Chapter Staff

Executive Director - Heather McLaughlin, MSW, MPH

Phone: 303-753-8890      Email: hmclaughlin.naswco@socialworkers.org

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     Heather McLaughlin is the Executive Director for the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Founded in 1955, NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with more than 120,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

     Heather got her start in social work while in college, supporting girls in residential treatment in Fort Worth, Texas. After working for the local women’s center following college graduation, Heather completed Master's degrees in Social Welfare and Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

     Before starting with NASW in 2017, Heather’s career included nearly two decades as a non-profit program director and executive director in the Denver Metro area. Heather also spent several years working as a public school community liaison. Earlier in her career, she held positions in public health policy in Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

     Heather has been privileged to supervise social work interns throughout her career. She works closely with Colorado’s several Schools of Social Work. Heather is an Affiliate Faculty Member at Metro State University’s Department of Social Work. 

     Heather welcomes your thoughts and feedback in accomplishing our shared goals in advancing social justice; advocating on behalf of our clients and communities; and elevating NASW members and the profession of social work. 

Chapter Administrative Assistant (contractor) 

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 Elizabeth Conover




Chapter Interns

Calysha Smith, MSW Intern - University of Denver

Chapter Lobbyists (contract) Frontline Public Affairs

 All members of the team are MSWs.

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Lead Lobbyist for NASW Adeline Hodge (right) joined Frontline Public Affairs in 2016. Her experience includes policy analysis, research, government affairs strategy, lobbying and political staffing. Adeline’s lobbying experience includes the following issues: Streamlining license pathways for the mental health workforce,72-hour emergency mental health holds, Renewable energy, Retail food establishment licensure and inspection, Suicide prevention, Increasing access to effective substance use services, Workers’ compensation and PTSD, Law enforcement, State alcohol beverage laws. Adeline has over five years of experience in clinical mental health. She has worked with children and families in inpatient psychiatry, residential treatment, and the Denver Public School system. She also served as legislative staff for a Colorado State Representative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Boston College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Denver.

 Diana Protopapa (left) has worked in the legislative and regulatory arena since 2000 as an accomplished lobbyist, political strategist and grassroots mobilizer. She is well known for her ability to get complex legislation over the finish line based on her strong relationships with elected officials and collaborative approach with key stakeholders. Prior to joining Miles Consulting, Diana worked at the Colorado Medical Society for 10 years, serving as their Director of Political Affairs and Education. At the Medical Society, she handled legislation in the areas of health insurance reform, scope of practice, workers compensation, professional liability and other issues affecting physicians and their patients. As head of the Colorado Medical Political Action Committee, she led fundraising and political outreach campaigns. Diana holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Kent State University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver.

 Jennifer Miles (middle) is a recognized public policy professional with 10 years of experience. In addition to a successful record of lobbying for other nonprofit health care associations, she also brings expertise in research, preparing written briefs, policy analysis, and strategy development. She served as Director of Public Policy for the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) and as a Policy Analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL). Jennifer is an expert in health care policy, human services issues, and issues affecting nonprofit organizations. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and is an NASW member.