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AdvanceEDU Announces Three New Board Members and Selection by Techstars

November 12, 2020 (Denver, Colo.) – AdvanceEDU, an innovative nonprofit providing debt-free paths to degrees and upwardly-mobile careers in Colorado, announced today that it has added Jandel Allen Davis, CEO of Craig Hospital, Susana Cordova, Superintendent of Denver Public Schools and Elizabeth Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth, to its Board of Directors.

“The fact that these three outstanding community leaders are joining the AdvanceEDU board is a testament to both their caring for low-income young adults and the potential of this new path,” said AdvanceEDU Board Chair and former DaVita CEO Kent Thiry. “AdvanceEDU is job- and life-competency focused while being low cost and accessible. It is a brave new paradigm that our state and the country need to work to grow, independently but also in partnership with other colleges.” The three new inductees join Thiry and Meg Lafave, Vice President of Government Affairs at Envision Healthcare on the board.

Jandel Allen-Davis is the president and CEO of Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, which was recently named one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the country by the U.S. News & World Report.   Previously, Dr. Allen-Davis was the vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado.  She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School, completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and is board certified.  Dr. Allen-Davis is an active participant in the community and currently serves on the boards of Dartmouth Geisel Medical School; Denver Botanic Gardens; the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; National Jewish Health; Colorado Hospital Association; and, is a member of the Colorado State Economic Development Commission; and, is engaged with several community organizations. 

Susana Cordova is the superintendent of Denver Public Schools. She brings more than 30 years of experience to DPS, serving as a teacher or school leader at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Cordova is a DPS graduate who began her teaching career as a bilingual teacher at Horace Mann Middle School and rose through the ranks to become superintendent in 2019.  Cordova received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction/education administration from the University of Colorado and was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in education by the University of Denver. 

Elizabeth Concordia serves as president and chief executive officer of UCHealth, a nationally recognized, nonprofit health care system with 12 hospitals, hundreds of clinic locations, and a workforce of 25,000 people. Under her leadership as CEO, UCHealth has grown to care for 1.9 million patients each year while focusing on strategic partnerships, developing new models of care, improving patient access and experience, and supporting research and education. Before joining UCHealth, Concordia served as executive vice president for UPMC and president of its Hospital and Community Services Division.  Concordia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German from Duke University and a Master of Administrative Science Management from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Women’s Forum of Colorado and the Colorado Forum.

News of the new board members comes just as AdvanceEDU is selected as part of the inaugural Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator, a mentorship-driven accelerator that will work with startups addressing the challenges of the current labor market through innovative technologies, business models and solutions. “The Techstars network will be invaluable in helping AdvanceEDU deliver an impactful and scalable solution aimed at closing Colorados higher education and workforce equity gaps,” said AdvanceEDU CEO Lauren Trent. “We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

AdvanceEDU began in March 2020 and is supported by leading organizations including the Thiry O’Leary Foundation, Charter School Growth, Gary Community Investments, Joe and Ginny Mello, and the Walton Family Foundation. 

To learn more about AdvanceEDU its partner organizations, services and how to get involved visit www.myadvanceedu.org.

About AdvanceEDU:

AdvanceEDU is a nonprofit organization helping Coloradoans earn a high-quality college degree and start a meaningful career at an accelerated pace, with no student loan debt. By partnering with trusted, accredited nonprofit universities for the degree component and layering on success coaching, deeply personalized support, students can access a graduate degree debt-free within two years.  Students only have to pay their online tuition and fees, support from AdvanceEDU is provided through tuition sharing arrangements with partner universities and private donors.  Services provided by AdvanceEDU include:  Co-Learning Campus, Success Coaches, Academic Support and Career Support. To learn more visit  www.myadvanceedu.org

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