Paula Purifoy
Executive Director
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After leaving the television industry in 2004, Paula was searching for a meaningful career. That’s when she met Dave Kolquist, former Junior Golf Director. He introduced her to The First Tee of Denver and its programs and mission. She was hooked. She jumped at the chance for a purpose-filled career. 

Paula brings her people skills, energy and enthusiasm to everything she does. Whether it’s inspiring kids through mentorship training, or being an advocate for the program. It’s her dedication for helping others, especially youth, that drive her to bring people together to improve lives of the youth in surrounding communities.

If Paula’s not out on the course helping kids meet their full potential, she can be found fostering the growth of The First of Denver. Under her direction, programs have expanded, the Board of Directors has become an affective group that furthers the organization’s mission and kids in the program have consistently have better grades, attitudes and attendance to show for their participation.

Dan “Coach” Reeves
Director of Operations
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Dan has always been drawn to two things: golf and helping kids. He began his golf career in 1997 as a professional club builder. In 2002 Dan was introduced to The First Tee of Denver. From the beginning he understood the importance of this program, personally and its potential to touch the lives of so many more. Dan will tell you, “I was the first kid saved by The First Tee of Denver.” It’s this heartfelt passion that drives him to spread the benefits of the program to as many kids as possible. 

As Director of Operations, Dan has the responsibility to ensure the organization runs smoothly, whether that’s preparing budgets, designing program schedules, or introducing new programs, such as the Club Building Program. He brings his 15+ years’ experience and expertise to this program where he teaches kids to build their own clubs, but more importantly valuable math and science lessons that they’ll keep long after they outgrow their club.  

Nick Johnson
Director of Programming
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The game of golf has always been a passion for Nick. He channeled his passion into becoming a golf professional where he quickly found his niche, working with juniors.  Nick first brought his talents to The Nike Golf Learning Centers and authored the Colorado PGA’s Tee-It-Up-For-Life in-school program.  The next year he became the Director of Junior Golf for Kennedy Golf Course and ran one of the most successful programs in the state.  In 2008, Nick realized his place was helping at-risk youth and became program manager for a Denver non-profit that introduced golf and life lessons to at-risk youth.  

Nick will bring his golf talents and desire to help at-risk youth to further enhance The First Tee of Denver’s programming and expand the organization to new courses and even more kids. The only thing that Nick enjoys more than teaching kids golf and the inherent lessons built into the fabric of the game is his four-year old son, Gunnar.     


Erica Yates
Director of In-School Programming
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From the time Erica started kindergarten she knew wanted to be a teacher. Helping and teaching children had always come naturally to her. After 6 years of teaching, she decided that she wanted to help impact children's lives in a different way.

Erica started working with The First Tee of Denver as a liaison between the school and the program. After seeing the impact the program had on her students and school as a whole, she knew she wanted to be a part of the bigger picture. Erica brings her expertise in teaching and ability to connect to kids and their families. Erica is excited to help further enhance The First Tee of Denver’s programming to reach even more kids.



Zach McCain
Program Coordinator 
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The First Tee has always been a special place for Zach. He first began taking classes with The First Tee at the age of 10. Later on this progressed into a job as a junior coach, caddie, and instructor through the program. After graduating high school Zach stayed involved with The First Tee while pursuing a degree from the University of Colorado as an Evans Scholar. The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship is a full tuition and housing college scholarship for golf caddies that is renewable for up to four years. Selected applicants must have a strong caddie record, excellent grades, outstanding character and demonstrated financial need. However, being away at school did little to diminish Zach's true passion for working with kids.
As Program Coordinator Zach brings both passion and experience to many different aspects of The First Tee. Since his first involvement, the programs through The First Tee have grown immensely. His skills both on the course, as well as behind the scenes through pieces like technology development and lesson design look to grow the organization even further.