2023 Men of Influence

All Seven Featured Men Emphasize the Importance of Family, Community and Loving What You Do

At the end of his first year as principal of Highlands Ranch High School eight years ago, a teacher approached Dr. Christopher Page and asked what they could do to create better connections between teachers and students. 
That’s what gave Dr. Page the idea for his “All In” vision. 
“I went into our last assembly of the year and we talked about being all in. We said that the idea of being all in is that we’re all in for each other all the time,” Dr. Page said. 
And ever since, he’s been focused on creating a culture where staff, teachers, students and families are committed to being part of an engaged and supportive community. 

Dr. Christopher Page

Principal, Highlands Ranch High School

For the past eight years, Dr. Page has served as the principal of Highlands Ranch High School. He's a statistical anomaly because he was also a student teacher at Highlands Ranch High School. The odds of a person being a student teacher and then principal at the same school in an urban area are approximately one in a billion.

Dr. Page’s stats are also impressive with his recent selection as the 2023 Colorado High School Principal of the Year. According to the Colorado Department of Education, there are 522 high schools in the state of Colorado.

Dr. Page was awarded this honor by the National Association of Secondary School Principal Selection Committee through a competitive process.

Erin Kane, Douglas County School District Superintendent, says, “The culture at ‘THE Highlands Ranch High School,’ as Dr. Page calls it, is a true family environment. He is incredibly committed to his students, staff, and families, and is someone we can count on, from the district level, to lend his voice to make our amazing school district an even better place to work and learn.”

One of Dr. Page’s contributions to the district is that he co-founded and chaired the first Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee for Douglas County Schools. The committee focused on increasing equitable practices and training, diversity in thoughts and actions, and inclusion and accessibility for all learners. The resulting policy represents input and involvement from over 3,000 stakeholders across the Douglas County School District.

When discussing his recent award, Dr. Page says, “When I found out I was selected for High School Principal of the Year, I had an overwhelming joy in my heart. I am so proud to be the principal of Highlands Ranch High School, and this recognition is an acknowledgment of all the amazing accomplishments our students, staff, and community have been able to achieve over the years.”

Dr. Isaac Chung

Orthodontist, i-Orthodontics

When asked about his role at i-Orthodontics Dr. Isaac says, “As a board-certified orthodontist, I specialize in providing custom, high-quality orthodontic treatments for pediatric, adolescent and adult patients with the use of braces and Invisalign.”

He continues, “My role in the practice is also to make sure patients have fun every step of the way of their smile journey. Smiles and laughter are what drive us at i-Orthodontics.” That may be why i-Orthodontics trademarked motto is Live Life Smiling.

According to Dr. Isaac, i-Orthodontics was established with a greater mission than straightening teeth. They were built to change lives. The practice was established in 2008 with a mission to build self-esteem, create impact, and to serve the community through philanthropy.

As the youngest of eleven children, Dr. Isaac received a lot of guidance from his older siblings. But according to him, “It was my parents, though, who instilled in me the value of hard work and determination. My parents also taught us to live a life of gratitude.”

Dr. Isaac probably needed to draw on that determination when he succeeded in completing the 118-mile Triple Bypass Bicycle Ride. It was his first cycling race and the first time he had ridden over 100 miles.

Ryan Canaday

Pastor and Executive Director, FREE Spiritual Community

Canaday lives in Highlands Ranch and is the pastor of FREE Spiritual Community located in Denver.

FREE is a spiritual community designed for addicts, loved ones of addicts, and spiritual refugees.

“Tami, my wife, and I started FREE Spiritual Community in our backyard in the summer of 2018,” says Canaday. That same year Canaday had officiated at six funerals that were drug and/or alcohol related.

“My recovery has taught me not to waste the pain. So I began allowing the pain to be the fuel for starting a movement. FREE has continued to grow. We moved from our backyard into an actual building, and I have been serving as pastor and executive director of FREE for the past five years.”

The recovery he mentions started when he got sober in January 2013. At the time, he was serving as a pastor at a local church. “Early on I hoped no one would find out. I was filled with so much shame. I was the drunk pastor. But a few years into my recovery, I began sharing my story openly, honestly, and publicly. Others in the community began reaching out, sharing their struggles with addiction. It became clear to me how big the problem of addiction was in the community.”

FREE’s mission is to break the silence of addiction while creating space for healing, recovery, and spiritual connection. “We gather together as a community every Saturday evening at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. We celebrate breakthroughs in life, there’s always a message of hope, and a guest storyteller who shares their experience. FREE hosts numerous 12-step meetings and other recovery meetings every day of the week.”

As the pastor and executive director at FREE, Canaday gets to remind people who they are. That you are always worthy of love and belonging. God loves you simply because you are.

