President & CEO
During his time as a Senator in the Colorado General Assembly, Jack Tate developed a track record of being a champion of success and opportunity for all Coloradans, living up up his campaign theme-line of "Chicken in Every Pot, Book on Every Shelf, Fish in Every Stream." To that end, in February 2020 as a member of the Colorado Senate in his last session, Jack was a prime sponsor of Senate Bill 20-185 which established a Colorado Imagination Library Program with the Department of Education.
With over 20 years executive leadership experience with organizations large and small, Jack is excited to champion an effort that puts kids on the right path to success from their earliest experiences, understanding that every child dreams of growing up to be a best version of themselves - dreams that often begin in books. Jack’s favorite book as a child was Millions of Cats. He holds an MBA in Marketing and an MS in Finance.
Chair of Board of Directors
For over 30 years Jo Metoyer has been a K-12 education advocate, volunteering for and serving those school districts where she raised her 6 children - including over 23 years in Colorado at Cherry Creek School District. Jo’s core beliefs are that education is the foundation of a free society in our country and that every child has the right to access to quality education. Learning to read is the core building block of any later education, and the Imagination Library supports this vital activity in a child’s life.
Graduating from Wilmington National University with a degree in business management and marketing, Jo works as an account executive for a large global energy savings company supporting school districts, community colleges and other public entities throughout Colorado driving safe, healthy, sustainable, energy efficient buildings while supporting Colorado’s decarbonization initiatives.
A Chicago native, she has lived in Colorado for 25 years, raised 6 kids in southeast Aurora, and now resides in Severance slightly rural living. Jo loves spending time with family, her fur-babies and traveling.
Her favorite children’s book is a tie between Love You Forever – by Robert Munsch and If The Shoe Fits – by Alison Jackson
Director of Program Services
Laura launched her career in early childhood and informal education and imagined a world where every student was literate. This dream manifests in her work with Imagination Library of Colorado. Her imagination continues as she wonders how to bring literacy to every home in Colorado. Her work leading non-profits focuses on public safety and education.
As Director of Program Services for Imagination Library of Colorado, she serves as a liaison to current and new Colorado Imagination Library local affiliates. Her goal is to provide affiliates support when needed and help grow a strong network of Colorado programs throughout the state. As part of her the affiliate support role, she assists with grant writing, educational materials and program operations. With 20 years of nonprofit and fundraising management, Laura provides a strong background in direct services and community engagement. Laura loves to travel, laugh with her husband and kids, and cheer on the Florida Gators in every sport. Her favorite children’s book is Click Clack Moo Cows That Type.
Director of Community Outreach
For more than 15 years Sara has lead community efforts focusing on direct and safety net services.
After co-founding Imagination Library of Denver in 2015, Sara saw firsthand how essential strong home libraries are to babies and children, and the transformative impact simply mailing books to homes has on a family's culture of reading. Her vision is to ensure all children in Colorado have equitable access to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with focus on hard to reach communities. More books to more kids! All Means All!
Sara also serves as the Director of the Denver Imagination Library affiliate, where every day she drinks her cup of ambition and works to deliver quality books to all children in Denver. With nearly a decade of involvement with the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, she will serve as a support and advocate for current local program affiliates in their efforts to enroll underserved children in at risk communities. Sara's favorite book as a child was Miss Mopp's Lucky Day.
Vice-Chair of Board of Directors
Colorado Senator Jeff Bridges represents South Metro Denver, the community where he and his brilliant wife AnnMarie grew up and where they live with their floppy dog Walt. Working across the aisle, Bridges sponsored and passed bipartisan legislation to provide full day Kindergarten to every Colorado kid, guarantee paid sick leave for every working Coloradan, and establish the Middle Income Housing Authority to keep Colorado affordable for folks like nurses, teachers, and firefighters. Before his election to the legislature, Bridges handled military and small business policy as a Legislative Assistant for US Senator Ken Salazar and also ran public affairs for Union Theological Seminary. He earned a bachelor's degree from Kenyon College and a Master of Divinity from Harvard. Bridges currently serves on the Joint Budget Committee and chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Bridges' favorite book as a kid was the same as Dolly's: The Little Engine That Could. That and the incomparable The Monster at the End of This Book. Spoiler alert: it was Grover the whole time! (Bridges reports feeling true terror during the first read-through, but trusted his mother not to do anything that might actually hurt Grover.)
