our team

Denise Breinig-Glunz

Clinical Director

006Denise Breinig-Glunz is the clinical director at the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. Previously she was the Social Work supervisor at the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families at the University of Denver, where as part of an interdisciplinary team, she led the development, implementation and evaluation of the innovative program model now being used at COCD. Denise earned her master’s degree in social work from Smith College and her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Colorado

Denise has advanced training and experience as a mediator within an interdisciplinary team. She is active in the Colorado Society for Clinical Social Work, for which she previously served as the education co-chair. Her areas of clinical expertise include adolescent day treatment, crisis intervention, conflict management, adult and childhood anxiety and parenting. Denise maintains a part-time private practice in Centennial, Colorado, with an emphasis on children and families. From 2010-2013, she worked as a field placement liaison for the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.

Kelsey Carlson

Social Worker


Kelsey Carlson is a social worker at the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. As a graduate social work intern, Kelsey participated in the early groundbreaking work at the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families. She earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver and her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Kelsey is a licensed social worker in the state of Colorado. Before coming to COCD Kelsey worked with at-risk young adults at the Mental Health Center of Denver and Urban Peak. Kelsey is a trained mediator, and her areas of expertise include domestic violence, conflict management, crisis intervention, and the impacts of stress and trauma on children and young adults.

Susan E. Carparelli

Executive Director


Sue Carparelli serves as executive director of the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. She directs all aspects of the Center’s operations including management of the interdisciplinary team, service delivery and quality, community outreach, marketing and oversight of outcomes research. She earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington in Seattle and her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of North Dakota.
Sue’s early work includes experience in protective services and community mental health serving those recovering from the impacts of child abuse and neglect, incest, sexual assault and domestic violence. She has extensive experience in operational management and leading and managing innovation within complex systems. Most recently she served as president and CEO of Florence Crittenton Services, a non-profit that addresses the comprehensive needs of pregnant and parenting teens through a strategic partnership with Denver Public Schools. Sue also served as founding president and CEO of the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence where she worked with diverse stakeholders across Colorado to develop and implement innovative approaches to building a strong nursing workforce. Prior to that, Sue held leadership positions at the Southeast Denver Business Partnership and Rose Medical Center in Denver.

Emily Hastings

Operations Manager

007Emily Hastings is the Operations Manager and Court Liaison at the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. She oversees daily operations and the administrative aspects of the Center. She provides customer service and assistance with scheduling for COCD clients. Emily’s role includes case management support and facilitation of communication and coordination between clients and the Center’s team. She relocated to Denver from Austin, Texas, with 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a registered yoga teacher with advanced training in the therapeutic application of yoga.

Ellen Weston Squires

Attorney Mediator


Ellen Squires is the attorney-mediator at the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. She practiced in varied areas of the law until she recognized that her true calling was to help families in crisis. For the last fourteen years, she has represented individuals in all areas of family law. Ellen evolved into a highly skilled and sought after family law mediator after completing specialized mediation training. Over the years, she has helped countless families resolve their conflicts via the mediation process.

Following a career as a competitive figure skater, Ellen graduated cum laude from Colorado College and earned her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Colorado and a member of the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations. She is also a member of the Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections of the Colorado Bar Association. Ellen has been recognized for her extensive pro bono work by Metro Volunteer Lawyers. She has served as editor of several publications on domestic law issues published by the Colorado Bar Association Law Education Committee. Ellen has also served for multiple terms as an elected officer on the executive council of the Colorado Bar Association’s Family Law Section and as a board member of the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee.

Melinda Taylor

Consultant/Development Officer COCD, National


Melinda Taylor serves as a consultant working to facilitate the National replication of the IAALS out-of-court model for separating and divorcing families. She transitioned to that role after having served as executive director of the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families at the University of Denver, the first demonstration project based on the IAALS model. Melinda was instrumental in developing the model during her time at IAALS, during which she served as director of the Honoring Families Initiative.

Melinda previously worked for eight years as district court administrator for Colorado’s 17th Judicial District. During this time, she worked with IAALS and the Colorado Judicial Branch to implement the Colorado Civil Access Pilot Project. Prior to her work as district administrator, Melinda worked for the Colorado Judicial Branch State Court Administrator’s Office in judicial education and policy analysis in the family area.

Melinda graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Regis University. She earned her master’s degree in legal administration from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Steffanie Walstra

Social Work Intern

Steffanie Walstra, Social Work Intern, The Center for Out of Court Divorce

Steffanie is a social work intern at the Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce. She is a certified community based mediator, and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Michigan State University. She will receive her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver in June 2016.

Steffanie also works as the clinical and family support coordinator at SungateKids, a child advocacy center that provides forensic interviewing and therapeutic services to child victims of abuse. Steffanie provides trauma assessments, allocates resources and runs group therapy programs for children and families who have been victims of sexual abuse. Prior to joining the Center, Steffanie participated in several youth mentoring programs and worked in the Family Division of the Circuit Court System in Lansing, Michigan.

Steffanie’s experience working with children and families in diverse settings experiencing transition and trauma allows her to properly assess and support families throughout their journey.