Leadership Team

Merage Foundations

Sue Renner, Vice President


Sue directs a consortium of seven foundations and nonprofits representing three generations of the David and Laura Merage family in Denver. In addition to overseeing grantmaking and operations for the Merage Foundations, Sue provides strategic oversight for Black Cube, Early Learning Ventures, and Equitas. Sue also works with partner organizations to promote positive social change through philanthropic ventures.  Additionally, Sue is a member of Governor John Hickenlooper’s Education Policy Council and serves on the Colorado Association of Funders Board of Directors. Additionally, Sue is a founding Board Member of Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), which is dedicated to early childhood education advocacy.

Prior to joining the Merage Foundation in 2006, Sue was the Executive Director of Early Childhood Connections and previously worked as a Senior Program Manager with the Colorado Office of Resource and Referral Agencies. Sue’s experience includes volunteer leadership roles with multiple organizations, including community development, family support and early care, and education. Sue received her BS in Human Development from California Polytechnic University and her MS in Child and Family Development from Colorado State University.


Early Learning Ventures

DSC_0233SMPJudyWilliamsBWJudy Williams, Executive Director

Judy manages the overall operations of the Early Learning Ventures Alliance Model in Colorado, as well as oversees the business development, growth expansion and replication of the ELV shared services model throughout the United States. Prior to joining ELV, she owned and operated successful private drop-in child care centers in the Denver metro area, providing high-quality early care and education to thousands of children and families. Judy is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and is currently attending Webster University and will earn a Master’s in Business Administration in May 2015.

Judy also served as an Officer in the United States Army and has worked as a nursing instructor, staff supervisor, and consultant in a variety of settings in the health and early education industry.


Black Cube


Cortney L. Stell, Executive Director + Chief Curator

Cortney Stell is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Black Cube, a nomadic contemporary art museum founded by Laura Merage in 2015. In this role, Cortney directs the strategic planning, facilitates the daily operations of, and works closely with the Artist Fellows for Black Cube. Cortney has been an independent curator since 2006 while also holding the position of Gallery Director at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD). Cortney has curated numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally for museums, university galleries, biennials, and art events. Stemming from a philosophical interest in art as communication, Cortney has organized exhibitions that focus on experimental artworks in both conceptual and material nature, including exhibitions with artists such as Liam Gillick, Cyprien Gaillard, Daniel Arsham, and Shirley Tse. Cortney holds a Master of Arts from the European Graduate School in Switzerland where she is also currently a PhD candidate in Media Communications.

In-kind Support

Consolidated Investment Group (CIG), an investment company founded by David Merage, offers an extensive in-kind support network to the foundations. CIG provides a vast range of professional services to the Foundation team including accounting, human resources, legal support, and much more. This partnership allows the Foundations’ operating expenses to be kept at a minimum; therefore, concentrating Foundation resources on program development and activities.