Women of Influence

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

Regina Walter, 4th Judicial District Judge Regina Walter’s fervor for justice is shaping the way people are treated when they and their families come into the region’s court system. “I am absolutely passionate about issues involving fairness and equitable treatment,” she says. She has harnessed that passion into creating concrete programs...
Michelle Vacha, Senior Mobile Dental On a not-infrequent basis, when Michelle Noblet-Vacha’s phone rings, it’s Doris Fix on the other end. “When are you comin’ in, Michelle?” she asks. “I need my teeth cleaned!” Doris Fix, 83, is one of many elderly clients of Senior Mobile Dental, a nonprofit founded by...
Susan Strasbaugh, Strasbaugh Financial Advisory Inc. While growing up, financial planning wasn’t Susan Strasbaugh’s initial career goal. “Numbers always came easily to me, but I wanted to be a therapist or a teacher. But the more I found out about financial planning I realized it’s almost like therapy focused on financial...
Brenda Smith, First Presbyterian Church Brenda Smith’s father died when she was two years old, leaving her mother to raise her and her six older brothers alone. Her mom cleaned houses to support the family. Smith remembers it all fondly, “I had a wonderful mother and we had an enormous...
Pam Shockley-Zalabak, UCCS-University of Colorado Springs Growing up in the tiny farming community of Drummond, Okla. played an important part in forming Dr. Pam Shockley-Zalabak into the leader she is today. “It gave me a strong work ethic, a belief in the power of education, an appreciation for living with many...
Gisela Shanahan, Colorado Springs Airport For the first two phases of her life, Gisela (GEESE-sa-la) Shanahan got to know military bases very well. She grew up as a military brat, moving 10 times as her career Army father put in his 30 years of service. Then she jumped bases 10...
Cari Shaffer, Add Staff If you’re looking for a true woman of the West, Cari Shaffer fits the description. Much of her youth was spent in Nevada and Oregon. In the summer, her family retreated even further into cowboy/cowgirl territory, to her grandparents’ ranch outside of Baker, Ore., nestled between two...
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...
Tamra Rank, U.S. Air Force Academy In a city studded with outstanding military personnel, Col. Tamra Rank, vice superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, stands out. Rank hails from Clarinda, Iowa, a small town that boasts such sons and daughters as Glenn Miller, Marilyn Maxwell and World War II Medal...
Wendy Pifher, Holland & Hart Wendy Pifher’s search for a balanced life has often been complicated by her pursuit of her dreams. Pifher can cite many accomplishments in her legal career. But perhaps her most notable accomplishment is the balance she has achieved despite the demands of her profession. “I don’t...
Lynn Pelz, Peak Vista Community Health Centers Lynn Pelz’s career really started in elementary school. As a Girl Scout, she was energized by the volunteer work of scouting. Her parents stood as strong examples, since they both invested time in non-profit work. “I love working for non-profits, it is my passion,”...
Meredith Patrick Cord, Johnson & Cord, P.C. Striking the work-life balance is a common theme within the legal profession. Sometimes those like Meredith Patrick Cord have trouble getting the balance right even when they make choices designed to do just that. Cord is a Buckeye by birth through and through. Born...