Our Story

Mary Kolbenschlag and Merrie Perry – Owners

We actually believe we can play a part in making this a better world by helping you be happier with your career. It’s a journey we’ve been on too, and we know how to reduce the confusion and stress. Let’s Discover your Pathwaze together.

Mary Kolbenschlag

For over 25 years, as a business leader I had the privilege of developing thousands of employees. Too frequently, I witnessed the effects of what a bad job-fit (plain-ole-crappy) does to a person: psychologically, physically and emotionally. My mission became an obsession to understand which jobs matches and career paths were best suited for an individual.

It wasn’t just at work, a common discussion with friends was our struggle to guide and launch our children as their anxiety and worry about colleges and jobs grew. I decided to leave Corporate America and focus on our young adults. Research shows if we can start them on the right path early knowing their strengths and showing them their best fit careers, their probability for success and satisfaction dramatically increases. Most importantly, we want to serve the community with our non-profit.

Other miscellaneous stuff: I’ve led several US and global technology organizations at IBM. I have a degree in Psychology and finishing my College Counseling Certificate from UCLA. I am an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and National Career Development Association (NCDA). Lastly, you’ll find me exploring the great Rocky Mountains when I’m not doing people stuff. Let’s Discover your Pathwaze together!

Merrie Perry

My passion is making the college application process fun and exciting. The college process need not be a dubious prospect, but an amazing opportunity to get to know your self, and get pumped for the future!  This is why I am so excited about Discover Pathwaze. Discover Pathwaze supports college decisions by empowering students with career path feedback that enables them to find colleges that not only support their personality, interests and values, but also their future career.

Since 2010, I have been involved in the college admissions process through supporting local students at the Mary Power Post Graduate Center at Monarch High School, as well as having been involved in the successful Internship and Career Forum programs at Zurich International School. I attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received a B.A. in Business Administration. In order to provide even more support for the students I work with, I have a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA and I am an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), College Consultants of Colorado, and National Career Development Association (NCDA).

After taking our Discover Pathwaze assessment, students will get an individualized list of college matches and continued support through out the application and financial aid process. Most importantly Discover Pathwaze, will expose you to many amazing career and college opportunities. Which is the best path for you?  Let’s discover together!

Our Team

Kirsten Otey



Kirsten earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Colorado, an M.A. in English literature with a specialization in film from Baylor University, and a Ph.D. in English literature with a specialization in medieval studies from the University of Colorado. She has served as an adjunct professor at several colleges, primarily the University of Colorado, teaching both in-person and on-line courses on Chaucer and Shakespeare. More recently, she spent seven years teaching writing and literature in the English department of Peak to Peak Charter School.

Over the years she has done freelance editing for numerous publications, but her real passion has been tutoring students. She loves helping high school students effectively express in writing who they are, what they believe, and where they want to go. Among other volunteer activities, she serves as a Program Team Lead for MindsMatter Colorado, a non-profit organization that helps high-achieving, low-income high school students apply to and prepare for college.

Heather Barber



Heather studied Management Information Systems at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She has been a part of the business community for over 20 years and brings a breadth of knowledge pertaining to technology, business management, and marketing.

While raising three teenagers of her own, Heather began substitute teaching for the Boulder Valley School district as a way to keep in touch and learn more about the teenage stage of life. She is also involved with the National Charity League of Boulder County. This organization allows her to work with area youth and stay connected with their families as they grow.

Because of her desire to continue working with students and utilize her business and leadership skills, Heather joined the Discover Pathwaze team as one of our amazing counselors. She enjoys working with students on the career assessment and helping them discover their future self!

Discover Pathwaze team member, Heather

Gail Pyle



I support and guide my students through a journey to uncover their interests, values, and aptitudes, while holding space for them to explore who they are and what they want.  They benefit from exploring their personality, strengths and skills so that they can integrate their internal and external awareness and apply what they learn about themselves into their unique path forward.  I ensure they have access to actionable steps to reach their goals, whether those include college, vocational education, or planning a gap experience to dig deeper into themselves.  Watching my students take ownership of their journey and helping them plan “next steps” is an incredible experience.

Prior to joining the Discover Pathwaze team, I was the president of a small software and systems integrator in the west Denver metro area.  In my 17 years there I also developed software, sold and implemented custom and off-the-shelf software solutions, and ran a sales team.  Through this professional experience I learned how to listen, cooperate, and leverage people’s strengths in the best way possible.  It is these skills and a passion for young adults that I use daily in my interactions with students.

I have a degree in Computer Science and am nearing completion of my certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. I am also working towards membership status in College Consultants of Colorado.

I love outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, and hope to someday catch some fish with my fly rod.  I play indoor and outdoor soccer when I am not busy cheering my kids on in their own rugby and soccer adventures.  I cannot wait to meet you and help you explore your own unique path, and cheer for you every step of the way!

Annamarie Valdez

Outreach Coordinator


Annamarie is a first-generation college graduate. She received a B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from the Colorado School of Mines, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Regis University. While working as a Project Manager in a Global Technology company for over 20 years, she found herself continuously volunteering for a variety of community outreach programs, particularly those supporting underrepresented youth in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related fields.

Annamarie has a passion for servant leadership and has mentored many students, coordinated STEM based workshops, leadership conferences, and career fairs. She currently serves as the Vice President of Finance for the Colorado Professional Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and also volunteers as NOSC (Navy Operational Support Center) Denver’s ombudsman, providing information and support to assist families with navigating Navy life.

It’s Annamarie’s passion to serve her community that drew her to join the Discover Pathwaze team. Her role as Outreach Coordinator is one that will allow her to continue to pursue her passion to serve underrepresented youth, while expanding the Discover Pathwaze Foundation’s reach.

Annemarie Valdez, Discover Pathwaze Outreach Coordinator

Web Maintenance Team



MeetGeraldine is a United States based WordPress Website Maintenance and Technical Advisory Services company. The MeetGeraldine team works closely with Discover Pathwaze to maintain and ensure a functional website for our amazing customers!

IECA Professional Member logo.
College Assistance Migration Program logo
Save Our Youth logo

Our office location is 357 S. McCaslin Blvd. Louisville CO 80027 - Suite 200,

(303) 926-4906