Our Team (Staff/Board)

Our Team

Aurora Sister Cities International

Aurora Municipal Center
15151 East Alameda Parkway
Ste 5909
Aurora, Colorado 80012
Office: (303) 739-7120


Karlyn K. Shorb, MA, JD, Chief Executive Officer

Karlyn ShorbKarlyn K. Shorb is the CEO of Aurora Sister Cities International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering global partnerships, trade and cultural and educational exchanges on behalf of the city of Aurora, Colorado and its citizens. Karlyn is a licensed attorney with extensive administrative and organizational leadership experience. She previously directed two academic programs at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and, as a practitioner of law, managed a legal clinic dedicated to representing immigrant victims of violent crimes with humanitarian and other visa applications. Currently, Karlyn serves on the advisory board of The Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Karlyn holds a B.A. in International Affairs and German from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. In addition to English, Ms. Shorb speaks German, Italian and Spanish. She is married with one son.

Loren G. Evans, B.S., Program Coordinator

Loren G. Evans is the Program Coordinator for Aurora Sister Cities International. A former middle and high school teacher, he has instructed everything from chemistry to stagecraft. Before moving to Colorado, Loren served as an education specialist with Peace Corps Uganda. While exploring the Pearl of Africa, Loren directed a science camp, trained teachers, founded a local language spelling bee, hosted a radio show, and fulfilled boyhood dreams of trekking through a rain forest.

Loren graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Biology, where he worked in Alzheimer’s disease and pharmacognosy research labs. A lover of all things outdoors, you might spot him riding around the metro area on his favorite red bicycle.


Jane McGrath, Board Member

jane-mcgrath2Jane is a retired social studies teacher and a resident of Aurora since 1978. In addition to chairing the Aurora Sister Cities Board, she currently serves on the Aurora Art in Public Places Commission (past Chair), the Visit Aurora Board (Vice Chair), and the Aurora Branch of American Association of University Women (past President). She is a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Aurora program and served on the Leadership Aurora Board from 2009-2014.

The Chamber awarded Jane their 2014 Community Leadership Award, in part, for her work with Aurora Sister Cities International. Jane received the 2015 Women Making a Difference Award from the Women in Business Committee of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

Linda Lillyblad, Board Treasurer
lilyblad-linda-14-240x300Linda has served as the finance Director of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce since 2010. She worked in non-profit management and finance prior to that and has owned two companies. Linda’s love for the international arena started at an early age. She lived with her family in Germany as a child and in the Philippines as a teenager. She spent several college semesters studying the arts in England and Scotland. Linda and her husband have also done marriage counseling, classes and retreats.
Debi Hunter Holen, Board Secretary
debi-hunter-holenDebi is a native Coloradoan, living in Aurora since 1978. She is currently employed as the Assistant to the Chief of Equity and Engagement for Aurora Public Schools. Throughout her career she has witnessed the importance of quality education standards for all children. She served on the Aurora Citizens for Excellent Schools (ACES), helping to pass the APS bond and mil levy in 2008 and the bond in 2002.

She has served as the president of the Nunez Foundation for four years, has been on the Nunez Foundation Scholarship Committee for six years and helped establish the summer school program for middle school-aged students in Aurora and neighboring school districts. She has been a board member of the Asian Pacific Partners in Leadership for Education, is on the military academy selection board for Congressman Perlmutter, has served as Aurora PTA Council president and has been on the Colorado PTA board, among other volunteer board positions.

Bob Roth, Board Member
bob-rothA native Coloradan, born in Leadville, Bob has been active in the Aurora community since moving here in 1999. Bob’s community service prior to council included time on the Visitor’s Promotion Advisory Board; the Citizen’s Water Advisory Committee, which he chaired for two years; and the Citizen’s Advisory Budget Committee.

Appointed to Council to fill a vacancy, Bob was sworn into office in January of 2011. After less than a year in office, Bob successfully ran to retain his seat in Ward V in November of 2011. Bob is one of Aurora’s representatives on the Aurora Economic Development Council, represents Aurora as part of the Executive Board of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (Current Secretary), is Chair of Colorado Municipal League District 3 and on the Board of the Associated General Contractors of Colorado.

Chris Ward, Board Chair
chris-wardChristopher R. Ward, PhD, is Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). He is responsible for overseeing the college’s institutional research, planning, grant development and reporting, external partnerships, communications and marketing, accreditation, and several grant-based adult education programs. Prior to coming to CCA in 2000, he spent eight years in the University Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh. He worked in the Center’s Generations Together program which developed and conducted research on programs that brought together children, youth, and older adults.

