Board of Directors

PILLAR Board of Directors

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Judy Casey
Board President 
Strategic Committee Chair

Judy has been an educator all of her life.  She has been a School Principal, Literacy Director, and State Literacy Association President.  She is also a board member for Citizens Project and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and serves as a mentor in the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Program at UCCS.

She is a member of the Colorado Springs Rotary Club (Downtown) and was Rotarian of the Year in 2016.  She also teaches for PILLAR.​

B. A. Elementary Education from University of North Carolina
M.Ed in Reading from University of Massachusetts


Bertha Koch
Board Vice President
Governance Committee Chair

Bertha has been involved in the Colorado Springs Community for 42 years. She is retired from Girl Scouts as a Volunteer Service Manager for Girl Scouts of Colorado, where she was a staff member for 25 years for legacy council Wagon Wheel. She was part of a statewide team that managed over 10,000 volunteers. Her position included recruitment, interviewing, volunteer applications, references, background checks, training, enrichment, fund raising and conflict management. Her lead position on the team is statewide recognition for all volunteers. She has partnered with many groups over the years including RAP (Board Member of Reducing Adolescents Pregnancies), Youth Community & Suicide Awareness, TEPP (Tobacco Education Prevention Partnership), El Paso County Department of Health and Environment- Fetal & Child Mortality Review Program, El Paso Court Truancy Committee, Department of Human Resource Foster Care, Falcon Business Alliance and Instructor of Trainers American Red Cross, NSID (National Society Interior Design), Community Networking, DOVIA.  Bertha is currently serving on the National Board Member at Large for Association of Executive Girl Scouts and chairing Pikes Peak Girl Scout Alumni.  Her work experience over the years have been diverse from design, advertising, to Registered, Certified Medial Assistance for several medical practices here in Colorado Springs.  She also worked for NY design showrooms, advertising firms, and Compassion International.

"My faith and passion for humanity can not be measured."


Melanie Wehrle
Board Treasurer
Finance Committee Chair

Melanie is retired from the Pikes Peak Library District, where she was the Senior Services Librarian.  She was a former board member for the Senior Resource Council and a former accountant.  She is a current PILLAR instructor.


MLIS from University of Denver


Debi Bauer
Board Secretary

Debi has her own business, Executive Assistant-On Call, LLC;   She is retired from Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Plano, TX. Assists clients in improving the performance of individuals and leadership teams in the areas of communication, decision making, managing change, performance management, and results orientation; certified trainer in the Linkage Inc./William Bridges & Associates programs – Managing Organizational Transition and Individual Transition in Organizations. 


Angela Ann Cesario
Board Member

Angela Ann is a Trinidad native. She has served as the Board Secretary for the Trinidad Community Foundation and the PILLAR Institute and is a member of the Friends of Historical Trinidad, and the Trinidad Historical Society. She is a member of the Trinidad Board of Managers and assists Mt. Carmel of Colorado as a Special Projects Coordinator. Angela Ann has served as secretary for all three boards. Angela Ann retired from corporate-level administrative management


Post-graduate work in Journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

University of California at Berkeley graduate.


Vicki Franson
Board Member
Program Oversight

As a native of Colorado, Vicki has strong ties to the land--the wide-open prairies, the more secluded Western Slope and the vibrant Front Range--that shapes the things and people that she holds dear and the decisions she has made.  Vicki is a career educator and values the power of learning to influence lives in positive ways.  "One of the best decisions was to get involved with the offerings of PILLAR.  I was fortunate to have many differing kinds of educational experience and I hope to use some of that experience to contribute to PILLAR in the future."   

Masters of Education - Gifted and Talented

University of Northern Colorado.


Trish Grihalva
Board Member

Originally from California, Trish is a retired CPA and the previous owner of Forest Financial & Accounting Services LLC.  She was the VP of Finance for the Savvy Women's Network, a Board member/Treasurer for the Colorado Springs Womens Express Network/ABWA, a Member of AICPA, and the Past Treasurer Black Forest Business Group.


Deirdre McCormack
Board Member


A native of New Mexico, Deirdre has been a resident of Colorado Springs since 2000. She concluded a 36-year career in banking retiring from Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in 2016 as a Vice President and Credit Analysis Manager. During her tenure, Deirdre held both line and management positions in the Business Banking group. This also included a position as Learning and Development Manager with responsibilities to develop and manage an advanced credit training program for Business Bankers focusing on credit underwriting and risk management. She held a Credit Risk Certification from the Risk Management Association as well as a Human Performance Certification from ASTD. She has served on the Colorado Springs Steering Committee of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Deirdre’s Gallup Signature Themes are Relator, Responsibility, Achiever, Learner and Input.

University of Texas at Arlington, BA History

University of New Mexico Anderson’s School of Business, MBA


Francisco (Cisco) Montes
Board Member
Development Chair

Cisco moved to Colorado Springs in 1996 and graduated from Coronado High School in 2001. 


Cisco started his banking career in 2006, working for KeyBank and Pueblo Bank & Trust.  Cisco has been with Academy Bank for the last 7 years.  He started as a teller and now is the branch manager at the Briargate Academy Bank location.  Cisco has served on 2 governing boards and 1 advisory board: AcademyACL, PILLAR, and YMCA (Garden Ranch Center). He was the VP of a networking group (Brain 4) and a board member on another networking group (Networking with Integrity).


His motto is:  Always educating and connecting clients everyday. Helping customers both in their personal and business lives.


Katie Rizzo
Board Member
Program Oversight Chair

Katie is a Colorado native and recently returned to Colorado Springs after a 16+ year absence in which time she lived in five states and two countries. She spent ten years teaching middle school, worked in higher education for almost ten years and most recently spent a few years as a Soldier for Life transition Assistance Program/ career counselor for the Army.  Katie was also a Program Coordinator and Adjunct Faculty member for Excelsior College.

B.A. Political Science from the University of Colorado

Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma

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