Women of Influence

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

Jimmie Keenan, Evans Army Community Hospital As commander of the Evans U.S. Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, Col. Jimmie Keenan is responsible for the hospital and clinics that meet the medical needs of 66,107 soldiers and their family members. She’s had more than a dozen varied positions in her Army...
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...
Amy Lathen, Board of County Commissioners Amy Lathen, the El Paso County Commissioners chair, will tell you sleep is overrated. “I used to love to sleep in,” she says. “But it just isn’t possible any more. I had to get used to getting less sleep, and you know, you really...
Lynnette Collins, Fourth Judicial District Court When a friend, coworker or even a stranger approaches Lynette Collins and asks for her advice on escaping domestic violence, she won’t get easy answers. Collins, clerk of court for the El Paso Combined Courts, knows from bitter personal experience how difficult it can...
Rose Durham’s love of helping others started early. When her family emigrated from Norway, she was a young girl, but spoke English well and soon became the spokesperson for her family. “I remember my mother crying and reading the family Bible,” she says. “Looking back, I think what incredible sense...
“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” That quote from Eleanor Roosevelt is a favorite of Katherine Gaulke.
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...
Kasia King is inspired and motivated by the bravest people in her life — her parents. “We came here in 1981 as martial law was going into Poland,” she said. “My parents escaped and took me with them. … I can’t imagine the courage it took to leave your family,...
A high school counselor told Kimberly Hessler that she wasn’t college material and should just get married. She has proved that advisor wrong, many times over. As career services manager for SecureSet, a company that trains cybersecurity professionals, Hessler is a tireless advocate who helps graduating students — most of...
As an employee, Liz Jefferson looked for ways to pay forward her experience.
Women in Abigail Ortega’s professionoften find they’re the only female in the room.
Kathryn Young, Colorado Springs City Clerk City Clerk Kathryn Young is rightfully proud of her many achievements since she entered public service three decades ago. But she takes special pride in something that has nothing to do with government — and everything to do with making Colorado Springs a better,...