be a natural leader, a strong negotiator, and an expert problem solver. Clay is determined to be the best in the business, and he thrives on helping and serving others. Clay is hard of hearing and his passion is nonprofit organizations. He sits on the board of The Independence Center and HEARS and is a Rocky Mountain Sertoma. When he isn’t working with clients, you can find him at a local coffee shop, brewery, or restaurant, and on the weekends you’ll be sure to find him, his dog Cy, and his wife Sarah, hiking, camping, or just enjoying everything that this great state has to offer.

Denise Hok

Denise Hok

Secretary

Denise has been an active disability rights activist for more than 20 years in Colorado and Vermont. She has served on various independent living center boards, to include the Vermont Center for Independent Living, where she served as a board member and treasurer before moving to Colorado in 2013, and The Independence Center in Colorado Springs since 2017. Denise has been a volunteer and home health care consumer with The IC since 2013. She has a bachelor’s degree from University of North Florida where she majored in psychology and minored in Spanish and women’s studies. She holds a master’s degree in counseling education, also from the University of North Florida. Denise feels that being a board member at The IC is important so that she can be a voice in a positive way for people who need to be heard. She is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities and wants to assist The Independence Center in every way possible.

Teal Heath

Teal Heath

Treasurer

Teal Heath brings more than 25 years of clinical, operational, business, and technical expertise in health care. She is a Registered Nurse (RN), a Six Sigma Green Belt, is Program and Portfolio Management Mastery certified, and is Project Management Professional (PMP) certified. Teal has a Bachelor of Science and Nursing (BSN) degree, a Master of Computer Resources and Information Management degree, and is distinguished as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). She obtained her teaching certificate from Colorado Technical University, where she translated her health care experience in the classroom as adjunct faculty instructing undergraduate and graduate level students in health care, IT, and project management. Teal leads a health care IT consulting firm, Equinox HIT. She is passionate about health care leadership and digital technology transformation.

Joseph Foecking

Joseph Foecking

Joseph Foecking, PT, MHS, graduated from Ohio University with Bachelor of Science degrees in physical therapy and zoology. He also is a graduate of the University of Indianapolis and holds a master’s degree in health science. Joseph has practiced physical therapy in a variety of settings in many states since graduating in 1991. Currently, Joseph is the Director of Rehabilitation for UCHealth’s southern region. He oversees the rehabilitation services provided at both Memorial Hospitals (Central and North), Grandview Hospital, Pikes Peak Regional Hospital, and six outpatient locations. Joseph is thrilled to be part of the board of directors for The Independence Center. With his background in physical therapy and rehabilitation, he believes it’s an excellent fit.

Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with emphasis in finance and information systems, from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. He holds the Certified Financial Planner® and a Chartered Financial Analyst® designations. He has more than 20 years of financial planning and investment management experience with Raymond James Financial Services. Kevin finds great satisfaction in helping people and enjoys the intellectual challenge of working in the financial services industry. Kevin was born in California and at age 5 he moved to Colorado Springs where he lives today with his daughter, Lilah. Kevin is a strong believer in using talents to give back to the community. He is a member of The IC board because he believes in the mission, but also on a personal level he has family members who live with disabilities, so he has seen the struggles they experienced. Kevin has served as a board member for Mental Health America, Amblicab (now Envida), and School District 12 Accountability Committee.

Beth Helzer

Beth Helzer, CPA, has been in public accounting since 2011 and currently works for Stockman Kast Ryan & Co, LLP as an audit manager. Her experience includes serving nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health care organizations. Beth is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (COCPA), and Healthcare Financial Management Association. She currently serves as the treasurer and as a finance committee member of The Independence Center and formerly served as the assistant treasurer on the board for Newborn Hope. Beth was born and raised in Colorado Springs and received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Jeremy Chatelain

Jeremy Chatelain

Jeremy J. Chatelain, Ph.D., is a religious educator and coordinator in Colorado Springs and an Air Force veteran. He has lived most of his life in the Mountain West. He lived in the Philippines for two years as a missionary for his church and loves culture and traveling. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a high quadriplegic 21 years ago. He completed both his M.Ed. (Idaho State University) and Ph.D. (University of Utah) paralyzed and has experienced the struggles and exasperation of competing in an able-bodied world with a severe disability. He has a strong commitment to social justice, advocating for the unseen, and giving a voice to those not heard. His greatest joy comes from his wife and two children and he celebrates the opportunity to have a family and be a husband and father. He has served on the boards of two centers for independent living (CILs) in two states. He has testified before state legislatures on behalf of CILs and finds satisfaction in helping others with disabilities achieve their goals and live life as fully as possible.

Fe Ana Balsick

Fe Ana Balsick

Fe Ana Balsick, MSW, LCSW, earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Seattle University and her Master of Social Work at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. Thanks to her son, who had significant disabilities, she has been involved with the disability community for well over 35 years. Fe Ana has worked for two different community centered boards in Colorado, is a certified guardian with several individuals she advocates for, and has also owned her own counseling business. Currently, Fe Ana is employed as a medical social worker with UCHealth at Memorial Central emergency department.  She also continues to do some psychotherapy with a few private clients and acts as a court visitor for guardianship and conservatorship petitions. Fe Ana enjoys spending time with her daughter and son-in-law as well as her two very large dogs, in addition to traveling whenever possible. Fe Ana is a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities and is honored to be a member of The IC board.

Kim Ivy

Kim Ivy, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a native of Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in speech-language pathology in 1991. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational psychology. She has practiced speech pathology in all settings since graduating. She is currently a manager for adult outpatient rehabilitation with UCHealth Memorial Hospital. In her role, she manages the overall operations for three multidisciplinary clinics and still occasionally treats patients. Kim moved to Colorado in 2007 (many years after falling in love with this beautiful state). She enjoys skiing, golf, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Kim believes in the mission of The Independence Center and looks forward to continuing the rewarding work of helping individuals in the community achieve their best quality of life.

Jim Vacik

Jim Vacik is a Chicago native and lived there until the age of 16 when his family moved to Germany. At 17, he was involved in a snow tubing accident that left him with a spinal cord injury which resulted in quadriplegia. After rehabbing at Craig Hospital in Denver, he moved to the Colorado Springs area, where he has lived since 1979. Jim holds an Associate of Arts degree from Pikes Peak Community College and has also completed coursework at UCCS. Jim has been a successful corporate telecommunications manager as well as an on-air announcer for several local radio stations. He is currently the executive producer and marketing director of an internationally syndicated radio show. An avid supporter of live music in Colorado, he was part of a successful lawsuit that ensured that Red Rocks Amphitheater is accessible to people with disabilities. Jim is the proud dad of a University of Northern Colorado student studying music business and recording.

Daniel O’Rear

Dan is originally from Montana and has called Colorado Springs home since 1985. He is the executive director of the Myron Stratton Home Foundation, the oldest private foundation in Colorado. Prior to arriving at his current position, Dan spent 22 years at Goodwill Industries serving as chief financial officer and later as president of the Goodwill Industrial Services Corporation where he developed a passion for assisting employees with developmental disabilities.  Dan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado, and is a certified public accountant. Dan resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and one granddaughter, all living in Colorado.