Our Board of Directors

Jeff Branson

I am Jeff Branson and I am a lifelong Maker. Through the course of my professional life, I have been a welder, machinist, carpenter, engineer, teacher and tech developer.

I am a founding member of the Education Department at SparkFun Electronics. My position at SparkFun was an invitational hire based on work I had done with educational robotics and technology programs across North America. I have taught diverse technology topics in a range of settings from K-NASA. I am fluent in Python, C , JavaScript, Processing, Arduino, RaspberryPi and Scratch. I am currently serving as a field engineer at SparkFun for its university and primary education programs.

I have presented or run programming at Vermont Maker Faire, Bay Area Maker Faire, Austin Maker Faire, Denver Maker Faire and Las Vegas Maker Faire. I have substantial involvement in maker and hackerspaces across the country including Noisebridge(San Francisco), Solid-state Depot(Boulder), The 4th Floor(Chattanooga), Generator(Burlington VT), Tech Valley Center of Gravity(Troy NY), Columbus Idea Foundry(Columbus Ohio), Tech Shop Austin, Gangplank(Phoenix) and ATX (Portland).

I am currently involved in writing grant programs and content at the state and national level for 4H, The Boy Scouts of America, The National Science Foundation, The Vermont Department of Education, The NY State Department of Education, The Ohio State Department of Education and the California Department of Education.

My current projects include a home automation system, high altitude balloon launches and DIY motion controlled machine tools.


Michael Caston

Michael Caston is the Associate Professor of the Practice in Innovation and Product Design Michael Caston and Development in the Mechanical and Materials Engineering department within the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver. He teaches courses in product development, entrepreneurship, consumer insights, and market feasibility.

Michael is also the Executive Director of the Innovation Labs, a project-based learning center available to all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Denver. He also serves as the faculty director for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community where students learn about and experience entrepreneurship and innovation through hands-on activities in a year-long program designed to introduce students to the startup-world.

Michael spent 5 years as a Professor of Industrial Design for Metropolitan State University of Denver. He taught courses in Plastics: Materials and Fabrication, Technical Drawing & CAD, and Industrial Design Studio courses where students gain real world experience and exposure by completing product development projects for companies both large and small.

Michael is also the founder of a Product and Graphic Design Firm, CAMIC designs LLC. CAMIC designs was formed in July 2007 and offers product, graphic, packaging, and web design to a variety of companies from startups to fortune 500 companies. CAMIC designs has produced in-house product lines specifically for non-profit fundraising such as BalletGiftShop.com, helping non-profit dance groups with their fundraising needs, and CritterGiftShop.com, helping animal rescues groups raise money.

Specialties: product design and development, laser-engraving and cutting, promotional products, graphic design, identity design, document layout and design, website design and development, brand development, product marketing.


Jane Crayton

Jane Crayton – Maker and Educator for over a decade Jane Crayton

Founder of the Colorado Chapter of Dorkbot from 2006-2012

Lead Producer for the Pueblo Mini Maker Faire in 2017

Principal Investigator to the BeeWise Smart Hive, Internet of Things project

Member of the Diversity & Inclusivity Committee for the Nation of Makers

Currently, the Colorado State University, STEAM 4-H Youth Development Agent for Pueblo County Extension


Rebecca Cruz

Vice-Chair

I am a firm believer that together we can do more, and hope to be a part of an organization that is working toward that goal.

My personal interests in the maker movement tend toward building and refurbishing furniture. My husband and I have built or refurbished several of the pieces in our house which extends to pieces into our yard and have repurposed many old kitchen drawers to jewelry boxes.

I have been a leader of the Pikes Peak Library District’s makerspaces for four years which in its infancy early on required researching and developing policies and procedures.

With this newer aspect of library services, I saw a need for a group of colleagues who could support each other and share ideas as we all went through uncharted territory. I was able to petition the Board of the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) to allow for the creation of a new makerspace interest group in 2015 which has officially become a division of CAL in 2017 where I was elected Chair.

In my role at PPLD, I am also one of the core team that plans the annual Colorado Springs Mini Maker Faire.

As a member of the Colorado Maker Hub board, I see myself representing libraries and the makerspace services available from those organizations. I can help to connect with library employees around the state through my position and my relationships with other librarians through the CAL Maker Division. I can also represent those who plan large maker-focused events, like the Mini Maker Faire.


Tom Germon

Tom GermonTom is the co-founder and president of The Gizmo Dojo, a non-profit makerspace in Broomfield, CO. Tom is excited about the prospects of bringing people together through making and connecting different thoughts, ideas, and practices to bring projects to the next level. He encourages diversity, learning constantly, and challenging people to dig into new ideas and projects. He teaches other people how to build 3D printers, designs and crashes autonomous vehicles, is learning what it takes to heat metals to high temperatures and then whack on them until they take the right shape. He recently acquired a knitting machine, because who doesn’t want to speed that process up substantially? Learning to draw is looming on the horizon… Engineering during the days, everything else at night, Tom wants people to see that failure is just a mindset, and sometimes it leads to even better ideas than before.


