COE: Who We Are

Instructional designers, educators and coaches at The Center for Organizational Effectiveness (COE) have a combined 85 years of experience in assessing, training, coaching and motivating teams. Whether you are taking a look at hard or soft skills development, our experts in organizational psychology, planning, management, and executive leadership can help take your team to the next level.

COE is here to help State employees maximize their talents to better serve the people.

Let us know how we can help you and your team today.

Three men and two women posing in front of a photo of the Colorado State Capitol

COE Team, as pictured from left to right, Scott Nuanes, Tim Barker, Colleen Costigan, Kirstie Smith, Casey Holcom

During my career and travels I have seen how important education and learning are to being successful. Education transformed my life and continues to inspire me. I have found that my preference is working with adults and teaching skills that help people to be successful. I love learning new things and continue to expand my personal education and training by seeking out new experiences.

I hold a BS in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University and an MS in Training and Development from the University of Wisconsin - Stout. My career in teaching adults started in the US Army, where I learned the importance of teaching skills and not only information. The next part of my career involved Adventure-Based Learning. During this time I worked in higher education, teaching classes like team building, leadership development, problem solving, and facilitation. I started to become very interested in transfer of learning and evaluating learning, so I earned my master's degree. Since then I have been working with corporate and Government agencies as a facilitator, instructional designer, and leader of employee learning and development.

I was raised in the South suburbs of Chicago, IL and grew up with three brothers. I have lived in South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and travelled extensively around the world. I love meeting new cultures and their food. My passion is outdoor adventure, and when I am not involved in learning and development I challenge myself with hiking, biking, snowshoeing, climbing, canoeing, and camping. I live with my wife, Angela, and our three giant cats in Littleton, CO, where we have been since 2007.

For the past 30 years, I've been extremely interested in learning and development. I especially enjoy framing and presenting concepts in new and different ways so that learners experience an "ah-ha" moment of discovery. As a third-generation native, I'm proud to work for and contribute to the State of Colorado.

I hold a BA from Metropolitan State College in Elementary Education and an MA from the University of Colorado at Denver in Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum Development. I spent the first six years of my career as an elementary school teacher and the following 15 years as a school administrator at the elementary and secondary levels. After leaving public education, I was a Senior Organizational Development Consultant for Kaiser Permanente for five years and then an independent organizational development consultant for six years before joining the State. I've been at DPA since 2019.

I've lived in Denver my entire life. My wife and I have a blended family of six adult children (three apiece) and four grandchildren. In my spare time I enjoy reading, listening to music, attending concerts, running with our two dogs, taking care of our urban farm with six chickens and a bee hive, and traveling.

I am driven by improving the experience of employees, both at a large and an individual scale. I enjoy being able to positively impact work cultures and impact the professional development of others. Since moving to Colorado it's hard to imagine living anywhere else so I'm proud to be able to bring my passion to the State and its employees.

I hold a BS in Psychology and an MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Valdosta State University. My career path began at the university's Employee and Organizational Development office, where my primary role was a trainer. The majority of my experience has been as an Organizational Development Consultant and Business Partner, helping organizations of all sizes and industries improve their culture, reduce their turnover and increase their employee engagement. Before joining the Center for Organizational Effectiveness I gained valuable experience as a training manager for a sales organization. I also have experience in coaching, change management, recruitment, employee surveys and data analysis.

I'm originally from Indiana but also spent many years in Georgia before moving to Colorado. I love the outdoors and being in the mountains. I also enjoy gaming, cooking, binging TV shows, trying new restaurants and hanging out with my cat.

Working for the state of Colorado brings a certain level of gratification — it feels great to know your work contributes to the success of the state you live in. I have a lot of pride in being Coloradan and I enjoy working somewhere I can channel it. Being able to support the efforts of everyone in the state is great motivation and makes it easy to care about the work.

I am currently working towards an accounting degree at Metro State University of Denver. The various accounting positions I have worked inspired me to get my degree and become a CPA. I look forward to building my career once I finish school.

The mountains are where I like to spend the majority of my time when I'm not studying. I'm from a small town in the Aspen Valley and I like to visit frequently. In the summer I am usually camping, hiking with my dog or looking for the next Red Rocks concert. Some of my winter hobbies include baking and embroidery projects.