Mara Holiday joined the Buell Foundation in 2017. In her role as Program Officer for the Western Slope, as well as the North Front Rage and El Paso and Teller counties, Mara sees herself as a partner to nonprofit organizations and a champion for the good work in early childhood education and teen pregnancy prevention that is being accomplished across the state.

Before joining the Buell Foundation, Mara worked as Manager of the San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF) and supported SDWF’s efforts to educate and inspire women to engage in strategic philanthropy. Mara provided program area and committee oversight, managed the annual grantmaking process, oversaw educational and member events, and managed foundation operations. She also served in an interim director capacity for several months, overseeing the entirety of foundation operations while the SDWF Board recruited and transitioned to a new executive director.

Mara has held positions in a variety of nonprofits since 2008—from homeless service organizations, to mental health providers, to programs serving transition age youth, to arts organizations. She believes that being a “generalist” has helped her on her journey to bring an intersectional perspective to her work in philanthropy.

Mara holds a BA in Arts Management from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University.

Mara relocated to Colorado from San Diego in early 2017. For Mara, life imitates work, as she and her husband are continually learning and navigating through the early childhood systems in metro Denver on behalf of their two preschool-age daughters.

Contact Mara Holiday at or 303-744-1688.