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Rising Stars 2011

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Rising Stars 2011


Award Winners Julie Abel, Executive Director, Family Life Services.................... 4

Jason Duffy, Marketing Director, Luisa Graff Jewelers.............. 11

Lisa Abuso, Director of Admissions,

Jennifer Eckels, Senior Project Engineer,

Tony LeVeque, Executive VP, Senior Business Development Officer, Central Bancorp, Central Bank and Trust......................... 22

Colorado Technical University....................................................... 4

Gas Planning & Design, Colorado Springs Utilities...................... 12

Adam Linder, Store Manager, Walmart-Super Center #3805... 22

Kirsten Akens, Associate Editor,

Jennifer Elledge, Program Manager, Pikes Peak Sustainable

Christina McGrath, Executive Director,

Colorado Springs Independent...................................................... 5

Lindsey Arkfeld, Executive Director, Kids on Bikes.................... 5 Janet Aust, Senior Account Manager, Lewan & Associates........ 6 Brittany Bermensolo, National Event Manager, Red Energy

Public Relations & Advertising...................................................... 6

Mark Bittle, Business Development Director, Amnet.................. 7 Rebecca Bumgarner, Service Center Manager,

Security Service FCU.................................................................... 8

Mollie Marie Burns, Operations Workflow & Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Freedom Communications, dba The Gazette................................. 8

Business Network, Catamount Institute....................................... 12

Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region...................................... 24

Ashley Fritz, Project Engineer, GE Johnson Construction Company........................................... 13

Amanda Mountain, Regional Director and General Manager,

Lea Geiser-Hayler, Senior Manager, BKD CPAs & Advisors.... 14

Nathan Newbrough, President and CEO,

Jessica Gladney, Operations Supervisor,

Security Service FCU.................................................................. 14

Steven Gold, Assistant Coordinator, Student Disability Services (OASIS), Pikes Peak Community College.................................... 15 Dr. Dyanna Haley-Rezac, Owner/Physical Therapist, Rezac & Associates Physical Therapy, LLC PC........................... 16 Randy L. Halfpop, Certified Financial Planner, Randy L. Halfpop, Financial Planner............................................ 16

Rocky Mountain PBS................................................................. 24

Colorado Springs Philharmonic.................................................. 25

Danielle Newsom, Coordinator, Center for Nonprofit Excellence................................................... 25 Andy O’Riley, VP of Materials Processing, Blue Star Recyclers LLC............................................................. 26

Cyndi Parr, Employment Services Coordinator, Community Outreach................................................................. 26

Champion Windows of Colorado Springs...................................... 9

Etienne Hardre, Principal, Next Exit Advisors.......................... 17

Victoria Selfridge, Director of Marketing, Ent Federal Credit Union............................................................. 27

Lonnie Cramer, Director of Imagining Services &

Janelle Irwin, Assistant Manager, Security Service FCU........... 18

Scott Sufak, Agent, RE/MAX Real Estate Group........................ 27

Orthopedic & Neuro Surgery Service Line, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.......................................................................... 10

Rebecca Keith, AP Biology Teacher,

Gina Taranto, Director of Development, Colorado College........ 28

Lorelle Davies, Director of Auxiliary Services, Pikes Peak Community College.................................................. 10

Nicole Kelley, Director of Operations, OfficeScapes................. 20

Jill Webb, Director of Business Development, Central Bancorp......................................................................... 28

Kevin Davis, Sales and Service Manager U.S. Bank, Briargate Branch....................................................... 11

Stanton Kensinger, Business Development Manager, Blu SKY Restoration Contractors................................................. 20

Jeff Zearfoss, Supervisor/Sommelier, The Broadmoor Hotel................................................................. 29

Matt Colligan, Division Manager, Southern Colorado,

Mesa Ridge HS, Widefield District 3........................................... 18

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For more than 50 years, Security Service Federal Credit Union has been meeting members’ financial needs by offering financial products and services of the utmost value, quality and convenience. SSFCU will continue its dedication to offer members financial soundness, unmatched hours of service, and competitive financial products and services. By providing its members with world-class service, being a good corporate citizen, and hiring top-notch people, SSFCU will continue its success as a credit union and maintain its leadership role in the financial services industry and the communities it serves. The mission of Security Service Federal Credit Union is to provide its members the true benefits of ownership in a financially sound credit union by delivering personalized services of the highest value and quality. SSFCU is recognized as a leader in the credit union industry that has implemented the latest technology to improve convenience and service to its members. Security Service was one of the first to implement online banking, CompuBranch, which is now one of the most popular delivery channels for its members. Security Service Federal Credit Union strives to recruit, train and retain a highquality workforce. With over 1,300 employees, SSFCU is committed to providing quality service and achieving outstanding results to members at all income levels. Security Service Federal Credit Union is not only committed to serving its members’ financial needs, but also serving the communities where it operates. Through volunteerism and corporate sponsorships, SSFCU supports many worthy causes such as the United Way, American Red Cross, USO, Army and Air Force troop recognition programs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and numerous other community and civic programs. In addition, Security Service is an underwriter and offers volunteer support for Public Television stations in Texas.

The Colorado Springs Business Journal takes great pride in introducing its 40 Under 40 Class of 2011. These future leaders of Colorado Springs form the latest cohort in a tradition of Rising Stars that dates back to 1999. The Business Journal is grateful to the Fine Arts Center for granting permission for the award winners to be photographed in its galleries. Photography by Lynn Boutte of Boutte’s Photography.

4 Rising Stars 2011

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Julie Abel Executive Director, Family Life Services “Julie has breathed new life into the organization (Family Life Services) to the benefit of the single moms and their children whom we serve,” Nancy Parker Brummett, a board member, said. “She has built a cohesive leadership team and has successfully integrated the skills of Board members.” Family Life Services, a faith-based nonprofit, offers a two-year residential program for single moms and their children. Clients come with different issues, from homelessness to domestic violence to substance abuse, but all are helped on the road to financial and emotional stability. FLS also offers counseling services to the broader

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Lisa Abuso Director of Admissions, Colorado Technical University

Lisa Abuso always wanted to be a teacher. But after a stint in the classroom, she decided it wasn’t the right fit for her. But since she began working at colleges and as director of admissions for Colorado Technical University, she’s found her sweet spot. “I get to be a coach and trainer to my staff. And I help them change people’s lives every day,” the Colorado native said. Many of CTU’s students are non-traditional. They have jobs and families. “We work with an excellent population. Working with nontraditional students is very, very rewarding. They really want to be here,” she said. Abuso herself graduated from

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and has a master’s degree in business administration from CTU. She plans to pursue a doctorate. She extends her interest in education into her community service, sitting on the advisory board of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Rising Professionals group. “We help young professionals grow and develop. We help them get involved in the city and also become more business savvy,” she said. She earned the Chamber Committee Member of the Year award in 2009. She sees her community involvement as another educational experience. “It is another great way to learn and grow.”

community. “I really appreciate the opportunity to work with this longestablished nonprofit,” Abel said. Abel took the helm at FLS “under challenging circumstances and has provided wisdom beyond her years,” Brummett said. In addition to her management skills, Abel developed two new fundraisers for FLS, which also support local artists, Baubles that Bless and Heritage of Hope Art Show. Before coming to Family Life Services, Abel worked at Care Net, the largest network of crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. She attended Liberty University and Colorado Christian University.

