Naomi Hartman Joins Denver Institute as Public Engagement Associate

Abby Worland

Editor's note: We recently welcomed Naomi Hartman to the Denver Institute team as our Public Engagement Associate. Naomi and I talked about her prior work and what she’s most excited about at Denver Institute. Our conversation below has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How did you first connect with Denver Institute?

Naomi: ​​I first connected with Denver Institute at a time in my career when I was looking for change but wasn’t sure what direction to go. I had done a little bit of a lot of things in my work and was struggling with what to do with the gifts and passions God has given me. I began to use all of the resources from Denver Institute–events, online resources, etc.–to help discover God’s plan for integrating my faith and work.

What was it about Denver Institute that piqued your interest?

Naomi: I didn’t realize there was a gap in my discipleship until interacting with the content from Denver Institute. Denver Institute thinks and talks about faith and work in a way I had never heard before–it was new, unique, deep, and exciting to me. It felt like a big lightbulb went off when I learned what working and public life can be! It helped me view my job search in a whole new way.

What will you be doing in this new role at Denver Institute?

Naomi: I will be serving Denver Institute to produce meaningful events and podcasts, with a specific emphasis on supporting Women, Work, & Calling.

What previous work experience do you bring to the role?

Naomi: Through both volunteering and professional experience, I’ve worked with events and festival planning, producing events for 10 to 5000 people! I did guest services and hospitality at a Christian camp and retreat center in Texas. I have spent the past 5 years in a few roles at Prison Fellowship hosting and training others to create memorable experiences for people in prison.

What is it about events that really interests you?

Naomi: One of my greatest joys is when people connect around a common purpose. Events bring people together and allow them to connect. I love being part of that. 

I also love the collaboration that events inherently have. Not only are you collaborating internally with your team where everyone brings a different skill set, the collaboration between the planners and the audience has a special magic to it. It’s beautifully dependent! 

Finally, events are the most fun team project you can ever do! I love the pace, and the crazy, late hours leading up to an event to make it happen. I get a lot of adrenaline on the day of the event!

How do you see events and hospitality as an outworking of your faith?

Naomi: I believe that holding spaces for people is a way to love others. I see Jesus holding space for me and many others in the Bible all the time. He invites us into intimate relationship with him. That in and of itself is hospitality–when you are seen, chosen, welcomed, and invited into something. Because he has done that for us we get the chance to do that for others. Hospitality has a lot to do with paying attention, thinking of others, and removing distractions so they can focus on connecting with others and relationships can thrive.

Why is Denver Institute’s work important to you?

Naomi: It’s important to me because my life has been shaped by the work of Denver Institute. I have a personal stake in the organization! I had previously thought that in order to integrate my faith and work and address the suffering, brokenness, and injustice in the world, that meant working for a church or nonprofit so that is what I did. Now I see we can make an impact wherever God has placed us, regardless of job or industry, and that gives me a lot of hope.

What are you most excited about as a staff member at Denver Institute?

Naomi: I’m excited about creating more opportunities to see the lightbulb go off for others, specifically those who are impacting the city of Denver. I’m energized by the momentum for solving problems here in Denver!


Abby Worland

Abby serves as the VP of Operations & Finance where she spends her energy making sure things run smoothly and effectively. Before coming to Denver Institute, she spent more than a decade working in public education in Mississippi and Colorado as a teacher, administrator, and human resources leader. Abby is an alum of the 5280 Fellowship, and she is passionate about the Denver restaurant scene–ask her for recommendations.