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 Colorado State Board of Parole.
Alexandra Walker - Alexandra Walker was appointed to be Board of Parole by Governor Hickenlooper in 2015. She has a background in corrections, training/education, implementation science, and substance use and mental health treatment. Alexandra is currently working on her PhD in Sociology from Colorado State University (CSU). Prior to her appointment with the Board, Alexandra worked on a number of projects including collaborating with other state corrections and criminal justice agencies to deliver effective assessment training, research/evaluation, reentry assistance, policy development, evaluation of treatment programs, and managing a statewide implementation project in community-based corrections. Ms. Walker serves as a citizen member of the Colorado State Board of Parole.
Dr. Brandon Mathews, D.M. - Brandon Mathews has a decade of experience in various criminal justice roles, including in institutional and community corrections, the judicial system and correctional investigations. Most recently he held positions as the Director of a community correctional facility in Southern Colorado and then as the State Director of five residential community correctional facilities across the state, where he spearheaded efforts to change culture and implement innovative evidence-based practices. Educationally, he holds a Doctor of Management degree with a concentration in Organizational Development and Change with his research focused on the impact organizational culture, leadership and change have on the adoption and sustainment of evidence-based practices. Dr. Mathews also engages as an Instructor of Criminal Justice at Colorado Technical University and as an active researcher in the correctional field by presenting regularly at regional and national conferences, as well as publishing in scholarly and practitioner journals including recent works in the Organization Development Journal, Criminal Justice Studies, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, the Journal of Community Corrections and the Journal of Organizational Change Management.