Executive Board of Directors

HARRIS KALOFONOS

President

Harris Kalofonos is the Vice President of the Board of Directors at Colorado Springs Sister Cities International and the Chair of the Colorado Springs - Ancient Olympia, Greece Program.  Harris is also the founder and director for the Young Champion Ambassador Program.  Harris is the International Relations Consultant for the International Olympic Academy in the U.S., and the Manager of Marketing at USA Wrestling (USAW). He was instrumental in making Colorado Springs and Ancient Olympia, Greece sister cities in April, 2014. Over the years Harris worked on several projects related to USAW’s sponsors’ ability to communicate effectively with the organization’s 200,000 plus members. He has also played a significant role in the International Relations and Olympic Hospitality Programs of USAW having worked at four Olympic Games since 2004. He is originally from Greece, and prior to his role at USAW, he served in his home country's military as a Special Forces Officer. Beyond his professional life in the Olympic movement, Harris is involved in developing funding proposals for renewable energy initiatives. During his free time he is an avid hiker, camper, and snowboarder.
 

JOSE QUINTANA

Vice President

Jose Quintana is the Vice President of the Board of Directors at Colorado Springs Sister Cities International, as well as the Chair of the Colorado Springs – Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico Program. As a child, Jose grew up in a rural community south of Nuevo Casas Grandes until the age of 10 - he then moved to Burnsville Minnesota, where he graduated high school. He went on to join the wrestling team at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in the Science of Language and Literature in 2012. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education Counseling, while also serving as the National Teams Coordinator at USA Wrestling. Jose spends his free time hiking, fishing and camping.

 

Alexandra pernice

Secretary

Alexandra Pernice is the Secretary of the Board of Directors at Colorado Springs Sister Cities International. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations and the Mass Communications, with a minor in International Studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. During her time at Texas State she served as a wakeboarding and waterskiing coach, as well as a Freshwater Ecology instructor for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to K-12 students. After completing her time as a Communications Intern with USA Wrestling through the United States Olympic Committee Internship Program, she moved to her current position as the Partnership Marketing Coordinator at USAW. In her free time, she enjoys writing, trail running, and traveling to Texas to spend time with her family.

 

Alyssa Blakemore

Treasurer

Alyssa Blakemore is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors at Colorado Springs Sister Cities International  and the Chair of the Colorado Springs - Bankstown, Australia City Program. Alyssa is a Michigan native and an Army wife of five years. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, specializing in History and English, and has studied Russian language through the University of Colorado and Pike's Peak Community College. Most recently, she returned from four months in Voronezh, Russia teaching English as a second language. In addition to her interest in foreign language, she has previously worked as a financial counselor at Fort Campbell, KY and now volunteers her time as an accredited financial counselor to soldiers, families, and other members of the military community at Fort Carson.

 

Donna Nelson

City of Colorado Springs Liaison

Donna Nelson is the City Liaison for the Board of Directors for Colorado Springs Sister Cities International.  Donna started her professional career as a Medical NCO in the United States Army.  Donna served nine years in the military and was stationed overseas three times, including a six month tour in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm / Shield. She enjoyed her time spent in Europe most of all as she was able to travel to many fun places like Spain, France, and Holland, just to name a few. Currently Donna works for the City of Colorado Springs and oversees the Mayor’s community and recognition programs. Donna is the current Board Chair for Pikes Peak United Way’s Women's Leadership Council and continues to serve on numerous other Boards of Directors, having served as the Board Chair on most. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Donna enjoys cooking delicious and adventurous foods as much as she loves to eat them! She also loves reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

 

Dr. Dan Hannaway

Chair Emeritus

Dr. Dan Hannaway is the Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors at Colorado Springs Sister Cities International.  He is also the immediate Past President and has served the organization for almost 25 years.  Dr. Hannaway is an M.A.and Ph.D. from Syracuse University, and became the professor of Russian language at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs when the program was reinstated to the curriculum in 1990.  Dan also taught Russian at the United States Air Force Academy from 1968 until 1985.  At USAFA, he was a tenured professor and Chairman of the Foreign Language Department in the early 1980s.  As an Air Force colonel he served as the Air Attache to the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary from 1986 until 1988. He has served terms as the president of Colorado Springs Sister Cities International in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2013.  His late wife, Peg, was president of the organization in 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2006. Dr. Hannaway also served as the Chair of the Colorado Springs - Smolensk, Russia Program throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.  Dan is fluent in Russian and has traveled and lived in many countries around the world.