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A Fond Farewell

January 10, 2019

As the year 2018 drew to a close, the Denver Health Foundation bid a fond farewell to its executive director of nearly 15 years: Paula Herzmark retired December 31st.

Paula became the Foundation’s executive director in 2004 after eight years chairing the board of directors of the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. Given her board service and numerous other leadership positions, Paula brought a wealth of experience to the Foundation. For more than 10 years she was chief executive officer of the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center. Prior to that position, Paula spent eight years in the cable television industry, including six years as the president and chief executive officer of Prime Time Cable Corporation, a private cable television company. She was a member of Governor Richard D. Lamm’s cabinet as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for five years, after having served as his legislative liaison.

During Paula’s tenure with the Foundation, she and her team raised millions of dollars for Denver Health, touching the lives of thousands in the greater community. Paula’s guidance and direction were critical to the development of numerous Denver Health initiatives, including the introduction of the Employee Giving Campaign, the creation of the Newborns in Need program, and the construction of the Federico F. Peña Southwest Family Health Center. Paula also assisted with the commission of “Healers and Hellraisers,”an enduring coffee table classic that chronicles the 150-year history of Denver Health. Without fail, Paula enthusiastically supported Denver Health’s mission and carried its message of inclusion and impact throughout the city. She will be greatly missed.  

Despite the departure of one of its greatest assets, the Foundation is committed to continued growth and excellence. Following Paula’s retirement, Crystal Potter Rivera has been named interim executive director of the Foundation. Crystal has been with the Foundation since December 2012, most recently as the director of foundation relations. Her career encompasses 20 years in nonprofit fundraising, communications and program development. She has generated significant funds from foundations, corporations and individual donors for a range of Colorado nonprofits diverse in size and scope. A Denver native and Columbia University graduate, Crystal is currently vice-chair of the board of directors for both the Center for African-American Health and for Healthier Colorado, organizations dedicated to improving opportunities for Colorado residents to live healthier lives.

Please join Denver Health in congratulating Crystal Potter Rivera on the interim appointment, and in thanking Paula for her dedication to Denver Health and the city. A search has been initiated to recruit the Foundation’s next leader, and an announcement is expected in the coming months.

If you’d like to make a tribute gift to the Foundation in honor of Paula Herzmark, please donate HERE.

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