Board Members


Michelle Bechamps, Chair
President - Marketing/Brand Strategist, Bechamps & Associates

“There is great potential to grow new generations of young people who can have a direct impact in our communities. Creative youth development programs like DAVA develop that potential in each student that walks through the door. I have seen it first hand in the children I meet here and the countless success stories they have shared with us along their journey. I am honored to be a part of an organization that champions the human spirit in our youth and allows them to see all that the world has to offer to them through creative expression. The students inspire me every day.”

Krysta Gerstner, Vice-chair and Treasurer
Vice President, FirstBank

"Art isn’t just about creating something—it’s also about developing confidence and a voice that someone may not be able to find otherwise. DAVA provides a space and direction to develop youth through the arts, cultivating skills that translate into other parts of their lives."

Beth Klepper Owner, Mainstream Films

“I believe most of our worlds problems could be solved by empowering kids to have confidence in who they are and how they can contribute in a meaningful way that serves themselves and their communities. At DAVA they do JUST that.”

Brian H. Price Retired Management Consultant

“In creating art at DAVA, young people also build a unique identity, self-discipline, orderly thinking, and a sense of belonging in our community.  DAVA respects the special potential within each young artist, and this visible respect calls forth the very best from everyone.”

Justin Clark Director of Sales and Marketing, Visit Aurora

“DAVA provides the rare opportunity for young men and women to creatively develop ideas, work with others, manage projects, and express themselves in ways that cultivate important life skills.  I am proud to serve on the DAVA board, and support the work DAVA accomplishes in our community.”

Kate O'Donnell Lead Instructor of Art, Community College of Aurora, working artist.

"As an educator my best moments in the classroom are the “aha!” moments.  The most fulfilling telling part on any student’s life: aha!  Oh wow this is who I am, or what I could be.  I’ve seen a lot of these moments come alive at DAVA.  This is why I’m so enchanted by what DAVA does for so many students and why I am so happy to be a part of all that DAVA represents."

Heather Hackett Attorney, LEVY-Wheeler-Waters, P.C.

“I’m proud to be part of the DAVA board so that I can help DAVA continue to provide art and education to local youth.  Art and education are vitally important to the community as a whole, and it is my privilege to assist in the endeavor of providing that in Aurora.”

Daniel C. Brown Program Director, Xcel Energy

“When I walk in the doors of DAVA and see the care and engagement of the students in the work they are learning, I am proud to be a part of this effort.  DAVA fills an important gap in our education system that allows our students to broaden their knowledge and express their current feelings, their culture, and their interest in a very positive manner”

Ellen Dailey Consultant, Blue Bird Managment Consulting

“Through DAVA arts, technologies, and job training programs, young people have a safe place to explore and build their confidence, self-expression, creativity, collaboration, and goal-setting skills.  They will take these experiences into their bright futures!  I’m honored to be an advocate for DAVA!”

Cruz Torres Alumni Representative


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Aree adding watercolor to her printmaking project Mural by Jason Needham and Job Training students Job Training student Ramon creates a shelter model Emilio and his paper mache pig