Women of Influence

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

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,”...
Family-owned companies are at the core of the Colorado Springs business community. In 2004, Dean Steward decided to retire from his position as CEO and chairman of Heating & Plumbing Engineers Inc., a company his father started in 1947, putting the family tradition in jeopardy. But that’s when his daughter...
Linda Ellegard turned personal struggle into professional triumph — and has helped countless Colorado Springs families along the way. A social worker, Ellegard watched special-needs children placed into foster care for a single reason: Parents were too exhausted and stressed out to do the best for their children. “It wasn’t neglect...
Breaking the glass ceiling as market president of Herring Bank in Colorado Springs, Kristie Bender said the bank seeks to under-promise and over-deliver. “Exceeding expectations and building relationships for a lifetime is what we’re all about,” she said. Her personal mission statement is, “Learn one. Do one. Teach one.” Co-worker Tina Landis...
They come from a variety of backgrounds, not to mention professional careers. Together, the 13 members of the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s 2014 Women of Influence make a statement about the apparently endless supply of remarkable women across the area. The winners, selected by a committee of past honorees from a...
Pat Ellis became executive director of Silver Key in 2011, after having served in leadership roles with Tessa and Cheyenne Village. She’s also worked in private business, and has owned a small business in Colorado Springs. After leaving Tessa, she took a job managing a call center, but found...
Susan Payne has devoted her life to saving the lives of America’s youth. She founded the Safe2Tell program though the Colorado Office of the Attorney General in 2004 as a anti-violence initiative that has since resulted in the prevention of an estimated 1,600 youth suicides, 30 planned school attacks and...
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...
Queen Brown is a woman with a lively career and a refreshing sense of humor. The president of Queen E. Brown and Associates Management Consultants in Colorado Springs started out knowing she wanted to work in “corporate America,” she said laughing while recalling her early life. “My parents were...
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...
An owner of Blakely + Co., Camille Blakely grew up in the advertising industry. Her father owned an advertising agency and brought his work home. “We sat around the dinner table talking about advertising strategy. That was kind of part of my DNA at a very young age,” Blakely said. Later,...
Kristen Christy has been through a stroke at age 15, cancer two years ago and the suicide of her ex-husband in 2008. Having lived through these troubles, she now uses her experiences to help others. “We’re all survivors. We’ve all survived something,” she said. “At the time we go through...