Women of Influence

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

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,”...
Karla Grazier has served as president and CEO of Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado since April 2010. Hers has been a diverse and interesting career. Starting as a banker in San Francisco, Grazier moved on to head the middle market leveraged buyout group at Wells Fargo in...
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...
Christina Baker, Mortgage Solutions of Colorado Drive, discipline and determination are qualities Christina Baker has never run short on. Whether it was leading troops in Iraq, running trails, giving her time to Project Angel Heart or climbing the ranks of the mortgage industry, Baker always set her sights high. “It started with...
Cindy Fowler, OfficeScapes Cindy Fowler’s courage in the face of adversity has served as an inspiration to many in Colorado Springs. Since her diagnosis with cancer, friends wonder aloud where she finds the strength to not only carry on day by day, but to perform at high levels both at...
Laura Neumann, Cheyenne Mountain Resort Laura Neumann’s can-do attitude is her tour de force, yet her soft-spoken focus comes from a place that is deeply personal. An adopted child of Catholic Charities, Neumann’s desire to help others originates from the caring opportunities she received in early life. From the time she...
Janice Weiland has been playing an influential, behind-the-scenes role in Colorado Springs since she landed here more than 20 years ago. Weiland works as executive vice president of investments for Cascade Investment Group, a firm she joined in 2000. Aside from devoting herself to helping clients manage their portfolios (tax...
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...
Chicago native Lola Woloch doesn’t believe in doing things halfway. She’s all in or not at all — and that philosophy and drive has led the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce to success after success. The CEO of the women’s chamber has a long history of business wins. An...
Mary Fagnant is CEO of Qualtek Manufacturing, a Colorado Springs metal manufacturer that creates components for both the medical and aerospace industries. Making stuff is nothing new to Fagnant. She grew up in a Chicago suburb working in the family business, a food-packaging manufacturer. “I’ve always had manufacturing in my life,”...
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...
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...