Category: 20th Anniversary

Ginny Sawyer: Community Builder and Problem Solver

I recently met with Ginny Sawyer, Project and Policy Manager with the City of Fort Collins, to discuss the long view of Corona’s involvement in three city-wide housing studies.

Two words that describe Ginny Sawyer’s career so far are problems and solving. In her 19-years serving the citizens of Fort Collins as a City employee, Ginny has worked on solving an interesting array of issues including nuisance codes, retail marijuana, tax initiatives, and short-term rental housing, just to name a few. Ginny recognizes that these issues are complex, but also understands that they can be deeply personal and have a major impact on residents’ quality of life. Therefore, she takes a human-centered approach by seeking resident voices and sincerely working with stakeholders to find broad and lasting solutions.

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My Pit Bull is Family

In honor of Corona’s 20th anniversary, we are celebrating the outstanding people and organizations making a positive contribution to our community.

Each month, Corona is making a $500 donation in honor of a member of our team. For October, Beth Mulligan selected My Pit Bull is Family. We chatted with Beth to learn more about this organization and her relationship with them.

What is special about My Pit Bull is Family?

“My Pit Bull Is Family” is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization that serves as a resource to families with pit bulls. Solely due to their dog’s breed, these families often face challenges finding rental housing and other services such as rental insurance.

Founded in 2011, the organization was started with the goal of promoting inclusive pet polices to end breed-specific discrimination in housing and insurance. The effort has grown to include the nation’s largest database of rentals that includes all dog breeds, which is growing continually through the organization’s ongoing work. By providing this resource and also insurance resources, the organization seeks to minimize or eliminate the number of pit bulls that are surrendered by families due to an inability to find suitable housing.

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Staff Interview: Beth Mulligan

The world was changing in 2006.  Pluto was downgraded from planet status to dwarf planet.  Google purchased YouTube to expand their empire.  Barry Bonds hit his 715th (asterisked) home run to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list.  And Beth Mulligan, a newly minted PhD psychologist at the University of Colorado, was considering her career options.

Beth and Mylo

As an academic, she was interested in moving to a job that had practical application in the world, and that had an emphasis on making the world a better place.  A friend from graduate school was working at Corona Insights (then, Corona Research) and let her know we were hiring. She was intrigued by our mission and the variety of work that we do.  She won the job and has been a Corona-ite ever since, rising through the ranks from an associate position all the way up to principal.  She is now one of the most senior people at Corona Insights, leading our evaluation practice.  She also participates in many other types of projects, providing in-house expertise in statistical techniques and research methodologies.

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Taking a Leap Together: Knowledge Leads to Bold Action and Dramatic Results

We sat down recently with Mike Yankovich, Gretchen Kerr, and Amy Burt of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus to reflect on our work together.  We asked them to take us back to the beginning.  

Twelve years ago, our hero’s journey began, as many do, with a quest for knowledge. Feeling a bit like the cartoon character “Underdog,” the Museum knew they had potential to make a more notable impact on the community yet weren’t quite sure how to get there. The facility was a bit too crowded—a theme that would emerge again in later years. Their search for answers led them to Corona Insights, as the Museum endeavored to gather customer insights to determine how to make the most of the available space, enhance quality, and solidify their reputation.

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Bikes Together: Transforming Communities Through Bicycle Access And Education

In honor of Corona’s 20th anniversary, we are celebrating the outstanding people and organizations making a positive contribution to our community.

Each month, Corona is making a $500 donation in honor of a member of our team. For August, Jamie Blair selected the Bikes Together. We chatted with Jam to learn more about this organization and her relationship with them.

Bikes Together is a nonprofit bike shop with the primary goal of getting more people on bikes—particularly kids who might otherwise find it difficult to buy and maintain a bike. The organization helps to provide low- or no-cost bicycles to those who need them by taking in bikes in need of repair or refurbishment, then giving them new life. In addition, bike owners can come to Bikes Together and use their shop and tools to repair their bike (for free). The organization even has volunteers in the shop to help people learn about bicycle maintenance and assist with repairs. In addition, the organization provides a wide variety of classes and summer camps to help both kids and adults learn about bicycles, with topics ranging from maintenance, to safety, to communication and teamwork, and much more.

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Staff Interview: Jamie Blair

This entry in our blog series is submitted with a bit of sadness, as Jamie Blair, our office coordinator for the past two years, will be moving to Hawaii in October, and therefore will be moving on from the Corona team. Even so, we like to think of the Corona alumni network like distant members of the family, so her departure is no reason not to learn a bit more about her anyway!

A sample of Jam’s art.

Jamie (who tends to prefer the simpler “Jam”) came to Corona on Halloween of 2017. I wanted to make some clever joke here about that somehow foreshadowing her time at Corona, but to the contrary, her time at Corona has been a delight for all of us. Jam came to us with a background in bookkeeping and social work, making her a perfect fit to run “Mission Control” here in the office as someone who understands our passion for working with purpose-driven organizations.

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Information to empower Colorado’s cities and towns

Empowered cities and towns, united for a strong Colorado.

That’s the vision for Colorado Municipal League (CML), a member organization and long-time client of Corona Insights, that provides services, resources, and advocacy on behalf of Colorado municipalities, big and small. And one resource they provide to empower members is research.

I recently sat down with Kevin Bommer, Executive Director, and Melissa Mata, Municipal Research Analyst, to catch up and learn about how they’re using data and research to benefit their members.

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In honor of Corona’s 20th anniversary, we are celebrating the outstanding people and organizations making a positive contribution to our community.

Each month, Corona is making a $500 donation in honor of a member of our team. For July, Karla Raines selected RedLine Contemporary Art Center. We chatted with Karla to learn more about why she selected this organization for her donation.

RedLine started in 2008 with the goal of “support[ing] emerging artists and provid[ing] creative opportunities for local residents.” The organization exists to “foster education & engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change.” RedLine’s two-year residency program offers artists a one-of-a-kind environment to develop and thrive with the tools and the support they will need for creative discovery.

RedLine’s artist-focused and community-responsive approach speaks to Karla. An artist herself, Karla knows firsthand how people benefit from the act of creating. Karla also values the deep impact that the organization has in the community and what they do to extend the power of art to those who might need it. Not only does RedLine provide equitable access so everyone can enjoy their space, they go out of their way to respond to the needs of their surrounding neighborhoods. Play Space, for example, is a project that RedLine runs with artists to design safe public spaces for Five Points neighborhood children, where they can play and create.

True to their mission, the current exhibition at RedLine views art through the lens of social change. D | Vision explores the relationship between social, cultural, or political division and artistic vision.

Head on over to 24th Street and Arapahoe and check out what makes RedLine extraordinary.

Throughout 2019, to help celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we are profiling our staff and select clients. Corona is also donating $500 on behalf of each staff person to a charitable organization of their choice. Click here to view all of our interviews. 

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Delivering on Purpose: A Conversation with Karla Raines

The story of Corona Insights is one intertwined with the story of the Raines; Kevin started the firm in 1999, with Karla joining him shortly after in Corona Year One. The two of them, in Karla’s words, went “all-in” on the company from the very beginning by investing everything (e.g. money, time, energy) they had—a daunting risk for a married couple of engineers looking to build their lives in Denver, Colorado. That defining experience of committing to Corona taught Karla the value of perseverance, a characteristic that proved critical during the early years of Corona.

It certainly paid off, as Corona hits its 20th anniversary and its impact grow deeper every year. Just like the house they’ve been in for all those 20 years, the impact of the Raines has been a stable fixture in the purpose-driven community of Colorado; a community Karla has been a part of since she moved to Denver after earning her MBA.

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