Aha! is made up of a five member Board of Directors that meets twice per month to review scholarship applications, discuss fundraising opportunities, and advance the mission and vision of Aha!
Aha! would not be successful if it were not for the help of our volunteers and Board of Directors members. If you, or someone you know is interested in joining our cause, please send your resume and information to our email: email@example.com
Our President -Bonnie Bradshaw
Bonnie Bradshaw has lived in Grand Junction, Colorado for over 20 years and is veteran member of the educational community here in Mesa County. While raising her two boys, Bonnie earned her license to teach in Colorado with an English degree from Mesa State College. (now Colorado Mesa University). Bonnie also holds a K-12 SPED endorsement As a teacher, substitute, tutor, and aide, Bonnie consistently maintains a committed involvement in the education of the Grand Valley’s youth. Bonnie’s career in the valley has spanned over a decade, and she continues to assist students of all ages and backgrounds. Since 2014, Bonnie has been supporting families impacted by learning disabilities through tutoring and consultation. She is currently a special education teacher with School District 51.
Our Vice President -
I grew up in Colorado and attended Mesa State College here in Grand Junction, receiving my educational degree. I have a diverse background in teaching and case management. I started my own preschool, which I ran for 6 years before my husband and I decided staying home and raising our 4 children was our priority. I missed teaching and started volunteering in the school district, which I have done now for over 17 years. Volunteering has been satisfying but I still missed teaching. I started working as a case manager with Developmentally Disabled individuals. I decided to further my education becoming a Certified Barton Tutor and Dyslexia Consultant. I love to see the growth in children. I love being able to provide them with the tools and help they need to help them overcome their daily educational struggles. I now work as a SPED PERA for School District 51.
Our Treasurer -Russ Eckardt
Russ is the Vice President of Inter-West Sales & Mktg. Inc., studied Computer Science, Manufacturing Technologies and English at Weber State University. In his own words ..."I have been involved with volunteering for various non-profit, self-help organizations for the past 28 years, mostly with Public Relations and Public Information in Utah and Colorado at the Area and Regional levels. I currently volunteer under the Faith and Fellowship program within the Colorado Department of Corrections & Hospitals and Institutions.
I am passionate about the programs available to help individuals with dyslexia, as they have transformed my dyslexic son from a scared, confused and frightened kindergarten and 1st grade student that would cry at night because he could not read, understand and comprehend his homework. Into a confident and assured 4th grader who asked for books to read for Christmas. I am a better father equipped with the tools to help my son.
Through this process, I have come to realize how inadequate my son's school is in dealing with this issue and the financial struggles that arise from getting him the help he needs.I am honored to be involved with such an outstanding organization, with such a noble cause of helping ease the burdens, both financially and emotionally of students and their families in need."
Our Secretary - Lisa Eckardt
Lisa Eckardt has lived in Grand Junction for over 15 years with her husband, Russ, and two boys, Colton and Kyler. In her own words..." I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Communication, and Health Administration. My professional background is in Purchasing both in manufacturing and the oil field sectors. My son Colton was diagnosed with dyslexia at the end of 1st grade. We spent many nights in tears because he was so frustrated with writing, spelling, and math. He started to show signs of trouble in kindergarten but it was 1st grade when we were informed he was very behind where he should be. I joined DFWC! after learning how often this learning disability (disease) goes undiagnosed and sadly how little support there is in the educational system. The expense for dyslexia screening and ongoing support can be unreachable for families."
Our Director of Operations-
Cerise Moran Hock
Cerise Moran Hock is a native Coloradan. She holds an MSOL in Organizational Leadership and Project Management a Regis University and a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from Colorado Mesa University. Cerise has worked with various nonprofits and has experience as a high school math teacher and curriculum developer. She has also lead businesses and helped develop strategic plans for a variety of businesses. Cerise has worked with students who have dyslexia since 2013 and became a part of Dyslexia Foundation of Western Colorado to help bring awareness to the struggle that individuals with this growing diagnosis face. Cerise also has a passion for animals and is a T1 Diabetic.
Community at Large Member-
Maureen Brennan is a native of Colorado but took a 10-year detour to California where she earned her BS in Child Development and a Teaching license from California State, Fresno. She has taught as an Early Elementary Educator in both California and Colorado and has been a resident of Montrose for the past 24 years. Maureen, is the parent of three adult children raised in Montrose, one of which has special needs. Like many with dyslexia, it has been a challenging learning disability for her daughter. For Maureen It has been a long and trying journey through the public school system with one foot in the door as a teacher and the other foot in the door as a parent. In order to help her daughter, learn to read and spell, Maureen’s professional development has included Linda-Mood Bell training and extensive Barton Certification. Today, retired from teaching in the classroom and children grown, Maureen has been a Dyslexia Consultant and Tutor for the past 6 years for other families, currently running her own tutoring business in Montrose.
Community at Large Member-
Heather Benjamin is a Western slope native who briefly left to attend college at the University of Wyoming. Her career has included politics, law enforcement, and a film company. Currently, Heather does social media, communications, and public relations in the healthcare industry. Over the years she has invested her time and volunteered serving on local non-profit boards like CASA of Mesa County, the Young Professional’s Network, and started the Western slope law enforcement non-profit - Married to the Badge. Heather brings a network of community connections and media relations to her service with the Dyslexia Foundation.
She has two daughters, both with dyslexia and one with Irlen Syndrome. Having advocated for her children for years addressing symptoms and not knowing the causes, as well as struggling with affordable resources, support, and navigating the school district system she has become a self-created billboard sharing her experiences in the hopes of helping other families.
“Having a passion outlet that has personally benefited me and my children is a new experience, but one I’m forever grateful to have found. I look forward to giving back to the organization that helped solve so many mysteries for us!” Heather said.
Community at Large Member-
Glacia Peck has never met a stranger and graciously shares her family’s challenges with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, ADHD, and anxiety. She grew up in Mesa County and married her high school sweetheart, and together they have a son and two daughters.
Glacia is versatile and great at organizing, creating structure, and conversing with anyone. She has consistently volunteered time to supporting her children’s sports teams, school activities, and her church over the years. She is really excited to focus her energy on lifting up the Dyslexia Foundation throughout the community and allowing more families the power of knowledge – in diagnoses and resources.
Glacia’s network is wide, she enjoys event planning, and being creative/logistical. She currently works for Family Health West, the hospital and medical network in Fruita. She has been an unofficial representative for the Dyslexia Foundation for years and is overjoyed to now make it official and join the Board.