Ward earned his PhD in International and Development Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988. He wrote his dissertation on the re-emergence of academic anthropology in China based on fieldwork at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou. He is co-author of several books and has taught courses (English as a Second Language and anthropology) at CCA, the Community College of Denver, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Colorado-Denver, LaRoche College, Portland State University, and National Taiwan University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Ward grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota, graduated there from Concordia College, attended San Francisco Theological Seminary in California, and began his career running a youth hostel ministry in Portland, Oregon.

Tina Ye, Board Member
tina-yeA dedicated, experienced member of the financial community, Tina Ye is also an active figure within several Colorado organizations, such as the Colorado Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Tina Ye graduated from Saint Michael’s College MSA program in 2002, and enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, traveling and engaging with the arts in her free time.

Kim Stuart, Board Member
kim-stuartWith almost 30 years of experience in Public Relations, Kim Stuart is the Communications Director for the City of Aurora, Colorado—a community of 350,000 people. Prior to her current role, she worked for the United States Senate and a previous US presidential administration. On any given day she can find herself strategizing the latest public issue or crisis, working on a story with the media or editing the team’s latest print materials.

Ms. Stuart holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Denver. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Chris Savan, Vice Chair
chris-savanChris is a civil engineer with Galloway and Company. His project experience includes land development of large commercial retail and development of airports. He also has several years of experience in city planning reviewing residential and commercial development for zoning and environmental compliance.

Chris has served as a mentor and prior president for the Engineers Without Borders Chapter at the University of Wyoming. He has helped design and raise funds for development projects in Honduras, Guatemala, and Kenya. Chris holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington, and a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming.

Marsha Berzins, Board Member
marsha-berzinsMarsha Berzins has served as the Aurora City Council member from Ward III since being elected in 2013. Prior to taking up this post she served as the Mayor Pro Tem. She currently works part-time for an electrical contracting business and was previously worked in human resources, customer service, and real estate. Ms. Berzins has her BS in Economics and Business Administration from Park College and the University of Alabama. She lives in Aurora with her husband and two dogs., David and Goliath. 
Rachel Stetz, Board Member

Rachel Stetz is the Aurora Campus Operations Manager with Colorado Technical University, where she has worked for 6 years.  In her role, she oversees the physical space of the campus, is the campus Ombudsman, and is also a Title IX investigator for the University.  Rachel attends Colorado State University, where she is working toward her Master’s in Student Affairs for Higher Education, a program with an emphasis on diversity and social justice in the higher education environment.

Ms. Stetz enjoys international travel, and is likely planning her next trip right now! 

Bill Wiggins, Board Member
 bill-wigginsBill is a retired real estate developer who has been an active Rotarian and fundraiser for over 40 years. Born and raised in Tennessee and attended the University of Tennesee Chatanooga where he received his BS in Economics and Commerce. After college Bill served in the army from 1955-1956. Following his service Bill entered the real estate and hotel business which moved him from West Virginia to Texas and finally to Colorado where him and his wife Lore settled and raised their two daughters. In 1982 Bill became active in several civic activities in Aurora including the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, United Bank of Aurora, and the Aurora Planning Commission.During this time he was named Business Man of the Year by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

When he’s not working in the community Bill is an avid world traveler. In 2000 he joined a group of cyclists to do an around the world bike ride that covered almost 20,000 miles in 45 countries. After that trip he continued to travel to over 100 countries.



Seongnam City, South Korea - Becky Hogan
2fd47efBecky Hogan is the Managing Member of Edge Consulting Services. She is responsible for directing the efforts of project development, with a special focus on site due diligence, planning and entitlement services. Hogan also provides oversight in economic development and strategic planning, client service, project development, community partnership building, incentive negotiation and government advocacy.

Through two decades of professional experience in economic development, Hogan has built unique relationships and credibility with cities throughout the metro area. She has managed efforts in job creation as well as retail development for Parker, Westminster, Broomfield, Longmont, Wheat Ridge, Bennett, Timnath, Northglenn, Fort Collins and other area communities. Hogan earned certified economic developer (CEcD) accreditation in 2001 after completing her studies at the Economic Development Institute through the University of Oklahoma. She has served on numerous boards throughout her career and is active in the Aurora community, with a focus on the Sister City programs.

Adama, Ethiopia - Yemane Woldesilassie
Coming soon.