CareerRise Team

Contact Us

CareerRise Line: (970) 498-6608

Fort Collins Economic and Workforce Development
200 West Oak Street, Suite 5000
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521


Loveland Economic and Workforce Development
200 Peridot Avenue, Suite 1100
Loveland, Colorado 80537

Kate Flattery

Kate Durkin

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 498-6082 |
Kate supports all job seekers ages 14-24 out of both the Fort Collins & Loveland offices. She is also the first point of contact for school partnerships.

First Job: Hostess at a golf course restaurant

How did you end up here? I worked through school in various service positions as a food server, landscaper, and phone surveyor. I landed a summer internship at World Relief in Chicago with the refugee youth program, and discovered that I really enjoyed working with refugees and immigrants. For several years, I worked as a refugee Employment Specialist helping adults from Bhutan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iraq find work in the United States. I enjoyed working as an Employment Specialist, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the Youth Services Team!

What do you love most about your job? I love being able to work in the schools, preparing youth for employment, and motivating employers to hire qualified youth. I look forward to the Summer Youth Employment Program and Career Road Trips!

Perks Outside Work: Traveling, hiking, baking cookies, running, and painting.

Funny Quirk: I organize just about everything in rainbow order!

Dan Gagnon

Dan Gagnon

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 498-6085 |
Dan supports the inCompass program out of the Fort Collins office.

First Job: Rental Technician at a Ski/Snowboard shop

How did you end up here? I started working as Athletics Director for the Boys & Girls Club and substitute teaching in the Poudre School District before landing a job helping refugees from Burma and Somalia find employment in Northern Colorado. This lead me to the Economic and Workforce Development here in Larimer County where I worked for over two years with adult job seekers facilitating workshops and providing job search consultation before joining the Youth Services Team

What do you love most about your job?

Perks outside of work:

Funny Quirk: When I sit down for a meal I tend to eat one food at a time until it’s gone, rotate the plate and move on to the next food. I eat the food I like least first and the food I like most last.

Monica Gingerich

Monica Gingerich

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 498-6631 |
Monica supports the inCompass program out of the Fort Collins office.

First Job: I was a hostess at Red Robin. Being at the bottom of the food chain, part of my job was getting into the giant robin costume and parading around the restaurant, scaring the young children.

How did you end up here? My first job out of college was working as a Social Worker in London, England serving young people placed in long-term foster care. Following that adventure, I went back to graduate school to focus more on counseling and career development. A stint at the CSU Career Center and an internship at Project Self-Sufficiency led me back to my passion of working with youth here at the Economic and Workforce Development.

What do you love most about your job? The best part of my day is getting to be there when the light bulb kicks on for a young person when he/she realizes just how much they have to offer, and all they can achieve given the right support. I get to help people discover their calling!

Perks outside of work: The outdoors! Camping, hiking, and helping out my husband’s competition BBQ Team. Inside I’m always reading a good book or surfing the internet to feed my interior decorating obsession.

Funny Quirk: I have this ‘thing’ with odd numbers. The volume # or station in my car or at home have got to be on an odd number. If I’m in someone else’s car, I have to fiddle with the controls until they’re set just right.

Sandra Jackam

Sandra Jackam

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 498-6635 |
Sandra is the team’s internship and business coordinator.

First Job: Dishwasher at a Chinese Restaurant. None of the kitchen staff could speak English and they listened to Madonna all the time!

How did you end up here? I put myself through college while working as a human resource assistant at a plastics manufacturing plant. After graduating, I taught high school Spanish for a school year then spent the summer working in a Career Lab at an Ohio Economic and Workforce Development. For an adventure, I moved to Mexico and spent a year teaching English as a Second Language.  After returning to Ohio, I started working for the local county Job & Family Services in the child support department. Due to an itch to move out west, I landed a position with Larimer County Child Support where I came across the opportunity to work in Larimer County’s Economic and Workforce Development. I jumped at the chance to join this amazing team!

What do you love most about your job? Everything! It is exciting to work at a job where you can have a positive effect on someone’s life and your co-workers are passionate about what they do!

Perks outside of work: I love to run, bike, hike and other such exercise torture. I also love to read, listen to live music and create mosaic art.

