Women of Influence

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

Karen Palus credits her father, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, with instilling in her a “leadership heart.” “My dad set that example well for me,” Palus said. “He always showed me what servant leadership looked like — not only putting your life on the line for your country, but...
As former business relations and employment development director for the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, Dana Barton made a difference in the lives of job seekers. Now, as director of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, she’s making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The common...
Native Coloradan Amber Coté has been a go-to person in the Colorado Springs nonprofit world for more than 20 years — and she’s far from finished. So extensive is her resumé that it might be that of someone a generation older, about to enter a well-deserved retirement. She’s served on...
Stella Hodgkins knows the importance of preparing for the future — and not just because of her background in sustainability. As a sustainability specialist for GE Johnson Construction Company over the past six-plus years, Hodgkins led the company’s efforts to meet the needs of its clientele through ecologically, socially and...
Not long after Cynthia Chung Aki retired from the military and moved to Colorado Springs, she felt a need to give something back to her new community. Since her arrival 21 years ago, she’s volunteered her time serving on numerous boards and committees for city and county government initiatives, as...
Imelda Ruiz is a woman of immense self-confidence — and with good reason. She landed her dream job fresh out of college, worked her way up into a leadership position in a male-dominated field of engineers at Colorado Springs Utilities, and still somehow finds time to volunteer in her faith...
Donna Nelson first arrived in Colorado Springs in 1994 — but not by choice. She was stationed at Fort Carson and, like so many before her, thought that Colorado Springs would be a great place to settle down and start a post-military career. Leaving the Army in 1996, she...
If you don’t ask, the answer is no. If you have a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. That’s the advice Kristen Christy’s mother gave her years ago, and it’s the way she’s lived her life ever since. It hasn’t been easy. Christy has seen far more than her...
Krithika Prashant was in seventh grade in India when she discovered many girls didn’t have the opportunities she had. “I realized that after fourth grade, they have to leave and start working for the family,” she recalls. “I told my mother, ‘Mama, this is not right.’ And she said,...