Elena Wilken
Executive Director
(303) 863-0124

Elena brings 15 years of Colorado politics and association management to the Housing Colorado team. After graduating honors from Penn State University with a bachelor's in Political Science, she managed logistics for a traveling bugle corps, baked bread, ran phones for a mutual fund company and produced title reports. Much to her parent's relief, she was hired as Assistant Director for the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) in 2002 and was promoted to Executive Director in 2007. She completed an MBA at CU Denver in 2017.

Her most significant accomplishments (to date) are working with a statewide coalition to pass transportation funding legislation, rationalizing financial systems, and managing more than 30 statewide and 2 national conferences with steadily increasing sponsorship and registration. She is an unconventional strategist, builds strong and lasting relationships, and is skilled at identifying and articulating core issues. 

  Emily Nilsen
Membership and Communications Specialist
(720) 744-2251

Emily Nilsen has nine years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she served as Communications Manager for a national association and nonprofit. Emily is dedicated to excellence in the nonprofit sector and is particularly well versed in membership communications, outreach and development. Emily Nilsen has a B.A. in History from Regent University and is currently working toward her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the School of Public Affairs at University of Colorado Denver. 

 Not Pictured 

Roberta Trujillo
Administrative Associate
(303) 863-0123

A native of Colorado, Roberta Trujillo has over 20 years of experience providing administrative support for a variety of organizations. Most notably as the Communications Manager with the Aspen Board of Realtors, the local membership chapter of the Colorado Association of Realtors. Roberta is experienced with membership-based associations, event support, membership database management and supporting the work of volunteer committees. Roberta is deeply committed to serving under-served populations, and this passion has led to many volunteer experiences that assist individual and families in finding shelter and housing.

Rose Haag 
Conference and Communications Assistant

As a Masters student at the University of Colorado-Denver studying urban and regional planning, Rose is exploring her passion for equitable development, community building, and affordable housing. These interests stem from years of experience coordinating volunteers at Whitman College focusing on community building and education for social issues like housing and homelessness, food and hunger, and environmental justice. After college, Rose worked as a Paralegal in Washington D.C. and saw the harmful effects of gentrification first-hand in some of DC's growing and segregated neighborhoods, further fueling her interest in affordable housing and social justice advocacy. Since moving to Denver, and beginning grad school, she has immersed herself in understanding the housing crisis in Denver, and sees herself working at the intersection of housing policy and advocacy. 





Sarah Riopelle
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
(303) 863-0123

Sarah Riopelle is passionate about association management and communications. She has worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association where she marketed educational programs for the Northern Colorado community. Prior to Housing Colorado, Sarah worked for the Financial Planning Association as the chapter relations associate where she provided communication and support to chapters across the county. Sarah has a degree in journalism from Colorado State University with an emphasis in public relations.

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