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Bucket List Community Cafe Welcomes Advisory Team

Bucket List Community Cafe has always been aspirational and with the support of so many of you we are growing. Our neighborly, positive, solution-oriented community journalism and mentorship brand is being noticed. We are helping to reinvent what journalism looks like. We are building community by sharing our stories. With that in mind, I want to share the stories of six people joining our advisory team at Bucket List Community Cafe. This is a very exciting development and we are proud to have these prestigious partners’ support in journalism, business, social justice, DEI and philanthropy. We are so grateful that they believe in our mission and want to work with us so we can be even more aspirational going forward.


Heidi Barker is the Director of Global DEI Inclusive Experiences at Amazon, exploring the intersectionality of communications, learning & development, and events.  She brings 30 years of experience as a senior corporate communications executive and broadcast journalist. A champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, she advises executives and leads organizational DEI initiatives.  Prior to Amazon, Barker led communications and DEI at John S. & James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, which funds journalism, arts, & community initiatives in the eight cities where the Knight brothers published newspapers. She also held executive-level communications positions at Carnival Corporation and plc and McDonald’s Corporation.  Before that, she spent a decade producing for NBC Network News.


Lisa Blum Nigro has been in the radio industry for over 40 years.  She recently retired as a VP of National Partnership Investment at Audacy after 36 years with the company.  Lisa is an experienced broadcast advertising professional who oversaw all aspects of maintaining and driving national sales for over 230 Audacy radio stations nationwide. Lisa received her degree in Communications from the University of Colorado.  She began her career in radio as a local advertising seller at a small news/talk station in Miami, Florida.  She evolved over the years, eventually picking up markets and growing into the national advertising vertical. Lisa has won numerous advertising awards over her many years in the industry.  She now spends her summers/falls back where it all began, in Colorado.


Kathy Neustadt has been a freelance field producer for ABC News since 1993.  Before ABC, she was a news writer at KCNC-TV, Denver and Station Manager and News Director at a Leadville, Colorado, radio station.  She is the past board chair of the Mizel Arts and Culture Center and a former board chair and longtime board member at the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center. In 2014, she established an endowment to provide general operating support for the JAAMM Fest in perpetuity.  Kathy sits on the Rose Community Foundation Board of Trustees and chairs the Jewish Life Committee.  Originally from Oklahoma, the Neustadt family established the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1969, a biennial award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today. Kathy and her sisters created the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, which for the past ten years, has celebrated the significant achievements of living writers in children’s and young adult literature. 


Kerry Sanders is one of America’s best-loved storytellers.  For 32 years, Kerry was NBC’s Miami-based correspondent distinguishing himself with breaking news coverage and memorable features.  Sanders has more than 40 years of experience providing in-the-field reports during hurricanes.  He has covered more than 100 named storms, including Andrew & Hugo. Kerry was a member of the NBC Nightly News reporting team awarded a Peabody, an Emmy and the RTNDA Edward R Murrow Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  He regularly contributed to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “Today” and MSNBC and was a founding member of the NBC Nightly News Kids edition reporting staff.  In 2023, Kerry retired from NBC News.  His interests in reporting remain and he hopes to develop a longer-form outlet for his reporting, focusing on the environment and animals.


Gary Shapiro has been a television journalist for nearly 50 years.  He recently retired after spending 39 of those years at 9News in Denver.  Gary received his journalism degree from the University of Nebraska and his master’s in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University.  The next stop was was KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kansas, where he worked as a Reporter, Photographer and Anchor.  Gary came to 9News (KUSA-TV) in Denver in 1983 and started anchoring the Morning Show in 1989. In addition to his anchoring and reporting duties, Gary has produced numerous TV documentaries, including “75 Years after Pearl Harbor”, an in-depth look at Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, and the history of Amache, a WWII Internment Camp in Colorado. He’s won numerous awards, including Emmys and the prestigious Edward R Murrow Award.


Tiya Ashantia Trent is the program director of Denver’s Project VOYCE, an organization that engages youth as partners in personal and community development.  She is an activist, organizer, mentor, and mother to two young men. She received her BA in Theater and Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder and performs for social justice. Tiya also received a master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies, specifically in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice, and works with youth in myriad ways. Tiya is the HBIC (Head Baker in Charge) and owner of her baking business, Patty Bakes. In Tiya’s spare time, you can find her reading, writing, acting in theater productions, African dancing and even mountain bike riding with a group of African American women.

Written by

Vicky Collins is a freelance television producer and journalist based in Denver, Colorado with a diverse portfolio of projects that include network news, cable programming, Olympic sports, corporate and non-profit videos. Some of her most satisfying assignments have been covering disasters, working in the slums of developing countries and telling stories of people who show great courage in the face of adversity. She has been in all 50 states and on six continents and many of her television stories and photos are posted on her website at To contact Vicky Collins directly email or tweet @vickycollins.

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