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Rising Stars 2011


Kirsten Akens Associate Editor, Colorado Springs Independent Kirsten Akens, associate editor for the Colorado Springs Independent, won a first place award from the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for her hardhitting story called Sample Problems on teen drug use. One of her goals is to use her writing to get people talking about issues they don’t want to talk about, such as suicide, mental health issues, domestic violence and sexual assault. Her story Give a (Young) Man a Fish, about the link between omega-3 deficiencies and mood disorders, was included in the Sept.-Oct. 2010 edition of the national publication Utne Reader. She is active in the Association of the

Alternative Newsweeklies, Society of Professional Journalists and the American Copy Editors’ Society. Prior to joining the Colorado Springs Independent in 2006, Akens worked at TESSA (formerly the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence). She also owned her own writing and editing firm called Calliope Communications. The Chicago native earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado College. Akens volunteers with the Pikes Peak Peace & Justice Commission, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Justice Watch and Pikes Peak Writers.

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Lindsey Arkfeld Executive Director, Kids on Bikes Lindsey Arkfeld, executive director of Kids on Bikes, is also its first paid staffer. She worked with Kids on Bikes during her time as a program associate in the El Pomar Foundation fellowship program. “It is so gratifying to be building the foundation for this (bike) program, to take it from a great idea to programs that really make a difference,” Arkfeld said. Kids on Bikes has an incentive program (The ABCs for Academics, Behavior and Character) for fifth graders. ABCs allows them to earn a new bike by meeting academic behavior goals. So far 300 kids have earned new bikes. The other program, P.E.D.A.L. gives bikes to kids in need. Arkfeld handles all the nonprofit chores from fundraising, to special events and running the programs. Kids on Bikes has attracted so much atten-

tion, Arkfeld will likely be rolling out chapters in other Colorado cities. The Colorado Springs native is a big sister to a fifth grader. Arkfeld also teaches Junior Achievement to kindergartners. “It is simple things, like identifying coins and why you need to save money,” she said. She personally loves cycling and completed the week-long, 544-mile, 2010 Ride the Rockies. She plans to go again this year. Last year she spent three months traveling in Argentina to learn Spanish. “The Spanish really helps with some of our Spanishspeaking Kids on Bikes families,” she said. Arkfeld graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business.

6 Rising Stars 2011

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Janet Aust Senior Account Manager, Lewan & Associates Aust works with customers on printing and document needs, including special requirements such as large blueprints or plat documents. Lewan, a division of Xerox, is an office equipment dealer and document storage and management company. Aust also mentors new account managers at the firm. Aust won a rare honor at Lewan in 2008. She was both the Rookie of the Year and earned a spot in the President’s Club, based on her sales and performance. Prior to joining Lewan, Aust ran her own residential relocation com-

40 40Brittany Bermensolo under

National Event Manager, Red Energy Public Relations Bermensolo was thrilled to be able to help organize the September 11 Chick-fil-A Ride for Heroes this year as the national event manager for Red Energy Public Relations. The 28- and 11-mile bike rides drew hundreds of riders. They rode to raise money and honor both military personnel and first responders who put their lives on the line to serve and protect the country and Colorado Springs community. The ride ended with a community festival. “It is a really special event,” Bermensolo said. “Brittany has made a significant impact on Red Energy,” Amy Sufak, president of Red Energy Public Relations, said. “She really understands the value of paying it forward to the community.” One of Bermensolo’s passions is

education. She manages the intern program at Red Energy and relishes working with students. “We have an amazing internship program,” she said. She is also proud of her work on the Glass Slipper Ball for Zonta International. Zonta is a service organization that works to advance the status of women worldwide. Education is a pillar of Zonta’s work. Bermensolo is also just finishing her disaster relief training with the American Red Cross, but has not yet been tapped for an emergency. She will help out locally and is also looking forward to assisting if there is a major emergency elsewhere such as a hurricane or earthquake. The Seattle native has a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University.

pany called the Home Hub. She sold it four years ago, right before the real estate bubble burst, and said the sale was “awesome timing.” Aust is active in the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Rising Professionals group. She is a supporter and donor to LifeNetwork, a sanctity of human life ministry that offers assistance to people adversely impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. Aust has a bachelor’s degree in business merchandising from Texas Christian University.

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Rising Stars 2011


Mark Bittle Business Development Director, Amnet Bittle brings his entrepreneurial passion to his job as business development director for Amnet, a local information technology consulting firm. He is the company’s internal business consultant and works on strategic planning, sales processes, work flow and customer care. Bittle also volunteers his expertise at the Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center. The center offers small businesses free consulting and training to grow their business and increase profitability and stability. “It is a really great program for small businesses,” he said. “And, this, really, is my passion, to help small businesses become more efficient,

productive and profitable.” Bittle, an Iowa native, founded a mortgage brokerage business in the Hawkeye State, which led him to become the president of the Iowa Association of Mortgage Brokers in 2006-07. During his 18-month tenure he quadrupled membership. He relished the challenge of leading the group and lobbying in the nation’s capitol “during one of the most challenging times for the industry.” He was Iowa Mortgage Broker of the Year in 2007. Bittle graduated cum laude with bachelor’s degree in communication from Denver’s Regis University. He is an avid soccer player.

