Our Board

POT_Registered Logo_edited_edited.png
Cindy Abramson
President

Favorite Quote:

 If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.

-Albert Einstein

 

...If it were my quote, I would add: “And the world would miss out on all the unique gifts the fish has to offer."

 

What I Love About PROJECT OUR TOWN:

I love the people; the leadership, the participants, and the people who work at the agencies we serve. I have met so many people that I would never have had an opportunity to know. I have been inspired by them, learned from them, worked alongside them, and feel my life has been enriched in new and unique ways.  

A Little About Me:

Being a Co-Founder of PROJECT OUR TOWN has been the highlight of my professional life. It has also had a significant impact on me personally. I don’t think I have ever worked so hard or learned so much (other than parenting), and the culmination has been life-changing and continues to leave me wanting more.

 

Most of my professional career has been in communications and operations. I have also co-written and published two books (one is a national book award winner). Like PROJECT OUR TOWN, both books were labors of love.

 

I have two truly extraordinary adult children and my almost perfect husband Rob and I have seven grandchildren between us! It is a gaggle of 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation Denver natives. If you are from Denver, odds are you are related to one of us!

Fun Fact:

I am a retired swimsuit model, a Jeopardy champion, and an elite athlete. Not really, but just something fun for those who read to the end!

FullSizeRender.jpeg
Janet Johnstone
Secretary

Favorite Quote:

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. 

-Dalai Lama

 

Why I love Project Our Town: 

I have always felt the need to give to others through acts of kindness and service. Bringing joy to others is infinitely gratifying to me. Win-win. 

 

A Little About Me:

I am a technical writer, proofreader and editor by trade. I have written procedure and policy manuals in IT departments for varied industries, including banking, transportation and telecommunications. I also have an elementary school teaching credential, and have either volunteered in or worked for schools for decades. I began volunteering in high school at the local Head Start program. I have also volunteered at libraries, women’s shelters, religious institutions and food pantries.

 

I get a lot of joy from nurturing through cooking and gardening.  I love animals and spending time with my family and friends.

My husband and two daughters are amazing; I am so fortunate!

Fun Fact:

I love puns and punning!  My high school honors teacher said punning shows high intellect and an excellent command of language. Justification!

Kristie Russell
Board Member

Favorite Quote:  

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. 

-Albert Pike

 

Why I love PROJECT OUR TOWN:

Giving back to the community has always been important to me. As my kids were growing up, it was not always easy to find a project we could do together or they could do on their own or with their sports teams. PROJECT OUR TOWN is that “easy” button - they connect people and non-profits in a meaningful way. There is something for everyone.  

 

A Little About Me:

I am the daughter of a career Navy officer and have lived around the world. I attended the University of Southern California on a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in International Relations. Upon commissioning as an Ensign in 1991, I moved to Washington, DC.  During my stint in the Navy, I served as the first female Honor Guard officer and then moved into Public Relations at the Pentagon. I loved working with various agencies to help promote positive relationships between Navy service members and their communities.

 

I moved to Denver in 1996 and worked as a recruiter in the telecommunications industry for 4 years until I gave it all up to stay home with my children. My new focus was to find ways for them to volunteer together, with their sports teams, and as individuals, finding their own passions and giving back to their community.

 

I am married to Richard Russell and have three beautiful daughters and two goofy labs.  

 

Fun Fact:

I love fly fishing and have caught an 18” brown trout in Montana. Best day ever!

0F593FA5-93D5-4D3E-A3EA-9B7A5B299DE5_edited.jpg

Ryan Sampson

Board Member

Favorite Quote:

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” Choose everyday to make a difference to someone. 

 

Why I love PROJECT OUR TOWN:

The mantra behind PROJECT OUR TOWN speaks to me. Speaks volumes to me. Do Good. Feel Good. It holds true with every single person involved with us and even more so, it breathes in every project and cause in which we serve.

 

A Little About Me:

A very proud Colorado native and a graduate of Metro State University. Wearing several hats in my professional career, I have found a common theme which has always been helping people achieve their goals and dreams. Born to a professional athlete, I learned at an early age the drive to work hard and never quit. This holds true in every aspect of my life. 

