CEO & Principal
When state and federal agencies look for a reliable resource to gather and disseminate information, and to keep the lines of communication open, Jonathan invariably is at the top of the list. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to bring the public and agencies together to solve problems and make solid decisions. Jonathan thrives on complex, high-stakes negotiations, especially in the areas of natural resources and transportation. Off the clock, Jonathan relaxes by playing the cello and by running the numerous paths surrounding his mountain home.
Senior Program Manager
Jeffrey helps projects with diverse stakeholders work better. He does this by providing facilitation and project management on projects’ strategy, communication, and implementation. He believes that by taking relationships into account, using creative problem solving, and seeking mutual gains solutions, projects are more successful and stakeholders are more satisfied.
Jeffrey has nearly a decade of experience internationally and in the U.S. He’s worked with government agencies, NGO’s, and companies in areas including land use, development, environmental sustainability, and organizational effectiveness.
Senior Program Manager
Taber is a results-oriented attorney and facilitator with a broad range of experience in collaborative problem solving; conference planning and implementation; process design, and organizational and strategic development. She facilitates dialogues and partnerships between governments, communities, industries and stakeholders and provides technical and policy analysis.
Taber possesses substantive expertise in the areas of transportation; natural resource management; stakeholder engagement and public input processes; agriculture; conservation; and project management. Taber is adept at working across and between sectors with social entrepreneurs, activists, government, non-profits, and business leaders — her expertise and insights have helped individuals and organizations in the public and private spheres advance innovate approaches to resolving conflicts and meeting both short- and long-term project goals.
Prior to joining CDR, Taber earned a law degree at Colorado Law School in Boulder. After graduating, Taber practiced public health and natural resource law for the State of Colorado and also founded Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, a non-profit urban agriculture project with a mission to train the next generation of farmers while stewarding the land and providing humanely produced dairy products to the community. In her free time, Taber can be found mucking around with goats or on a hike in the beautiful Colorado mountains.
Senior Program Manager
James Hess has 30 years of experience in conflict management, consensus building and natural resources management. Prior to his retirement from the Department of the Interior in July 2020, James served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), which built and operates many of the largest and most iconic water and hydropower projects in the world—including Hoover Dam. In that role he facilitated operational, administrative and logistical decision-making, and oversaw a program to negotiate agreements between Reclamation, water users, Tribes and other stakeholders to facilitate the transfer of ownership of federally owned water facilities to non-Federal entities. In addition, he managed Reclamation’s internal workplace conflict management program. and developed and delivered training workshops on interest-based negotiating, conflict management and collaborative decision-making for Reclamation staff and its customers.
Senior Program Manager
Prior to joining CDR, Tracy Winfree’s career as an innovative local government leader in Transportation and Land Management established deep and diverse experience in policy development, master planning, regional collaboration, stakeholder relationship building, organizational operations and business practices, board and council liaison responsibilities and change leadership. Tracy served 17 years as department director for three different City of Boulder departments (Public Works/Transportation, Open Space and Mountain Parks, and Parks and Recreation) preceded by 11 years of innovative city project and program planning, development and implementation. Most recently, Tracy served a six-month assignment as interim Parks, Recreation and Open Space Director for the City of Louisville, CO.
Herman is passionate about engaging different stakeholders to generate joint solutions to the challenges they face. Besides his position at Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands, Herman partners with CDR Associates to create capacities to deal with public and environmental conflicts. As an accredited Partnership Brokering Association (PBA) broker, Herman is supporting local and global partnerships, mainly in food security and natural resource management, in more than 25 countries. He divides his time between governments, companies, civil society organisations and research institutions. Herman is lead author of the acclaimed MSP Guide: How to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships, which has been referred to as an “invaluable management tool for identifying the core principles, tools and considerations needed to optimise your organisation’s approach to engagement”. This book, which has recently been translated into French and Spanish, is accompanied by The MSP Tool Guide which contains 60 tools to make MSPs more effective.
