We are excited to welcome and introduce our new Chief Program Officer, Sonia Dobinsky, & COO, Ron Ekstrand to the J.
These two wonderful individuals have been the perfect additions to our J team. Since they’ll be making themselves available to the public and our members, we thought it’d be fun to learn a bit more about them. Let’s start with the lovely Mrs. Dobinsky…
Where are you originally from?
Sonia Dobinsky: I’m originally from upstate NY, but spent most of my life in St. Louis. My husband and I moved here in 2017 as part of our “great adventure” and to be closer to our granddaughter.
What made you want to work at the JCC?
SD: While I have a 20 year history of work in the Jewish community, I have never worked at a JCC. The people and the opportunity to make a difference are what drew me to this J.
What’s your favorite thing about the city of Denver?
SD: I love that so much of life can be lived outdoors, and that I can hop on a train and be downtown in minutes.
What’s the best thing about your new role at the J?
SD: There is so much potential for growth and opportunities to connect.
What is your favorite quote?
SD: “The time is always right to do what is right.” — Martin Luther King.
Where did you grow up?
Ron Ekstrand: I was born in Moline, Illinois and raised in Davenport, Iowa – both are part of the Quad Cities.
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
RE: I attended undergraduate at Illinois Wesleyan University where I got my BS in Psychology with a minor in English. I also have an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis where I lived and worked for about 25 years.
As our new COO, what are you hoping to accomplish/bring to the J?
RE: I want to bring processes, systems, and support to our staff so that they can provide even better experiences and service to our members.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
RE: I have seven children and three grandchildren.
We hear you’re very tall. How tall are you?
RE: I get that question a lot. I am 6’8” tall. And, to answer the second most popular question I get…yes, I did play basketball in high school and college.
The J feels incredibly lucky to have these two talented individuals as a part of our family. The best part? They’re both extremely friendly! If you see them throughout the building, be sure to say, “hello!”