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The Board of Directors at Defy Colorado (www.defycolorado.org), an independent nonprofit organization helping individuals with criminal histories create legal business ventures, today announced it has unanimously chosen Stacey Putka, a licensed social worker, as the organization’s next Executive Director. Putka succeeds Robert Omer, the outgoing Executive Director who elected to retire, on Jan. 1.

“After a comprehensive search process, the Defy Colorado Board is thrilled to have Stacey become our next Executive Director,” said Kevin Klau, Chair of the Defy Colorado Board. “Stacey’s rich history with Defy Colorado, her track record of strong leadership, her compassion and her ability to energize our stakeholders all make her uniquely qualified to lead Defy Colorado.”

As a co-founder of Defy Colorado, Putka most recently served as the organization’s Program Director, where she spearheaded teaching and coaching philosophy methods, curriculum development, marketing and community relations. Putka previously worked as a mental health and substance abuse therapist, social worker and group living counselor with various organizations. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver.

“Working with Defy Colorado these last two years has been one of the great privileges of my professional career, and I am delighted that Stacey will continue our work to transform the lives of the incarcerated population,” said Robert Omer, former executive director of Defy Colorado. “Stacey has been with Defy Colorado from the very beginning, and I can think of no one better suited to lead Defy Colorado forward.”

About Defy Colorado:

Defy Colorado helps individuals with criminal histories create legal business ventures and careers to ultimately defy the odds to build successful, legitimate businesses outside of prison and integrate back into their communities. We are an independent, Colorado-based nonprofit organization providing employee readiness, character development and entrepreneurship training in partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections, leading business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, families and an army of passionate volunteers. Defy Colorado’s flagship program develops “Entrepreneurs in Training” (EITs) for both men and women. For more information, please visit www.defycolorado.org.