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8 Rising Stars 2011

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Rebecca Bumgarner Service Center Manager, Security Service Federal Credit Union Bumgarner got a job in banking at age 19 as a way to put herself through college so she could become a preschool teacher. But she fell in love with banking and it became her career. Now a Fort Carson branch manager, Bumgarner thrives on “helping people achieve their goals, both employees and members,” she said. She also achieves. She set a credit union record by enlisting 687 soldiers from Fort Carson to join the credit union in a single quarter. She also set a record by opening 657 new checking accounts in a quarter. Bumgarner’s husband was in the Air Force, and Bumgarner enjoys

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Mollie Marie Burns

Operations, Workflow and Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Freedom Communications, The Gazette Mollie Burns, operations manager at The Gazette, has been promoted five times in the last five years. “It is something different every day,” she said, “it is really fun.” She has excelled despite her childhood diagnosis of dyslexia. “It was hard to be different in elementary school, to go to a special class,” she said. “But I learned how to learn. I told myself I could do it.” Part of her job is making sure the company is in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, which requires reading OSHA’s impenetrable prose. “I read them out loud,” she said, “it does take time.” She also tracks and

controls the all-important newsprint budget and the paper’s insets and oversees the mail and pressroom, among other duties. Burns sits on the board of nonprofit Early Connections Learning Centers and the alumni advisory board of Leadership Pikes Peak. She also is on the board of the Gazette’s Volunteers in Action and enjoys getting out in the community on its varied projects. “We do something different every month. We paint a school in the summer, or work at the Marian House soup kitchen.” The Colorado Springs native is working toward her degree in business from Pikes Peak Community College.

working with military families. “Some military families need some help with financial literacy,” she said. So she created a financial education program for the Fort Carson soldiers and their families and likes to teach the 90-minute class. Sometimes the families need some one-on-one work. She has helped families restructure debt and repair their credit records, allowing them to deploy without financial worries. She also likes to work with students on financial and business education, and counts Junior Achievement among her favorite volunteer jobs.

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Rising Stars 2011

Matt Colligan Division Manager-Southern Colorado, Champion Windows of Colorado Springs As division manager for Champion Windows of Colorado Springs, Matt Colligan runs the operations of the local office, managing the sales and installation, community involvement, advertising and other operations. Champion recently recognized his efforts by naming him a Grand Master, the highest honor in its performance recognition program called Champion Master Club. “This really is a team award. I could not win this without my excellent staff,” he said. The Chicago native sits on the board of the Care and Share Food Bank and the Better Business Bureau. Colligan created the food-raising “Close the Window on Hunger” campaign, using its marketing budget to raise awareness of hunger last summer. Champion donated food to Care and Share when customers purchased Champion products during the sum-

mer. The result was 69,000 pounds of food or enough for 38,000 meals. The national office of Champion was so impressed, it is looking to roll out “Close the Window on Hunger” nationwide. A similar winter campaign resulted in 250 new bicycles being donated to Christmas Unlimited. “It is important to me to be grounded in doing what is right for customers and to be a good corporate citizen,” Colligan said. “We want to make sure we are solidly rooted in our community.” This spring he is launching a micro-grant program for nonprofits selected by local Champion employees. The father of two used to be a competitive pool player, but has hung up his cue in favor of family hikes and activities. A cancer survivor, he vows to “make the most of each and every day.”

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Wishes to congratulate Jessica Gladney And all the members of the Rising Stars ~40 under 40 Class of 2011 on this well-deserved honor.

Thank you

for your outstanding business leadership and contributions to our community.

Jessica Gladney Operations Supervisor 1910 N Academy Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 80909

13 Colorado Locations • • 866-397-4480 or 719-265-2700 The mission of Security Service Federal Credit Union is to provide its members the true benefits of ownership in a financially sound credit union by delivering personalized services of the highest value and quality.


10 Rising Stars 2011

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Lonnie Cramer Director of Imaging Services, Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services “Lonnie has transformed the Penrose-St. Francis imaging department into a best practice, high performance department,” Penrose Chief Operating Officer Jameson Smith said. “Lonnie is an over-achiever and enjoys growing business for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.” Cramer provides leadership in strategic and daily operations for both clinical and business operations of the orthopedic, neurosurgery service lines and the imaging department. He has earned Center of Excellence sta-

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Lorelle Davies

Director of Auxiliary Services, Pikes Peak Community College Lorelle Davies takes care of student needs at PPCC by making sure the book store, food services, vending machines, automated teller machines and other services run smoothly. The North Dakota native has a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson State University in North Dakota and a master’s in business administration from Colorado Technical University and is a doctoral candidate in management and organizational leadership at the University of Phoenix. She has honed her business skills by spending most of her career at big-box retail stores. Davies also teaches online classes at CTU and Phoenix. “This is a good

opportunity for me to give back to the campuses that gave me so much,” she said. “It is really rewarding to help the students reach their future dreams and goals.” She said the teaching also keeps her own skills fresh. “It keeps me thinking about business skills and management,” she said. Davies is the chair of the Women’s Community Leadership Initiative of Leadership Pikes Peak. She teaches and helps develop the curriculum for these workshops. “This is a great program,” Davies said. “It gives opportunities to women who might not necessarily think of themselves as leaders.”

tus for several of Penrose-St. Francis’ clinical practices. Cramer launched the low-dose CT scan operation and is working to bring a muscolo-skeletal service on board. The Louisiana native has a bachelor’s in healthcare administration from Ottawa University in Kansas and is working on his masters in clinical practice management from Texas Tech. Cramer raises funds and awareness for cancer. His wife had skin cancer and his father is currently battling cancer.

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Rising Stars 2011

Kevin Davis Sales and Service Manager, Chapel Hills Branch, U.S. Bank As sales and service manager for the Chapel Hills branch of U.S. Bank, Kevin Davis works with the tellers and bankers, making sure they reach their goals, and ensures operational changes go smoothly. Davis has worked his way up, starting as a teller at U.S. Bank in 2001 and has been steadily promoted. Although U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. with 3,069 offices in 25 states Davis sees it as decidedly local. “I want to give back as much as I can to the community and also make sure our customers get the best service possible,” he said. He is a board member and event coordinator for U.S. Bank’s Development Network. The local group “puts on programs for employees to develop

personally and professionally and also does community activities,” Davis said. The group has organized teams to paint houses for low-income folks and taught kids financial literacy. Davis won the Community Trustee Award from Leadership Pikes Peak last year for his work on the American Heart Association’s Start Walking project. This project created and installed signs along popular Colorado Springs walking trails. The signs show distance traveled, calories burned and heart health facts. A native of Colorado Springs, Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Western State College of Colorado.

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Jason Duffy Marketing Director, Luisa Graff Jewelers Jason Duffy, marketing director at Luisa Graff Jewelers, is looking forward to his new challenges as the luxury, fine jewelry store expands. This summer, the retailer will move to a new location and nearly double its square footage. “We’ve grown by leaps and bounds, despite the recession,” Duffy said. Duffy is planning a grand opening. He is also working on seminars to educate people about jewelry. “I’m really proud of our team here. They really market hard to get people in the door. They have allowed me to excel in my position. They are so im-

portant to me.” Duffy is also planning a big charity event with Luisa Graff Jewelers, although he was not prepared to talk about that just yet. He has had plenty of experience in working for the community. He and Amanda Mountain, formerly colleagues at the Colorado Springs Gazette, created the Gazette’s Volunteers in Action group. “I am proud of his help in creating the Gazette’s Volunteers in Action group and coordinating monthly volunteer projects all around Colorado Springs,” Mountain said.


