Catherine Kunst, Acting Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer
Catherine Kunst joined the SIPA team in July of 2013, where she serves as the Acting Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer. Catherine’s responsibilities include the daily operation of SIPA, its projects, financial and budgetary controls, vendor partnerships, audit processes, and assisting the executive director in other aspects including, but not limited to, customer services, business development, financial analysis and new service development. Catherine is a PMP certified scientist and conducted research on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for more than a decade before going to business school. Catherine received her BS from Case Western Reserve University, her PhD from Emory University and her MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. Before joining the SIPA team, Catherine diverse experiences included running a basic biomedical research institute, an academic entrepreneurship center, and a research and development authority.
Bill Hobbs, Director of Special Projects
Bill Hobbs received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Emory University and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado. After two years in private legal practice, Bill began a career in Colorado state government, beginning with 16 years as a legislative attorney for the Colorado General Assembly, where he also worked for two years as a budget analyst for the Joint Budget Committee. Bill also served as state elections director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and as a legal editor for a legal publishing company. In 1999, Bill was appointed as the deputy secretary of state for the Colorado Secretary of State, a position that he held for about 13 years. During much of his time as deputy secretary of state, Bill served on the SIPA board of directors as the designee of the secretary of state. In January of 2013, Bill joined the SIPA team. Bill's role at SIPA includes developing business policies and procedures, monitoring compliance with policies, coordinating the implementation of recommendations of financial and performance audits, assisting with procurement, contract negotiation, and contract management, and carrying out other special projects as assigned by the executive director.
Kara Finch, Contract Manager & Legislative Liaison
Kara Finch joined SIPA in August of 2019. An Indiana native, she received her bachelor's degree from Purdue University, majoring in Spanish before eventually pursuing a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After being sworn into the Indiana State Bar Association, Kara practiced law for a short period of time before beginning a career in procurement. She served as the Purchasing Manager for her hometown of Elkhart, Indiana and later transitioned into higher education procurement. Kara worked at the University of Notre Dame, first as a Procurement Specialist for Science and Research and later, as the University's Travel Program Manager. She moved to Denver in 2014 to join the University of Colorado's Procurement Service Center, most recently serving as the Director of Procurement Systems. Kara's work in higher education procurement spans nearly 12 years, with experience in the areas of purchasing, strategic procurement, supplier relationship management, contract negotiations, travel and expense management, and procurement software.
Jerrod J. (JR) Roth, Chief Technology Officer
Jerrod (JR) Roth joined the SIPA team in September 2019, where he serves as the Chief Technology Officer. JR’s responsibilities include the management of the SIPA technology portfolio, strategic planning for new technology offerings, customer relationship management, compliance with technology standards and assisting the executive director with other business operations tasks. JR is certified PMP and received his BASc in Project Management from Northwest Florida State College and his MBA from Colorado State University. Before joining the SIPA team, JR spent 20 years in IT project management in the United States Air Force. After retirement, he joined General Dynamics Information Technology as a Program Manager for a managed identity service offering. JR has held roles at the state of Colorado, first as the Director of the Project Management Office at the Colorado Department of Revenue, then as the Director of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Governance at the Governor’s Office of Information Technology.
Beth Justice, Sales & Marketing Director
Beth Justice joined SIPA in June 2015 as the Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for creating awareness, marketing and selling e-government services to eligible government organizations. Her goal is to provide SIPA customers user-friendly and cost-effective products and services to enhance local and state communities. With a background in marketing, communications, business development and global sales, Beth was vital in creating rapid growth and awareness for the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver. She also played an integral role in launching a Bard Center student startup, Nokero, whose mission is to help provide light to the 1.4 billion people around the world with no access to electricity. Beth has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in business administration.
Dianne Edwards, Office Manager & Bookkeeper
Dianne Edwards is an alumna of U.C.L.A. with a degree in english and she studied business and accounting at U.S.C. She has worked in international transportation at APL Limited within the finance, customer service, office administration and human resource departments. As controller for one of the largest marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles she worked with budgets, contracting, accounts payable and accounts receivable. As office manager for APL’s U.S. customer service office she had the oversight of facilities and purchasing functions. Recently, she worked extensively in collections for U.S. government receivables incurred during the war in Afghanistan. She joined the SIPA team in July of 2015. At SIPA, Dianne is responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, assisting with customer service, administrative duties and creating board meeting minutes and agendas.
Mike Thorp, Operations Assistant
Mike Thorp joined SIPA in November 2019 and serves as its Operations Assistant. He is responsible for assisting executive management, supporting internal operations, Salesforce management, event support, generating reports, and preparing service quotes. Mike’s prior roles include working as an Operations Director for a wide variety of organizations across the country and has an extensive background in HR, IT, vendor relations, supply logistics, process iteration, event management, and facilities support.
Hayley Eyer, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Hayley Eyer joined SIPA in March 2020, where she serves as the Marketing & Communications Specialist. Hayley’s responsibilities include disseminating a consistent brand message across platforms, developing communications and marketing materials, website management, and general administrative duties within the marketing department. Hayley is an alumni of UCSB where she studied Communications & Media, before continuing on to pursue her MBA at SDSU. Her background includes managing social media profiles, event management for nonprofits, marketing consultancy, and developing tourism products for an international market.