The goal of Leadership Veteran is to provide current and emerging leaders serving within Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) with the tools, support and community collaboration to provide effective and value-based resources to their constituents.
The knowledge and associations obtained through this program will provide committed participants access to the platforms needed to take on leadership roles within Colorado Veteran Community Organizations.
The curriculum will be between seven to eight months and modeled after non-profit operations best practices, will include themes such as: Leadership/Management styles, Operations, Finance Management, Development, Program Development/Management, Social Media and Media Relations.
Veteran issue topics will include: Employment, Employer Veteran Group, Housing, Personal Finance Management, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, PTSD, VA Claims, Family, Education, Women Issues, Homeless Resources, etc.
VSO participants, regardless of their constituent focus, will have a 360 understanding of all Veterans’ issues to better engage and serve their respective population.
2021 will be the planning year, recruitment of program volunteers, partners and curriculum development with an inaugural class in 2022.
If you are interested in being a volunteer for the program, or interested in being a partner/sponsor, please email Program Manager, Kathryn Wirkus.
The Leadership Veteran Team
The Leadership Veteran concept came after Michael participated in Leadership Denver 2017 and reflecting on his learning curve as the Executive Director of VFW Post 1. With no previous experience, he learned basic non profit operations through the “School of Hard Knocks” and felt that a program was needed to provide non profit best practice education to VSOs that would facilitate their success.
Kathryn, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, has extensive program management and operation experience, and she founded Women Veterans of Colorado, a Veteran Service Organization addressing distinctive women Veteran issues.
Kathryn is uniquely positioned to understand challenges that volunteer and paid VSOs face having served as a VSO Executive Director, as a Veteran Service Officer for the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs and staffer for a member of Congress.
Kathryn holds an MA in Guidance and Counseling.
VSO Director of Relations
A graduate of the University of Denver and veteran of the US Army NCO corp., Drake is an experienced project manager who currently works in sports marketing for a local Denver corporation. Drake’s 10 years of experience on nonprofit committees, as well as a diverse background of community involvement in the Denver area will contribute to Leadership Veteran’s goals of growth and VSO participation.
Denise Burkhardt King
Denise’s program management of Leadership Denver is the template from which Leadership Veteran was formed.
As Leadership Denver’s Program Director, her invaluable experience and insight in program and curriculum development will guide the development of Leadership Veteran to fruition.
Denise holds an MS in Adult Education and Human Resources Development.
She also serves on the national board for the Association of Leadership Professionals and the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.