About  |  Team

LV2022 Cohort

Leadership Veteran is an 8-month long Post 1 Foundation program taught by University of Denver faculty, content experts from Veteran nonprofits and leaders from the business, veteran and non-profit community. Applications are closed for the 2023/24 cohort.

The program is designed to provide current and emerging leaders serving within Veteran nonprofit the opportunity to enhance their non-profit management, fundraising, leadership, communication and collaborative skills. At the end of the program, participants will have enhanced skills, resources and connections to better respond to the current and future challenges of the veteran community. 

build connections
Participants will build strong connectors within the cohort, with a Leadership Veteran culture that values inclusiveness and welcomes all diverse voices. We treat all with respect and expect participants in the program to share those values.

  • Nonprofit education for thriving VSOs
  • Collaboration within our community
  • Engagement, learning, sharing with the larger nonprofit community


Those who are interested in working and/or volunteering at any organization that provides services or support to Veterans

  • Veteran nonprofit Staff and volunteers
  • Nonprofits whose constituents represents is at least 10% Veterans
  • Veteran Student Services Staff & Employer Support Group Members


  • Network, exchange ideas, best practices and experiences with peers
  • Learn new VSO approaches
  • Participant in team breakout opportunities: retreats, monthly projects, session engagements
  • Exposure to new connections, resources and opportunities
  • Future learning through advanced alum workshops

Thought Leadership

Topics range from trends in nonprofits, how foundations engage with grantees, and more

  • Fire side chats with community leaders:  C-level executives, elected officials, and other thought leaders
  • Engage with leaders from major foundations
  • Hear directly from local media and subject matter experts

Curriculum and schedule

Sessions are led and taught by experienced non-profit management faculty at the University of Denver, University College, Nonprofit Leadership Program and leaders from the business, veteran and non-profit communityFull-day sessions from 9am-4pm are held at the University of Denver campus (unless otherwise noted) on the 2nd Friday of the month from September, 2023-April 2024. There will also be an overnight retreat October 13-14, 2023 in Florissant, CO. 

Session Dates

  • September 8, 2023
  • October 13-14 Retreat, Florissant, CO
  • November 10, 2023
  • December 8, 2023
  • January 12, 2024
  • February 9, 2024
  • March 8, 2024
  • April 12, 2024

Session Topics

  • Orientation and Community Building
  • Nonprofit Operations
  • Board Governance
  • Volunteer Management
  • Financial Management 
  • Leadership Styles
  • Fundraising
  • Event Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Media Relations and Social Media
Past Class Guest Speakers
  • Chris Herndon, Denver City Council Member
  • Dace West, Denver Foundation Chief Impact Officer
  • Rob Martin, Boettcher Foundation Vice President
  • Kyle Clark, 9NEWS Anchor 

Leadership Veteran spots are limited and competitive.


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

Scholarships may be available

get involved

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

Please email Jared Stepp, Executive Director

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.