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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

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...
Ann Fetsch, former owner of Colorado Classics Furniture, Operation 6035 volunteer As a former business and building owner, Ann Fetsch brings a solid point of view to her current endeavor: environmentally healthy businesses and buildings. “I’ve developed a passion for sustainability, in particular green buildings for a sustainable business community,” said...
Susan Presti, community relations manager, Colorado Springs Utilities Being the face of Colorado Springs Utilities has its advantages, especially when leading a community-improvement activity. In her self-described third career, CSU’s Community Relations Manager Susan Presti has found a perfect fit with a company integral to the city and heavily involved in...
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...
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...
Patty Erjavec took a “giant, giant leap of faith” to become president of Pueblo Community College — and her impact after eight years in the role has been just as great. “Dr. Erjavec encourages her faculty and staff to be creative, innovative and ambitious,” PCC Dean of Arts and Sciences...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSbWqDzgKmk One might think that recent headlines alone perhaps made Judy Mackey one of the Women of Influence honorees for 2013. After all, Mackey helped lead a group of investors that recently purchased the iconic Garden of the Gods Club, returning the facility to local ownership. But that assumption would be...
Mari Sinton-Martinez was born to love Colorado Springs. She comes from a long line of influential area natives — including the founders of Sinton Dairy in Colorado Springs and owners of the Dalton Ranch community in Durango — but determined at a young age she wanted to help the region...
Family-owned companies are at the core of the Colorado Springs business community. In 2004, Dean Steward decided to retire from his position as CEO and chairman of Heating & Plumbing Engineers Inc., a company his father started in 1947, putting the family tradition in jeopardy. But that’s when his daughter...
Since she was a child, Christy Le Lait has been involved in politics. At the age of 14 she volunteered at Planned Parenthood — and her course in life was set. “I had good liberal parents,” she said. “They made sure I was involved.” From acting as a state director of...
Debbie McCarty, Lockheed Martin If a straight shooter is what you need, look no further than Debbie McCarty. The vice president of Space Programs at Lockheed Martin in Colorado Springs specializes in direct communications between her customers and the Lockheed-Martin engineers charged with filling their orders. McCarty applies that directness...
In the 20 years that LexisNexis legal editor Jane Ard-Smith has lived in Colorado Springs, she’s witnessed many changes in the political, environmental and community landscapes. She’s also been a driving force behind some of them. Between serving as board chairwoman at Citizens Project, which is celebrating its 25th year,...