Board of Directors
Paula Stearns, Board Chair
Retired RN, MSN
Paula Stearns is a retired nursing professional with experience in direct patient care and management. She is a past Executive Director of the Colorado Nurses Association. In this role Paula was responsible for the development and oversight of continuing education, major meeting planning, legislative planning, volunteer and committee support and fiscal oversight. She spent 15 years providing direct patient care in Denver area hospitals, eventually moving into health services research. Paula was previously on the Board of Directors of the Action Center in Jefferson County in Lakewood. She currently participates in the Partnership For Age-Friendly Communities in Larimer County and is a Homeward Alliance volunteer.
Computer Engineer, Intel, Fort Collins Design Center
Isabelle graduated from Northwestern University in 2015 with a BS in Computer Engineering. She has lived in Fort Collins and worked at Intel for the last four years. She has been a volunteer with Homeward Alliance over two years through the Street Outreach, OVOF, Warming Center, and Children in Need programs. She loves volunteering and advocating for Homeward Alliance because “the organization’s mission is made clear in everything they do.”
Chief Financial Officer, Odell Brewing Company
Chris Banks is an owner and the Chief Financial Officer of Odell Brewing Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Chris started with Odell Brewing Company in March of 2012. He is the department leader for accounting, finance, information technology, and alcohol compliance. His experience also includes consultant services, specialty tax services, corporate tax and attestation services. Chris graduated with a BS in Accounting from the University of Colorado. Chris is married with five children, ages 9 to 19, and three dogs.
Financial Program Manager, Nutrien
For Julie, volunteering and working with non-profits are a big part of her life. She currently leads the Community Investment Committee for Nutrien’s 800-employee U.S. Headquarters campus in Loveland. In 2018, she led a small team to execute a record-breaking United Way Campaign at our site that was ultimately deemed “Campaign of the Year.” Her “day job” is Program and Project Management at Nutrien’s IT organization, supporting our financial services software application deployments and processes.
Owner/Retired, Nicol Realty
Kathy is a long-time Fort Collins resident who managed and worked for Nicol Realty (the family real estate company) from 1979 until her retirement in 2017. She was the President of the Junior League of Fort Collins and remains its Sustainer. She joined the Fort Collins Rotary Club in 1996 and served on the Board of Directors from 2015 through 2019.
Executive Vice President, Bobo’s Bars
Rob served on the Board of Directors for Education and Life Training Center in Fort Collins prior to its merge with the Matthews House. Rob has volunteered with the Street Outreach and One Village One Family programs and secured food and financial donations with Bobo’s.
Justie Nicol, Esquire Board Secretary
Owner of Nicol Gersch Law, PC and Nicol Realty, LLC
Justie Nicol is the CEO of Nicol Gersch Law and Employing Broker at Nicol Realty. A serial entrepreneur at heart, she is the visionary and leading strategist for both companies. She also regularly attends board meetings and court hearings via horseback, when she’s not busy chasing her young son, 2 dogs, or many chickens. Justie is a CSU graduate for undergrad, and a DU grad for law school, and a fourth-generation CO native who volunteers in her communities regularly and supports the homeless population every chance she can.
Ken John – Emeritus Board Member
Homeless Gear (Homeward Alliance) Founder
Ken John was co-owner and President of Promats, Inc. for 20 years until selling the company in January 2008. In May of 2008 he founded Homeless Gear (renamed Homeward Alliance in 2018) and served as Executive Director until June 2014. He and his wife, Nancy, helped to develop and launch Homeward Alliance’s One Village One Family Program in 2015. Ken served as the Murphy Center Development Director from 2016 through 2018 and was a member of the Homeward 2020 Board of Directors. Ken graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Business (marketing concentration) and a Master’s in Business Administration. Ken and Nancy live in Fort Collins and have two children and two grandsons.