Funny Quirk:When I don’t know the words to a song, I just make them up. I am really bad at it. I also like to add my own flare and vibrato to my singing. This usually results in the radio being turned up louder or strange look from whoever is in my presence.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

WIOA Center Manager

(970) 498-6624 |
Mark oversees and supports all CareerRise programs.

First Job: Cashier & Clerk at a local video store in Illinois.

How did you end up here? I knew that I wanted to work in a career where I had an opportunity to help people believe in their abilities and achieve success, whatever that success was. My careers have been diverse ranging from wilderness trip leading with youth, to providing employment and career counseling services. I currently enjoy supporting our youth and adult training teams as the program manager.

What do you love most about your current job? Lots of things! To name one, I would say I love having the opportunity to create employment and training services for people that truly make an impact. We are constantly adapting and changing to provide the best services possible.

Perks outside of work: On the weekends you’d find me with my wife and two boys doing something active. We might be hiking or biking, spending time in the garden, playing soccer or baseball, or cooking an allergy free dinner or desert in the kitchen.

Funny Quirk: I’m a fantasy baseball geek and I crunch player statistics daily. My staff know that I speak in metaphors to get my point across.

Susan Kurzeka

Susan Kurzeka

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 619-4671 |
Susan supports the inCompass program out of the Loveland office.

First Job: My first job was working at a uniform and embroidery store owned by my best friend’s family. I worked in the back office cleaning and organizing the embroidered clothes for customers.

How did you end up here? After I graduated from college, I worked with youth in juvenile justice and absolutely loved it! From there, I decided to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree in counseling and career development. Shortly after I started my degree, I began volunteering with the Economic and Workforce Development with the Career Tours program, which was wonderful! I then worked an internship in the Career Center at CSU and at the CSU Counseling Center in their drugs and alcohol program. When a position opened at the Economic and Workforce Development after my internships, I was so excited because it is the perfect blend of all my interests and previous positions!

What do you love most about your job?  I love that I get to meet a variety of youth in this job and get to know each person’s unique story. I also love that I then get to work with each person individually to achieve their own education, employment and training goals and support them throughout the process.

Perks outside of work: Outside of work, I love going bowling and enjoying the beautiful outdoors! I also love spending time with my dog, Grizz!

Funny Quirk:   I absolutely love betta fish and have two of my own, Steve and Arnold. My family and friends make fun of my love for them quite often as I have taken my fish to the vet before and have saved sick fish from pet stores. I also have researched different betta ailments online to make sure I am prepared and to keep my two guys happy and healthy.  

Nicole Surber

Nicole Surber

CareerRise Specialist

(970) 498-6634 |
Nicole supports the inCompass program out of the Fort Collins office.

First Job: I cleaned/stained windows at a company that made imitation stained glass…I left each day smelling like mothballs.

How did you end up here? I went to Colorado State University and majored in Human Development and Family Studies. While I was in school, I did an internship at Turning Point working with at-risk youth. Shortly after college, I started at the Economic and Workforce Development. I held a couple of different positions before landing on the Youth Team!

What do you love most about your job? I love helping youth discover their strengths and talents and using them to market themselves to employers through resumes, etc. Its’ the best when the youth is able to step back and see how great they really are!

Perks outside of work: Spending time with friends and family, working out, shopping, catching up on my favorite TV shows. I also volunteer on Wednesday evenings with 45-60 preschoolers!

Funny Quirk:I have to have “equal opportunity” for my body. If something happens to one side of my body, I do it to the other side to even it out. Example…if I touch something cold with one hand, I have to touch it with the other as well. Balance is blissful!

Caitlyn Boyles

Caitlyn Boyles

CareerRise Intern

(970) 498-6608 |
Caitlyn supports the CareerRise team, specifically with the spring/summer programs.

First Job: Assistant teacher at Primrose Schools

How did you end up here? I am currently a Senior at Colorado State University studying Human Development and Family Studies. We are required to find an internship, I learned about the CareerRise program and I was intrigued. I want to either do Advising at a university or Human Resources and I thought this encompassed a lot of those aspects.

What do you love most about your job? I am excited to be able to watch and help youth be better prepared for employment. As well, planning the different events that help foster that connection between employers and the youth.

Perks Outside Work:  I love hanging out with my dog, being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and going to country concerts.

