Meet our Advocacy Team
Andrea Wilkins, JD/MA, is a founder and principal with the Sinergie Project specializing in advocacy, coalition-building, and policy research and development. She has diverse policy experience with a primary focus on human services, poverty amelioration policies, aging policy, good governance strategies, Indian law and state-tribal relations. As part of her current portfolio of work she provides lobbying services to the League of Women Voters of Colorado (LWVCO), where she supports the LWVCO advocacy training workshop and legislative conference, engages stakeholders and coalition partners, performs direct lobbying activities, and provides guidance and support to LWVCO’s volunteer lobbyists to maximize impact and further LWVCO’s organizational mission. In partnership with her Sinergie Project colleagues, Andrea has recently provided project management to the Colorado Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging and coordinated a good governance initiative through the Kettering Foundation and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) aimed at supporting civic engagement and deliberative dialogue in our policy development process. Prior to founding the Sinergie Project, Andrea spent nine years with NCSL managing a project focused on intergovernmental collaboration and cooperative policy development, staffed a 12-member legislative advisory board, and provided staff support to the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators. She has extensive experience drafting and delivering legislative testimony before the Colorado General Assembly and in various state legislatures across the country. She has authored over 20 policy publications, issue briefs, and newsletters during her time at NCSL and is the author of Fostering State-Tribal Collaboration: An Indian Law Primer, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Andrea holds a JD and MA (International Relations/Public Policy) from the University of Denver and a BA (Political Science) from the University of New Mexico.
Amber is dedicated to advancing social justice, education and community development through allied engagement. She is a skilled researcher on public policy issues ranging from P-20 education, social-emotional development and mental health, and health and human services, to workforce development, economic self-sufficiency and other social policies. She has a diverse background working in public policy and nonprofit settings, with a focus on building community collaborations and coalitions.
Her community development and project management expertise has led to a series of accomplishments, most recently with the creation of Early Childhood Social Emotional and Mental Health Navigation Guide, a virtual community assessment tool designed to support collaborative decision-making in local community settings. She recently completed a project as a TA provider for Colorado's LAUNCH Together Initiative, an initiative focused on improving social-emotional well being during the early childhood years. She was able to use her expertise to support the needs assessment and strategic planning process of seven communities who were awarded Phase 1 planning grants.
Heather Frenz is a skilled non-profit coalition leader that effectively changes programs and policies. She has promoted policy initiatives that support behavioral health, public health, and child outcomes throughout the state of Colorado. As the Director of Healthy Child Care Colorado, she advocated for improved health and safety regulations for child care through the Colorado Department of Human Services regulatory process. She has testified before the Colorado Health and Human Services Committee, the Colorado Board of Health, and mobilized key partners to advocate in various capacities. Heather has been trained by The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to develop evidence based objectives and evaluation measures to create local and state based behavioral change. She has trained community partners to become advocates. She coached Summit County High School students to advocate for improved behavioral health funding for their community through meeting with their United States House of Representative in Washington, D.C. Heather holds a Political Science degree from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
Gene Rose is an award-winning advocacy campaign strategist, video producer, speechwriter and journalist. He is a skilled facilitator with a specialty in getting groups to reach consensus and setting achievable and accountable goals. Prior to creating his firm, he served as director of communications for the National Conference of State Legislatures. There he launched the organization’s entry into social media, provided media relations training to legislators and staff across the country. He wrote communication plans and earned media in The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other national, regional and state media.
As communications director for the Missouri House of Representatives, Gene advised Speakers of the House on media strategies, coordinated media tours of the state and worked closely with the Capitol press corps. His colleagues across the country elected him president of the National Association of Government Communicators.