Our Leadership Team
Dennis Kirkman, Chairman and Founder
Dennis is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Support, Inc. After receiving graduate degrees in Psychology from both Indiana University and the University of Colorado, Dennis focused his early career on individual and group psychotherapy in the Denver Metro area. Eventually, he joined and co-owned a group practice in Denver names The Denver Counseling Center.
It wasn’t until he started doing student intelligence testing for a local school district, that he began his 38-year passion for working with families and members within the intellectually and developmentally disabled community. This passion quickly evolved into Dennis holding leadership roles in several large organizations over the next eight years. And in 1989, when he had the opportunity to save an apartment program that had been abandoned by another organization, Support, Inc. came to life.
Dennis grew up professionally just as Humanistic Psychology and human potential movement was coming into its own. It was only natural then that Dennis would apply those same credos to the organization he founded – and at the heart of that is a person-centered approach.
Dennis served on the board of Family Resource Center Association, a local non-profit, for six years, two of which were as chairman of the board. Dennis loves most outdoor activities, especially hiking, skiing, and traveling.
Bentley Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Bentley Smith is the Chief Executive Officer for Support, Inc. and joined the organization in 2013. Bentley has an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Bentley’s early career was concentrated in finance and accounting oriented functions, which ultimately evolved into more operational and management roles when he realized he enjoyed working with people much more than numbers. With over 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field, he is passionate about providing solutions for people to achieve their greatest potential, and brings that passion to Support, Inc.
When you don’t see Bentley at Support, Inc., you will find him spending time with his wife and two dogs, hiking in the mountains, or doing just about anything else that Colorado has to offer.
Jan Ankele, Director of Training
Jan Ankele has been our Chief Learning Officer since 2015. Her first job out of college was teaching, and education has been a passion for her ever since. She has her B.A. in Biology and Science Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. After teaching science, she worked in the oil and gas business, then segued into financial services for the retirement industry. At Great-West Financial she received the President’s Award in 2007 and the Community Volunteer Award in 2014. She is a certified Emergenetics Associate and enjoys team building through this powerful and fun program.
Jan loves performing music and has sung in choirs since she was 6. She loves books, travel, exercise, and family.
Brian Farestad, Director of Operations
Brian Farestad is the Director of Operations for Support, Inc. and joined the organization in 2017. Brian has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Brian began his career as a Direct Support Professional, working with adolescents who experienced severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Brian quickly found his niche in this environment as he not only found meaning and enjoyment working with the clients themselves, but also in being part of a treatment team of professionals. This drew Brian towards the operations side of management, and as his career progressed, he found himself overseeing larger groups of people and serving more diverse populations. Twenty years later Brian still gets a kick out of watching people get the help they need, the pride in the eyes of people and teams who provide that help, and ultimately watching people work together to grow and succeed.
Outside of work, Brian enjoys spending time with his friends and family, at home or outdoors, in his preferred tri-state area of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. Brian is also a rabid Philadelphia sports fan and enjoys catching his favorite teams when they come to town or traveling to see them play in other cities throughout the country with his Pennsylvania high school buddies.
Curt Mower, Director of Clinical Services
Curt Mower is a Behavior Analyst who works with teachers, clinicians, and organizational leaders to create positive workplace cultures and effective treatment programs for adults, children, and their families.
Curt knows the importance of bringing a scientific, systematic approach to behavioral health program design and understands the demands integrating various approaches and theoretical backgrounds of diverse groups of professionals.
Curt has worked in inpatient, outpatient, educational, and residential settings as a direct care staff, supervisor, manager, and director. He has been fortunate to have opportunities to present his work with data-driven decision making, quality improvement, and trauma-informed applied behavior analysis at conferences and workshops.
Curt earned a Master of Science degree in Psychology from Auburn University in 2004. He developed the Internship Program at Devereux Colorado that won a 2016 Community Partner of the Year Award from the University of Denver Counseling Psychology Department & College of Education.
Currently, Curt is the Director of Clinical Services at Support, Inc. where he has developed a trauma-informed approach to providing care and treatment to individuals with IDD that combines an understanding of mental health and behavioral treatments.
Curt is also frequently requested to provide clinical training and consultation to organizations in Colorado.
Carole Gaynor, Director of Finance
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Carole graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a BBA in Accounting and Finance. Lived in NC for 5 years, 4 of those working for a regional CPA firm. Afterwards, Carole moved to Florida where, the last 5 years Carole lived there, she worked for a not for profit called Quest, Inc. Quest, at the time, served approximately 1000+ individuals with developmental disabilities and its services included Residential, Adult Day Care, Training and Employment Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, ABA school for children with autism, and independent/supported living.
In 2010, Carole and her family relocated to Colorado, where she completed an MBA in Financial Accounting Management, and worked mostly in the hospitality industry, and in governmental with a national CPA firm. Currently, Carole, her husband, and two sons enjoy the cooler weather (compared to FL) and the outdoor adventure opportunities that Colorado has to offer.
Nicholas Manning, Director of People Operations
Nicholas earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Ashford University. Currently, Nicholas is finishing up his Doctorate of Business Administration from Northcentral University with an expected graduation date of November 2020.
Nicholas came to Support Inc. in May of 2015 as an Associate Director of Residential Services. His passion for the Support Inc. community and professional/scholastic direction has lead Nicholas to a role in leading the company’s Human Resources department. Nicholas’ career in human services began in 2004, as he took a position as a direct service provider working with adolescents. With over 12 years of experience leading teams within the human service industry, he developed a passion to lead teams to positive outcomes.
When Nicholas is not at the office, he is spending time with his wife and 4 children. He is also an avid sports fan, and enjoys coaching his children in their own sporting activities.