Chapter Region & Student Representatives

Region Representatives

To contact a Region Representative or Student Representative please use the Contact Us form on this website.

Boulder/Broomfield: David Elliot, MSW, LCSW (he/him)

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David Elliot is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who obtained his Master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has experience working with at-risk youth, serious mental illness, developmentally disabled, homeless, and in-crisis populations. For the past couple years, David has been an in-home therapist for children, adolescents, and families. David is a therapist at Happy Homes Counseling and Griffith Centers for Children. He loves the outdoors and often snowboards, hikes, jogs, and plays disc golf. He also has a passion for indoor activities including cooking, playing drums, and maintaining his coral reef and fish tank. Having a growth-oriented mindset, David seeks to support his community both as a therapist and a member of NASW. His goal is to gather feedback from peers and translate this into meaningful and effective tools for the enhancement of social workers and the populations they serve.

Denver Co-Rep: Amanda Chaney, MSW, LCSW (she/her)


Amanda J Chaney, MSW, LCSW is a therapist who works with clients ages pre-teen to senior at her private practice in Littleton, CO. She specializes in working with adolescent girls and women on issues such as life transitions and depression. Amanda received her Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993, Magna cum Laude in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree in 1999 from the University of Denver. Prior to expanding her private practice, she worked with Lutheran Family Services foster care program and Mental Health Colorado and Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners (Colorado Crisis Line) on issues such as reducing mental health stigma, improving access to mental health care and suicide prevention. Amanda would like to join NASW as the Region Rep for the Denver area in order to return to her social work roots and continue to advocate for improved mental health for all Coloradans, regardless of their economic resources.

Denver Co-Rep: Vannessa Alarcón, MSW, LCSW, LAC (she/her)

Untitled design (5) (1) ¡Hola! I have been the NASW-CO Secretary for the last two years and am excited to serve as the Denver region representative. I am energized by strategizing how to create and foster opportunities for networking, advocacy and professional growth within our profession. Every time I meet a new social worker in our area, it gives me a boost of connection and purpose in this field. I want to help build those relationships to create community among social workers of all backgrounds. I have currently been supporting with the launch of the NASW-CO Latinx/Hispanic affinity group and I hope to continue that work to seek ways to integrate diversity and shared identities into our socialization efforts. I have existing community relationships as a current program manager in community mental health, podcast host, former community engagement pastor, and active public speaker for schools, faith communities, and government entities. I serve with enthusiasm, vision, and with a collaborative spirit.

Mountain: Rachel Forbes, MSW (she/her)

RForbes photoRachel Forbes is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Social Work and the Western Colorado MSW Program Director for the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.  She has lived and worked in the Mountain Region of Colorado since 2011 when she moved to Summit County to develop and teach in the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies (BASS) degree program at Colorado Mountain College and work as a Clinician at Colorado West (now Mindsprings). In 2013, Rachel moved to Glenwood Springs to develop and launch the Western Colorado Master of Social Work (MSW) Program through the Graduate School of Social Work at DU. In this capacity, Rachel has partnered with local organizations to create MSW field placements, served on local and regional boards including the Western Mountain Region Health Alliance, and supported the graduation of four cohorts of graduated MSW’s throughout the Mountain West. 

As a researcher and scholar, Rachel’s area of expertise is environmental justice and climate change. She is co-author of the book Intersections of Environmental Justice, Climate Change, Community and the Ecology of Life. Her edited book Ecosocial Work Practice through NASW press is scheduled for publication in early 2023. Rachel is passionate about the development of the social work workforce in the Mountain Region and hopes to utilize her role on the NASW-CO Board to help grow a thriving social worker network in mountain communities. Rachel enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her family: Shawn (husband), Dawson, Sawyer, & Ella (children).  

Northern: Ann Robinson, MSW, LCSW (she/her)

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Ann Robinson (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who obtained her Master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. She has experience working with at-risk youth, K-12 education systems, and individuals and families in outpatient settings. For the past couple years, Ann has provided mental health services for students in public education settings in both Greeley and Fort Collins and has recently made the shift to private practice. Ann loves the spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, gardening, and hanging with her two dogs and cat. She also enjoys indoor activities like cooking, reading, watching television. With a system-minded brain, Ann seeks to support her community both as a therapist and a member of NASW. She hopes to obtain feedback from her Northern Colorado community of social workers and represent them comprehensively with cultural humility, growth, and excellence in mind.

