Laurie Dolian – Chair

Born and raised in Stamford, CT, Laurie retired to Genesee, Colorado in 2009. She worked over 25 years in the social services field as a program manager for nonprofit organizations that provided comprehensive services for low income families. Laurie also served on local and state literacy and child care boards, as well as various committees for the United Way. Laurie has been involved with the Genesee Circle for four years, including three years as the Circle Leader. During this time, she increased her Circle’s membership and participation in Friendship Bridge’s Gala and instituted a new structure to address Circle involvement, retention, and leadership transition. She joined the board of directors in 2014.

“I became involved in my neighborhood Friendship Bridge Circle to become educated about global women’s issues and to use my social services background to contribute to their solutions. I have been impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the Friendship Bridge staff in Colorado and Guatemala.”


James F. Wood – Vice-Chair

James brings 40 years of legal expertise to the Friendship Bridge Board. James is an attorney in the Business & Real Estate Department of Sherman & Howard’s Denver office and has practiced extensively in the areas of private capital formation, business entities, mergers and acquisitions, and other transactional work. James was named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Securities/Capital Markets Law Lawyer of the Year in Denver. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas and his J.D. from Yale Law School. James first became interested in Friendship Bridge when he helped develop an experiential learning program at the school where his children attended; students took school-sponsored trips to Guatemala and learned about Friendship Bridge. For several years, James has provided pro bono legal services in connection with borrowings by Friendship Bridge and various corporate and contract matters. His wife (Felicity Hannay) was a board member from 2006 to 2012.


Susan Zimmermann – Secretary

An internationally-known speaker and consultant, Susan Zimmermann is coauthor of Mosaic of Thought and 7 Keys to Comprehension. She cofounded and served as the Executive Director of the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition, an organization that has spearheaded groundbreaking work on reading comprehension. Susan has given hundreds of workshops, keynotes, and summer institutes in nearly every US state, and internationally, on ways to deepen reading and writing experiences for adults and children. Susan is also the author of Keeping Katherineand Writing to Heal the Soul, winner of the Colorado Book Award. Susan has been a trustee of numerous nonprofits including the International Rett Syndrome Association, the Colorado Outward Bound School, and The Women’s Wilderness Institute. A mother of four and graduate of Yale Law School, Susan lives in the foothills west of Denver.