 

Fun Fact:

At 6’7 I am one of the shortest males in my family.

LeAnn Hait
Past President

Favorite Quotes:

You must be the change you want to see in the world. 

-Ghandi

Why I Love PROJECT OUR TOWN:

I love PROJECT OUR TOWN because we make it easy for those that want to volunteer to connect with those that need help. 

Volunteering is magical. Positive energy is created when someone does something to help another, not because they are getting paid or because they are told to, but because they want to make life a little better for someone else. That energy infuses not only the recipient but also the volunteer to change them both for the better. 

 

A Little About Me:

I lived in Europe when I was in middle school. Being a part of a different culture, taught me that not everyone thinks the way I do, does things the way I do, or believes in what I believe. It gave me fresh eyes to see things from a different  perspective. 

I have a fabulous husband and two wonderful children who have been brought up knowing the value of volunteering.  

Fun Fact:

My family races cars in the 24 Hours of Lemons Endurance Race. We are two-time first place winners with our Poorshe. (You can only spend $500 on your race car.)

Abby.jpg
Abby Goldsmith
Vice President

Favorite Quote:

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you discover the reason why. 

-Mark Twain

I love PROJECT OUR TOWN because:

PROJECT OUR TOWN has something for everyone! I didn’t grow up in a family that did volunteer work so the task of finding something to connect to always felt overwhelming. At PROJECT OUR TOWN it doesn’t matter how much time or experience you have... you are always welcome!

A Little About Me:

I am a proud Colorado native who wouldn’t want to live anywhere else! I have a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. I began working at my family’s business, Bullock Mortuary, a few years after graduating. I consider this profession the greatest gift I could have. Each family I sat with to make final arrangements with taught me so much about life and compassion. It was an honor to help them and be a small part of that sacred space. Besides contributing in my family’s business I’ve also worked as an environmental educator, a project manager for a non-profit, a preschool teacher and a graphic designer.

 

I’m married to my incredible husband, R.D. Sewald (also a Colorado native), for 25+ years ago. We have three fantastic sons. I also have 3 naughty, but loving, dogs and one really old geriatric cat.

Fun Fact:

I grew up with a squirrel that my animal-loving mom rescued as a newborn.

Julie Reisinger.jpg
Julie Reisinger
Treasurer

Favorite Quote: 

I'm going to go old school here and say the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  It's timeless.

Why I love PROJECT OUR TOWN:

I love giving back to my community. For years, I have organized a clothing exchange party where my friends can clean out their closets and go home with a “new” outfit or two.  Then we donate the remaining clothes to a local women’s shelter. Project Our Town has so many great projects that my boys and I can do together. It feels great to work together to make a difference.  

A Little About Me:

I was born and raised in Denver along with my two older brothers. We were definitely not the easiest kids to raise, but luckily our parents taught us about unconditional love from a young age. After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Accounting, I worked for several years at KPMG before becoming the Controller of Fisher Capital Partners in 1997 (through present). I am the blessed mother of two sons who are my world. As they are now off at college, I get to devote more time to my passion - helping others.

 

I am also a huge dog lover with a soft heart for rescue dogs. My friend made me promise not to get another dog after adopting my third dog, Brody, who had been homeless for years, was deaf, blind, and also had cancer.  I’m so happy to say Brody lived out his remaining years very loved. 

Fun Fact:

I got to kiss the brother of my famous crush!

BS-Pic-279x300 (1).jpg

Bob Schenkenberger

Board Member

Favorite Quote:

Actually a saying or mantra... "An apple a day!" A great reminder that the little things, done consistently, are the key to success in any endeavor.

 

Why I love PROJECT OUR TOWN:

The mission of empowering people to help others speaks to me. Project Our Town fills a void that has existed between worthy organizations needing help, and the general public not knowing how to make an impact. Being leaders in making the community a better place to live is powerful, and I love being a part of it.

 

A Little About Me:

I'm a Colorado native and proud graduate of Colorado State University, with a mathematics degree. I've owned numerous businesses over the past 30 years, and enjoy implementing new technology, business/product innovation and system building. I'd usually rather be golfing, or fly fishing.

 

Fun Fact:

I never set an alarm.