Robb Hendershot

Chair

A “maker of connections” who enjoys finding ways to help makers collaborate. I am constantly seeking out new makers from both traditional and nontraditional sources, and introducing them to our amazingly inclusive Colorado maker family.

I am also able to contribute knowledge from my own extensive background in the maker community. When I do not have experience in a particular area it is usually a good bet I know someone who does.

I initiated the Rocky Mountain Makerspace Summit with Elise VanDyne and have been a moderator of the event for the last two years. Nate Stone and I will be organizing the 2018 Summit.

I am currently a member of the Board of Directors for I Am A Maker to provide insight and help shape a startup geared at uniting the maker community.

I have been a Founding Member and Team Coordinator within the Nation of Makers. I was a coordinator of the Safety Team to disseminate information in the wake of the the Ghostship tragedy and an active member of Marketing Team.  I am currently one of the State Ambassadors for Colorado for Nation of Makers.

As a leader within Denhac community I was a Board of Director and Denhac’s event coordinator for ComicCons (3x), STEAMFest (3x), Mini Maker Faire (6x), Maker Faire Denver and numerous STEAM events at local schools and community events.


Barry Kluger-Bell

I am particularly interested in making/tinkering in informal and formal education.  I started my career as a nuclear physics researcher. However, while still in graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder I began working with David and France Hawkins, leaders of the education reform movement in the 1960’s and 70’s at the Mountain View Center for Environmental Education. I soon found that the intellectual challenges of learning were at least as formidable (and intriguing!) as those of nuclear physics. As I result, rather than pursuing research, I have focused on science education since completing my Ph.D.

I have been on the Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) board for 8 years and spent a good deal of time thinking about repurposing materials for science and art learning.

I have worked closely with the Play-Invent-Explore (PIE) group in the tinkering studio when I was at the Exploratorium and am a strong advocate of their combination of science, technology and tinkering with art.

I believe I can be a representative for programs that enable educators through resources and techniques for maker education.


Heidi Ragsdale

Heidi RagsdaleHeidi is a teacher leader for STEM / Making at West Middle School STEM, but her presence is not only within Mesa County School District. She attends and presents at many STEM-CTE, Math, Engineering, Science and Achievement (MESA) Program events across Colorado and the U.S.

She currently serves as a National Geographic Certified Educator Mentor, the president of the Delta Kappa Gamma – Key Women Educator’s Chapter, a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, a Girl Scout Leader, 100Kin10 Teacher Forum, and the director of the Western Colorado – Girls in STEM Conference, to help build and mentor the next generation of Women in STEM! In her free time, she works to bring geo-literacy to maker-ed projects through the integration of geospatial technology and problem-based learning!

Her mission is to foster and advocate for students & educators, especially in rural areas of Colorado, to be successful in STEM!


John Taylor

Secretary

John TaylorA maker, a collaborator, and business owner, John is the Founder and CEO of Geekify Inc, located in Broomfield, Colorado.

Part mad scientist, part engineer, part entrepreneur, and all tinker, John loves long walks on the beach and building and creating new things. Lately he’s been teaching classes in making and manufacturing, doing community outreach and education, and coming up with new projects and products for Maker Faires and the various Comic Cons around the country.

When he’s not playing with lava flows or practicing acroyoga, he can often be found in the workshop building new things, or plotting and planning his next adventures abroad.

More information on John and his antics were uncovered in a fun interview by Kasey Grim of Fractured Frame Photography.


Nicholas Tinney

I am the owner of iC³ Engineering, LLC which provides design and consulting for product design and manufacturing. I have over 20 yrs of experience in electronics/product manufacturing. I have a background of working with various military contractors to develop functional test systems.

I am the Managing Director for GJmakerspace in Grand Junction. GJmakerspace provides resources to help inventors, creatives, entrepreneurs, or others develop products with technology within a member community.

For over 15 years I was with Primus Technologies to design test equipment and processes to verify performance of the circuit cards assemblies built at Primus Technologies. I left Primus Technologies as a Mechatronics / Electronic Test Design Engineer.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]At my college, Pennsylvania College of Technology, I was a Lab Instructor who taught students basic instrumentation usage and troubleshooting techniques for real world applications. My degree fis EET in Electronic Engineering.


Richard Walsh

Treasurer

As a serial entrepreneur and business ‘maker’, I seek new opportunities provided by using disruptive and innovative areas of technology and manage my business visions accordingly. I am the founder and owner of a technology consulting and delivery organization (SmartSource Management), a software-as-a-service startup (IAMCompare.com), and a co-makerspace in Westminster (SolderWorks). I also served as the virtual Vice President of IT for a mid-cap, publicly traded semiconductor design and manufacturing company based in New England.

Being an owner of multiple, successful businesses for over 10 years, I strive to map and leverage new technology (hardware and software) to provide innovative value propositions. I appreciate the value of developing quick-turn prototypes and tinkering to accelerate solution design and manage execution risk.

As the Founder of SolderWorks, I want to provide representation both to and from the business professional community. I am passionate about fostering relationships with everyone, from the budding maker to the professional manufacturer, to realize what this ‘maker movement’ has created.