2018 proved to be a highly successful year for the Denver Peak Academy! As we transition into 2019, we want to highlight the Peak Team as a whole and the personal reflections of each team member.

The Peak Team

$33,500,421 in Total Savings since Peak began

$6,860,976 in Actualized Savings in 2018

253 Black Belts Trained in 2018

378 Green Belts Trained in 2018


Melissa Wiley

In April 2018, my husband and I welcomed our wonderful baby girl, Sydney Jo Wiley. I continue to be amazed and thrilled to be a new mother and have developed a new appreciation for working mothers everywhere as I navigate and balance these early moments of motherhood with leadership. It’s been the most beautiful and the toughest year of my life.

This year was also my first full year leading the incredible Peak team. I am honored to lead such a passionate, hardworking, and compassionate team. In 2018, the team trained nearly 400 employees and facilitated 7 million dollars in savings, making 2018 one of our most successful years to date. I am most proud of the teams in Community Planning and Development and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environmental for their incredible innovations.

I am thankful to the employees at the City and County of Denver who continue to trust us with their toughest challenges and continue to stay open and excited to learning more about process improvement, innovation, and analytics. It’s been 6 years since I started with Denver Peak Academy and I am still inspired and in awe of all the incredible people we get to work with every day.


Jerraud Coleman

2018 was a year of many highlights for me and the Peak Team! I successfully filled the role of Manager for the Denver Peak Academy for roughly three months as the Manager took time (FMLA) to recover and care for her newborn. I facilitated the Strategic Plan portion of the Denver Sheriff Department’s 2018 Retreat. I also facilitated a large workshop with critical members of the Safety Department to analyze & identify improvements for the “Felony Arrest to Disposition Process.” And also facilitated a Rapid Improvement Event for the Office of Children’s Affairs regarding the continuous improvement of their “Health Meals Program.”

2018 also proved to be a strong year of metrics and successes. This year I helped identify and document 109 events/A3’s and identified over 3 million dollars in savings. I also certified over 50% of the Black Belts I supported, actualizing 1.22 Million Dollars in hard/soft dollar savings. Throughout the year, I facilitated about a dozen Green Belt trainings off-site for departments like Denver Parks and Recreation and the Office of Human Resources. The Peak Team also lunched privately with Mayor Hancock to discuss the successes of the Denver Peak Academy, as well as its future. 

Overall, 2018 saw some of the best results in Denver Peak Academy’s history. With over six million dollars in actualized savings, Peak helped Denver strengthen its mission to be a World Class place where everyone matters. We developed new and old partnerships with the Office of Human Resources, Technology Services, General Services, The Office of The Medical Examiner, and Community Planning & Development to name a few. This year, we learned the value of genuinely recognizing and celebrating the people we work with and for, and next year we’re going to take that idea to the next level.


Drew Brown

This year I got to see my two favorite artists perform, Griz and Bassnectar. I have also begun to feel like a true homeowner; turns out microwaves will sometimes jump off the wall all on their own! I’ve entered my 30th year, so I can now officially call myself an elder millennial ;). Lastly, my cat Loki and I made it through another year despite all the odds!

In March 2018, I started a Peak Partnership with the Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO) in the Office of Economic Development (OED). This partnership has been an incredible challenge, but I have learned so much and met so many amazing public servants along the way. I’m especially proud of the employees who work in the DSBO certification and compliance teams, as they have implemented a number of incredible innovations this year! Around January of this year, I wrapped up my first Peak Partnership with Public Health Inspections, and I was also given a promotion! Some other highlights include workshops with the Office of Municipal Public Defender, the Office of Economic Development’s Housing Compliance Team, Denver Health, and the Child Care and Food Teams in Public Health Inspections.

Overall, this year has been filled with more growth and learning than I could have imagined. My job continues to excite me and surprise me in so many ways, and I am incredibly grateful to be part of this team and the City of Denver. The most important thing I’ve learned in 2018 is that team culture, and the leadership behind it, can have an even bigger impact on work performance than you would think. Going into 2019, my advice is to single out the biggest challenge you’ve been working on personally and attack it with everything you’ve got right away! It’s easy to just save it for later, or “deal with it when I’m ready” but if you get after it quick, your next year will give you more than you could ask for.

