Executive Director and Co-Founder
303-996-0275 ext. 4
A 15-year immigrant integration veteran, Lee’s vast experience ranges from a grass-roots community level to the national arena. He has trained several hundred educators and administrators in immigrant integration nationwide, and Intercambio’s model is transforming the way in which adults learn English while fostering profound connections across language and cultural barriers. His passion for bridging communities has won him and Intercambio national notoriety, including awards listed here.
Since co-founding Intercambio in 2001, Lee has led Intercambio to raise over $6,000,000 to provide affordable English classes to over 10,000 immigrants by training and mobilizing 5,000 volunteer teachers.
After years of success in Boulder County, Intercambio’s model is spreading throughout the country. Under Lee’s leadership, Intercambio now offers its materials – including The Immigrant Guide, which he authored – to 700 programs nationwide so other communities can experience the safety and prosperity that comes when all people can communicate.
Marisa I Baylon Guillen
Marisa is a first generation Mexican-American, coming to Colorado with her mother and sister when she was 4 years old. Marisa was born in Juarez, Chihuahua, a conflict ridden border city in Mexico. Her family, like many in the United States today, migrated to the United States for better opportunities. Growing up in an immigrant family, Marisa experienced first-hand the difficulties that millions of immigrant families face when relocating and naturalizing in a host culture. Even at a young age, Marisa served as a cultural mediator for her family. Being the only fluent English speaker in her household, she often found herself with responsibilities beyond her years. Having been raised between cultures and languages, Marisa has developed skills and perspectives that formed a strong passion for advocacy within immigrant communities, as well as the benefits of cultural integration.
Marisa was the first in her family to graduate high school and go to college. She received her Bachelors (dual-degree holder) in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Marisa has also served as a cultural liaison to both academic and non-profit groups to Cuba, Honduras, and Mexico. Before attending CU, Marisa was an integral part of both a local Fortune 500 company as well as a local small business in Longmont throughout the recession. She continues to involve herself in community building projects and remains a prominent role and positive influence for her siblings, family, and community.
Marisa believes in the mission statement of Intercambio, and is very much looking forward to making a difference in our community.
Marketing and Development Director
303-996-0275 ext. 107
From a young age, Kristine’s penchant for travel and cultures fueled trips across the globe. When she found Intercambio, Kristine fell in love with its mission to bring cultures together, as well as its forward-thinking social enterprise venture.
Her passion and expertise in marketing and international business created a perfect storm. Since joining Intercambio, Kristine has been a change agent at the organization. “She quickly helped to rebrand the organization and enhance the overall marketing within months. She has developed new websites, created a wide range of terrific marketing materials, improved our customer relation management systems, and expanded our individual and corporate donor base. Kristine is creative, courageous to experiment with new strategies, and always thinking about how to improve the organization’s operational processes.” One of her proudest moments at Intercambio was securing Grammy-winning Ozomatli to headline Intercambio’s fundraiser, Culture Jam 2013.
Academic Director – Boulder
303-996-0275 ext. 5
After growing up in Boulder, Rachel left the area to pursue a degree in Economics and Public Policy at The University of Chicago where her appreciation for diversity of thought and background was fully ignited. In Chicago, she was involved in community issues facing underserved populations. Eventually, she ended up in Costa Rica where she lived for more than two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer with the Community Economic Development program. There, she worked with locals on planning income-generating projects as well as on developing skill sets necessary to personal and community advancement. She has experience in adult English education in both formal and non-formal settings – domestically and abroad. In addition to working as Intercambio’s Academic Director in the Boulder office, Rachel is on the Advisory Board for Philanthropiece – a foundation serving our local community, as well as communities in Baja, Mexico and Chajul, Guatemala – and serves as a volunteer for Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA). She feels privileged to have the opportunity to engage in meaningful (and fun!) work – in Boulder.
Program Director – Longmont
303-776-7070 ext. 3
Norma works with all of our students in the Longmont area. Her job is to assure that they are evaluated, assessed, and receive the best English classes possible. She first got involved with Intercambio as a volunteer in 2006 and then started classes with us in 2007. She joined our staff in 2008. Norma is from Chihuahua, Mexico, and has lived in the United States for fourteen years. She brings lots of community experience to Intercambio, having worked with Head Start and the Family Literacy Program. Her passions and positive attitude contribute every day in helping and teaching our community.
Program Assitant – Longmont
303-776-7070 ext. 3
Gina has been with Intercambio for almost two years. She started as an intern being a school coordinator for our Longmont location and now she is the program assistant in Longmont. Gina loves Intercambio’s mission of integrating different communities into one. She grew up in the Lafayette community and is therefore extremely happy she is able to serve and help people from Boulder County. Coming from an immigrant family she knows the struggles that come with being in a new country and is glad she is part of the Intercambio Community to make a difference and to be able to help make this transitions easier and better for our student’s lives. Having previously been a part of and volunteered for different non-profit organization in Boulder, Gina is proud she is still involved with another unlucrative organization.