12 Rising Stars 2011

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Jennifer Eckels Senior Project Engineer, Gas Planning & Design, Colorado Springs Utilities Even when she was a little girl, Eckles knew she wanted to “work in something to do with math and science.” As a senior project engineer at Colorado Springs Utilities, she certainly got her wish. She makes sure the utility is in compliance with the huge number of state and federal regulations concerning utilities. She designs natural gas stations, works to ensure the safety and efficiency of the gas system and also that everyone stays toasty warm even on the coldest Colorado day. Eckles is also proud to be a steering committee member for the utility’s Community Focus Fund. This group coordinates the company’s volunteer projects in the community and also decides on grants to local nonprofits. “It is a very fun thing. And it makes

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Jennifer Elledge

Program Manager, Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network, Catamount Institute “We must have a healthy relationship with our planet. We can’t just take, take, take and not give back,” Jennifer Elledge, program manager for Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network, said. The Network, part of Catamount Institute, brings networking, information and resources to businesses to help them become more sustainable. PPSBN shows businesses that good environmental stewardship is also profitable. Making a building more energy efficient also cuts costs, Elledge said. PPSBN hosts seminars and gets members working with one another on green projects in their companies. Elledge earned the 2009 Community

Trustee Award from Leadership Pikes Peak for her work on rebranding and renaming the Colorado Springs Child Nurseries to Early Connections. She has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters and others. But she has a very personal cause currently. Her step-brother was “caught in the wrong place at the wrong time” and a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting made him a quadriplegic. She is organizing a community fundraiser and other support for mounting medical bills not covered by insurance. Elledge has a bachelor of science in mass communications/public relations from Colorado State University-Pueblo. Prior to Catamount, she worked at Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

you feel good to be able to do good things in the community,” Eckles said. Her mother’s death from breast cancer galvanized Eckles into becoming a committed fundraiser for cancer organizations. She has helped organize and run multiple races for the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Koman For the Cure, personally raising thousands of dollars. Eckles is an avid runner and has run marathons and completed the 13.5-mile Pikes Peak Ascent race three times. A Texas native, Eckels has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a master’s of business administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

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Rising Stars 2011

Ashley Fritz Project Engineer GE Johnson Construction Co. Ashley Fritz has managed more than $50 million in major construction projects over the last four years, including Colorado State University’s Center for the Arts and the Tri-Lakes YMCA. This Colorado native is a project engineer for GE Johnson Construction Co. and a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Fritz said her five summers as a nanny for four active kids was great preparation for managing complex construction projects. As a nanny, she had to supervise complicated schedules, soothe different personalities and constantly manage the unexpected with grace and grit. One of her most compelling recent


construction projects wasn’t a major downtown building, but a heavy-duty bike shed for homeless youth, done under the auspices of Leadership Pikes Peak. “We ended up with a cool bike storage shed. This is so important for these homeless youth, because bikes are their main form of transportation to get to their jobs and other places.” The bike shed project won her the Community Trustee award from Leadership Pikes Peak. Among her other community commitments is chairing the Promise Ball, a major fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She sits on the board of JDRF. “This organization does great work and they are really wonderful to work with,” Fritz said.





Congratulations to Our Rising Star! Lonnie Cramer Director, Imaging, Spine Care, Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Services

Thanks for all you do Lonnie!


14 Rising Stars 2011

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Lea Geiser-Hayler Senior Manager, BKD CPAs & Advisors Lea Geiser-Hayler, a senior manager at the accounting firm of BDK, admits that these days she is a bit unusual: She has worked at BDK since she graduated from college in 1999. “I love what I do and I love the people I work with,” Hayler said. The feeling is mutual. She was promoted to senior manager last year and is on track to become a partner. Hayler is gratified that her practice at BKD also benefits the community. She works primarily with health care organizations and, increasingly, nonprofit entities. “In Colorado Springs we have some great nonprofits. They have good missions and I am happy to be able to support and help strengthen them.” Her boss, Travis Webb, said, “Lea helps clients with their financial re-

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Jessica Gladney

Operations Supervisor, Security Service Federal Credit Union Jessica Gladney has been with Security Service Federal Credit Union since 2007 and recently was promoted to the position of Operations Supervisor. Gladney worked on restructuring the credit union’s corporate operations manual. She designed a sales program that tripled the sales opportunity referrals for her credit union branch. Gladney really commits to her projects. Security Service is a major sponsor of the Colorado Springs Air Show and Gladney was the credit union’s liaison with the show’s organizers.

Among her many community endeavors, she counts Junior Achievement as one of her favorites. “I go into the schools and teach financial literacy to kids in kindergarten through high school,” she said, “it is a lot of fun,” and, of course, a vitally important topic. She also works with Colorado Springs Marian House, Habitat for Humanity and others. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida State University. Prior to joining Security Service, Gladney worked at Westwood College and Sallie Mae.

porting and overall business strategy. Lea served has served as a host and speaker of BKD’s Not-for-Profit and Government educational seminars and is a coach to several BKD associates as a mentor.” Her move to a more nonprofit-oriented practice also fits well with her personal life. She is the proud mother of a 3-year-old, and her new responsibilities require less travel and time away from her little boy. She and her accountant husband are delighted to take their son on trips to SeaWorld and Disneyland. The Colorado native graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting.

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Steven Gold Assistant Coordinator, Student Disability Services, Pikes Peak Community College As assistant coordinator for student disability services at Pikes Peak Community College, Steven Gold works to makes sure every student with special needs gets the proper academic accommodation so they can succeed in school. Gold also runs the student testing for the office. Gold works with students who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, psychiatric disabilities such as posttraumatic stress disorder or other issues. He secured a $17,000 grant to train PPCC professors how to more effectively teach students with disabilities. “I enjoy helping people reach

their goals,” he said. Gold also sits on the El Paso County Citizen Review Panel for the Colorado Department of Human Services. He won the 2010 Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Rising Professional of the Year award. Gold earned a master’s degree in counseling from University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s in sociology from Colorado State UniversityPueblo. Gold also teaches various psychology classes at PPCC. “I have fun in my day job. But I also love to teach,” he said.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France

Security Service Federal Credit Union

wishes to congratulate Janelle Irwin And all the members of the Rising Stars ~40 under 40 Class of 2011 on this well-deserved honor. Thank you for your outstanding business leadership and contributions to our community.

Janelle Irwin Assistant Manager 5820 Barnes Road Colorado Springs, CO 80922

13 Colorado Locations • • 866-397-4480 or 719-265-2700 The mission of Security Service Federal Credit Union is to provide its members the true benefits of ownership in a financially sound credit union by delivering personalized services of the highest value and quality.