Southeast Co-Rep: Faith White, BSW, MSW Candidate (she/her)

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My name is Faith White and I am a BSW graduate from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), and now finishing my MSW with a graduation date of May 2024. Originally from Wyoming, I moved to Colorful Colorado, and now, I'm hopelessly in love with the Colorado Springs mountains. As an avid researcher in psychology and healthcare, I have dedicated my work to improving the lives of children with special needs and developing an enhanced experience for disability needs in an academic setting. Currently working at a pediatric home health agency, being an advocate for children with complex disabilities is a passion of mine.

My background includes a perpetuation of diligence; I simultaneously created and facilitated several accomplishments as a full-time student and employee. I recently researched, developed, and facilitated grief and caretaker group support for seniors at a local non-profit senior service agency while maintaining the utmost care and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards. During these groups, I was also responsible for networking, recruiting new seniors for the meetings, and being knowledgeable of policy and state and federal laws.  I am excited for this fantastic opportunity because it allows me to create and develop special activities for the region, become a part of something bigger than myself, gain experience, and team up with new social workers.

Southeast Co-Rep: Michelle S. Palmieri, DSW, MSW (she/her)

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I have been a practicing social worker for over 25 years. Throughout my career, I have been involved in many aspects of social work practice that range from macro to micro. I have extensive experience in mental health working with youth, adults, and families in a variety of settings. I have advocated for clients by working with legislators to change policies that enhance social services. I have been effective in stakeholder management and cross-collaboration with multiple non-profit organizations. Additionally, I am an experienced researcher and educator. As a mental health first aid trainer, I have trained hundreds of school personnel, first responders, and community members. Currently, I work in the field of technology, devising innovative ways to increase access to care. My expertise and knowledge are also put to use as a SAMHSA grant reviewer, where I evaluate proposals for programs that will enhance or provide new social services. I obtained my undergraduate degree from Duquesne University, my Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, and my Doctor of Social Work from Millersville University.

Across my tenure, I have served in many leadership positions engaging with local and state government overseeing programs and policy initiatives that impact members of the community. I have a strong desire to help the children and families within Colorado to have seamless access to the right services, at the right time. We are able to accomplish this when we work together with the same mission of meeting the needs of others. As a representative, my commitment is to support our community by bringing forth social change, policy reform, and break down silos to meet the needs of those in our community as well as enhance collaboration across the system. 

Southwest Co-Rep/San Luis Valley Area: Donna Descoteaux, MSSW, LCSW (she/her)


Donna Descoteaux, LCSW received her MSSW and BA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is in private practice providing psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families.  She works with clients on issues including depression, anxiety, childhood abuse and neglect, grief and loss, end of life issues, PTSD, and psychological effects of physical illness.  She has a special interest in family therapy dealing with the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury and chronic and terminal illnesses. She is also the Medical Social Worker for At Home Healthcare in Alamosa, CO, where she enjoys being part of an interdisciplinary team.  She is co-producer of The Living Well Show, a national radio show focused on health. Volunteer work includes many years on the Costilla County Library Board and work with animal rescue. As a member of NASW Texas, she was privileged to work with state and national leadership to help pass legislation for licensure of Social Workers in Texas. She has lived in the San Luis Valley since 1999.

Southwest Co-Rep: Phoenix Rising, MSW, LSW (ze/zer)

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Phoenix has been dedicated to helping those in need for over fifteen years serving in non-profits, education, private practice, and the criminal justice system. Ze gained zer MSW from New York University in 2011 and has had a hand in both micro and macro work throughout zer career. Phoenix is a member of the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities, and is well trained in racial diversity, equity, and social justice. Ze has coordinated dozens of community-building events, has been involved in local and national advocacy work, and has previously held several leadership positions. Phoenix looks forward to representing the Southwest area Social Workers and building a stronger professional community.


Western: Sarah Shea, MSW, LCSW (she/her)

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Sarah Shea is a private practitioner currently establishing a virtual private practice to serve communities across the greater Western Slope. Sarah specializes in treating depression, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder associated with childhood abuse and neglect, as well as adult traumatic experiences. She has experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults. Due to the nature of virtual practice, she currently serves adults only. One of these days, she looks forward to getting back on the floor with the kids!

Sarah earned her Masters in Social Work at the University of Utah in 2020 and Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2012. Prior to pursuing her MSW, she worked as the Director of Program Development and Community Relations at Moab Regional Hospital, where she worked on many different projects including hospice, substance use, health literacy and education, and behavioral health/primary care integration. Sarah continued working in the macro space after earning her MSW and helped start the nonprofit Trauma-Informed Utah.

