A Colorado Springs native, Latrina Ollie is hoping to inspire fellow entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and promote growth in the Southeast.

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Mindi Linscombe came to Colorado Springs in 2004 to complete a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in English as a second language. She worked as a Spanish and ESL teacher in Colorado Springs before starting her bridal boutique, Something New, i…

Local craft brewery and restaurant Cerberus Brewing Co. has cultivated a stellar reputation based on its excellent food, hip atmosphere and, of course, its beer. The man responsible for Cerberus’ brews, head brewer and co-owner Josh Adamski, is a 20-year Springs resident who turned his home-…

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After earning her bachelor’s in history from Regis University, Colorado Springs native Lauren Shakes had the opportunity to move to a town in Brazil and teach English. Then 22 years old, she jumped on the opportunity. But six months in, she was given a choice: The school needed a full-time t…

Located in Southeast Colorado Springs, Kingdom Builders Family Life Center is a nonprofit that provides education and support to victims of domestic violence. Founded in 2013 by executive director Lisa Jenkins, who is herself a survivor of domestic violence, the organization has grown from a…

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Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric Phillips decided to make Colorado Springs his home after 14 years of service in the Army. Phillips is the owner of 3E’s Comedy Club, Colorado Springs’ newest comedy venue, located in Bancorp Plaza on Nevada Avenue.

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Silvia Deen draws inspiration from nature. She enjoys exploring Colorado’s mountains and natural landscapes, observing the way light hits the trees or how scenery changes with the seasons.

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By Christina Cavazos Victoria Atencio loves the simple act of creating. Whether she’s leading a digital marketing campaign for the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, doing graphic design or honing her skills as a photographer, Atencio is dedicated to communicating ideas that will inspire, inform and captivate audiences. “I love all things digital, visual […]

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By Christina Cavazos Alicia Klausmeier has a passion for helping small business owners thrive. “I love helping them get to know their finances, understand their financial statements, and really helping them be successful,” Klausmeier said. “I grew up in Colorado Springs, and this community has grown a lot since then, but we are still very […]

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By Christina Cavazos Karson Gonzales, better known as “Karson with a K,” remembers the day he passed by a skating rink on his way to junior high school and decided to ask if they needed a DJ. “I knew nothing about ‘DJing,’ except for the messing around I had done with my dad’s stereo while […]

Commercial cleaning businesses in Colorado Springs are seeing lots of new and repeat business due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more business owners are hiring professional cleaners to try to provide a safe and disinfected environment for their clients and staff. For many businesses, the crisis has created several unique challenges — […]

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By Christina Cavazos When Vicki Proffit first meets the young women who come to stay at Sarah’s Home, located in Peyton, the executive director knows she has an uphill battle ahead — loving the girls until they learn to love themselves. Those who Proffit encounters are scared and angry when they first arrive, and she […]

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Long before they were business partners, Aubrey Day and Stacy Poore had the nearly identical dream of opening a neighborhood grocery store in one of Colorado Springs’ underserved communities. Coincidentally, they each spoke of that dream to a mutual friend, who recognized the similarities and made an introduction. “She said, ‘Hey! I know somebody else […]

By Christina Cavazos When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Lynn Phillips knew she had to act quickly if her nursing students were going to graduate on time. Amid the pandemic, Phillips believed it was crucially important to graduate nurses who could help create healthier communities. Phillips is a Registered Nurse with a Ph.D. […]

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By Christina Cavazos As Charmas Lee walked the halls of his elementary school alma mater more than 50 years later, he envisioned a program that would help youths today achieve personal and academic success. Lee owns Building Champions, a Colorado Springs business that specializes in personal and professional development in corporate, academic and athletic areas. […]

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By Christina Cavazos Dr. Kenya Lee believes there is an abundance of beauty in the world, and it is her mission to help her clients find it within themselves. “I most enjoy helping my clients feel confident and helping them realize the beauty that exists within them,” said Lee, co-founder and lead doctor of PureLee […]

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When people ask Jarrod Headley, owner and founder of North Park Studios, what he does for a living, his answer is simple: “All things audio.” The California native has been playing music since he was 4 years old, performed and toured in a successful rock band, and has composed and engineered for television, with his […]

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Becca Sickbert has two jobs. She serves as Manitou Springs’ interim economic recovery director and executive director of the Manitou Springs Creative District. As head of the creative district, Sickbert’s job is to promote and strengthen the Manitou Springs arts community. And as interim economic recovery director, she steps into the economic development role held […]

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Abigail Kreuser isn’t technically a Colorado Springs native, but the photographer, gallery owner and entrepreneur has a passion for promoting the city she’s called home since she was 3 years old. Kreuser’s family moved here in 1983 and she later attended Doherty High School, where one of her teachers nurtured her love and talent for […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Compassion and family anchor every business decision Maya Hetman makes. Originally from Gara Muleta, a small town in Ethiopia’s Ch’erch’er Mountains, Hetman fled to France after a Soviet-backed military coup established a junta known as the Derg in 1974. She married an American soldier, with whom she lived in California before moving […]

