Stacy Poore came to Colorado Springs in 1986 with a college degree and countless dreams, leaving behind all the foundation and security of her young life growing up in Oklahoma. For nearly 30 years, she has been making a difference, from teaching in high school to leading nonprofits and, along the way, raising and inspiring her two sons.

“This city has been so good to me and for me,” she says now, but that works both ways.

After graduating from Oklahoma State, she took a teaching job in District 11 and moved into a one-bedroom apartment, “petrified” at starting her professional life in a strange place. But she soon developed a core group of friends and taught four years at Doherty and Wasson high schools, building her self-esteem to the point that, when she lost her job to D-11 budget cuts, it became “a turning point in my life.”

While working, getting married and starting a family, Stacy earned her MBA from UCCS and transitioned into a position at Current Inc., but when that company sold in the late 1990s, she wanted a new challenge. So she left that job, landed at Junior Achievement and spent 10 productive years in customer service, program development and fundraising.

She took a different leap in 2009 to head the local Susan B. Komen nonprofit, staying there until her next opportunity came in 2012 as chief development officer at Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado, where she has thrived since, from the Waldo Canyon fire to helping some of the state’s poorest rural counties.

“Stacy Poore is a hero to me,” said Lynne Telford, Care and Share’s president and CEO. “She works tirelessly for the people we serve, the staff, the donors and our volunteers. She sees how all the pieces of our organization work together to feed the people of southern Colorado and she honors everyone’s work. It is my great pleasure to work with such a caring and smart woman.”

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Poor said her personal mission statement is “ ‘Yes, and…’. When we say ‘yes, and’ to anything that comes our way, opportunities are abundant. ‘Yes, but’ slows the show somewhat. ‘Maybe’ really means no most times. And ‘no’ of course shuts off all sorts of possibilities. We get further in life, learn more and accomplish more when we say ‘yes, and!’”

As for her best professional accomplishment, Stacy admits it “isn’t really one thing or event. It has been a lifelong journey of learning how to recognize skills, gifts, talents of others and put them to work in accomplishing whatever there is to do. When we bring others on board with what they have to invest, so much more is possible.”

On a personal level, she’s proudest of her sons, whom she raised after early childhood as a single parent. Both went to top-notch colleges and now are pursuing their own dreams: Chris in the ministry, Parker in the fitness world.

“My most significant personal accomplishment has been motherhood,” Stacy said. “I have had the privilege of raising two amazing young men. I have invested more of me, my life, my hopes, dreams and failures, in helping them than I have invested in anything else in my life. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

— Ralph Routon