Women of Influence

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

Gemma Delgaudio’s enthusiasm for life spills out as she speaks, so it’s easy to envision the regional marketing specialist for Pacific Dental Services influencing those around her. The native of Wales is married with a 5-month-old daughter, and her husband is a deployed Army officer. She’s lived in Colorado Springs...
Empathy comes naturally for Melissa Marts. “In my heart, there’s always been this piece dedicated to educating and empowering people,” she said. Formerly the chief programs officer at Care and Share Food Bank, her last position as executive director at Women’s Resource Agency came about organically. “I met staff from Women’s Resource...
Rosenna Bakari moved to Colorado Springs about a year ago, and her work is already making an impact in the community. In 2010, Bakari started Talking Trees in Des Moines, Iowa. The nonprofit organization and website is dedicated to helping and empowering adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and incest. Before...
This year, a record 12,422 students enrolled at UCCS are hoping to earn a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree at the 52-year-old university. In 1976, Susan Szpyrka was just like them — a student working toward a degree. Now she has two from the school and has worked at UCCS...
Colorado Springs native Tara Thomas’ journey to director of Bemis School of Art illustrates her hardworking nature, and the creative path of a true art lover. Thomas has developed the Military Artistic Healing program for veterans and active duty military, and actively works with local organizations focused on at-risk youth. “I’ve...
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...
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...
In the 20 years that LexisNexis legal editor Jane Ard-Smith has lived in Colorado Springs, she’s witnessed many changes in the political, environmental and community landscapes. She’s also been a driving force behind some of them. Between serving as board chairwoman at Citizens Project, which is celebrating its 25th year,...
Presented by Legacy Bank If you know Stephannie Finley Fortune, there’s a good chance she’s asked you if you’re having fun. “I ask that of a lot of people because so many of us forget to have fun!” she said. Fortune is having a good time. The executive director of university partnerships...
Jennifer Dodd is in the business of influencing the younger generation — whether that’s at work or on her own time. The graduate of Widefield High School finds plenty of ways to give back to the community, and says it feels natural after so many helped her achieve success. For...
Two days after Lauren Hug moved to Colorado Springs, she was volunteering at the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center to assist those affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. Hug, who founded the marketing and integrated communications company, HugSpeak, had just moved from Austin, Texas, and was in contract...
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,...