Mary Seawell (Founding Chair) - Senior Program Officer, Gates Family Foundation

Jim Balfanz (Vice Chair) - President, City Year, Inc.

Annie Proietti (Secretary) - High School Teacher, Denver Public Schools

Jessica L. Roberts (Treasurer) - Executive Director, Luminary Learning Network (LLN), Denver, CO

Dr. Robert Balfanz, Senior Research Scientist at Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University and Co­Director of Everyone Graduates Center and Talent Development Secondary

John Kechriotis - General Counsel, Sharpe Holdings, LLC

Dexter Korto -Denver Public Schools Middle School Teacher And City Year Alumnus

Christine Morin -Chief Growth & External Affairs Officer, City Year, Inc.

Pami Perea - Manager Of Donor And Community Relations, Colorado Uplift

Morris W. Price, Jr - Vice President and Executive Director, City Year Denver

Ana C. Soler  - Director of Youth Engagement, The Civic Canopy

Jerry C. Torrez - President/CEO, Action Youth


Mary Seawell - Chair, Board of Directors

Mary leads work on education initiatives, particularly in the areas of innovations in governance and delivery of public education services, rural school innovation, public policy and strategies for expanding the pipeline of excellent school leaders and teachers for the Gates Family Foundation. Mary has served previously as the Executive Director of the Sturm Family Foundation and the Judith Ann Griese Foundation. She has also served as a Director and member of the Grantmaking Committee for the Charles T. Beaird Foundation, and a board member and Chair of the Grantmaking Committee for the Chinook Fund.

From 1993 to 2003 she worked in various capacities at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Mary also worked for Get Smart Schools developing an MBA program at the University of Denver for autonomous school leaders. Mary has served on numerous community boards including the Odyssey School, the Denver Language School, The Lab at Belmar, Bluff Lake Nature Center and Rape Assistance and Awareness Program. Mary was elected to the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in 2009 and served as its President from 2011-2013. Mary is a graduate of American University (Print Journalism and Philosophy) and has a law degree from the University of Denver College of Law. She also studied Literature at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England.


Jim Balfanz has served as President of City Year since 2010, steering its continued evolution as a performance-driven organization. Balfanz led City Year’s strategic shift towards leveraging national service to focus on improving student achievement in America’s high-need urban schools and co-authored a 2012 City Year report, “Closing the Implementation Gap.” In partnership with Johns Hopkins Talent Development and Communities In Schools, Balfanz has also played a leadership role in the development of Diplomas Now, which was awarded a $36 million Investing in Innovation award by the Department of Education.

 Prior to his role as President, Balfanz served as City Year’s Chief Operating Officer for 5 years and guided the organization through a sustained period of growth that enabled it to scale from 15 to 21 U.S. locations and launch its second international affiliate in London. Balfanz began his work with City Year as a corps member at a Head Start Program in Boston in 1993, after which he joined City Year’s staff. He has since assumed various roles in City Year’s National Headquarters, including Deputy Director of National Affairs, and Director of New Site Development, followed by being named the Founding Executive Director of City Year Greater Philadelphia in 1997.

 Balfanz received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University, is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business Executive Management Program and was a Fellow in the fourth class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. He currently serves on the Mass Insight Education board of directors, the Eye to Eye governing board and the City Year London board of trustees. In 2016, he was appointed to the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development as a Distinguished Educator.

Annie Proietti - Secretary, Board of Directors

Alice Anne Proietti is an education advocate and chairs the K-12 Education Program Committee of the Walton Family Foundation. Annie has been active in education and childhood development since tutoring elementary, middle and high school students after she graduated college.

Annie spent four years at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School as the director of student services. Before that role, she managed a SCORE! Tutoring Center in Alexandria, Virginia, where she tutored a diverse community of students and gained valuable experience in operating a business. She later served at the Walton Family Foundation, working on K-12 education grants and data analysis.

Annie’s experience with students sparked her interest in youth development programs, with an emphasis on immigration advocacy, career and technology education, and initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles. 

Annie holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in education policy from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. She is married to Joey Proietti and is the granddaughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and his wife, Helen.