Celeste and Jessica

Staff Updates

A March Hare and Thin Mints

Featured AfA Staff Members

Article written by Becca Hannigan

If you haven’t been able to spend time with and get to know either Celeste Seiler or Jessica Jarrard, I’m here to recommend doing so. They were kind enough to take some time out of their workday in the AfA office to chat and tell me about themselves (and each other at some points in the discussion) and their new positions within the organization. Here’s a brief rundown of some things I learned about their work at AfA and lives otherwise:

Celeste Seiler (Michele Skye on social media): Agency Administrator
From: San Antonio, Texas
Celeste is married to a CMT and RN and is the mother of two girls, age three and five.
Journey at AfA: Celeste began by volunteering, then worked as an intern last January. She moved into a position as Agency Administrator/Program Manager in April 2018.
Excited about: “A lot of new things that we (AfA) are establishing: new relationships, coming up with plans to generate more funds, and getting out in the community even more.”
Character from Alice in Wonderland she’s most like: “White Rabbit. I always have a sense of urgency about me. I can’t be late.”
Takes her tea: “Plain.”
Loves (other than AfA): “To cook. It’s my thing that makes the stress melt away. I love southern comfort food. Mexican food is my favorite. I make an awesome enchilada casserole.” (check out her [old] blog, featuring delicious vegan recipes: compassionatetummies.blog
Olive oil or butter? “I’ve been a vegan for seven years this month. So probably olive oil.”
Other info she wants to share about AfA: “We became members of the Art District on Santa Fe last year, which means we have the opportunity to be part of ‘The Art of Brunch.’ It will be once a month, on the last Sunday of March, April, and May, from 11-3pm each day. It’s basically like an open house for art, poetry and music.
“I signed up to do the Colfax Marathon. We need more people to sign up!” [just put Art from Ashes in as your charity when registering: www.runcolfax.org/runner-info/run-for-a-nonprofit ]
“AfA’s 2019 calendars have been printed! We’ve been asking for a $50, but since we have about a dozen left and it’s well into the year, we’re asking for $20. It’s full of beautiful youth artwork and poetry!” [donate here and request the calendar in your note: bit.ly/donateafa]
Other badges she wears (We’re guessing she needs a sash for all these badges): President of the PTA and Girl Scout Cookie Sales Manager “I’m way too involved in everything. I keep busy.”
Favorite Girl Scout cookie: “Thin Mints are the only vegan ones. Before I was vegan, I really liked the Trefoils.”

Jessica Jarrard: Director of Operations
From: North Carolina, in a small town near Winston, Salem
Journey at AfA: Jessica started as a volunteer in 2014, working in communications and grant writing. She was on the Board of Directors for several years and is now the Director of Operations. As D of O, she oversees volunteers, FUNdevelopment, HR, and community collaborations, AKA making sure that everyone knows about us.
Excited about: “We’re just really excited to look at new ways to develop funds and new opportunities for serving more young people, along with increasing volunteer engagement—because it’s all so connected. You get more people involved, then new things start to happen, which means you have more to communicate and thus need more people to help communicate, and on and on.”
“Denver’s changing. There are many new organizations out there, and a lot going on, which means we have more opportunities for collaborating. AfA also recently won the Denver Mayor’s Award, which is helping us boost our potential partnerships and collaborations.”
Character from Alice in Wonderland she’s most like: (after much discussion/contemplation) “I guess you could say I’m the March Hare, because it’s always tea time. I do love tea parties…but I’m not crazy! Much.”
On the subject of tea: “I love all tea.”
Loves (other than AfA and tea): “I like to be outside. To hike. I’ve done 35 of the Colorado 14ers. The Wetterhorn is my favorite.”
Favorite local trail: “The Chicago Lakes trail.”
Pets: Jessica is the mother of “an adorable husky mix, Bernie.”
Favorite Girl Scout cookie: “Thin mints in the freezer. Tagalongs, too.”