WorkLab Team

We offer comprehensive expertise in the WorkLab Model

WorkLab Team

 

Liddy Romero

Liddy Romero

Managing Director

Liddy has a dual role serving as managing director for WorkLab Innovations and executive director of WorkLife Partnership. WorkLab Innovations is a network organization that leads the replication and scale of the Sustainable Workforce Model. The Sustainable Workforce Model engages human capital, increases economic opportunity for families through work, protects businesses' bottom line, and builds more inclusive workplace cultures.

Liddy Romero founded WorkLife Partnership in 2009, building on her education and small business and nonprofit experience to bring a new model for social enterprise to Colorado. In the last seven years, Liddy has been a catalyst for change in the ways employers invest in their workforce to impact the bottom line and improve employee engagement and worker economic opportunities.

Liddy has 14 years of experience in working with government entities and both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Liddy serves as an executive member of the Colorado Workforce Development Council and currently sits on the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Development Advisory Council. She was a previous Aspen Institute Sector Skills Academy Marano Fellow and a Job Quality Fellow, hosted within the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program.

She lives in Centennial, Colorado with her three children and partner.
Valerie Wendell

Valerie Wendell

Director of National Implementation

Valerie directs national replication of the WorkLab Sustainable Workforce Model at member sites, and supports education, thought leadership, and innovation around post-hire supports through the WorkLab Learning Network. She brings more than a decade of experience in the economic, workforce, and community development fields to her role.

Valerie has long been passionate about building sustainable work, career, and economic trajectories for the most vulnerable members of America’s workforce. She cut her teeth in the field at SEEDCO where she managed a $2.5 million portfolio of workforce development contracts with the State of New York, the City of New York, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Valerie has expertise in sector and career pathway initiatives in the healthcare and construction fields, Lifelong Learning Account integrations (LILAs), and capacity-building services for community-based organizations.

In 2012, Valerie spearheaded the launch of an early version of the Sustainable Workforce Model in northern Colorado while managing special initiatives for the Bohemian Foundation. Rooted in community dialogue and a collaborative process that involved business, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic entities, the Model continues to thrive in northern Colorado today.

Valerie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from U.C. Berkeley, and dual Master's degrees from Columbia University in Social Work and International Affairs (Economic and Political Development). She is a graduate of the P/PV and Aspen Institute Sector Strategies Practicum, and is a recipient of Columbia University’s Lowenstein Award, which recognizes excellence in the field of Social Work. Valerie lives in Fort Collins, CO, with her spouse and two children.

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Chris Young

Finance Director

Chris joins WorkLab Innovations with over 15 years of experience in Corporate Finance and Operations Management ranging from startups to Fortune 200 companies. He brings a passion for performing financial analysis, turning data into information and implementing process improvements. Worklife Partnership’s mission to advance workers and improve lives combined with his passion to serve the community drove Chris’ shift to the non-profit sector. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his MBA and Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado at Denver.
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Suzie Lucken

Learning Network Manager

Suzie supports the WorkLab network as its Learning Network Manager, by fostering member growth through use of tools, trainings and educational resources for WorkLab’s growing membership community.

She came to the team from the for-profit world, having worked as a project manager (PMP® certified) and digital marketing consultant; however, she has always had a heart for non-profit work as exemplified in volunteer work on a school foundation board, starting a “green program” with a local elementary school, Rotary International, and both youth and adult ESL tutoring and coaching gigs.

Suzie has a B.A. in Journalism from Creighton University, and earned a Master’s degree in International Business -- both as a requirement in previous product development roles, and as an excuse to travel even more. Suzie also started a business for a kitchenware product that her young daughter invented and patented, and so enjoys the innovative work of helping to cultivate the WorkLab member network.

Throughout her career, Suzie has been described to have a deep sense of personal responsibility, a service ethic, and an unending focus on the well-being of others. She enjoys mountain biking, and lives in Golden CO with her spouse, two children, and too many pets.

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Alyssa King

Communications Manager

Alyssa King works to build awareness of the Sustainable Workforce Model and to position the WorkLab network as a thought leader in critical conversations on frontline workers, workforce development, inclusive economic opportunity and talent development. She supports WorkLab network members through communications and marketing training, collaboration and resources. She brings 8 years of experience in communications strategy, brand voice, and web content to her role.

Alyssa previously managed content for The Boston Architectural College and worked as a book editor for America’s Test Kitchen. She was inspired to join WorkLab by their commitment to apply research, data and reflection to continually evolve and improve their work to deliver the greatest impact to vulnerable frontline workers. Alyssa holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Ryan Jeffers

Database Administrator

Ryan comes to WorkLab Innovations through his work as an Upskill Coach with one of our founding members, WorkLife Partnership. In this position, he coached low-income working parents, providing soft skills development, long-term career planning, professional goal setting and resource navigation.

Prior to coaching at WorkLife, Ryan worked as an educator and administrator in language acquisition programs for adult immigrant and refugee students, designing and implementing language assessments and evaluating program outcomes.

Ryan was drawn to his role within the WorkLab Innovations network because he sees it as the perfect convergence of his experience in measurement, his passion for technology and his commitment to empowering marginalized and traditionally underserved populations.

Ryan graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a master's degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education and a master's degree in Assessment & Evaluation.
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Brittany Cole

Program Manager

As a navigator for WorkLife Partnership for over 4 years, Brittany brings her specialized experience to support WorkLab Innovations. She seeks to help network members explore and practice their skills through online networking, learning and coaching opportunities. Now serving as one of WorkLife’s program managers, Brittany is passionate about staff’s professional growth and recognizes how life barriers can rob us of the confidence and stability we derive from our work.

Brittany has long served as a volunteer for community youth and crisis intervention programs. She developed a passion for creating tools to help service providers discover innovative ways to improve their practice and better serve individuals facing life’s many obstacles.

Brittany holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Illinois State University and a Master of Social Work from Colorado State University. She enjoys learning to garden and spending time with her husband and corgi.