16 Rising Stars 2011

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Dr. Dyanna Haley-Rezac Owner/Physical Therapist, Rezac & Associates Physical Therapy, LLC PC Watching her father’s hard work to make his small business grow, Dyanna Haley vowed she would never go down that road. But that’s exactly what she did. After years of medical internships and working for health care organizations, she launched her own business. “But I was determined to do it differently than my dad,” Haley-Rezac said. “I was going to create a system where I didn’t have to oversee everything. And it was going to be fun.” Rezac & Associates defies the traditional small-business model. Founded by her husband and business partner Dr. Scott Rezac, the company is all about family. Not only do the couple head off to the office together each day, but they take their therapy dogs, Frisco

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Randy L. Halfpop Randy L. Halfpop, Certified Financial Planner

Randy Halfpop’s official title — Financial Planner — does not begin to describe what he does. His stated goal is to be “the most reputable financial planner in Colorado Springs.” But he devotes considerable time to other activities. Among them are Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity, the Air Force Reserve, and the CSU Extension Advisory Board. He can certainly speak knowledgeably about financial planning and proudly about his company’s growth. But you can hear the passion in his voice when he speaks of the need for housing for at-risk families, the satisfaction he gets from his Air Force service, the joys of helping a kid complete a 4H project. It’s fair to say he’s one enthusiastic

and compassionate fellow. “I grew up on a farm in Iowa,” he said, “and you just have those Midwestern values drilled into you from day one. You set goals. You work hard to achieve them. You celebrate their achievement. And you share your good fortune with those who haven’t had the same opportunities.” If he sometimes gets a little carried away with it all, he’s got wife Tina to keep him grounded. “She’s always laughing at me, like when I achieve some goal at work and go out and treat myself to a new shop tool. ‘Why do we need another shop tool, Randy?’ she asks. “But I can’t help it. It’s important to reward yourself,” he said.

and Kona, with them. The office ambience is warm and comforting, with a fire blazing and comfortable furniture scattered about. And then comes the fun: Twice a year, on Cinco de Mayo and Veterans Day, they push back all the furniture and host a festive patient appreciation party. “Everyone shows up, and we have a ball,” she says. With their “dream team” staff in place, the young couple travel for pleasure, and to pursue their other love, teaching. They’ve built a nationwide lecture business, and Haley-Rezac teaches once a week at Regis University in Denver. “The small business community here is so tight knit. Everyone is willing to mentor you and help you succeed,” she says. “We can’t imagine a better place to build a business.”

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Etienne Hardre CPA and Principal, Next Exit Advisors Etienne Hardre spent most of his teen years living in a foster home, an academic standout but a social misfit. He could have emerged embittered or at the least pessimistic. Yet with the support of his foster family and encouragement of the college classmate who would become his wife, Hardre found an ardent optimist within. Good fortune followed. “I keep dreaming things and they keep happening,” he said. “But I really have nothing to do with it. It’s the people around me, the opportunities God has given me — it’s a fun ride and I’m just happy to be along for it!” After he and wife Megan graduated from Southern Oregon University, they moved to Las Vegas. Hardre worked with several large businesses, relentlessly picking his bosses’ brains and

honing his financial management and analysis skills. When their first son was born, they moved to Colorado Springs, where he landed a gig with a public accounting firm, Biggs Kofford. The firm gave him wide-ranging experience. When work there was drying up, he was ready to go it alone. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I saw the rest as preparation for that,” he said. The business clicked from the start. Today, his larger goal is to attract more young people to the Springs. As a board member of the Peak Venture Group, he’s working on launching a young professionals program. “I’m committed to attracting more young people to this town,” he said. “We need that vitality that youth contributes to a community.”


Ke v in Dav is

All of US a p p l a u d i n g you

REPRINTS Display your accomplishments with a reprint for use in marketing promotions, brochures, media kits, trade show and investor materials, sales presentations, and feature on your Web site.


U.S. Bank congratulates one of its employees at the Colorado Springs Chapel Hills office, Kevin Davis, for being recognized by the Colorado Springs Business Journal as a 2011 Rising Star. We applaud Kevin for receiving this honor as a result of his professional accomplishments and his involvement in the community.



or email Member FDIC. 100078


18 Rising Stars 2011

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Janelle Irwin Assistant Manager, Security Service FCU Janelle Irwin comes by her love of community service honestly. Her father is a minister and her mom’s a nurse. As a kid, volunteer work was simply part of life. “I worked in soup kitchens, collected goods for the Salvation Army, helped clean the homes of elderly people — whatever needed to be done,” she said. Now, she combines her college training in financial services with her passion for community service at Security Service Federal Credit Union. “When I was promoted to assistant manager, my manager pushed me to find a way to incorporate community service into my new job,” she said. “I saw that as a huge door opening in my life.” Her response? She put together a team at the credit union to craft a financial literacy program for the

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Rebecca Keith

AP Biology Teacher, Mesa Ridge HS, Widefield District 3 It took a lot of energy and some very good mentors to help newly minted science teacher Rebecca Keith get through her first year as a high school teacher. But once she got a handle on classroom presentation, maintaining discipline and earning the respect of students, she blossomed in the high school environment. “I would never want to teach anything but high school,” says the 6-year veteran teacher. “At Mesa Ridge, the entire staff recognizes the student’s ability to be awesome.” In addition to teaching several Advanced Placement science courses, she coaches the women’s swim team and the local Special Olympics swim team. She’s written a science-based

book targeting middle schoolers, has been published in national science journals and helps her sister, Parks & Rec’s Sarah Bryarly, carve out new public hiking trails. Family has played a major role in Keith’s choice of a career, and in her optimistic outlook on life. Her parents are teachers, and nurtured her love of science from an early age. She’s a huge fan of her sister (“Sarah’s one of my heroes,” she said) and owes her love of Special Olympics sports programs to her Uncle Joey, who has Down syndrome and has competed in a range of sports. “I love coaching the Special Olympics athletes,” she says. “They are so genuine and so happy, so inspirational.”

Marian House Soup Kitchen. While it was originally intended to be a monthly class for Soup Kitchen clients, her team now holds three sessions a month. Next, they plan to offer a Spanish language version. “It’s really cool to see how an understanding of basic financial management can change someone’s life,” Irwin said. Things are hectic these days around the Irwin household. Husband Brady, who works for Carmichael Training Systems, travels quite a bit, leaving Janelle to fly solo as caretaker of baby daughter Katelyn Reese. All this as the Marian House project is gaining momentum. Luckily, her credit union shares her family-friendly outlook on life. “I could not have found a better place to work,” she says. “I feel truly blessed.”

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“Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives…the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.” — Maya Angelou

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Wishes to congratulate Rebecca Bumgarner And all the members of the Rising Stars ~40 under 40 Class of 2011 on this well-deserved honor.

Thank you

for your outstanding business leadership and contributions to our community.