Delegate Assembly Delegates (2022 - 2025)

Trevor Gates-Crandall, PhD, LCSW (he/him)

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Greetings NASW-Colorado members!  My name is Trevor Gates-Crandall, and I am excited to join you in representing your interests as part of the NASW Delegate Assembly.  My current primary role is serving as faculty in the MSW program at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where I specialize in teaching direct practice and global issues.  I have lectured internationally in Australia and Vietnam.  My practice experience includes specializing in work with gay and bisexual men around anxiety, depression, and adjustment issues.  I have been a member of NASW for nearly 20 years and previously served as Board Secretary at NASW-Texas.  I currently am on the NASW-Colorado Practice Standards Committee.  I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, and am sole proprietor of Clinical Social Work PLLC, a small telehealth practice specializing in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer+ (LGBTQ+) issues in Colorado Springs.  I look forward to working with you to make sure your interests are represented and to add a voice on issues related to culturally responsive practice with LGBTQ+ communities.



Karina L. Muro, MSW (she/ella)

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I have lived in Colorado since 2013 and currently reside in Broomfield County. I attended the University of Colorado, Denver, where I earned my BA in Psychology. Recently, I graduated from MSU Denver, obtaining my Masters in Social Work. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of working in a Residential treatment facility at UCHealth and providing Outpatient services for individuals with co-occurring disorders. Currently, I am working towards becoming a Licensed Social Worker and a Licensed Addiction Counselor. 

I have also dedicated my time as a volunteer at various agencies, including A Precious Child, OutBoulder, and The Center on Colfax. Additionally, I will continue my work at a community mental health center, advocating for numerous groups, particularly within the LGBTQIA+ and Latinx communities. I am highly motivated to address macro issues that impact us all, especially the policies that continue to affect our family, friends, and neighbors within the LGBTQ community.



Student Representatives


Graduate Student Rep: JR Gallegos, BSSW, MSW Candidate (he/him)   

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JR Gallegos graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors with his Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Metropolitan State University- Denver in May 2023. JR is the current secretary of the Phi Alpha Honor Society MSU- Denver Chapter and has had other advisory and leadership roles throughout his education journey. JR worked with faculty at MSU- Denver in the fall of 2022, working on course development and content for a Spirituality in Social Work elective that is currently being offered at MSU- Denver in the undergrad program. JR is a Certified Addiction Technician in Colorado and has currently been accepted into the Master of Social Work Program at Metropolitan State University- Denver and starts the Advanced Standing Program in June 2023.

JR is the Director of Case Management Services at an agency in Greenwood Village, Colorado. JR’s focus is to ensure clients have a smooth transition from active addiction and into sustained recovery. He works directly with the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist clinical team and their intimacy disorder clients. He also works one-on-one with partners to help ensure safety and accountability while the client is in their care. Mr. Gallegos will also soon be starting his Certified Sex Addiction Therapist training and hopes to become a CSAT. JR is a native of the beautiful state of New Mexico and has a strong passion for the family systems work necessary to achieve healing from addiction and mental health.


Undergraduate Student RepLauren Towe, BSSW Candidate (she/her)   

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Lauren Towe is a dedicated individual currently pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. With a strong passion for helping members of her community, Lauren has dedicated the past two years to supporting individuals struggling with domestic violence. Recognizing the potential benefits of incorporating equine-assisted therapy, specifically hippotherapy, into her studies and practical experience, she has actively pursued learning opportunities in this area. Lauren’s drive, empathy, and desire to make a positive impact align perfectly with NASW’s mission and vision.



What & Where are the Regions?

The NASW Colorado Chapter is divided into seven geographical Regions. Here are the counties in each Region:

Boulder/Broomfield - Boulder, Broomfield 

Denver-Metro - Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson

Mountain - Chaffee, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Lake, Park, Pitkin, Routt, Summit

Northeast - Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Weld, Yuma, Washington

Southeast - Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Lincoln, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Teller

Southwest - Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Dolores, Huerfano, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan

Western - Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Ouray

All members of Colorado NASW are assigned to one region, based on the address provided to National NASW.

Regions are represented by one or two Region Representatives, who are voting members of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter.  Each region has one or two Representative(s)/Vote(s) on the Board through their elected representative(s). Region Representatives also host member gatherings, which may include Continuing Ed credits and networking. To see a schedule of Region Meetings view the Community Calendar.