About Jeff

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.02.57 PMJeff spent much of his childhood growing up in Colorado. He earned a degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a law degree from the College of William and Mary. Remembering his love for Colorado as a kid, Jeff returned and settled down in Jeffco, where he and his wife, Suzanne, started a family.

Jeff and his family have lived in Lakewood since 2000. Jeff’s wife, Suzanne, is a Chemistry Teacher at a Jeffco High School, a leader in their church’s youth group, and a Girl Scout Troop Leader. They have two children, Abe and Sylvie, who are both Jeffco students. With their kids, Jeff and Suzanne have nurtured and encouraged a love of learning and exploration while emphasizing the value of community service. Both Abe and Sylvie advanced and made it to the final rounds of the State Spelling Bee this year, and both kids reached near-fluency in a Jeffco Spanish dual-immersion program.

Jeff is best known for being one of the Co-Founders and the long-time Executive Director of Second Wind Fund, which provides professional counseling services for uninsured and underinsured youth who are at-risk for suicide. In 2002, after four Jeffco students at one school took their own lives, Jeff and several members of Green Mountain Presbyterian Church started Second Wind Fund to show support for the local schools. Jeff spent nearly ten years spearheading Second Wind Fund to introduce an efficient, no-hassle way for kids at-risk for suicide to access professional counseling during their most difficult moments. Under his leadership, Second Wind Fund quickly grew to become one of the largest mental health providers for youth in the State of Colorado. During Jeff’s tenure, over 3,000 youth were referred to Second Wind Fund for professional counseling services; and at its peak, approximately 600 youth were served annually—all with a consistently balanced budget. Every high school and middle school, as well as many elementary schools in Jeffco, have referred youth to Second Wind Fund. Second Wind developed resources for addressing the needs of youth from all different kinds of backgrounds, with special attention to such groups as Christian youth, LGBTQ youth, Latino youth, and youth that had suffered various forms of trauma.

One of the major reasons for Second Wind Fund’s success was the fact that over 50 local faith communities and over 75 local businesses and civic organizations formally partnered with or sponsored the organization. Second Wind Fund’s annual walk/run became a marquee community event. As many as 3,200 people attended Second Wind Fund’s walk/run, making it the largest suicide prevention event in the nation and a model for communities coming together on behalf of kids in order to solve difficult issues. While continuing to support Second Wind Fund, Jeff moved on in late 2011 to become the Executive Director of an open space/wildlife refuge and environmental science center for kids in Denver.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 11.58.53 AMJeff was a stay-at-home dad for several years, and enjoys exploring a range of interests, especially with his kids. There’s always a board game or ping pong match on the horizon at home, and Jeff has spent endless hours playing baseball with his son and running with his daughter. Jeff has run several marathons and he and Suzanne have passed on a love for the outdoors and national parks by planning most family vacations around outdoor adventures.

Jeff has dedicated more than a decade to building bridges and working for our kids. In addition to his work with Second Wind Fund, Jeff was a board member for The Jefferson Foundation and currently serves as a member of the Jeffco Schools’ Strategic Planning and Advisory Council. On the Jeffco Schools Board of Education, Jeff will use his results-oriented style to continue to lead the way in helping to ensure the well-being of our kids and demanding excellence in their education.

Awards and Community Service

Awards (given to Jeff personally unless noted otherwise)

  • 2012 “Founders Award” from Second Wind Fund.
  • 2012 Jennifer Loren Herskowitz ’88 Cornell Tradition Point of Light Award (program designated by President George H.W. Bush as a Daily Point of Light).
  • 2012 “Shining Lights of Hope Award,” Carson J. Spencer Foundation.
  • 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leader Award, Red Rocks Community College.
  • 2009 American Red Cross Rocky Mountain Chapter selected Second Wind Fund as its Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
  • 2009 The Jefferson Foundation, Distinguished Service Award.
  • 2008 Caplis and Silverman, 630 KHOW MVP Award (first ever winner).
  • 2007 Jeffco Public Schools Key Communicators Network Celebration of Excellence: Commitment to Excellence — Making a Difference (Second Wind Fund given award).
  • 2006 Jefferson County Good News Breakfast named Second Wind Fund and its co-founders Jeff Lamontagne, Scott Fletcher, and Marjorie Laird as Honorees: “Turning Vision Into Action.”
  • 2006 Parents and Communities Connecting Together (PACCT). Second Wind Fund honored as “Asset Builder of the Year” in PACCT’s inaugural Asset Builder luncheon.
  • 2005 Lakewood Foothills Rotary Club nominated and awarded as a Finalist for “Business Person of Character” Award.
  • 2004 Jefferson County Good News Breakfast named Second Wind Fund as Honoree: “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Communities.”

Community Activities and Leadership

Schools-Related

  • Jeffco Public Schools Strategic Planning and Advisory Council, 2012-present.
  • Jeffco Schools Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee, 2013-present.
  • Jeffco Schools Text Book Review Committee, 2013-present.
  • The Jefferson Foundation (Jeffco’s Education Foundation) Board of Directors, 2003-2010 (President, 2008-2009).
  • Co-Founder and Executive Director, Second Wind Fund, 2002-2011.

Other

  • Guest Lecturer, Social Entrepreneurship class, Metro State University, 2010-2012.
  • Chairman, Pastor Nominating Committee, Green Mountain Presbyterian Church, 2007.
  • Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado, Board of Directors, 2005-2011.
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