Rebecca Bumgarner Service Center Manager Fort Carson Service Center Bldg 1513 1553 Wetzel Ave Fort Carson, CO 80913

13 Colorado Locations • • 866-397-4480 or 719-265-2700 The mission of Security Service Federal Credit Union is to provide its members the true benefits of ownership in a financially sound credit union by delivering personalized services of the highest value and quality.

Congratulations To all of the 40 under 40 Rising Stars of 2011

Rising Stars 2011

20 Rising Stars 2011

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Nicole Kelley Director of Operations, OfficeScapes Determination and drive — that’s the combination that propelled Nicole Kelley from receptionist to Director of Operations at OfficeScapes — while she was getting her college degree. “I wasn’t sleeping much in those days,” Kelley admits, recalling that hectic seven-year period from 2003 to 2010. “But there was just this drive in me that I had to do it all, no matter what it took.” Kelley grew up in North Dakota. “It is beautiful, but when I turned 19, I just had to get out,” she said. She had an uncle in Colorado Springs. She got in the car and drove here to reinvent herself. “I immediately got a job at Blockbuster. My mom told everyone her daughter was in the movie business,” she said with a laugh. She didn’t stay there long. She

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Stanton Kensinger

Business Development Manager, Blu SKY Restoration Contractors As a youngster, Stanton Kensinger dreamed of becoming a pro hockey player and was a team leader throughout high school and college. “But that old concussion thing kind of changed my plans,” he said. So he turned his competitive nature and leadership skills towards a less dangerous career in business. Now, Blu Sky Restoration Contractors is benefitting from his change in direction. Kensinger radiates optimism and pursues life with gusto. Immediately upon graduation from college in Upstate New York, with hockey behind him, he drove to Alaska for three weeks of wilderness backpacking. “I come from a long line of gogetters,” he said. “We do love a

challenge.” Kensinger recognized the need to find a more adult pursuit once he was safely back in the Springs. When a friend suggested he might be a fit for the new Blu Sky office that was opening a local branch, he jumped at the opportunity. “The sales and marketing parts were actually a lot of fun,” he said. “Got to play some golf. But now, we’re into the nitty gritty of doing the work... Crazy!” These days, he’s more focused on work and family. Yet he still gets in a little hockey. He coached the sport at Fountain Valley School, and he recently scored a goal and notched two assists in a Housing and Building Association charity game.

soon landed the receptionist job at OfficeScapes, but she was hardly content to answer phones. “Peter Husak, the company owner, has always encouraged me to get ahead,” she said. “When I told him I wanted to get my college degree, he helped make it happen.” Kelley got her degree from UCCS and continued to move upwards in the company. Family and friends marked her college graduation in December 2009 with two parties (“One celebration just wasn’t enough!”). Six months later, she was named Director of Operations. Hard work and the chance to prove herself are the secrets to her success at Office Scapes, she said. “I must have done something that made them think I was a good kid who could make a difference.”

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What makes a curious reader? You do.

Read to your child today and inspire a lifelong love of reading.

w w w. r e a d . g o v


22 Rising Stars 2011

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Tony LeVeque Executive VP, Senior Business Development Officer, Central Bancorp, Central Bank and Trust “Find something you’re passionate about. Work hard. Play hard.” That’s Tony LeVeque’s advice to young people entering the workforce. “There’s a tendency for people to feel entitled today,” he said, “but it doesn’t work that way in the job market. You have to earn success.” The executive vice president of Central Bank and Trust has been a self-starter from the day he walked into a bank in San Diego and landed a job as a teller. He and his wife moved to Colorado Springs in 1999 with the bank, which Wells Fargo later acquired. His focus turned to small business lending, and soon his was the most successful SBA Wells office in the U.S.

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Adam Linder

Store Manager, Walmart Super Center #3805 Great bargains notwithstanding, Walmart stores are best known for the commitment to customer service that lies at the heart of the corporate culture. At the Walmart Super Center in Woodland Park, Adam Linder has been the public face of that commitment since the store opened in 2007. He joined Walmart in 1999 as a sales associate. But by 2003, he’d been promoted to management. Then, in 2007, Walmart tossed him a real challenge: Open the Super Center in Woodland Park. Colleagues say he navigated the sometimes tricky waters of a major store opening with a wisdom that seemed beyond his years. Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce President Debbi Miller

said she was at first struck by how young he looked when they met. “But that first assessment quickly gave way to the extreme pleasure of working with someone so competent and cognizant of the challenges that lay ahead for him,” she said. Despite his youth, she said, he forged collaborations to overcome obstacles, and later distinguished himself as a Chamber board member. “Adam’s wisdom far exceeds his youth,” she said. She predicts he’ll make his way to the top corporate hierarchy at Walmart before long. Though a hard worker who loves his job, he makes sure his family doesn’t get short-changed. “It’s family first with me,” he said. “If I’m not at work, you’ll find me with my family.”

But LeVeque wanted a more personal connection with his customers. He left Wells Fargo to get Central Bank and Trust launched. It was a struggle, but he said it was well worth the effort. “No other bank has our depth of background in SBA lending. We compete quite successfully with the big banks at the local level. Our customers know they can call me up and get me on the phone, or stop by the office. Our bankers aren’t in another state, available only by a 1-800 phone number,” he said. Though barely two years into actual operations, Central Bank was the second largest producer of SBA loans in El Paso County last year.

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Blue Star Recyclers

Walmart Congratulates

Would like to congratulate our Rising Star!

Adam Linder reCipient of the Colorado springs Business Journal

2011 Rising Star AwARd

We’re InOpportunity This Together. Equal We Everyone Take That For Personally.

Walmart is fully committed to our journey of diversity and inclusion, but reaching our destination depends on strong partnerships with community organizations and stakeholders. Our achievements are possible because of the new perspectives and expertise our community partners provide. We appreciate their guidance and PERSONAL commitment to our mission.


Best of all, we look forward to everything we can PROJECT achieve together as we continue our journey.

Save money. Live better.

Andy O’Riley VP of Materials Processing

• Creating jobs in our community. • Environmentally ethical electronics recycling. • Secure destruction of data storage devices. • FREE pick up business route. • Convenient consumer drop off locations.