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By Bridgett Harris Running a successful, family-owned grocery store isn’t easy in an industry dominated by big-box chains with large advertising budgets. To thrive, smaller grocers work hard to create a sense of community, provide personal service and offer products customized to the unique needs of their customers. For two decades, Carniceria Leonela has embraced […]

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By Bridgett Harris If you ask veteran, entrepreneur and community advocate James Flowers about his greatest achievement to date, he won’t pick a moment from his long military career, nor any awards for his work in the community. While he is certainly proud of those accomplishments, he says his biggest achievement lies in the success […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Sharai Johnson wanted to make change — and for her, that meant becoming a police officer. When the South Carolina native had the chance to choose the next duty station with her husband, an active duty soldier, she chose Fort Carson, intending to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. “I was looking […]

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In her early 20s, Esohe Igbinedion got her first taste of the legal system while trying to fight a simple traffic ticket. She remembers the experience was frustrating and nerve-racking and intimidating all at once. “It was really an anxiety-filled situation until I got this attorney that made me feel safe, made me feel heard, […]

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By Bridgett Harris When entrepreneur Ellie RedCloud moved to Germany with her active duty military spouse more than five years ago, she faced a challenge common to most military partners — finding a new job in a new place and trying to reestablish her career. The nomadic nature of military life often means the non-serving […]

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By Bridgett Harris When Candace Woods first came to Colorado Springs at 19, it wasn’t to stick around. She moved here in 2004 to join an international nonprofit organization that focused on relief, youth services and development — in countries all over the world.  Woods spent five years working in countries in Asia, including Thailand, […]

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By Bridgett Harris Marques White doesn’t get too much sleep these days.  By day, he runs Rainy Days Silkscreen Studio, the screen printing shop he assumed ownership of at the end of August 2019. By night, he works full shifts at a local treatment facility while he continues to grow his newly acquired business.  On […]

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Dr. Phoebe Lostroh has been in the thick of the battle against COVID-19 since it first reared its head in El Paso County. A microbiologist, Lostroh has authored a textbook on virology and was a member of the local bridge club where the disease broke out in March. Although she was not involved in the […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Molly McClure took up the family trade. She’s a painter, just like her dad, Riley, and she’s always had a love of portraiture.  Locals may have seen some of the portraits she’s shown in various exhibitions since she became a full-time artist in 2016. But more recently, she’s shifted to larger pieces […]

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  By 1999, Dan Remus and Jef Strauss’ beloved Dalmatian, Geni, was getting old. The two had corporate jobs that kept them away from home for extended periods of time. “We were feeling guilty that she just wasn’t getting quality time with us,” Remus said. “I wanted to leave my job and start a business […]

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By Griffin Swartzell People always think Keyshon Cooks is older than he is — but the new community coordinator for the Colorado Springs Council of Neighbors and Organizations is only 23.  Cooks is a native of Colorado Springs’ Southeast. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s in communications and a minor […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Elizabeth Sottile, manager of member services and events for USA Karate, isn’t a martial arts practitioner. Her background is in sports medicine — she earned her bachelor’s of science degree in sports medicine from Springfield College in Massachusetts — but during her senior year, she realized she wasn’t passionate about being a […]

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By Griffin Swartzell For many, slinging drip coffees and pulling espresso shots is something short term, a summer job after classes for high school and college students. And looking at the numbers, Vicy Stone seems like just that. She was 15 years old when she started working at The Daily Grind, a popular mainstay on […]

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When Michael Canright and Jonathan Barnard started Cabinet Craft Finishes in 2018, the longtime friends saw the cabinet refinishing business as an ideal pairing of their skills. Canright brought his experience in running his own small businesses, as well as carpentry skills. And Barnard, who has a master’s degree in counseling, had people skills and […]

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By Bridgett Harris UCCS philosophy professor Mary Ann Cutter was honored last month for her work advancing women in academia, and for her teaching and scholarly contributions. Winning the 2019-20 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award is another highlight in her distinguished career as an educator. Cutter earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at Georgetown University […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Vanessa Harmoush was bitten by the journalism bug early on, and it gave her a taste for making a difference. The Colorado native worked on school newspapers in middle and high school, and studied journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She started her professional career as a journalist at the […]

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Growing up in the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado, Diego Lujan learned early on the value of hard work. “Anybody that’s familiar with the San Luis Valley knows that you’re raised with a survival mindset,” Lujan said. “If you want something in life, you have to go out and get it.” Lujan said he’s […]

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By Bridgett Harris Amber Ptak is the new CEO for Community Health Partners in Colorado Springs — and her appointment is a new milestone in a career devoted to advancing public health. Ptak grew up just outside of Detroit, and after graduating from high school in 1993, she moved to Kalamazoo and completed a Bachelor […]