Staff & Board Members
Joy Burns, President Emerita
Bio coming soon.
Joan Birkland, President Emerita
Joan is one of the founders of Sportswomen of Colorado and served as the organization’s Executive Director for 40 years. She is a member of four sports Halls of Fame: the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports Hall of Fame, the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame and the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame. The Denver-born athlete twice won the state golf and tennis championships in the same year in the mid-1960s. Her name was on the winner’s trophy more than a dozen times at the state tennis championships. In golf, Joan won seven state titles from 1960-66. She also serves on the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Executive Board.
Ashley Cook, President
- Ashley joined the Sportswomen of Colorado Board because of her love of sports and her passion for supporting and encouraging girls and women is sports.
- Ashley has been involved in sports her entire life through coaching and playing. Ashley is a Las Vegas native and UNLV graduate with a B.S. in Kinesiological Sciences. She then worked in occupational therapy while coaching girls varsity high school basketball. Ashley moved to Colorado in 2011 and earned a M.B.A., with a concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management from CU Denver. Ashley is now Vice President of Human Resources at FirstBank.
- Ashley’s goal is to introduce young professionals to Sportswomen of Colorado and grow the visibility of Sportswomen of Colorado.
- Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Her favorite phrase encourages others to promote themselves each and every day; “No one looks out for you in life, except YOU”.
Amber Schweitzer, Vice President
A native of Colorado, Amber Schweitzer resides in Parker. She earned her BA in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado.
She currently teaches Yoga, Adventure, and Health at Castle View High School. Her thoughtful curriculum is delivered to reflect self-acceptance and inclusion. Each class has a daily focus on fostering respect for self and others, while celebrating uniqueness. Amber is currently GLSEN’s Educator of the Year.
Amber is a co-founder of Sabercat Basketball Club and the founder of PEP Club Sports. She, also, sits on the Board of Directors for SHAPE Colorado. In her spare time, she discovered a passion for playing semi-pro tackle football.
Terri Ward, Vice President
- Retired Physical Education teacher from the St. Vrain Valley Schools.
- Currently Head Girls Basketball Coach at Niwot High School.
- Current President of Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports.
- Terri has the utmost respect for Joan Birkland and Joy Burns for their insight into how important it was/is to have an organization for and about girls and women in sports in the State of Colorado.
Lynn Barczuk, Treasurer
Bio coming soon.
Laura Fischer, Secretary
Laura, a retired teacher and administrator for 30 years, is currently an educational consultant for AdvancED accrediting schools throughout the United States. Laura coached basketball for 19 years at the middle, high school, and college Division II levels. Having coached a variety of other sports, Laura also serves on the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports Executive Board.
Now entering her 10th year at the Colorado High School Activities Association, Bethany Brookens is a graduate of Overland High School and member of Overland’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She is a former Division I basketball player at Davidson College and played pro ball in Ireland. Bethany currently administers field hockey, tennis, volleyball, swimming and diving, skiing, music, and is the Title IX advisor at CHSAA.
Dr. Colleen Colles
- I joined the Board for Sportswomen of Colorado because I wanted to give back to an organization that shares my passion for supporting girls and women in sport. Throughout my lifetime, I have participated in sports both competitively and recreationally. By way of sport, via athletic scholarship and graduate coach assistantship, I was able to further my education and follow my dreams. Through the service on the Board, I hope to assist future generations of girls and women by fulfilling the mission of SWOC: To promote, honor and empower Colorado girls and women is sport.
- Colleen has over 28 years of experience teaching in higher education and has spent time as a collegiate volleyball coach, athletic administrator, and sport event manager. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Athletics Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. Colleen’s dissertation focused on the Office for Civil Rights’ investigation and interpretation of Title IX.
- Colleen’s current position is Professor and Program Coordinator for Sport Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Before MSU Denver, she spent 12 years at Nichols College where Colleen taught undergraduate and MBA courses and served as the Faculty Athletics Representative. Dr. Colles’ most recent research has focused on international sport management and education and study abroad.
- Colleen enjoys hiking, cycling, and travel. One of her favorite quotes is from Arthur Frommer: “to have meaning at all, travel must…challenge our preconceptions and most cherished views, cause us to rethink our assumptions, shake us a bit, make us broader-minded and more understanding”
- The reason Tanya is on the Board of Sportswomen of Colorado is that as a native Coloradan, Tanya loves what this unique organization, Sportswomen of Colorado stands for in promoting, honoring and empowering female athletes. Also as a former athlete, Tanya had the help of many people and she would like to be able to give back and “pay it forward” to help current athletes thrive and succeed.
- Tanya has been involved in athletics her entire life on every level. She played volleyball, basketball and ran track in high school, played volleyball and basketball in college, and played basketball professionally in France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Australia. Since Tanya stopped playing, she has been coaching basketball at the collegiate level at Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Denver and University of San Francisco.
- Currently and since 2010, Tanya has been the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
- Tanya’s niche on the Board is to increase the profile of Sportswomen of Colorado particularly on the collegiate level. We have 10 Division II schools in the state with four of the institutions in the Denver Metro area, with outstanding female athletes. It is Tanya’s goal to increase the exposure to these institutions through an increase in nominations and ultimately award-winners from these institutions.
- Tanya’s hobbies: Hiking, biking, and golf
Bio coming soon
Annie Hoskinson, Executive Director
Annie has been involved with sports all her life. She’s coached and continues to coach, been an athletic administrator at the collegiate level, worked in sports marketing, produced events, volunteered at events, and was a collegiate athlete and continues to be an active competitive athlete. Annie has coached young athletes from the age of 4 to 65 plus. Sports include soccer, ice hockey, basketball, swimming, cycling and running. The last three are the three sports of triathlon, which she continues to coach.
Annie was previously involved with Sportswomen of Colorado as the Camp Coordinator. Plus, she’s attended a number of the Annual Awards Celebrations! Her passion is to ensure that female athletes of all ages have the opportunity to participate in the sports of their choice. This passion fits well with the mission of Sportswomen of Colorado: “To Promote, Honor, and Empower Colorado Girls and Women in Sports”.
She earned her B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Denver. Annie played on a number of teams at the University of Denver including field hockey and basketball. She even played a game or two with the men’s lacrosse team as women’s lacrosse was not offered. In addition, Annie was directly involved in ensuring women’s athletics became formally recognized as varsity intercollegiate sports at the University of Denver.
Currently, Annie lives in Lakewood with her sister and cat. In addition to her work with Sportswomen of Colorado, Annie is a personal trainer.