About  |  Team

LV2022 Cohort

Leadership Veteran (“LV”) is an 8-month nonprofit leadership program, created by the Leadership Veteran Institute and hosted at the beautiful University of Denver (“DU”) campus. LV features presentations by DU faculty, experts in the nonprofit sector, and leaders from the business, veteran and nonprofit communities. 

We are accepting applications for Leadership Veteran 2024-25!


LV is designed to provide current and emerging leaders within nonprofits that serve veterans the opportunity to enhance their management, fundraising, leadership, communication, and collaboration skills. At the end of the program, participants will gain enhanced skills, resources, and connections to better respond to the current and future challenges of the veteran community.



  1. Leadership and management training for nonprofits that serve veterans;
  2. Collaboration within the veteran community; and
  3. Engagement with the larger nonprofit community.

1. Leadership and Management training

During LV sessions, participants will be exposed to cutting edge instruction in current topics relevant to the veteran nonprofit sector including:

  • Fundraising,
  • Event planning,
  • Strategic planning,
  • Volunteer management,
  • Financial management, 
  • Social media strategy,
  • Media relations, and
  • Board governance.


Past Class Guest Speakers

  • Chris Herndon, Denver City Council Member
  • Dace West, Denver Foundation Chief Impact Officer
  • Waldo Martin, Boettcher Foundation Vice President
  • Kyle Clark, 9NEWS Anchor


Participants will build strong connectors with their classmates, instructors, and LV faculty. They will have the opportunity to expand their network and develop relationships with guest speakers ranging from subject matter experts to leaders in the foundational giving space. There will be ample opportunities for participants to network, exchange ideas, and share best practices and experiences with peers both in our monthly sessions and during the LV retreat.

LV strives to maintain an inclusive culture. We welcome diverse perspectives and experiences. We treat everyone with respect and expect LV participants to do the same.

3. Engagement with the larger nonprofit community

Participants will be given the opportunity to participate in “fireside chats” with:

  • Community and nonprofit leaders, 
  • C-level executives,
  • Elected officials,
  • Local media, and
  • Leaders from major foundations.

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for participants from organizations that serve veterans to engage and build relationships with leaders in the larger nonprofit and local community.

Curriculum and schedule

The LV program begins with an overnight retreat October 4-5 2024 in Florissant, CO. After that, full-day sessions will be held at the University of Denver on the 1st Friday of the month from November 2024 to June 2025.


LV has a strict attendance policy so please review dates and check your calendars. If you have conflicts on any scheduled date, please contact us before applying.


Session Dates

  • October 4 and 5, 2024
  • November 1, 2024
  • December 6, 2024
  • January 3, 2025
  • February 7, 2025
  • March 7, 2025
  • April 4, 2025
  • May 2, 2025
  • June 6, 2025

Leadership Veteran spots are limited and competitive. APPLY TODAY!


Who Should apply

Staff and volunteers of: 

  • Veteran Service Organizations;
  • Nonprofits whose client base consists of at least 10% veterans;
  • Veteran student services staff and employer support group members; and
  • Those who are interested in working and/or volunteering at any organization that provides services or support to veterans.



We want to ensure the Leadership Veteran program is accessible and affordable. Tuition is based on a sliding scale:

$995 for highly resourced organizations

$750 for mid-level resourced organizations

$495 for entry-level resourced organizations

$200 for VFW, AL, DAV, and other Veteran fraternal Post organizations

Limited scholarships may be available


If you are interested in being a volunteer for the program, or interested in being a partner/sponsor, please email Kyle Christensen.

Please email Kyle Christensen at kyle@leadershipveteran.org.


Thanks to our partners

The Leadership Veteran Team

Jared Stepp

Jared Stepp

Program director

Service Affiliation: US Army

Jared brings experience in small business and law firm management to the role of Executive Director. Jared served for six years in the US Army Infantry, including a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2004. After being honorably discharged, Jared graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with dual degrees in Finance and Economics. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law. After gaining experience in civil litigation, Jared established his own firm with a focus on elder law. In 2019, he relocated to Colorado where he currently resides with his wife and three children. In addition to his leadership role at the Post 1 Foundation, Jared remains an active member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1.

Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell

Steering Committee, LV 2022

Service Affiliation: US Army

A decorated US Army Sergeant First Class with multiple deployments, Brian balances his service with a successful decade-long career as a Loan Officer. A true Denver native, he embraces the Colorado lifestyle with his growing family.


Greg Moore

Greg Moore

Curriculum Committee, LV 2022

Service Affiliation: US Army

From Army Veteran to Managing Director, Greg bring a diverse arsenal of expertise to every challenge. His career spans strategic roles at Lockheed Martin (Deputy Program Manager), Charles Schwab (Finance Data Analyst), and Bunker Labs (Advisor) while giving back through the Colorado Veteran Project (Board Member). Today he spearheads Decisions Systems, an IT consultancy, leveraging his multifaceted experience to drive success.


Gerry Rasel

Gerry Rasel

Steering Committee

Service Affiliation: 

Gerry is a cornerstone of the Colorado nonprofit community, with an impact that resonates across diverse organizations. From holding key positions at the Colorado Nonprofit Association, industry associations to the Denver Art Museum to her current role as Associate Director for Volunteers of America, Gerry’s leadership consistently elevates and inspires. Her unparalleled expertise in nonprofit management shines through in every endeavor, making her a pillar of strength for Leadership Veterans and our entire community.


Hark Harold

Hark Harold

Steering Committee, LV 2022

Service Affiliation: 

Hark, a dedicated Veteran leader, transitions seamlessly from a distinguished 28 year-old Air Force career to supporting the Veteran community through entrepreneurial ventures. His leadership journey at Bunker Labs saw him rise from Region Executive Director to President and COO, showcasing his ability to build and scale impact. Now, Hark leverages his experience and expertise through his own EOS Implementer consulting firm, empowering other businesses to thrive. His commitment to continuous growth extends beyond professional pursuits, as evidenced by his recent graduation from Leadership Denver, class of 2023.


Liz Mueller

Liz Mueller

Steering Committee, LV 2022

Service Affiliation: Veteran Family

Liz leverages an accomplished career in non-profit development to drive impact for Veterans as the National Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Veterans Community Project. Having served as Vice President of Client Services at Philanthropy Expert, she possesses deep expertise in strategic partnerships and donor engagement. Liz’s passion for serving Veterans is further fueled by her role as a Leadership Veteran Plank Owner, contributing vital subject matter expertise to the program.

Ellen Winiarczyk

Program advisor

Ellen Winiarczyk (win-ar-zic), Ed.D. is the Academic Director and Teaching Assistant Professor for University College’s Nonprofit Leadership master’s program and is the University’s lead advisor for the Leadership Veteran program. 

For 18 years, Dr. Winiarczyk consulted in leadership development, program/grants management, strategic planning, and diversity/equity/inclusion for national and local nonprofit organizations. She holds a BS in Environmental Conservation and Physical Education from the University of New Hampshire, and an Masters in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. She received her Doctor of Education from the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.