Funny Quirk: I love plants so much and I talk to my plants at home a is proven to help them!

Kara Ozgen

Kara Ozgen

CareerRise Intern

(970) 498-6608 |

Kara supports the CareerRise team, specifically with the summer sector internship program.

First Job: Drive-thru cashier at Taco Bell & KFC.

How did you end up here? I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado.  Currently, I am in my final undergraduate year at CSU studying Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) with a concentration in Leadership and Entrepreneurship.  As a senior in the HDFS program, I have the amazing opportunity to complete an internship for credit, and I was lucky enough to land a position here at LCEWD!

What do you love most about your job? I love having the opportunity to learn new things from so many intelligent and respectable people.  I am eager to see what role I will play here within the CareerRise team, who I will meet, and how I will best be able to help.

Perks Outside Work: I enjoy spending quality time with important people (and pets) in my life, practicing yoga, traveling/exploring, eating delicious food, watching Netflix, and listening to music.

Funny Quirk: I can’t stand when the toilet paper roll goes under. The roll must go over!

Maelly Oropeza

Maelly Oropeza

Program Manager, Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps

(970) 498-6660 |
Maelly oversees and supports the Larimer County Conservation Program.

First Job: Worked at a dry cleaners.

What do you love most about your current job? My job requires me to play in the dirt (trail work) and hike in some of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

Perks outside of work: Traveling to see live music, anything that involves a bicycle, basketball, and playing Star Wars with my boys.

Funny Quirk: I have over 30 pairs of shoes. I really think that might be a low estimate. I hate roller coasters!! My brain constantly counts patterns and things. FYI, there are 22 rows of overhead lights.

Rachael Bahre

Rachael Bahre

Development Associate, Larimer County Conservation Corps

(970) 498-6660 |
Rachael supports capacity building and fundraising efforts for the LCCC.

First Job: I don’t count my first job (retail at a candle shop) as my first, since my second one was way cooler. At age 16, I worked in conservation program on Plum Island in Massachusetts assisting with habitat restoration projects for a summer season.

How did you end up here: Before joining the LCCC team, I participated in four seasons with other conservation corps across the country (MA, ME. VT and WA) performing direct service such as trail building and maintenance, habitat restoration and organizing volunteers. After finishing up a season with EarthCorps in Seattle, I accepted a role as an AmeriCorps VISTA to assist the LCCC with capacity building through fundraising and program development. I spent two years in that role and in April of 2014, became a full-time staff member.

Since expanding upon my corps experiences, I have passionate about supporting youth development, sustaining local conservation efforts and instilling community service practices among younger generations.

What do you love most about your job: My favorite part about my current role is progressing three pillars of our program (individual development, environmental awareness and community engagement) through fundraising efforts. In addition, I enjoy watching corpsmembers cultivate their own appreciation for the natural world while gaining a sense of ownership for their community.

Hobbies outside of work: I LOVE to read and cook – my chili recipe is famous. When I’m not inside, I like to run, hike, camp or backpack.

Funny quirk about me: I’m usually in the middle of 2-3 books at any given time. Also, I miss the rainy days of Seattle since Colorado’s relentless sunshine makes me feel guilty about staying inside to read.

Daniel Marotti

Daniel Marotti

Program Coordinator, Larimer County Conservation Corps

(970) 498-6660 |
Daniel oversees the day-to-day operations of the LCCC.

First job:  Swim Instructor and Lifeguard
How did you end up here:  Most of my background is in teaching or leading groups. I’ve taught swimming, skiing, mountain boarding, science, English, outdoor education, and probably more. I got my degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from CSU. I was an Endangered Fish Technician while at CSU, and then moved on to be a Forest Restoration Technician, and an Education Specialist. I’m thrilled to have a career in conservation where I can benefit the environment and my community.
What do you love most about your job:  I love the diversity of what I get to do, the balance of office and field work, and being able to interact with so many great people.
Hobbies outside of work: I love to hike mountains, get into remote wilderness areas, stare at wildlife, slackline, run, mountain bike, shoot my bow, kayak, and most things outdoors.
Funny quirk about me:  I’ve had numerous people tell me that I have a horrible fake laugh, but that is actually my real laugh! So when I think people are funny, they may think I’m pretending but I’m not, I just laugh like a dope.