Meet the Board Members
Joe Morales, Chairperson – Joe Morales, a career law enforcement professional, was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in 2013 to serve a three-year term on the Board of Parole. On September 17, 2015, Mr. Morales was then appointed to serve as the Chairperson for the Board of Parole. Mr. Morales served in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years, 12 years as the three-term elected Sheriff of Summit County. In 2003, at the end of his third term as sheriff, he was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety and as his Homeland Security Advisor (HAS). Mr. Morales was then recruited by DoS to serve in Afghanistan for the next three years as an Executive Mentor in Kabul at the Ministry of Interior for Security. Mr. Morales was also a mentor in the Regional Command West in western Afghanistan. The next two and one-half years in Amman Jordan as a Tactical Operations Team Advisor assisting to develop National Security Forces in the region, which was a joint DoD/DoS project. Mr. Morales was elected in 1999 as president of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, was appointed in 1999 to the Colorado POST Board by Governor Owens, and served with AG Ken Salazar and AG John Suthers on the POST Board from 1999 to 2007. Mr. Morales graduated the FBI LEED Academy, Kennedy School of Government, numerous law enforcement and leadership training programs and has over 28 years of law enforcement service. Mr. Morales serves as a former law enforcement officer on the Board of Parole.
Rebecca Oakes, Vice Chairperson - Rebecca Oakes was appointed to the Board of Parole by Governor Ritter in 2007, reappointed by Governor Ritter in 2010, and reappointed again by Governor Hickenlooper in 2013. She became the Vice Chairperson of the Board in July of 2013. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Ms. Oakes worked in the field of victim services for the Division of Youth Corrections, the Department of Public Safety/Division of Criminal Justice, and the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Oakes has served by appointment of Governor (then Mayor) Hickenlooper as a Commissioner on the Crime Prevention and Control Committee for the City and County of Denver, and was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve on Victim’s Compensation and Coordinating Committee. Ms. Oakes worked on the Oklahoma City Bombing trial as a volunteer Victim Advocate. She is a graduate of the 2005 Leadership Denver program administered by the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation, and served on the Board of The Haven. Ms. Oakes received a B.A. in Psychology from the California State University and serves as a citizen member on the Parole Board.
Denise Balazic – Denise Balazic was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in 2011 to serve a three-year term on the Board of Parole. Ms. Balazic was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and attended Southern Illinois University graduating with a B.S. in Administration of Justice. Ms. Balazic worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections for the majority of her career. She has extensive experience as a Probation and Parole Officer, Addiction Counselor and leadership and management trainer. Prior to her appointment to the Parole Board, Ms. Balazic worked as a Program Specialist with the National Institute of Corrections providing technical assistance, leadership facilitation and strategic planning sessions for justice-involved organizations throughout the U.S. Ms. Balazic serves as a former parole officer on the Colorado State Board of Parole.
John O’Dell – John O’Dell is a native of Colorado. He attended and graduated from the Metropolitan State College of Denver receiving a BS in Criminal Justice, and received a Masters (MSS) from the University of Colorado at Denver in Social Sciences. Mr. O’Dell retired from the Denver Police Department as a command officer after 30 years of service. He was originally appointed to the Board of Parole by Governor Ritter in 2010 for a two-year term, and was reappointed to the Board by Governor Hickenlooper for a three-year term in 2013. Mr. O’Dell serves as a former law enforcement officer on the Colorado State Board of Parole.
Alfredo Pena – Alfredo Pena was appointed to the Board of Parole by Governor Hickenlooper in 2012. Mr. Pena received a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas, and attained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law. Prior to his appointment to the Parole Board, Mr. Pena established and maintained a private law practice emphasizing civil, criminal, and administrative trial representation before Federal and State courts. Mr. Pena has membership in and is President of numerous professional, social, civic, and non-profit organizations. Mr. Pena is fluent in Spanish and serves as a citizen member of the Board of Parole.
Reverend Marjorie B. Lewis, Ph.D. - Reverend Marjorie B. Lewis, Ph.D., was appointed as a citizen member to the Board of Parole in 2014. She holds various degrees including Public Policy Analysis, Administration, Ethics, and Pastoral Care and Counseling. She hales from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area by way of Carnegie Mellon University, UC Berkeley, and many other institutions of higher learning. She brings to the Board a combination of perspectives including that of a Public Policy Analyst, Ordained Minister, a State Licensed Mental Health Professional in the behavioral and mental health fields. Her 23 year tenure in Denver features service through the University of Colorado, Denver’s, Graduate School of Public Affairs (Tenured Track Professor), The Center for Community Excellence and Social Justice (Founder and former CEO), and a founding Tenured Faculty of the American Pathways University.