Melissa Osse is an experienced government relations executive with 20 years’ experience in working across various government and business industry sectors. She worked on the original Colorado READ Act (HB12-1238) to ensure literacy education for early elementary grade students to master the reading and literacy skills necessary to meet read at grade level by the time they get to 4th grade. In her current roles as VP, Government Relations for HCA Healthcare she oversees the development of all state and local legislative priorities, political strategies and healthcare policy decisions in multiple states for the Continental Division.
An active member of her community, Melissa participates in several business and charitable organizations including the Board of Directors for the Food Bank of the Rockies. She lives in Parker with her two sons, Cooper and Owen and dog Jasmine. When not working Melissa loves to cook, traveling with friends and spending time with her boys. Her favorite children’s books include Good Night Moon – by Margaret Wise Brown, of which she can recite from memory and the Dragons Love Tacos series by Adam Rubin.
As Chief Executive Officer and President of the Colorado Bankers Association, Jenifer Waller is a champion of banking advocacy. From her long career both at CBA and as a bank examiner for the Colorado Division of Banking, she understands the pivotal role that financial literacy plays in the economic success of our community.
Waller gives back to the community through her participation in numerous civic and educational programs, including acting as a trustee for Graduate School of Banking and her work with the Compliance Alliance. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her sons Joe and Travis and husband Doug. Her favorite children’s book is Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. A very close second is the Harry Potter series which she read together with her children.
Eve Lieberman has nearly 15 years of experience as a senior strategist, policy and legislative expert, and leading teams to success. She currently serves as the Chief Policy Advisor and Legislative Counsel for Governor Jared Polis. In her current capacity, she manages the legislative, policy and federal affairs teams and has overseen many successful Governor early childhood priorities, including the establishment of Imagination Library of Colorado.
Eve earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and attended law school at the George Washington University Law School. Eve lives in Denver with her husband and two children - both of whom are huge fans of the Imagination Library books they receive each month.
Amy is a former language arts teacher who hoped to communicate her love of language and literature to her students. After staying home to raise her three kids for some time, Amy pivoted to her next career in Human Resources where she served as an executive and consultant for high growth, Colorado-based companies. Amy is passionate about the Imagination Library’s mission given her education background and belief in the power of the written word. Amy holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University.
In her free time, Amy enjoys playing tennis, running and walking with her dogs and husband, heading to the mountains for skiing and hiking, and of course, reading. Amy’s favorite childhood books were What is Your Favorite Smell My Dear, Charlotte’s Web and all the Nancy Drew mysteries.
Jim Smallwood is a business consultant and Colorado State Senator, elected in 2016. He represents State Senate District 4 in Douglas County which encompasses the communities of Castle Rock, Larkspur, Parker, Franktown, and Castle Pines. Senator Smallwood is the current chairman of the Legislative Audit Committee, the ranking member and former chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, the former vice-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and a former member of the Business Labor and Technology and Appropriations Committees.
Prior to being elected, Jim owned and managed several businesses related to employee benefits including an insurance brokerage firm, a third-party benefits administration firm, a COBRA administration firm and an HR consulting firm. He formerly serviced on the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities, along with several councils and advisory panels assembled by state and national insurance companies. Jim and his wife have lived in Douglas County since 1996 and have raised their three sons in Parker. His favorite children’s books are Amelia Bedelia and Dream Snow
Danielle Lammon is the agency owner of Danielle Shannon Insurance Agency and has been very active in the Aurora community in many roles, including: as an appointed board member and Chair for the City of Aurora Citizens Advisory Budget Committee; as President of the Rotary Club of Aurora, where she is the program director of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Aurora; as a member of the board of Directors for the Imagination Library Colorado statewide program which expands equal access to books in the home, promoting early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness throughout the state; and as chair of the Spina Bifida Association of Colorado. She is also part of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team and a graduate of Leadership Aurora.
Over the last five years, Danielle created and built the only Sensory Garden in Aurora with her leadership team & staff. As part of her work with her Rotary club, they built the first Inclusive Playground in the City of Aurora that serves children with disabilities and adults and veterans. Danielle consistently empowers others to make a positive impact in their community.
Josh Hanfling is a co-founder of Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs. During his 27 years in Denver, Josh has worked with officials and stakeholders in a range of industries, including real estate and construction, telecommunications, technology and software, disruptive businesses, professional sports, retail, financial services, restaurants, private equity, non-profits, and more.
His favorite children's book is Llama llama Red Pajama.