In 30 years of serving as a mediator, Mary Margaret is well versed in the intricacies of coming to fair and amicable agreements – whether in South Africa, Eurasia, or the United States. As a result of practicing in some of the world’s most tense and conflict-ridden areas, Mary Margaret can diffuse explosive situations with ease. Her keen sense of humor comes in handy, as well as her ability to communicate under pressure.
At home around the world, Chris has worked in close to 50 countries and cultures. He specializes in assisting diverse parties – government agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organizations – design innovative dispute resolution systems and mechanisms to resolve a range of types of conflicts and build capacities for implementation. Chris also provides professional process design, facilitation and mediation assistance to help successfully settle complex and contentious disputes over public policies, water, land, natural resources, energy development and species issues. Chris provides leadership in the design of peacebuilding initiatives and increasing citizen access to justice after violent conflicts and major political transitions. Chris is enthusiastic and trustworthy and makes an ideal partner for navigating rough waters.
As a child, Susan couldn’t decide between becoming an ambassador for the United Nations or the conductor of the Boston Symphony. As it turns out, her career path neatly encompasses elements of both her passion for international peacebuilding and her ability to orchestrate harmonious accords among diverse constituents. Susan thrives on puzzles and paradox, which makes her an especially innovative and energetic mediator. Curious by nature, she relishes the challenges in resolving development conflicts in the United States as well as on the other side of the world. Susan leads the firm’s sustainable development practice, and is an experienced mediator and systems thinker.
Melissa brings her passion for engaging communities in decision-making and her careful attention to detail to each project she works on. A recent graduate with an MA in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Melissa is interested in bringing a diverse group of stakeholders to the table to address sustainable development. She has experience facilitating workshops aimed at improving working relationships for EPA and Tribal Government employees, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data for policy development, and working with international organizations to increase community outreach and awareness. Prior to moving to Denver, Melissa attended the University of Georgia and remains a loyal Georgia Bulldog during football season each year.
Emily Zmak drives CDR’s water practice and leads engagement on complex water resources projects. Her expertise includes stakeholder engagement and conflict resolution; education and outreach on water resources issues; and collaborative water policy development. Her portfolio connects water users to water decision-making, and works to build local resilience to the impacts of climate change and growth.
In addition to diverse and exciting projects across the United States, Emily has worked as a community engagement specialist in Malawi; as a team-lead in responding to refugee landings in Lesvos, Greece; and as a researcher on water quality, use, and conservation issues for a US-based mining company. She researched transboundary water conflicts in Kyrgyzstan while on a Fulbright grant.
Daniel comes to CDR from a multifaceted background that includes nonprofit communication focusing on land and water issues, intergroup dialogue facilitation, business development, and academic research exploring the relationship between media and political polarization. Holding an MA from the University of Denver’s Media and Public Communication program with a focus in Strategic Communication, Daniel brings a passion for stakeholder engagement, bridge-building across difference, and implementing democratic processes at challenging decision points. He believes the key to finding solutions among diverse coalitions starts with developing systems that allow for open communication channels and good-faith dialogue. Daniel jumped into an exciting and diverse array of CDR projects, including stakeholder engagement for Front Range Passenger Rail and planning the May 2020 Facilitation & Mediation of Public & Environmental Conflicts.
Outside of work, you will likely find Daniel atop one of Colorado’s many mountain peaks (preferably with skis strapped to his feet) or front and center at one of Denver’s many performing arts venues. Always looking to collaborate, you can reach Daniel at email@example.com. He would love to hear from you.
Patrick explores his interests in public space, mobility, and urban development as he supports CDR’s transportation and planning practice areas. Empathy and understanding are central to his engagement with communities and clients, as is a systems-focused approach to problem-solving. He comes to CDR with a background in environmental sustainability and urban policy research and remains eager to facilitate solutions around these types of complex topics. Patrick excels at graphic communication and serves an important role in strengthening CDR’s engagement materials.
Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021, where he was awarded the Urban Leadership Fellowship by the Penn Institute for Urban Research. Originally from New York’s Long Island, Patrick enjoys spending his free time hiking Colorado’s mountains and slowly working his way through knitting patterns.