Jan Marie Belle: Executive Director
Jan Marie Belle is a native of southwest Denver Colorado and second generation Coloradan (“first generation off the farm”). She has lived in the Denver neighborhoods of Athmar, Scenic View, Westwood, Barnum and currently, Ruby Hill.
Jan Belle holds a Bachelors of Science (with honors) in English and Secondary Education (minor in Communication and Theatre) from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a graduate of the Denver Community Leadership Forum (DCLF). She holds Advanced Certification in Housing Counseling for Executive Directors plus extensive continuing education in nonprofit business development and accounting.
Prior to starting SouthWest Improvement Council and SouthWest Neighborhood Housing, Jan was an English Teacher, a Union Business Representative and organizer, and writer/editor for numerous nonprofit and union publications.
Jan Belle’s purpose is empowering all that lives and gives life on the margins. Her volunteer activities include President, Ruby Hill Neighborhood Association; Treasurer, USS COLORADO Ship’s Cancel Society; the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library; and, picking up trash from public lands with her greyhound Rexie. Her hobbies include philately, history, photography, blues, independent films, preservation of native lands and urban wildlife.
- 1990 Woman of the Year, Keep Denver Beautiful
- 1990 Community Leadership Award for promoting healthy behaviors, Colorado Action for Healthy People and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- 1991 Award for Support and Leadership, Denver Police District 4
- 1994 Community Leadership Award, Colorado National Bank
- 1996 Friend of the Year, Vietnamese Community of Colorado
- 1998 Judy Kaufmann Civic Entrepreneurship Award, The Denver Foundation
- 2008 Denver‘s Unsung Hero Award (Denver’s 150)
- 2010 Denver Mayor’s Diversity Award
Jenny Nguyen: Accountant/Program Coordinator
Jenny joined Southwest Improvement Council in April 1998 after receiving her associate degree in accounting from the Community College of Denver. In May of 2000 she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has spent 15 years dedicated to providing the best possible service to the SWIC clientele. Jenny is fluent in Vietnamese and enjoys exercising and fine Vietnamese food during her free time.
Lance Guanella: Deputy Executive Director & Lead Housing Counselor
Lance is a graduate of Colorado State University and has been in Real Estate and Retail management for over 12 years. After obtaining his paralegal certificate in 2011, he volunteered at Colorado Legal Services before joining Southwest Improvement Council in May of 2012. Since becoming the Deputy Executive Director at SWIC, Lance has obtained certification for housing counseling and foreclosure intervention by attending national training’s in Cincinnati, San Diego, Denver and Dallas. A native of Colorado he and his dog Leo live in Denver.