2017 is winding down and 2018 is diligently peeking around the corner.

As we look back at all the great things that happened at the J this year, we reached out to our staff members to hear about the wonderful things they accomplished in 2017.

Dan Rib: Production Manager, MACC

My biggest accomplishment of 2017 was getting through my first year as Production Manager for the MACC. That included stage managing Denver Children’s Theatre’s A Jungle Book, producing three mainstage summer productions, and facilitating the integration of Cherry Creek Theatre’s first season as the MACC’s resident professional theatre company. Outside of the MACC, I was also able to stage manage Benchmark Theatre’s (one of Denver’s newest professional theatre company’s) inaugural production, The Nether.


Debbie MacKillop: Intergenerational & Adult Programs Coordinator

In 2017, the JCC Grandparent Connect Group had its first full year of activities and meetings, including making pottery with their grandchildren in the JCC studio, “summer grandparent minicamp” with a week of different playdates before school started back, and “dinner-and-a-movie” nights just for the grandparents. In partnership with the National Council on Aging, the JCC is about to graduate our second class of “Masters in Aging” through our 12-week Jewish Aging Mastery Program. Intergenerational Programs supported the Denver Jewish Film Festival and JAAMM Festival with events highlighting an intergenerational film and children’s book.

Miriam Brizendine Miriam Brizendine: Project Manager, Office of the CEO

This year, I was super excited to have completed the RAGBRAI 2017 in July. I rode 411 miles on a bicycle across the state of Iowa with my husband and Dad.





Judy SweseyJudy Swesey: Membership Manager

It’s easy for me to say what my biggest 2017 accomplishment is, because it was four years in the making. I ran my first marathon four years ago, and after five attempts, I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon. The qualifying time for my gender/age group is 4:10, and I ran the Lexus Lace-up Ventura Marathon on October 22, 2017, in 4:04:57. I hope to participate in the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019.

Rachel Hagar: ECE Director

In 2017 I completed the Sheva-Covenant Director’s Institute which serves to connect emerging learners and leaders in Jewish early childhood education to one another and to the tools and training they need to assume leadership roles. As part of the three-year program, which included in-person retreats, long-distance learning, and a study trip to Israel, I also completed a national director’s credential, Aim4Excellence, through the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University in Chicago.

Courtney JacobsonCourtney Jacobson: Camp Shai Director

Most importantly, I got married this year (smack in the middle of the summer) making it an even crazier, but totally unforgettable, first summer at Camp Shai. Camp Shai was 20% larger in summer 2017 than it was in 2016. Something Daniel [Assistant Director of Camp Shai and Youth Programs] and I were both particularly proud of – and we did lots of learning to make this upcoming summer (2018) even better with fun programs, amazing counselors, and an all-star year-round team with a special shout out to Daniel, Shana, Ben, and Jodi!

We couldn’t be happier for all of our hardworking staff and the remarkable things they’ve been able to accomplish this year. Each member of our team helps the J feel like home to so many in our community, and for that, we are thankful.