Amy Sufak, president and founder of Red Energy Public Relations, Advertising & Events, is all about the little details.
“A signature task I do on a daily basis is make sure my staff is armed with ‘thank you’ notes, envelopes and stamps,” she said. “We send handwritten notes — not just texts or emails — but handwritten notes to the people who impact us in a meaningful way.”
Sufak is a 12-year public affairs veteran of the U.S. Air Force. During active duty, she served around the world, including South Korea, Guam, the Philippines, Honduras and Greenland. Her last assignment was at Peterson Air Force Base, where she worked as chief of public affairs. Sufak left the Air Force, went on to work in public relations for Centura Health and then opened Red Energy in 2008.
One of Sufak’s nominators, employee Cortney Quintero, said Sufak is an exemplary leader.
“From the moment I met Amy, she has provided nothing less than exceptional mentorship and leadership qualities that encourage, challenge and support those she comes in contact with daily,” Quintero said.
Monika Turner, an intern at Red Energy in 2014, is another of Sufak’s nominators for the Women of Influence recognition.
“During my time at Red Energy, I was constantly impressed and in awe of her,” Turner said. “One of the characteristics that I admired most about her is her leadership. She would not only achieve her goals, she would make sure that her employees and interns were involved in the process so that they could learn how to be strategic, determined and powerful like her.”
That determination would be tested, however, when Sufak was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent surgeries for the next year.
“It was during this time that I witnessed Amy’s most awe-inspiring strength — perseverance,” Quintero said. “Through her battle … she simultaneously and seamlessly managed to run and expand her entire agency, mentor her staff, maintain successful client relations and continue to be an amazing wife and mother to her family of four.”
Sufak said being recognized by the Colorado Springs Business Journal as one of the Women of Influence is an honor.
“I’ve spent so many hours helping mentor the people around me and also being mentored by community members,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be recognized, but for everyone who’s contributed to my success, this recognition is for them, too. They got me to where I am today.”
Her personal philosophy is to pay forward successes, and Turner said Sufak often celebrates the accomplishments of others.
“Throughout the time that I have known her, she has been supportive of other people’s goals and achievements, even if they don’t benefit her [or] affect her in any way,” Turner said.
Sufak said she keeps a gratitude journal to maintain perspective and encourages staff to focus on paying forward successes as well.
Some of Sufak’s professional accomplishments include being named Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs Officer of the Year in 1998, PR Person of the Year in 2010 by the Colorado chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and, that same year, one of Colorado Biz Magazine’s Top 5 Most Influential Young Professionals in Colorado.
As for her favorite place in Colorado Springs? You might see Sufak at Bear Creek Dog Park with her family, which includes Golden Retrievers Barley and Porter.
— Bryan Grossman