Emmanuel Eliason

President and CEO, Eliason Wealth Management

Eliason Wealth Management is a registered investment advisory firm in Centennial. Eliason describes the company by saying, “We are passionate about financial literacy for the masses and bridging the wealth gap in America while helping individuals, families and small businesses create, preserve and transfer their wealth.”

Growing up in a modest background, Eliason was inspired to understand how the financial systems and other factors caused some people to be wealthy and others not so much. Coupled with a gift and passion for education, coaching and training, Eliason found a natural fit to provide professional services for financial education, wealth creation and wealth transfer.

“As a Certified Financial Planner professional, I serve as the firm’s lead financial planner and investment advisor. I oversee our firm’s community financial education outreach programs where we provide free financial literacy classes on various topics like retirement planning, social security, tax planning, investment management and more,” he says.

An important aspect of the firm is community involvement. “We regularly give back to our community through free financial education at local churches and nonprofit organizations for African-Americans, African immigrants and other minorities who are underserved.”

Outside of work Eliason's priorities include, “Having family time with my wife and children playing a board game called Ludo or watching Shark Tank.”

Dr. Kevin O’Donnell, DO

Breakthrough Regenerative Orthopedics

“After spending 12 years as a Primary Care Sports Physician in an orthopedic clinic, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the limited non-surgical treatment options available for common conditions such as rotator cuff tears. However, in 2008, I was introduced to the field of Regenerative Orthopedics which has been a game changer for me and my patients,” says Dr. O’Donnell.

Dr. O’Donnell says that he is now able to offer cutting-edge bio-restorative care that can often spare patients from undergoing surgery. “I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting field. Since learning these new skills and treatments, I have never looked back.”

Breakthrough Regenerative Orthopedics in located in Centennial. They strive to “get you back to your best self.” Their core values of integrity, compassionate care, and excellence guide them in treating their patients how they would want their own family to be treated. In addition to regenerative procedures, Breakthrough Regenerative Orthopedics provides recommendations for supplements and collaborates with trusted providers across the spectrum of physical therapy, orthotics, and bodywork to support the healing process.

“As a physician in the field of regenerative medicine, I am part of an exciting and rapidly advancing area that focuses on promoting tissue regeneration and harnessing the body’s natural healing processes. Unlike traditional surgery, we prioritize non-invasive techniques and consider cutting to be a last resort,” says Dr. O’Donnell.

When he's not working, he enjoys spending time with family and finding the best tastes of his hometown. “Being from Pennsylvania, I have a particular fondness for Philadelphia hoagies and cheesesteaks, and Taste of Philly in Highlands Ranch provides a close resemblance to what I would typically enjoy back home.” And when Dr. O’Donnell isn’t “adulting” at work, he is busy wrangling his three little minions. Cole 10, Ryan 8 and Jack 4.

David Simonson

Board of Directors, Treasurer, Highlands Ranch Metro District

Simonson decided to run for the board of the Highlands Ranch Metro District because he believes, “Servant leadership is crucial to continual improvement for our local, county, state, and even national communities.”

According to Simonson, the varied services provided by the Highlands Ranch Metro District includes a range of municipal-type services such as construction of infrastructure including arterial roadways, storm drainage facilities, traffic signals, and fire stations, installation and maintenance of parkway landscaping adjacent to arterial roadways, construction and maintenance of parks and trails, maintenance and operation of the historic mansion, outdoor recreation and programs for all ages, maintenance of open space and community events.

Board members serve the community in a variety of ways. Some of the more critical responsibilities identified by Simonson include setting priorities for programs and services, approving expenditures, and establishing fees and property tax rates.

One of his favorite non-work day activities is visiting his daughters at their respective colleges whenever he possibly can.

“My other favorite activity began because of my wife’s development of the South Denver Food and South Denver Strong groups on Facebook in our community. They have given us ample opportunity to explore a variety of different events and restaurants that we otherwise might not ever be aware of.”

Brandon Lorenz

Wealth Management Advisor, CE̅DRUS

Lorenz is a Wealth Management Advisor with CE̅DRUS. He recalls there was a moment when he saw how CE̅DRUS really put families first and built a real relationship that made him realize that he wanted to be a part of CE̅DRUS and start truly impacting families’ lives.

Lorenz works with families to build a holistic financial plan based on personalized goals and objectives.

Lorenz says, “This is different for everyone, so my job is to really listen to each family and find out what is right for them. My goal is at the end of the day, create a plan that brings a family peace and contentment. Something that the family understands and has confidence in.”

CE̅DRUS is a financial firm that measures success based on family contentment. CE̅DRUS is able to accomplish that through a personal relationship with each of the families and customizing a financial plan that is tailored to their life, retirement and legacy.

“Outside of my family and faith, golf is my absolute favorite activity. I love the challenge that golf brings as well as the ability for golf to bring people together.”

His other activities include biking, hiking, rock climbing, camping, snowboarding… pretty much anything outside.

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