Trudy Strewler Hodges, CEO of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, was named Business Leader of the Year by the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Strewler Hodges was chosen from a field of six nominees, including Halle Friedman, CEO  and founder of the Robert Andrews Medical Aesthetics; Linda Mojer, president and owner of With Substance Inc.; Carol O’Donnell, owner and partner at  O’Donnell & O’Donnell; Tiffiny Pieper, vice president of pre-school operations at Diakonia; and Kelly Terrien, president and CEO of Summit Technical Solutions.

Strewler Hodges worked at CASA of the Pikes Peak region until February, when she took the job at PPCF. While CEO of CASA, she worked on behalf of children involved in the court system, ensuring they had an advocate in the proceedings. She was the nonprofit organization’s first employee and its first executive director.

In her 25 years at CASA, she received the Cornelia Sabine Award from the Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region in recognition of her efforts on the behalf of children in El Paso and Teller counties.

At PPCF, she oversees one of the largest nonprofits in the region, one that manages more than 500 funds, offering financial resources for other nonprofits across the region.

Strewler Hodges received the award during the SCWCC’s annual awards luncheon, held at the Garden of the Gods Club on Tuesday. Jill Tiefenthaler, president of Colorado College, was the keynote speaker.

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Tiefenthaler spoke about servant leadership to the crowd of roughly 200 people at the event — discussing the ways leaders should engage workers at every level for organizations to be successful. She encouraged leaders to “persuade” not dictate, and to engage workers at every level to bring success to their organizations.