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 for five years, after working as a marketing specialist in Wales for two high-profile companies. A year before meeting her husband, the former ballet dancer followed a dream and started a ballet school for young girls.

She attributes that initiative — and the strength to strike out on her own — in part to a tragedy 20 years ago. Her mother died when Delgaudio was 12.

“You have to be strong at a young age, and pick up the pieces and move on with your life,” Delgaudio said. “It was horrific, of course, but learning to be strong has helped my career because you feel you can do anything.”

Her father, who is an electrician and a small-business owner, raised Delgaudio in Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

“My father is very driven,” she said. “I’m the same way and got that from him — and my mother, of course. Daughters want to be like their mothers, and my mother loved to serve, whether it was our family or her community.”

Delgaudio has contributed time and resources to the Thrombosis Charity in the United Kingdom, to fight the blood disorder that created a fatal pulmonary embolism in her mother’s heart. She’s also volunteered for the American Cancer Society, is an ambassador for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, and serves on the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board.

“One of my passions is to serve,” Delgaudio said. “It just fits into my personality. I do that outside of work and inside of work.”

When her husband was transferred to Fort Carson, they moved from Cardiff to Colorado Springs. While volunteering at Children’s Hospital, she took a job with Pacific Dental Services as a receptionist before being promoted.

“Serving is part of what Pacific Dental Services is all about,” she said. “I was desperately seeking a job where I could give back to the community. I wanted it to have a philanthropic feel, and I wanted to serve. I’m able to connect the community with good local dentists.”

Pacific Dental Services has a “Smile Generation Serve Day” where patients who would otherwise not be able to receive treatment are provided free dentistry. In August, PDS served 2,300 of those patients and provided $4.3 million in free dental care.

A. Levi Murray, a dentist in Monument, was one of three who nominated Delgaudio for the Women of Influence Award.

“Gemma has been instrumental in the establishment of my new practice this year,” he wrote. “She played, and continues to play, a key role in helping to establish a community presence through her networking expertise and community involvement. She has a community focused mindset and is always seeking to make mutually beneficial connections.”

Delgaudio said that Stephanie Wootan, the regional manager for the company’s Rocky Mountain region, and Joe Saporito, the regional partner, have been mentors for her. She’s had the opportunity to pass on their wisdom, as well as what she’s experienced, as a mentor.

“Mentoring can truly change a person. It’s not necessarily me, but watching other people have an affect on growing other people is so special,” Delgaudio said. “It doesn’t give you power; it gives you the satisfaction of knowing you helped somebody and you might have changed their path in life. That’s rewarding, for sure.”

— Bob Stephens