Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Board Members

Board Chair: Michael Powell

Mike Bio PictureMike Powl is the current Board Chair for Women’s Global Empowerment fund and has been involved with the organization since its inception in 2007.  Mike first met Karen Sugar in 2007 and was involved in helping to secure its first $10,000 investment in that year.  He was fortunate enough to travel to Gulu in Northern Uganda in November of 2008 to witness the program in action and its powerful impact in the community as well as experience the program’s very first Drama Festival.

In addition to helping with Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, Mike is also a Big Brother mentor for the past 6 years and is proud to call his 16 year old, 6 foot / 200 lb. pound Little Brother Abe family.

In his day job, Mike is Director of Publisher Sales for Altitude Digital, a Denver-based advertising technology company where he manages a great team of 7 sales people.  Prior to joining the Altitude Digital team, Mike was Director of Sales for SISTER Technologies, a Dallas video technology company and Co-Founder / EVP of bieMEDIA, a Denver video production company.

Mike is married to his wife Cory for 15 ½ wonderful years and they have a feisty beagle named Bailey and a hyper active basset hound / bull terrier mix named Ethan.

Molly Diachok-Mugglestone

IMG_7919Molly Diachok-Mugglestone owns MDM Public Affairs Consulting where she provides political and campaign strategy for environmentally based clients. She has owned MDM for four years and has worked on issues ranging from Colorado River protection, public lands advocacy and regional transportation planning. She started her career in public affairs in Denver, working in legislative affairs for the Colorado Association of Family and Children’s Agencies (CAFCA) and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. While working for CAFCA, she earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver where she focused on policy, lobbying and non-profit management. After working in Denver as a lobbyist and advocate she moved to DC in 2001 and lobbied Congress and the Administration for the Center for Reproductive Rights. From there she went to work in higher education and was a marketing and recruitment manager for American University School of Public Affairs. Wanting to get back to their roots and live in the mountains they love, she and her husband moved to Gunnison, CO 10 years ago. In Gunnison, Molly has been an adjunct professor at Western State Colorado University, the Director of the County Substance Abuse Prevention Project and she currently serves her clients through MDM Public Affairs.

Leah Rausch

Leah Rausch_2014Leah Rausch is passionate about supporting sustainable and robust community development, both in Colorado and abroad. She is currently the Director of Rural Partnerships at Community Resource Center, a nonprofit management support organization in Denver. Leah works with rural nonprofit professionals across Colorado to increase access to high quality professional development, networking, and funding opportunities. Leah graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in International Studies and Spanish with an emphasis on community development and gender equality. During her tenure at the University of Denver, Leah was a Communications & Development intern with WGEF and has stayed on in various capacities – as volunteer, board member, and problem solver – ever since. Leah brings expertise in volunteer coordination and recruitment, project management, facilitation, grantwriting, marketing and social media to Women’s Global.

Erin Huiting

Erin Huiting is a dedicated advocate for gender equity in local and global communities. She met Karen Sugar in 2009 and was immediately drawn to the WGEF mission, people, and impact of the organization and remained a volunteer for 10+ years. Growing up in Colorado, Erin primarily worked with WGEF in their Denver office, but was fortunate to visit Uganda in 2015 and 2016 to assist staff with new programming and meet WGEF’s inspiring community of women and families. During this time, Erin pursued a B.A. in Molecular Biology at Colgate University, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She plans to apply her research in microbiology, immunology, and genome engineering to develop tools and therapeutics that better society – whether that be through human healthcare or climate change. In graduate school, Erin is also a leader of a student-led organization Immunologists for Gender Equity that aims to break down the barriers and biases of gender in science. She has continued her involvement with WGEF as a board member for the past 3 years, and applies her expertise in research, project management, and communication to identify and apply for grants, assist with fundraising, and write or promote WGEF programming.

Erin Flaherty
Beauty and Health Director, Marie Claire Magazine
New York City, NY

Louise Martorano
Executive Director, RedLine Gallery
Denver, CO


Resource Development Committee

Laura Turner

Laura TurnerLaura Turner is currently a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at a Denver Public School. Laura is also earning her Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver. Laura began volunteering with Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) in 2012. She was initially drawn to volunteer with WGEF because their mission of achieving women’s empowerment through microfinance was in alignment with Laura’s interest in feminist and gender studies. Laura is inspired by WGEF’s commitment to making systemic social and economic change for women in Gulu, Uganda. Unlike some other NGOs which come in with their own agenda, Laura values how the voices of participants in WGEF are always fundamental to decision making about programing. Ugandan women advocate for the issues they see in their community and WGEF is responsive in creating programs to meet those needs. In particular Laura values WGEF’s drama festival where women use theater as a vehicle to express criticism of the patriarchal status quo.

Darcy Barr

Milima haikutani lakini binadamu wanakutna. Darcy learned this Swahili saying on her last day of volunteer teaching in Tanzania. It means, The mountains are not connected but human beings are. Darcy firmly believes WGEF’s value that all women are connected, and we are here to help each other.

Volunteering a summer in Africa changed Darcy’s life. While she lives in Denver among the Rocky Mountains, she will never forget the women of the Maasai village she met in Kilimanjaro or all of the amazing girls and women she connected with in Bagamoyo. Though her experience in Africa was amazing, Darcy never felt like she was doing enough. Upon moving to Denver in 2013, Darcy met Karen and learned about WGEF, which is the exact nonprofit she was looking for to help empower women. Darcy’s favorite part of WGEF is how women are provided with leadership skills and resources to empower themselves.

Darcy has a BS from Penn State in Elementary Education and a MS from Stetson University in Educational Leadership and Administration. She spent ten years teaching in PA, FL, and CO along with her time volunteer teaching in Africa. Currently she works for the Colorado Reading Corps program as a Master Coach supporting schools across Denver to boost Literacy rates. When not working or volunteering, Darcy can be found hiking with her adopted lab or running races. One of Darcy’s favorite roles as a Board Member is helping to organize WGEF’s Colfax Running team. She hopes that you join us in Running Locally and Thinking Globally!



Martin Burt
Executive Director, Fundacion Paraguaya
Asuncion, Paraguay

Jana Everett, Ph.D.
Chair, Dept. of Political Science University of Colorado at Denver
Denver, CO

Rachel Hartgen
Executive Director, Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn (S.O.U.L.) Foundation
Denver, CO

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