Check out this video highlighting PHI’s Work:

Andy Rees

2018 was a big year personally. In March, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Ada, to our family. Ada constantly keeps us on our toes as she’s growing so fast and becoming more mobile. Ada enjoys being read to, crawling around and exploring the house, pulling herself up on everything, and dancing to music. In September, we took our first family trip and ventured out to Moab, UT for a long weekend.

I spent the majority of my time in 2018 working with Technology Services (TS), specifically in the Project Management Office (PMO).Within the PMO, we’ve focused on improving standard work via their PMO Playbook as well as making improvements to their current system to better utilize the tool. These changes, once fully implemented, will free up time for Project Managers from entering information into multiple systems and will also result in more and better data for decision making before and during projects. In addition to the PMO, I’ve also started to work with the TS Service Desk. Outside of Technology Services, I facilitated workshops with Safety HR/Denver Sheriff’s Department looking at unauthorized leave as well as the Denver Human Services Wellness Program and their 2019 focus on diabetes awareness and support. Over the summer, I supported two Harvard Fellows with their work around the Citywide Wellness Program and was the Keynote Speaker at the College and University Professionals Association Conference in Breckenridge.

It’s hard to believe we’ve arrived at the end of 2018 already – what a blur! I look forward to 2019 and all of the possibilities, challenges, and successes it will bring with it. I particularly look forward to the continuation of my work with Technology Services and supporting all of our amazing employees throughout the City and County of Denver.


Robert Peek

2018 has been the year of discovery and firsts! This was the first full year with our now 16 month old son Ilan. He learned to walk (keeping Mommy and Daddy on the move), eating all by himself (and giving lots of food to his doggy Wales), and play, play, playing. It’s been so wonderful watching him grow and explore his new world.

My biggest work highlight for 2018 was successfully completing a partnership with Community Planning and Development (CPD). Due to a number of innovations that CPD staff led their customer service metrics have gone up by approximately 60 points and the project review teams have completely eliminated all backlogs for the first time. CPD staff have submitted more than 50 innovations with the potential to save over a million dollars and nearly 31,000 hours in staff time. The CPD Development Services Black Belts were also awarded a 5281 award for their impact on the city and its employees. Outside of CPD, I facilitated workshops with the Office of Behavioral Health Strategies and the Office of Human Resources to develop mental health resources for city employees. I also ran a successful pilot with the Denver Public Library (DPL) running a full DPL only Black Belt training. This led to improvements to their supplemental staffing process and the whole cohort is now Black Belt certified!

This was the year of big innovation and change! Looking back, I can’t believe everything we accomplished as a team. I’m really looking forward to starting a new partnership in 2019 with General Services and continuing to work alongside the Peak Ranger Team!

Check out this video highlighting CPD’s work:

Nate Bradley

2018 proved to be an extremely eventful and rewarding year for me. I began the year with two internships while finishing my final semester at the University of Miami. I continued my work with the Miami Hurricanes Athletic Communications department through the entire basketball season and the Spring Football period. I was also fortunate to be able to work with the City of Miami, assisting with the Strategic Planning department and with the Miami Innovation Academy. On May 11th, I reached a major milestone when I graduated from my childhood dream school with a BA in English (with a Public Relations minor).

In August, I returned home to Colorado to join the Peak team full-time after interning with them in the summer of 2017. Since joining the team, I’ve been able to participate in so many different workshops and trainings gaining all kinds of new insight on various departments with the city and building new relationships. Some agencies/departments that I’ve worked with in 2018 include:General Services, Denver Human Services, Denver Sheriff Department, the Office of Behavioral Health Strategies and more. I’ve also started learning the ins and outs of how to run a Peak Partnership as I assist Drew in his work with the Office of Economic Development’s Division of Small Business Opportunity team. I am also especially proud to take on the role of leading the Intern Green Belt trainings in conjunction with the City and County of Denver Campus Relations’ Professional Development Series.

2018 was a year full of change, personal enrichment, and professional development. Throughout it all, my incredible family, friends, and coworkers, helped support me and push me to reach new heights. This year provided me a strong foundation that I will continue to build on in 2019.


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