“Greening Colorado through Electronics Recycling” 719.494.4436 • 690 Elkton Drive, Unit B • Colorado Springs, CO 80907

24 Rising Stars 2011

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Christina McGrath Executive Director, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region Christina McGrath grew up in Colorado Springs. But it took going away to college for her to truly appreciate her hometown’s value. “That four years I spent in Ohio at Miami University made me realize how great Colorado Springs was,” she said. At the age of 25, McGrath is the executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. She says everything in her life led up to the chance to direct an arts and culture organization. She attended the Colorado Springs School, where she thrived on the small class sizes and ambitious projects that students can elect to work on. While originally headed toward a career in engineering, she was redirected by an arts teacher at the school. “She convinced me not to abandon

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Amanda Mountain

Regional Director and General Manager, Rocky Mountain PBS Amanda Mountain loves the media business. Why? “Because in media things are never not changing. I love change,” she said. Mountain embraced change at an early age. As a military brat, she moved frequently with her parents. They finally settled in Colorado Springs, where she served as editor in chief of the Doherty High School newspaper and participated in student government at the University of Colorado. After graduation, she landed a job with the Colorado Springs Gazette. Mentors at the newspaper nurtured her budding career. She knew market-

ing was in her blood. She left to form a local marketing/communications firm, then relocated to Los Angeles to work for Viacom. “I wanted to see what it was like to work in a major market,” she said. But L.A. wasn’t her style. She returned to the Springs, and, in 2006, found what she was looking for. The Gazette put her in charge of charitable initiatives and special projects. Late last year, she bid farewell again to the Gazette, accepting the regional director/general manager position at KTSC. “This job allows me to give back to the community, to make an impact on the organization, to actualize my potential,” she said.

my art,” she said. So, when she got to Miami U., she chose architecture over engineering. “Miami’s an amazing university. I loved it. But being away was the best thing for me, because I knew that I belonged here,” she says. An El Pomar fellowship transformed her from budding architect to devotee of the nonprofit world. “Learning through listening is one huge lesson I took away from the experience,” she says. Earlier this year, she was hired by COPPeR. Does she ever wake up and wonder what she’s doing running an organization at her age? “I guess I could look at it that way, but I have such great support from my board and from everyone else around me that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing this alone.”

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Nathan Newbrough President and CEO, Colorado Springs Philharmonic Nathan Newbrough grew up in Virginia as a “band kid.” His early love of music set him on a course for a career in the field. But the profession he eventually chose — well, sort of chose him instead. “I knew when I got to college that I loved music,” said the 36-year-old president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. “I figured I would either be a performer or a teacher.” Yet, as he was realizing neither of those worked for him, he almost stumbled upon the field of arts management. “It was an ‘aha!’ moment for me,” he said. As an orchestra manager, Newbrough could indulge his love of music while managing the affairs of an arts organization. He could examine an orchestra’s operational structure and create a strategy for success.

“As the manager, you strike a balance between great art and good business practices,” he said. He learned the management side at several New York-based orchestras. In 2004 the Amarillo (Texas) Symphony hired him as its executive director. In four years, he oversaw the symphony’s move into a new concert hall, led an international search for a conductor, and notched four sold-out seasons. His greatest challenges awaited him in Colorado Springs. Arriving in 2008, he found the symphony still financially strapped. But with key donor support, and his strategy of “investing in programs and putting killer subscription offers on the table,” subscriptions are up. Artistic accolades pour in as well. The symphony, he says, is “dangerously close” to fiscal health. Those sweet financial notes are music to his ears.

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Coordinator, Center for Nonprofit Excellence When she was a young girl living in Albuquerque, Danielle JenkinsNewsome looked forward to her annual motor home summer vacation with her grandparents. One of her earlier trips was to Colorado. “It was so beautiful, but I never imagined I’d be living here,” she said. She not only lives here now but is working to make a difference in lives of others who live here. As the coordinator for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Jenkins-Newsome describes her work as “helping the people who help the whole community.” She organizes events, workshops, training sessions and networking opportunities aimed designed to inform nonprofit employees and give them the tools to make their organizations

successful. She majored in business and minored in management at UCCS and had an internship at Pikes Peak United Way. That’s where she caught the “helping people” bug. That led her to join the two-person staff at the CNE, where she was quickly thrown in to its whirlwind activities schedule. The CNE’s signature fundraiser is its Nonprofit Day, an all-day event featuring a keynote luncheon speaker. She had to hit the ground running on Nonprofit Day in 2010, but says it was good preparation for this year’s event, which marked the center’s 20th anniversary. “You just learn so much so fast at a place like this,” she says. “You get to do a little of everything.”

26 Rising Stars 2011

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Andy O’Riley Director of Material Processing, Blue Star Recyclers LLC Andy O’Riley has devoted his career to helping find work for people with developmental disabilities. “I have known some of our employees before they had a job and after. It just completely changes them. You see people who never talked, suddenly start talking. It’s incredible,” he said. The Colorado College graduate spent five years finding employers to hire nonprofit Community Intersections’ developmentally delayed clients. While there, he got to know Bill Morris. The friendship blossomed into Blue Star, the company Morris founded a year ago. He hired O’Riley as soon as Blue Star was up and running. “This is has been the best year of my life, working with Bill at Blue Star,” O’Riley said. The company emerged from a concept Morris and O’Riley often dis-

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Cyndi Parr

Employment Services Coordinator, Community Outreach Talking with Cyndi Parr, one gets the feeling she just could not be any happier with her choices of vocation and avocation. By day, Parr is the employment services coordinator for Community Outreach, a nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities find jobs. By night, she can be found at the Dragon Theater, a project of the Club of Arts. Dragon’s casts feature developmentally delayed actors as well as amateur thespians without disabilities. Parr is both director and acting instructor at Club of Arts. She says she’s not sure where the theatrical streak — which also possesses younger sister Angela — comes from. Her mother’s an accountant, her father’s in the semiconductor business. “I’m not sure they understand us, but

they’ve always been very supportive of whatever my sister and I wanted to do,” she said. She also finds time to volunteer with several other nonprofits. She’s a board member with the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. The post allows her to further indulge her love of the local arts community, which, she says, is diverse and rich. She’s board chair of the Chamber Rising Professionals and vice president of the Colorado Association for Persons in Supported Employment. Will her theatrical streak ever lure her away to the bright lights of Broadway? No way, she says. “Not unless the entire company of Dragon Theater goes with me.” She’ll take the mountains, sun and clean air over the bright lights any day.

cussed at Community Intersections. They noticed several of their clients, particularly those with autism, were adept at dismantling computers. They thought that perhaps a small business could be built around their skills. Morris took over a bankrupt business known as Blue Star, and started gathering computers to be disassembled and scrapped. O’Riley’s role is to find buyers for the scrapped parts who will reuse them or dispose of them in an environmentally ethical manner. The concept is working; Blue Star’s workforce has doubled in a year. O’Riley has muscular dystrophy but refuses to let it define his life. “Outlook is everything. I’m not a person to sit at home doing nothing. My goal is to have as big an impact on those around me as I can.”

