CEC Governing Board Members

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Laura Calhoun, President, Colorado Springs

Laura Calhoun is the President of the CEC Governing Board, on which she has served as a Colorado Springs Early College (CSEC) representative since 2007.   Laura served as the Secretary of the Governing Board before being elected President in January 2018 and is elected to serve until 2020.  Laura’s daughter was a part of the first graduating class that started as a freshmen and graduated with her associates degree.  Laura brings to the board over 30 years of customer service experience, 15 years of administration experience, and over 15 years of experience developing and training leaders.   Laura has an extensive background of involvement in reaching out to the minority community of Colorado Springs.  She is the founder and Senior Pastor of Restored Life Church and Restored Life Family Resource Center.  Laura graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology.





Terry McDonald, Vice-President, Douglas County

Terry McDonald is the Vice President of the Governing Board and has been a CEC Parker (CECP) representative on the Board since 2015, elected to serve until 2020.   Terry, and his wife Colleen, enrolled their son at CECP after hearing about its success through community connections. Terry and his family witnessed first-hand the educational impact and opportunity CEC provides students as their son graduated high school not only with a high school diploma, but also with an associate degree.  Terry is a customer experience specialist, technology sales executive, and leader of Telus International contact center practice.






Robin Phillips, Secretary, Fort Collins/Windsor

Robin Phillips is the Secretary of the Governing Board and has been a member since 2017.   She is elected to serve until 2020.  Robin worked in Public Relations at a small firm in Fort Collins and served as a Space and Missile Warning Specialist for 6 years in the Colorado Air National Guard.  Along with her husband, Matt, Robin helps operate The Phive Group, LLC, and has worked as a CDE licensed substitute teacher, and is an active school parent volunteer.  Currently, Robin also serves as an Executive Assistant at Light of the Rockies Counseling Center and brings over 15 years of writing and communications experience to the CEC governing board.  Robin is a graduate of Colorado State University, with a degree in Journalism and Technical Communications and concentration in Public Relations.




Arthur Cyphers, Treasurer, Colorado Springs

Art has served on the CEC Governing Board as Board Treasurer since July 2015 and is elected to serve until 2021. He has served on the CEC Building Corporation Board in various roles since January 2012.  Art is also a retired Navy Flight Officer and served 23 years on active duty and in the Navy Reserve. His years of travel for business, Navy, and ministry to more than 40 countries have given him a broad worldview and sensitivity to other cultures.  Art brings more than 30 years of business experience to the governing board.



Jessie Mathis, Director, Colorado Springs

Jessie joined the CEC Governing Board in 2019 and is elected to serve to 2021.  Jessie was an active member of the Colorado Early Colleges Colorado Springs School Accountability Committee, and was appointed to the CECFC Building Corp.  Currently, Jessie is President of the CEC Building Corporation. Jessie has a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology and has worked for Fincor Electronics and Digital Equipment Corporation. Jessie currently works at the United States Air Force Academy.




Papa Dia, Director, Aurora

Papa joined the CEC Governing Board in August 2019 and is elected to serve to 2021. Papa is Founder & President of African Leadership Group (ALG), an advocacy organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for immigrants through social, economic, and educational empowerment programs, and helping families successfully integrate into their local community. A native of Senegal, Papa has over 17 years of experience in the financial industry, becoming a regional vice president of a local bank.  Papa has left his banking career to turn his full attention to running and growing ALG.