Women of Influence

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

Dee Vazquez, community relations manager, Pikes Peak Library District Dee Vazquez was destined to work at a library. Her grandmother had worked for libraries since the 1930s. Then her mother did, too. Vazquez picked up the torch in 2001 when she joined the Pikes Peak Library District as the marketing coordinator. “My...
Lonzie Symonette, chaplain, Pikes Peak Hospice We sometimes say that leaders are born. The truth is, they are — but generally not on the day of their natural birth. The Rev. Lonzie Symonette clearly recalls the day of her birth as a leader. The year: 1973. “I was sitting in my...
Janet Suthers, executive director, Colorado Springs Leadership Institute If at times it appears that Janet Suthers has a lot on her plate, she comes by multi-tasking honestly. “I’d have to say my mother was far and away the biggest influence on my life,” says the executive director of the Colorado Springs...
Pat Ruffini, executive director, Colorado Springs Teen Court Pat Ruffini thinks it’s a good idea to let teens take the law into their own hands. And she has the statistics to back up her beliefs. She is executive director of the Colorado Springs Teen Court, a program that lets teens charged...
Beth Roalstad, executive director, Women’s Resource Agency Beth Roalstad admits she can be a tough opponent when it comes to debating issues she’s passionate about. That’s because she got many early lessons in debate around the kitchen table while growing up. “My parents and I have always been on opposite sides...
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...
Marcy Morrison, Colorado insurance commissioner Marcy Morrison’s political career started with the Manitou Springs library board. Now, four decades and countless challenges later, she may be headed back to the library board. “I may be out of job here pretty soon,” says the Commissioner of the state Division of Insurance, referring...
Debbie Miller, president, Woodland Park Chamber Debbie Miller’s description of the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce as “chamber heaven” seems an apt description for a “city above the clouds.” The description is more of a personal reference about the organization’s size and proximity to a major metropolis, Colorado Springs, said...
Leslie McGinn, executive director, American Heart Association Leslie McGinn couldn’t have known it at the time, but her sales jobs were the perfect preparation for her move into the nonprofit world. Before arriving in Colorado Springs in 1989, McGinn was a buyer for Macy’s in California, worked at a car dealership...
Shirley Martinez, equal employment specialist, Colorado Springs Utilities For 22 years, Shirley A. Martinez lived in a world defined by perfect order: the military. Though she knew it was time for a change in 2000, she couldn’t have imagined she’d be stepping into a world nuanced by the ambiguity of diversity. Martinez,...
Zelna Joseph, CEO, SET Medical Clinics Zelna Joseph has a long history of being a voice for the underserved in Colorado Springs. Joseph, chief executive officer for SET Family Medical, has used that voice to help the city’s poor, minorities, battered women, troubled teens and now the medically malnourished. “If I’m able,...
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...