The Hope Lives organization was founded in 2001 by breast cancer survivor, Lydia Dody, a Ft. Collins businesswoman. Today, Hope Lives continues to offer free, supportive services & products to breast cancer patients in active treatment.
Board of Directors
Mark Koepsell, Board President
Mark is the owner/operator of Xanadu Med Spa in Fort Collins which he purchased in 2015. He takes great pride in managing a team that is client focused with phenomenal results. Prior to that, Mark was the CEO of a non-profit management company with offices in Fort Collins and St. Paul, MN. He and his staff provided overall leadership, board, financial, marketing, and event management for 18 different national and regional non-profit organizations.
Mark began his career in Higher Education. It was a position at Colorado State University that brought him to Fort Collins from Saint Louis University in Missouri. Mark received his bachelor's degree at Carroll University in Wisconsin and a master's degree in educational psychology and counseling from Eastern Illinois University. He is the father to two beautiful college aged daughters.
Mark says, “I am proud to have this opportunity to serve on the Hope Lives Board of Directors. I am inspired to do this work on behalf of the important women in my life. Hope Lives plays such an important role in our community and I am pleased to be able to play a small part in its success!”
Melissa Venable, Vice President
Melissa Venable is a Fort Collins nonprofit executive and community leader who currently serves as board vice-president of Hope Lives!
Melissa is also a published author and certified Life Coach. She resides in Fort Collins with her husband and is mother to two young-adult sons. Melissa served as the Executive Director of Hope Lives from 2010-2015 and is still passionate about the vital mission of the organization.
Melissa says, “No one battling cancer should have to face that battle alone. Hope Lives is here to make sure that breast cancer patients in Larimer & Weld counties receive the tangible support and guidance that they need as they navigate their recovery.”
Inger Laws, Secretary
Inger Laws is a resident of Fort Collins and in-house counsel for a global technology company. She is passionate about helping others and currently serves as the secretary of Hope Lives! Inger was drawn to Hope Lives! as a result of her mother’s experience with breast cancer.
Inger says, “Through the generosity of our donors and many wonderful volunteers, Hope Lives! has been able to support many northern Colorado residents as they face the challenges of treatment for breast cancer. I’m thankful to be part of such an amazing organization and help further the mission of Hope Lives!”
Rebekah Beck, Board Member
Rebecca first heard about Hope Lives in 2015, when she was creating a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Over the past six years, Rebecca has grown to love the organization and continue to host yearly fundraisers on behalf of Hope Lives. Rebecca is a small business owner in Northern Colorado, owning and operating a Taekwondo school in Fort Collins with her husband, Andrew. She is also the leader of the demo and youth leadership program at her Taekwondo school. This youth leadership program has raised thousands of dollars for Hope Lives each year and performs numerous community service projects in Larimer County.
Rebecca says, "Hope Lives came into my life shortly after I moved to Colorado and will always have a special place in my heart. I love that this organization makes a tremendous impact in my immediate community, and I've met women at my business who have utilized their services. I am honored to be a part of the team and do anything I can to help the organization and the families it serves".
Jill Rickards, Board Member
Jill Rickards is deeply rooted in our local Fort Collins community for 40 years and now serves as a board member for Hope Lives. Jill has continually owned and operated an accounting practice where she has provided accounting, management and tax services to non-profits.
Jill has served on numerous non-profit boards in the community and understands the unique challenges nonprofits face each day. Hope Lives truly CARES about the people they serve and provides amazing support for a healing environment.
Jill says, “It is my pleasure and privilege to be on the board.”