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Women of Influence

Honoring Women of Influence in the Colorado Springs community that have numerable professional accomplishments and consistently give back to the community

Jerri Marr, U.S. Forest Service It’s not often that forest supervisors have twitter followers, fan groups, Facebook pages and people urging them to run for president. But most forest supervisors aren’t Jerri Marr. As the supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, part of Marr’s...
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...
Michelle Talarico credited the launch of her success in business to being “young, optimistic and dumb” as a Colorado College student. “It was 1989. I was 23, the co-owner of the Dale Street Café. I loved the hospitality business. There was an opportunity to sell Dale Street, and Kathy (Dreiling)...
Empathy comes naturally for Melissa Marts. “In my heart, there’s always been this piece dedicated to educating and empowering people,” she said. Formerly the chief programs officer at Care and Share Food Bank, her last position as executive director at Women’s Resource Agency came about organically. “I met staff from Women’s Resource...
Breaking the glass ceiling as market president of Herring Bank in Colorado Springs, Kristie Bender said the bank seeks to under-promise and over-deliver. “Exceeding expectations and building relationships for a lifetime is what we’re all about,” she said. Her personal mission statement is, “Learn one. Do one. Teach one.” Co-worker Tina Landis...
Krithika Prashant was in seventh grade in India when she discovered many girls didn’t have the opportunities she had. “I realized that after fourth grade, they have to leave and start working for the family,” she recalls. “I told my mother, ‘Mama, this is not right.’ And she said,...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJHDUjLioGA As general manager of distribution, collection and treatment of both water and wastewater at Colorado Springs Utilities, Leah Ash is one of only three women in the entire department. But that doesn’t bother her. “It’s actually pretty great,” she said. “I’ve worked in a number of different areas at Utilities. I...
Shawnee Huckstep, TechWise Sometimes reality outpaces your dreams. Such was certainly the case with Shawnee Huckstep. “I never expected any of this,” said Huckstep of her international defense contracting company TechWise. “I thought that we’d have a normal small business. Maybe 20 employees. Nothing unusual.” But the small software training company she...
Debbie Chandler, Colorado Springs Health Partners Few industries anticipate as much upheaval over the next few years as health care, and Debbie Chandler, the chief executive of Colorado Springs Heath Partners, is set to lead the change, not react to it. “I’ll admit what health care is going through is daunting,...
Rising to the top was always a goal for Danielle Summerville, executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters Colorado, but what sets her apart is her devotion to lifting others up with her. “Innately I’ve always just wanted to strive for the top,” Summerville said. “... I always felt like...
Cindy Senger, Senger Design Group Cindy Senger, founder and principal of Senger Design Group, grew up on the prairie, in Sioux Falls, S.D. She learned early on from her mother what a prairie woman could accomplish. “My mother was the first female store manager in South Dakota in the history of the...
Jennifer Dodd is in the business of influencing the younger generation — whether that’s at work or on her own time. The graduate of Widefield High School finds plenty of ways to give back to the community, and says it feels natural after so many helped her achieve success. For...