“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”

— Sheryl Sandberg

They’re doing more than surviving. They are thriving. They’ve overcome obstacles as leaders in their fields; they have met the challenges and surmounted them.

Read inside these pages and discover why the Women of Influence committee of former winners picked these 13 women.

Some of them are unconventional; they’ve made their own way. Some are leading in fields that were previously dominated by men. Still others recognized the community needed solutions to a specific problem, so they went out and created the answers.

These are powerful women, and they’ll continue to amaze and impress all of us as they continue in their careers.

We’re also highlighting a Legacy Award winner, someone who received the Woman of Influence recognition in the past and continues to make a lasting impact in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.

This year’s winner is Susan Edmondson, CEO of the Downtown Partnership. When we honored Susan before, she was the executive director of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. Since then, she’s spearheaded a renaissance downtown, one that is focused on making the city’s heart vibrant and alive.

We are delighted to highlight these women’s accomplishments, their goals and their leadership in southern Colorado.

Thank you to the committee who helped make all this happen, each of them phenomenal women in their own spheres: Dr. Rosenna Bakari, Aikta Marcoulier, Stacy Poore, CJ Moore, Rita Burns, Sandy Briggs, Lauren Hug, Rosemary Lytle, Shirley Martinez and Cindy Aubrey.

Thank you to all the women who aren’t sitting idly by watching things happen. Instead, they are taking action to mentor young professionals, to discuss important issues and to find solutions.

Amy Gillentine Sweet


The 2018 Women of Influence

Women of Influence: Susan Edmondson

Women of Influence: Susan Davies

Women of Influence: Katherine Gaulke

Women of Influence: Deborah Hendrix

Women of Influence: Kimberly Hessler

Women of Influence: Elizabeth Jefferson (McMearn)

Women of Influence: Traci Marques

Women of Influence: Jayme McConnollogue

Women of Influence: Kristy Milligan

Women of Influence: Abigail Ortega

Women of Influence: Rosanna Ramponi

Women of Influence: Patricia Randle

Women of Influence: Leah Davis Witherow

Women of Influence: Kristina Wright

2018 Women of Influence nominees

Congratulations to our 2018 nominees! The Women of Influence committee spent hours combing through 49 applications — and every single one of you is a winner. Thank you for being engaged in Colorado Springs, working to change the world and for blazing a trail for the next generation of women leaders. We encourage each of you to continue to follow your passions and keep making a huge difference in Southern Colorado.

  • Dana Barton
  • Beth Buchanan
  • Sarada Connors
  • Anabela Crooks
  • Cari Davis
  • Julie Davis
  • Lacy Desmond
  • Rebecca Diaz
  • Taa Dixon
  • Stephanie Edwards
  • Regina English
  • Khadija Grant
  • Jamie Garcia
  • Torie Giffin
  • Catherine Hammond
  • Lisa Harrington
  • Sarah Jack
  • Peggy Johnson
  • Robin Johnson
  • Lynette Jones
  • Tarah King
  • Katie Lally
  • Bonnie Martinez
  • Nikki McComsey
  • Linda Meredith
  • Tamara Moore
  • Tracy Narvet
  • Marla Novak
  • Kelly Parthen
  • Shelby Pywell
  • Ansley Reese
  • Sally Rothstein
  • Gina Sacripanti
  • Nicola Sapp
  • Joan Selman
  • Courtney Stone
  • Mindy Tygar-Boyd
  • Michelle Vacha

Click here to see Women of Influence from previous years