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Women of Influence

Luisa Graff, Luisa Graff Jewelers When asked how Luisa Graff chose the jewelry business, she replied, “I didn’t chose the jewelry business, it chose me!” Gems, minerals, and precious metals have been a part of her life from the very beginning. Born to a Peruvian mother and American father, Luisa’s early...
A native of Slovakia, Marina Funtik first came to Colorado Springs  — and the United States — as a dental assistant student at Pikes Peak Community College in 2000. “Everything was so big — the cars, the pizza,” she said of her first impressions of the U.S. After she received her dental...
If you ask those who nominated her, Lynne Jones, vice president of marketing and business development for Colorado Springs Health Partners, has been a woman of influence for years. She’s just now receiving the recognition. Jones currently serves as the vice president of business development and marketing for Colorado Springs...
When Linda Warren decided to start a business of her own in 1992, she never imagined it would grow into one of the largest and most successful of its kind in Colorado Springs. “I never intended to grow a business … and now I have 21 employees,” Warren said. “It’s...
Few people understand the local, regional and state real estate regulatory environment like Clarissa Arellano. As director of government affairs, media and public policy for the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, Arellano makes it her business to know about upcoming legislation that could affect the local housing market — and...
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...
Janet Kerr has spent almost 30 years as a psychotherapist, nonprofit administrator and volunteer working in particularly challenging and stressful area – the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Beginning as a volunteer for Tessa (then known as the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence) in 1987, she served as...
For Cindy Aubrey, love of community dovetails with her professional life. As former news director for KOAA Channel 5 and former chief of communications for the city, Aubrey is focused on improving the region where she grew up. “She bleeds Colorado Springs,” said Stephannie Finley Fortune, executive director of university advocacy...
Queen Brown is a woman with a lively career and a refreshing sense of humor. The president of Queen E. Brown and Associates Management Consultants in Colorado Springs started out knowing she wanted to work in “corporate America,” she said laughing while recalling her early life. “My parents were...
Susan Payne has devoted her life to saving the lives of America’s youth. She founded the Safe2Tell program though the Colorado Office of the Attorney General in 2004 as a anti-violence initiative that has since resulted in the prevention of an estimated 1,600 youth suicides, 30 planned school attacks and...
Rosemary Lytle’s dedication to public service was born out of her grandparents’ struggles in Jim Crow’s Mississippi, their successes in Gary, Ind., and her family’s insistence to give back generously to the communities that embraced them. Lytle’s life — both personal and professional — stemmed from lessons learned as part...
Regina Lewis has lived a textured life. She was raised as the daughter of a soldier and lived in a series of culturally diverse countries. She lived in poverty while her father fought in Vietnam. She also is a war veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force during Operation...