Board of Directors

Rich Devlin, President

Rich Devlin is a lawyer and aspiring writer. His nonfiction life includes business and legal jobs in the telecommunications industry, the longest being a 13-year stint as EVP-General Counsel for Sprint Corporation, running a pro bono law firm, and serving on numerous nonprofit boards in Kansas City, Winter Park, and Denver. He received a BS in industrial engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and his JD from Fordham University School of Law. His fiction life involves inventing twisted characters that cannot stay out of trouble. Rich and his wife, Kim Linin, an interior designer, live in Winter Park and enjoy outdoor activities.

Rudy Melena, Co-Vice President

Rudy has been an educator all his life. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he graduated from Colorado College with a BA in anthropology and a minor in elementary education. He taught fifth grade for 18 years in Canon City, Colorado where, in 1991, he was selected Elementary Teacher of the Year for Fremont County. He was an elementary principal in Jefferson County for 14 years. Kyffin Elementary, where he was principal for 9 years, was consistently ranked excellent by the state. In 2002, he opened Blue Heron Elementary in Grant Ranch, managing the construction budget and developing the school’s educational philosophy. During his time in Jefferson County, he successfully facilitated conflict mediation that involved families of minority students and administrators. Rudy participated in the Book Project developed by Lighthouse Writers. During the two-year program, he wrote 16 short stories and a novel. His short stories have appeared in and Green Hills Literary Lantern. He has served on the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Writers since 2015.

Lynda Ricketson, Co-Vice President

Lynda is an aspiring writer of fiction who spends her days joyfully serving as the Vice President of Philanthropic Services for Community Foundation Boulder County. Her career includes tenure with the Women's Foundation of Colorado as Vice President of Philanthropy, Community First Foundation as Vice President of Philanthropic Services and Rose Community Foundation as Program Officer and Philanthropy Advisor. She was also Director of Development and Alumni Giving with the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Her proudest accomplishment is raising her grown daughter, Marin, who is a talented writer and an amazing human being. Lynda has a bachelor of arts with a creative writing concentration from Metropolitan State University of Colorado and a master of liberal studies, creative writing concentration, from the University College at the University of Denver. Lynda has more than 25 years of experience in the philanthropic sector and is a Certified Fundraising Professional. In addition to her board service at Lighthouse, Lynda serves on the board of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable.

Randy Sylvan, Treasurer

Randy Sylvan has over 20 years of financial-management experience within the telecommunications industry and is currently a senior director with Comcast Cable, where he oversees the budgeting and forecasting for national engineering capital investments. Randall has a BS in accounting from Colorado State University, and a MA in education from the University of Colorado, Denver. Randall has taken workshops at Lighthouse for six years and enjoys writing about balancing career and parenting responsibilities (or not balancing as is oftentimes the case). Randall also serves on the Sewall Child Development board where he is co-treasurer. Randall enjoys playing golf, reading about history, hanging with his wife, Elizabeth, and playing with their two sons, Joseph and Daniel.

Brooke Dilling, Secretary

Brooke Dilling has over 20 years of experience in event planning and logistics. In her current role, she plans arts and cultural events for the City and County of Denver, including Denver’s popular Five Points Jazz Fest. A transplant from Wisconsin, Brooke has lived in Denver since 1996. She loves the sunshine, the mountains, the great restaurants, and the live music scene in Denver. Although she misses fishing in Wisconsin lakes. Brooke is a voracious reader with a passion for increasing Denver's youth literacy rates. Brooke is also a fitness lover, ice cream connoisseur, and runner-after’er of two boys, Reese and Hank.

Rick Bailey

Rick Bailey is a lawyer at the Burg Simpson law firm. From 2000 through 2002, Mr. Bailey served as senior vice president and general counsel for AT&T Broadband, where he served as senior legal counsel and local government affairs officer for the 40,000-employee cable and broadband division of AT&T Corp. Between June 1997 and April 2000, Mr. Bailey was the senior vice president of federal government affairs for AT&T Corp, responsible for the day-to-day operations of AT&T’s federal government affairs office and its relations with the Executive Branch, the Congress, the State Department, the FCC and other regulatory agencies, trade associations and think-tanks in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining AT&T in 1988, Mr. Bailey was a trial lawyer in Chicago. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, graduating cum laude, in 1982. Mr. Bailey is also a 1979 graduate of Illinois State University, having received a BS, with honors, in political science. Mr. Bailey is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, and the US Court of Federal Claims.

