Young Americans staff includes 35 individuals who bring years of banking, financial, educational, fundraising and communications skills together as one team to further the mission of Young Americans.
Richard Martinez, Jr., President and CEO
As President and CEO of Young Americans, Rich is responsible for managing and ensuring the success of Young Americans Bank and the nonprofit programs of Young Americans Center for Financial Education. Prior to becoming president in 2007, Rich served as Senior Vice President and CFO, managing the bank’s operations, regulatory compliance functions and investment portfolios, along with the information systems and technology functions for the organization. He joined the bank in 1999 after serving as a bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver Branch. Rich holds a Bachelors degree in Finance & Real Estate from CSU and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University. Rich was appointed by Governor Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education in 2010. He was also appointed by Governor Hicklooper to serve on the Colorado State Banking Board in 2011. Rich also serves on the Colorado Nonprofit Association Board of Directors and the University of Denver – Bridge Project scholarship committee, as well as the CollegeInvest board of directors.
Sue Euser, Vice President/Human Resources
Sue oversees all aspects of human resources for Young Americans including recruitment, policies, benefit and payroll administration, as well as general management in the areas of budgeting and strategic planning as related to human resources. Prior to joining Young Americans in 2006, she served as Director of Administration for the American Indian College Fund. Sue holds a Master of Business Administration through the University of Denver, a certification in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and a PHR Certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute.
Amanda Krische, Vice President/Programs
Amanda joined Young Americans in 2008 working in International Towne and Young AmeriTowne as a program assistant. After several years of working in towne, as well as summer camps and other outreach programs Amanda has worked her way up to Towne Director to Senior Towne Director and recently became the Vice President of Programs. In her new role Amanda is overseeing all the programs at YA, including International Towne, Young Ameritowne, Young Entrepreneurs and Money Matters. Prior to working at Young Americans, Amanda attended and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in Communication. After graduating in 2005 Amanda worked for the YMCA of metro Denver running the 2nd largest summer camp in the city and largest before and after school program for the YMCA. Amanda is native to Colorado and was lucky enough to have first-hand experience working in Young AmeriTowne as a 6th grader at Henry Middle School. She also has two young children that she hopes will be experts on financial literacy and finances some day.
Laura Gillespie Lhevine, Vice President/Development
Laura Gillespie Lhevine leads the business development and fundraising efforts for Young Americans Center for Financial Education. Working with a strong team, Laura ensures that donors make a significant impact through their strategic investment in Young Americans. Laura is an accomplished fundraising and public policy professional with 15 years combined experience in the healthcare, government, women’s affairs, lobbying and international affairs industries. She has worked with local and national non-profits including Denver Children’s Home, the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, National Jewish Health, and the Biennial of the Americas. Laura serves on the board of directors for Qualistar Colorado and serves as a community volunteer and philanthropist for other local organizations, including Mile High United Way Denver, National Jewish Health and St. Anne’s Episcopal School. Laura has a BA in Government and International Relations from Clark University. She lives in Denver with her husband, Paul Lhevine, and their two young daughters.
Katie Payer, Vice President/Communications
Katie manages major marketing campaigns for all aspects of the organization. She coordinates media outreach and ensures that stakeholders and the community hear Young American’s story in an engaging way. Prior to joining Young Americans, she worked as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Cleantech Open. Katie has also worked in Media Relations for the San Jose Sharks. Katie majored in Marketing and Communications at Santa Clara University in California.
Cory Peterson, Vice President/Young Americans Bank
Cory is the Vice President of Young Americans Bank. He manages all aspects of the bank including deposit and loan operations, compliance programs and community outreach activities. With more than 10 years in banking and management positions, Cory was the General Manager of a boutique consulting business and a Vice President at FirstBank prior to joining Young Americans. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and received a MBA from the University of Phoenix. Cory also obtained a Graduate Certificate from the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
Leslie Adams, Vice President/Finances
Leslie directs the accounting, financial, and audit programs for all segments of the organization. As Vice President/Finance Leslie prepares, analyzes, and maintains the accounting records, regulatory reports, statistics, and financial reports. Prior to joining Young Americans in 2013, she was CFO/COO of the Denver Boulder Better Business Bureau. While serving at the BBB she developed the Youth At-Risk outreach program that teaches at-risk high school students valuable skills to help them to enter the workforce successfully. Leslie has also worked as CFO for several startups in the composites and information storage business.