By Bridgett Harris  As a self-described Jill-of-all-trades, Jolie NeSmith brings an array of unique experience to her role as executive director of Pike Ride, Colorado Springs’ first and only nonprofit bike share program. She’s opened restaurants, bartended, worked with at-risk youths and driven all over the southern half of Colorado as the...
By Bridgett Harris Annie Snead has always been devoted to the people of Colorado Springs — and the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased her dedication to the community she loves. As director of marketing and public relations for Pikes Peak United Way, Snead works with dozens of...
By Bridgett Harris Kassidi Gilgenast is passionate about establishing volleyball as the next big sport in the United States. At the beginning of this year, she took on the role of chief marketing officer at USA Volleyball and got to work building out the organization’s marketing team and supporting all areas...
By Bridgett Harris Carrie Clarke stresses innovation, agility and strategic planning in her work with Springs business owners. They’re also tenets the small business consultant and coach abides by in her own career ambitions — which are plentiful. With a background as an attorney and risk advisor, Clarke co-founded Next Level...
Volunteering runs in Britt Kwan’s family. Coming from a Christian background, she was exposed early on to volunteering through her church, and she’s known since she was a teenager that she would pursue a career in the nonprofit world. As executive director of The Justice Center, she pairs low- and moderate-income...
Somehow, Mike Juran knew he would start his own company one day. “I always had that deep in the back of my mind, even if I didn’t admit it,” Juran said. “I didn’t know how or when.” “When” turned out to be 1991. Juran, then an engineer at Hewlett-Packard, was working...
Like many college students, Jamie Bequette wasn’t quite sure where she wanted her career path to take her. “I knew that I wanted to work with people and be outside,” the 35-year-old Missouri native said. Bequette ultimately earned her bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism from the University of Missouri-Columbia,...
Colorado has a shining reputation when it comes to election security, but given recent headlines regarding a malfunctioning app that delayed the results of the Democratic caucuses in Iowa — and of course, the specter of foreign interference in presidential elections — voters justifiably want assurance that votes cast...
When David Prosper was a public school student in Florida, he often felt lost and out of place. The traditional educational model — where teachers lecture students who must later recall information during standardized tests — didn’t seem to work for him. After graduating from high school in Fort Lauderdale, Prosper...
Catherine Hagenbush has built her entire career around food and nonprofits. As an undergraduate student at Hope College in her native Michigan, she interned at a small organic farm, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. “Food is kind of my thing, so I always knew...
Liz Calhoun planned to become a nurse practitioner, but marrying a U.S. Army staff sergeant changed her path. “Every time you look at nursing school, it’s like a three-year commitment — and that’s once you get in,” said Calhoun, facilities coordinator for Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs. “I just don’t...
Cecilia Harry migrated from the Upper Midwest to the Pikes Peak region to join the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC just over a month ago, but she’s already feeling at home. As chief economic development officer, Harry leads the organization’s efforts to attract, expand, retain and support successful businesses and...