Steve Davis

Steve Davis is a reformed (retired) attorney, living in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Kim. Steve is an aspiring musician, and his literary efforts lie primarily in writing music and lyrics for his blues/rock band. Kim is an interior designer and artist. Their two children are both authors of various works of fiction, including short stories, children’s books, and partially completed novels. When he retired, Steve was an executive vice president at CenturyLink. He previously held similar positions at Qwest and AT&T. Steve has served on a number of charitable boards in Denver. He is an avid golfer and enjoys all outdoor activities.

Deanne Gertner

Deanne Gertner has been a member of Lighthouse since 2007, works as a project manager for NINE dot ARTS, a Denver-based art consulting firm that uses the power of original art to transform environments into experiences. She received an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2013 with a focus on short stories and has an undergraduate degree in English literature from Regis University. Since high school, Deanne has volunteered for such diverse organizations as the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Metro State’s Center for Visual Art, the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Create Denver, and One of Ninety-Nine. Deanne currently serves the board of CultureHaus, the Denver Art Museum's young professional support group, where she brings views of Denver's top rare and private art collections to members.

Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert is the director of operations and IT at a boutique, international executive talent development organization and an aspiring science fiction writer. Sarah has a masters degree in journalism and communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked as a newspaper reporter for a number of years before joining a technology start-up. She has an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Queen’s University. Her extended family, including her parents, are Canadians. Sarah is a participant in the Book Project, a two-year program developed by Lighthouse. She lives in Denver with her wife, a botanist, and their two daughters.

Juliette LaChapelle

Mediator. Advocate. Master Planner. A firm believer in the power of story—the stories we read or write and share with others, and even those we write and keep to ourselves. Her own stories are mostly fiction or fantasy and draw heavily on the years she worked as a federal prosecutor and civil rights attorney. She is the owner of JLC Resolution LLC, and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Harvard Law School, and The London School of Economics and Political Science. She enjoys tennis and rowing and most of the adventures cooked up by her partner and their two boys.

Annette Taylor

Annette Taylor is a molecular geneticist and lover of the arts. She is currently scientific director of molecular genetics at Esoterix Coagulation, Laboratory Corporation of America. Previously the founder, president, and CEO of Kimball Genetics, she has extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing, and education to empower patients and physicians. Annette is board-certified in both clinical molecular genetics and genetic counseling. She earned a PhD in microbiology and immunology from UCLA, a master's in genetic counseling from the University of Colorado, and a bachelor's in biology, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College. She has more than 50 scientific research publications in the fields of fragile X syndrome and celiac disease. Annette has served on the American College of Medical Genetics Quality Assurance Committee and Intellectual Property Committee and has contributed to guidelines for genetic testing. She has also served on the Department of Veteran Affairs Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee and in the Personalized Health Care Working Group of the Department of Health and Human Services. Annette has taken classes at Lighthouse Writers since 2011 and is a previous member of the Book Project. She has served on the board of directors at Lighthouse since 2016. Annette embraces story and metaphor in all of the arts, and she especially loves theater and the visual arts in addition to the literary world. She enjoys photography and the wild west outdoors and cherishes time with beloved friends and her daughter.

Rebecca Arno

Rebecca Arno is director of the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver, where she previously served as executive director of foundation Relations. She has more than two decades of experience in the philanthropic sector, most recently as vice president for operations and communications for The Denver Foundation. Rebecca has served on numerous nonprofit boards including as chair of Communications Network, a national network of communications professionals in the social sector, and of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. Rebecca earned her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University, as part of the Colorado Trust Fellows program. She has written for numerous publications on a broad range of subjects and speaks on issues of communications, leadership, and inclusiveness. She is a sprint triathlete and a writer, and she lives with her husband and son in Denver, Colorado.

Maha Kamal

Maha Kamal is a lawyer, writer, and a bit of an artist. She is the owner of the Colorado Family Law Project, a law firm that provides sliding scale legal services to un-represented and under-represented clients in the Denver metro-area. Maha also worked at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague, Netherlands and has a background in international criminal law and Western European politics. Maha is a polyglot – meaning, she speaks several languages, including English (her native tongue), Spanish, and Urdu/Hindi. In her spare time (when she has it), Maha loves to travel. She also loves to take classes at Lighthouse - so don't be surprised if you see her around! (She tries not to miss Friday 500 if she can help it.) Maha is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, and the University of Denver, where she obtained her Juris Doctor. She lives in Denver with her grumpy old cat, Mikail. She is originally from Aurora, Colorado.