Gina’s aspirations and passion for the business world is what led her to continue her education after graduating high school. Gina is currently going to school at Metropolitan State University of Denver to get her Bachelors degree in Business Administration.
Academic Director – Longmont/Lafayette
303-776-7070 ext. 4
Debbie grew up in Colorado, and then attended college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a BS in Spanish and Linguistics. After college she moved to Brazil, and in the almost thirty years she spent there, she taught English in a variety of settings to both adults and children. She was a coordinator at a large Brazilian/American bi-national center and has taught in schools and one-to-one. Debbie has also co-authored two English as a Foreign Language textbooks, and trained teachers in several countries. She recently completed her MA in TESOL.
Having lived as an immigrant, and experienced the struggle to learn a new language and culture first-hand, Debbie is eager to help others facing the same challenges.
Marcie Gorman Smith
303-996-0275 ext. 6
Since moving to Boulder from Boston in 2002, Marcie’s passions are people, education, and helping to grow great organizations. She learned about Intercambio when she hosted a Brazilian woman who came to Boulder for four months to improve her English.
Marcie’s marketing and business development expertise has served a variety of interesting industries: recorded music, consumer products, medical devices, educational software, and distance education for graduate engineering. Over the past fifteen years, she set up an independent consulting firm, Takeout Marketing, providing marketing plans, market research, and business development plans for small businesses in the Front Range as well as Fortune 500 companies.
Her portfolio includes award-winning communications materials, opening up new markets, and launching new products and services. She intends to work very closely with organizations across the country to utilize Intercambio’s adult English education materials – Resources to Unite Communities and provide support for internal marketing initiatives. “I’m excited to be part of this innovative and successful team and hope I can keep up with their dance moves”
When Raquel learned of Intercambio’s goal of fostering cross-cultural relationships and creating a more accepting and integrated community, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. For eight years before moving to Boulder Raquel lived at Satchidananda Ashram (a.k.a. “Yogaville”) in Buckingham, VA, a place where people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds live together harmoniously and with the understanding that while we may differ on the surface, at our essence we are the same. There she served as the Programs Coordinator, organizing and overseeing weekend and weeklong programs and retreats. She is certified to teach Integral Yoga Hatha at the beginner through advanced levels and Stress Management, where the Yoga practices are adapted to teach in corporations, schools and hospitals. Raquel grew up in Bogota, Colombia. She received a B.S. in Communication from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Raquel joined Intercambio in early 2011 as Program Assistant in Boulder.
Program Director – Lafayette
Karina is a native of Guatemala who moved to Colorado at the beginning of 2014. She has a two year old son and is married to a loving husband who grew up in Boulder. Karina originally joined the Intercambio family as School Coordinator in Lafayette and as a recent immigrant to this country, who once was tutored by an Intercambio volunteer, she identifies and believes in the mission and values of the organization.
When she graduated as a lawyer in Guatemala, Karina found work with USAID and after four years addressing vital human rights issues such as domestic violence, immigration law, and anti-corruption efforts, she found her passion combining these topics with project management. Later, working for seven years with the International Labor Organization of the United Nations fighting against child labor and human trafficking, she acquired knowledge and experience in coalition building, advocacy, planning, prevention and coordination of projects with civil organizations, government and others stakeholders.
Karina went on to further studies in strategic relationships and helped promote education in vulnerable indigenous communities of the Guatemalan highlands. She also worked to strengthen national public institutions and organizations in order to improve specialized services to treat victims and find them primary and secondary assistance, humanitarian repatriation and a complete reintegration into their families and community.
Karina is happy to be part of a great multicultural and multilingual community that makes Colorado a more welcoming place to live.
303-996-0275 ext. 108
As a mentor in the Connections Credit Recovery program and teacher of Diversity in the United States and Health at Boulder High, Christy quickly realized how some of her struggling students lacked parents with the skills to advocate on their behalf because of language barriers. After coffee with Lee, she knew she had found the organization she needed to be a part of and gladly signed on as volunteer La Fiesta Chair in 2003 which she continued until 2006. “Intercambio is family in every sense of the word. As Fiesta chair I met more culturally diverse members of our community than I had met in the last 15 years residing in Boulder and I felt like I had really come home.”
With a BA from Regis University in Denver, leadership and facilitator training from the National Coalition of Equity in Education and a wealth of management experience from healthcare settings to congressional offices, Christy brings a love of people to her new job of supporting staff in all they do to take Intercambio to the next steps of effectiveness.
Program Director – Boulder, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
303-996-0275 ext. 3
Maria is responsible for organizing Boulder English classes, coordinating resource workshops, and planning intercultural events in Boulder and Lafayette. Maria Velasco was born and raised in Salamanca, Spain and has traveled and lived in Mexico and South America. Before joining Intercambio, she managed the Language and Cultural Services Department at Mason General Hospital, where she facilitated access to healthcare to multicultural individuals and provided cultural competency training to physicians and clinical staff. She has a BA in Business Administration from the Economics University of Salamanca. Maria is an advocate of social justice and is passionate about teaching the importance of celebrating differences, as well as being open and receptive to different cultures.