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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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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 […]

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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 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 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 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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By Griffin Swartzell Claire Sanderson loves being part of the family business. Her mother, Noreen Landis-Tyson, is the president and CEO of local nonprofit Community Partnership for Child Development … giving preschool children a head start. Sanderson started volunteering with the organization when she was a kid. CPCD gave Sanderson her first job as an […]

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It’s hard for Valerie Terrill to predict what she’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis. Her job as community wealth management trust advisor for U.S. Bank has her tackling a variety of tasks and responding to her clients’ needs as they come up, which makes it sound like her job is all reaction. “It can […]

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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 partner agencies, hundreds of […]

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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 of its operations. “I […]

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Sharie Dodge is serious about throwing herself into the great outdoors, whether it’s for her work, her weekends or her wedding. As office manager for the nonprofit Trails & Open Space Coalition, she’s immersed in a range of environmental advocacy efforts, from trail preservation to “green” races to encouraging Coloradans to visit more parks. Outside […]

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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 people with pro bono […]

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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, and eventually landed in […]

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Dynelle Abeyta is a bit of a rarity in Pueblo — she’s a young and skilled professional who has chosen to live and work in the town in which she was born and raised. The 28-year-old communications coordinator for the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce is bucking the trend of the city’s brightest permanently taking […]

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Amber Ljunggren-Chapman first ventured beyond her comfort zone in 2000, when her family moved to Colorado Springs from Pueblo of Laguna, a federally recognized Native American reservation near Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Coming from a place that I knew everybody, I grew up with everybody, I’d had the same friends since I was in kindergarten — […]

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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 I wanted to be […]

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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 ever have that much time […]

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A Southerner at heart, Liz Borris is happiest when she’s uniting people around food, drink and entertainment. “It’s pretty simple, but that’s what it’s all about, right?” said Borris, events and group sales manager at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew on North Tejon Street. Born in Georgia and raised in Tennessee, Borris played three years of […]

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Rachel Beisel has always been fascinated with how things are made, and she knows from experience that life itself is often what you make it. The 35-year-old entrepreneur and senior vice president for CableLabs — a nonprofit research and development company that serves the cable industry — is a self-made woman whose path to success […]

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Jessamyn Jones is breaking down barriers in a heavily male-dominated field. One of four women attorneys at Mulliken Wiener Berg & Jolivet P.C. hired in the past two years, her practice focuses on construction litigation. A native of Boulder, Jones graduated summa cum laude from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a B.A. in political science […]

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Timothy Corner knows the path to getting fit and staying healthy is different for every individual. The techniques that help one person achieve their goals might be totally ineffective on the next. So rather than provide a “cookie-cutter” workout regimen and nutrition guide, the certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist works with each client […]

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Ben Gallegos-Pardo has experienced the stereotyping that, as coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion at Pikes Peak Community College, he’s seeking to overcome. “Yes, there’s been people that have heard me speak Spanish with family members in the store, and immediately have said, ‘Go back to your country,’” he said. But Gallegos-Pardo was born in […]

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Alex Turner faced a career crossroads: athletic training, or beer. It’s three years since she chose beer, and Turner, 28, is now part of the small-but-growing cadre of women brewers in the United States. Three weeks into her new role as assistant brewer for Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, she talked with the Business Journal about […]

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Jeni Kemper hoped dance would take her all over the world — and it did. After earning her bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Arizona, Kemper landed a job performing with the Royal Caribbean cruise line, dancing in exotic locales such as Jamaica and the Bahamas. “And then after two years, I decided that […]

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Like many others, Sami Meyer came to Colorado Springs for sports, but stayed for the people. “You really do get to meet people so quickly here, and the people are genuinely looking to help others succeed,” Meyer said. “I’ve had so many amazing mentors in Colorado Springs.” Meyer, 24, moved from her native California to […]

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Something clicked in young Tarikh Brown’s brain when he opened his first “Luke Cage” comic book, a gift from his aunt. Cage’s initial appearance in 1972’s “Hero for Hire” marked the first black superhero to feature as the protagonist and title character of a comic book. When Brown opened that comic more than a decade […]

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Sam Minneti has worked as project manager and content strategist with Design Rangers for more than five years — or, she likes to say, 15 years in “Millennial time.” Generational humor aside, Design Rangers has been a marker of stability for the 27-year-old Minneti, a Florida native who lived in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington […]

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Morgan Bretzke comes from a long line of helpers. “My grandfather was a doctor and we have a lot of doctors in our family, so we kind of grew up helping people in that way,” Bretzke said. An Arvada native who grew up in New Mexico, Bretzke moved to Colorado Springs two years ago after […]

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Telma Frumholtz was born in France, celebrated her quinceañera in Mexico, and got her high school diploma in Minnesota. So the 26-year-old had no qualms about packing up her car and heading to Colorado Springs, sight unseen. “The week before Thanksgiving [2018], I came out and spent one day visiting apartments and meeting my team, […]

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TerryJosiah Sharpe enlisted in the U.S. Army six days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Six years and two tours in Iraq later, he was ready for something new. “It was great, but it wasn’t the way that I wanted to help the community. I thought that I was going to jump out […]

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The arts community generates more than $153 million in total economic activity in the Pikes Peak region, enriching lives with original, made-in-Colorado-Springs works. It’s a community that Christine Flores has already joined, although she’s still in school. Flores’ drawings in graphite, ink and marker on paper tell stories and illustrate moments from her personal life […]

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Six months ago, Michael Suggs surveyed his fellow patrons during a lunch break at Loyal Coffee with his wife. As his eyes moved from the college students half-hidden behind their laptops, to the suit-clad men and women discussing business matters over cups of espresso, Suggs felt a surge of pride. “I look around, and there’s […]

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For most people, archaeology conjures images of a Harrison Ford type swashbuckling through Egyptian pyramids. Anna Cordova thought so, too — until her first semester at UCCS, when she signed up for two introductory anthropology courses. “The next semester I was taking junior-level archaeology classes — I was just that into it,” said Cordova, 36. […]

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Early in her career, Carolina Yumiseba worked in the casinos of Atlantic City, N.J. “That’s where I learned my customer relationship-management skills,” Yumiseba said. Those skills have been useful in her current job. As integrated marketing consultant for Spanish-language TV network Univisión, Yumiseba helps both Latino- and Anglo-owned businesses find their voices and shape their […]

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Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of the story that appeared in the Aug. 30 print edition of the Business Journal. For most students, heading off to college marks their first bold voyage into the unknown. For Lily Weissgold, though, coming to Colorado College meant reining in her travels.  “I spent the last two […]