Board of Directors



Michael Sawaya


Attorney Michael Sawaya is the principal share holder in The Sawaya Law Firm. A Colorado native and long time Denver resident, Michael is a renaissance man who is an accomplished musician and a published author.  He sits on the Board for the Colorado Conservatory Jazz Arts and was a former advisor and counsel for the NAACP.  Michael possesses a deep and abiding interest in civil rights and the improvement of others.



Stephanie Syner

Vice President

Ms. Stephanie Syner, MSW is a Congressional Aide for Representative Diana DeGette, 1st District, Colorado.  Stephanie also has extensive experience in working with youth in Treatment Residential Child Care Facilities (TRCCFs).  As a Congressional Aide, Stephanie focuses her efforts on low income neighborhoods and organizing the community to voice their concerns around areas of change.  She is also a strong advocate of community policing and increasing respectful communication between law enforcement and communities of color.

Thiensa Nguyen

Board Treasurer

Thiensa is an Investment Advisor Representative & Branch Office Supervisor at Transamerica Financial Advisors, Transamerica Financial Group Division.  She has extensive experience in finance and has previously worked as an auditor, fraud investigator and loss analyst for a major government entity.  She also sits on the Asian Pacific Development Center Board of Directors.

Chy Montoya

Board Secretary

Ms. Chy Montoya presently serves as Denver City Council Aide to District 8 Councilman Albus Brooks.  Previous to her current position, she served as Denver City Council Aide to former Denver City Councilman At-large Doug Linkhart.  Chy also worked for 10 years at LARASA administrating programs, services and serving as the Board of Directors/Staff Liaison.  Chy has been involved with her community most of her adult life and believes that “giving back” is one of the most important facets of her life.



  Jim ButlerBoard Member 

Jim is a retired tax attorney for Holme, Roberts & Owens, LLP.  He served six years on the board for Mile High United Way including a portion of this time as Board President. He has also served as President of the Board for Swallow Hill Music.  He is widely recognized for his expertise on board governance and philanthropy.

Steven Chavez

Board Member

Steven is the Director for the Colorado Division of Civil Rights under Governor John Hickenlooper.  Steven also served in this same capacity under Governor Bill Ritter.  Steven has also been active for most of his adult life in issues of justice and peace that affect the Latino community and the community in general.

Cdr. Paul Pazen

Board Member

Commander Pazen is a North Denver native who is presently serving as the Commander for Denver Police Department District 1.  Cdr. Pazen is in the vanguard of a new movement in DPD to improve and strengthen community police relations and trust.

Elina Martinez

Board Member

Elina Martinez is a Northwest Denver resident with a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver.  She is an ELA S teacher in a Montbello school.  She is also the Co-Managing Director of Highlands Mommies and has significantly diversified and grown this neighborhood organization.

Qusair Mohamedbhai

Board Member

Qusair Mohamedbhai is an attorney who specializes in civil rights and employment law. He recently started up his own law firm Rathod/Mohamedbhai LLC with an office in Lower Downtown Denver. Qusair also serves as the Legal Counsel for the Colorado Muslim Society and is involved in many community issues of social justice and peace.

Jacqueline Pickett

Board Member

Jacqueline Pickett, a Chaffee Park community member of the Board of Directors, is the former Director of Community Development for Jefferson and Adams Counties. She has been working Federal grant programs for more than 25 years, with particular expertise in the areas of affordable rental housing, community & economic development, and homeownership, as well as domestic violence and restorative justice programs. She enjoys working with the diverse nature of the organization’s programs, service population, and amazing staff of Servicios de La Raza. Jacqui is also the Secretary of the Servicios de La Raza Housing Board of Directors. Jacqui also advocates for those living with autoimmune diseases, including Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and our disabled Veterans.



Charlene Barrientos-OrtizBoard Member

Charlene is a long-time supporter of Servicios, a strong community and human rights activitist, traditional curandera, expert in cultural competency and honoree of several awards on Diversity and Human Rights. She has authored numerous publications and has given many presentations in the public health arena, in which her affiliations as a human rights activist, curandera, public health professional and perspective as a Latina have intersected and informed her work.

 dr waintrub
Mauricio Waintrub, M.D.Board Member

A native of Santiago, Chile, Dr. Waintrub is     the Chairman of Rocky Mountain Internal Medicine Clinics throughout Metro Denver. He is an attending physician at Rose Medical among a host of other commitments. Dr. Waintrub’s medical expertise will strengthen Servicios’ health programs.


Levester Lyons, PhD, MSW

Board Member

Dr. Lyons is a retired Clinical Psychologist and brings an expertise in mental health care to the Board of Directors. Dr. Lyons is also the Aurora Chapter President of the NAACP and the President of the National Black Veterans Association.



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