Executive Staff

Scott Laband, President

Scott brings experience in business management and education policy to Colorado Succeeds. He began his career as an Associate at HVS International, where he provided asset valuation, economic impact studies, and investment management and development consulting for commercial real estate developers, hotel chains, private investors, institutional lenders, and municipalities. Later, Scott joined the Qdoba Restaurant Corporation as a Marketing Manager, where he directed strategic marketing and branding campaigns in corporate markets across the country. Most recently, Scott worked as the Legislative Director for Senator Mike Johnston, where he oversaw the education policy agenda, including the passage of S.B. 191 as the point person for both internal strategy negotiations with other Colorado state legislators and external relations and coalition-building with advocates and interest groups.

Based on his experience, Scott wrote "Creating a Winning Legislative Campaign: the Colorado Story" for Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) to provide reform-minded legislators and advocacy organizations around the country with a roadmap to pursue similar policies in their states.

He is a founding board member of the Rocky Mountain Preparatory School and serves as its Vice Chairman. Scott graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Business Administration. While at CU, Scott was a member of the President’s Leadership Class and studied at the IFALPES French Institute of Annecy. Scott earned a Masters Degree in Education, Leadership, and Organizational Change from the University of Denver.

Luke Ragland, Vice President - Policy

Luke brings unique political, legal, and analytical insight to Colorado Succeeds.  Luke comes to Colorado Succeeds from a boutique litigation firm in Denver where he practiced complex commercial litigation.  Previously, he worked for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, where he led the effort to defeat a $34 million tuition increase and helped create a statewide advocacy group devoted to providing a voice for Colorado higher education consumers. Luke also worked in the White House Office of Political Affairs and has experience writing detailed political briefing books for the President of the United States and other cabinet-level officials.  

Luke obtained his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, where the faculty named him as the university’s outstanding political science student during his junior year.  He studied law at the University of Colorado Law School and served as Articles Editor for the University of Colorado Law Review.  Luke grew up in Southwest Colorado and currently lives in Denver with his wife Sarah.

Kristina Tabor Saccone, Vice President - Strategy & Communications

Kristina’s career is rooted in education, first covering it as a journalist and now as a communications strategist. After getting her start at the PBS NewsHour, she went to Colorado Public Radio and Aspen Public Radio. Though on general assignment, she focused on education, from the ins and outs of the classroom and the work of teachers and administrators to issues of policy, funding, and politics. When Kristina left journalism, she joined the team at The Donnell-Kay Foundation as its communications director. Most recently she has been a senior account executive specializing in education at Communications Strategy Group, a national public relations firm.

Kristina is also founder of Young Education Professionals-Colorado and sits on the board of the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School. She lives in Denver with her husband and two dogs. She has a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and was born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area.

Ashley Andersen, Director of Partnerships & Engagement

Ashley brings a blend of expertise and knowledge in fundraising, education, and the legislative process. Ashley comes to Colorado Succeeds from Denver Kids, Inc. where they tripled their annual operating budget in four years and built out systems for continued aggressive growth to help end the dropout crisis in Denver Public Schools. Previous to that, Ashley worked to create endowments within institutes of higher education in Central Ohio. Her fundraising career began in Washington, D.C. where she gained legislative experience on the Hill and fundraising insight through various multimillion dollar capital campaigns on federal lands.

Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Dayton. She is a graduate of the Institute for Leaders in Development from the University of Denver and has been published by the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. She lives in Denver with her husband and their son.

Jamie Trafficanda, Program Manager

Jamie brings a unique combination of communications, public policy and non-profit experience to Colorado Succeeds. Prior to joining Colorado Succeeds, Jamie worked as the press assistant and social media coordinator for U.S. Senator Mark Udall, where she spearheaded digital and new media communications. She also served key support roles with several Washington, D.C.-based non-profits, including the World Affairs Councils of America, where she assisted with program management, event planning and large-scale project coordination.

Jamie holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her time at CU, Jamie worked with various student coalitions to increase voter turnout on campus, increase budget transparency and confront rising tuition rates. She is originally from Los Angeles, California and currently lives in Denver.

I wake up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day a little difficult.
-E.B. White