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Victoria Selfridge Director of Marketing, Ent Federal Credit Union Opportunities to learn, to grow, to succeed and to fail are critical to one’s career. The danger comes in not seizing those opportunities. Victoria Selfridge, director of marketing for Ent Federal Credit Union, is an opportunity seizer. An engineer by training, she was hired by Ent as an Information Technology developer. She quickly got her first opportunity: program Ent’s first online banking system. It was IT, but it was just as much about marketing. She notched her first success — and found she loved the marketing arena. “I never would have guessed I’d end up in marketing, but that is where the opportunities led me,” she said. “You have to follow your opportunities.” Meantime, the credit union was

growing and changing right along with her. In 2005, she played a key role in Ent’s rebranding. “We wanted to change the community’s perceptions about Ent,” she said. “People thought it was for military personnel only.” The rebranding not only required replacement of all marketing related collateral, but an organization-wide cultural shift as well. It worked, and propelled Ent to a leadership role in its marketplace. Today, Selfridge continues to push Ent into new marketing territory. She oversees its aggressive social media program and its signature ad campaigns. On a personal level, the Georgia native is now hooked on the mountains. “I realized one day I was following the local hockey team instead of the Georgia sports teams.” A sure sign she found her home.

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Scott Sufak Agent, RE/MAX Real Estate Group Scott Sufak’s dreams tend to center around what he can do on behalf of others. For instance, one of his life goals is to own his own small plane some day so that he can share the thrill of flight with Make A Wish Foundation children and their families. “I volunteered at a camp for kids with muscular dystrophy,” he said, “and one of the things I did was give them rides in a small plane. Their parents were horrified, but the kids just loved it! It was the greatest feeling ever being up there with them.” The real estate business suits Sufak. He’s always needed a lot of independence and, after he and wife Amy had two children, he found the flexibility of the real estate life allowed him to spend lots of time at home. He’s also a serial entrepreneur. He’s launched

several businesses, and helped Amy start her own small business, Red Energy Public Relations. “My dad had his own business; it was natural for me to follow in his footsteps,” he said. Sufak says he’s a planner by nature, which has helped him succeed in real estate without working enormous hours. “I make a plan for my work and follow through. It’s pretty much that simple. You can be efficient, especially if you listen to your clients and understand what it is they need from you.” Sufak makes sure his schedule includes time for giving back. His top charities include Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and Muscular Dystrophy Association. “Giving back is just part of who I am,” he said.

28 Rising Stars 2011

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Gina Taranto Director of Development, Colorado College Gina Taranto should be Colorado Springs’ official ambassador. She grew up here, attended Palmer High School and then Colorado College, and although she’s left to advance her career, the Springs kept calling her home. She got her first taste of community service while a student at CC. “I knew then that I wanted to find a career in the nonprofit sector,” she said. “It just took me a while to find the right place.” Of course, that place would be — Colorado College. But first, Taranto had to get the experience she needed to come back home. A fellowship through El Pomar led her to the Community Foundation in Fort Collins, where she learned about grantmaking. Next, she went to the “ask” side with the Emergency Family Assistance Association in Boulder.

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Jill Webb Director of Business Development, Central Bancorp Of Rising Star Jill Webb, Central Bancorp Insurance President Steve Schneider said: “She is well accomplished in connecting people.” Schneider’s right — Jill Webb is a connector. The bank didn’t hire her in 2008 for her banking expertise — she didn’t have any. “They needed a good sales person, someone with lots of connections in the community,” she said. “They said they’d teach me the rest. And my role just expanded as I was connecting with more people.” A native of the Springs, Webb had been a recruiter for nearly a decade when Central Bancorp came calling. It was a chance to grow with a locally owned institution, and she jumped

at the chance. After a stint in the title division, she’s in charge of bringing in new business. She’s used the emerging social media platforms to augment her sales skills. She does a lot of connecting on LinkedIn, and has made introductions via Twitter and Facebook. But her strength is in the face-to-face meeting. “Social media is fine for making that initial connection. But people still want to meet you in person. And that’s where I’m pretty good.” Her advice to up-and-comers? Get out and circulate, of course! “You’ve got to take it off line and go live at some point if you really want to connect with someone,” she said.

Then it was on to Laradon, a Denver charity where she was the entire fundraising staff. She took a job with the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s national office in Denver, then moved on to academic fundraising at the University of Colorado Foundation. But she longed to return with her husband and twin boys to the Springs. She called an ex-CC classmate who worked for the college. Any openings? Next thing she knew, her friend quit — and she got her job as director of development. She loves her job and the responsibility for making major gift requests of individuals. It requires a fair amount of travel. But that’s OK. The trip back always leads to the greatest place on earth: Colorado Springs. “You just can’t beat it!” she said.

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Rising Stars 2011


Jeff Zearfoss Supervisor/Sommelier, The Broadmoor Jeff Zearfoss fell in love with the Rocky Mountains at age 12 during a family vacation. But he never could have imagined how his life would change once he finally settled in Colorado. Zearfoss grew up in Pennsylvania and spent his first three years at Penn State studying engineering. Something was missing; he was continually drawn to the hospitality industry. “An early mentor told me then, ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ He made me understand I had to follow my passion. I changed majors the next year and never looked back,” he said. The Broadmoor hired him after graduation. His dream had come true: He was living in the Rockies. In 2009, while working on a project with his Leadership NOW team at

Leadership Pikes Peak, he discovered a new dream: to serve those in need. He worked on the rebranding of the Child Nursery Centers, now the Early Connections Learning Centers. “Everyone loved it, and I just felt wonderful to have been part of it,” he said. Next thing he knew, he was on the board. He loves his work at The Broadmoor. But he says he found his true calling during the Early Connections project. “For some people, their job is their life. For me, my work is something that allows me to do what I truly love: Give back to the community.” His latest dream? To launch his own creative services firm dedicated to serving local nonprofits. That would be his definition of “never working a day in your life.”

Until this happens, start a savings plan. Having money isn’t about dumb luck. It’s about a smart plan. Brew your own coffee, brown bag it to work, pay down that high-interest credit card. Saving just a few dollars a day can translate to literally thousands a year. And that’s a much more reliable pile of gold. Small changes today. Big bucks tomorrow. Go to for more free savings tips.

30 Rising Stars 2011

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The Colorado Springs Business Journal

2010 Rising Stars Alicia Archibald, BETTR Recycling

Tiffany Lachnidt, The Distinctive Group

Aaron Briggs, HB&A

Jonathan Lapworth, Stockman Kast Ryan

Justin Burns, TW Telecom, Inc.

Justin Leveille, The Corundum Group

Gregg Cawlfield, Ent Federal Credit Union

Aimee Liotino, Pikes Peak United Way

Heather Davis Benavidez, Colorado Balloon Classic

Kristen McGee, Northern Churches Care

Julian Flores, Atlas Preparatory School

Mike McNew, McNew and Associates, Inc.

Tami Forero, Forte Events

Jon Rick, Integrated Lawn and Tree Care

Jeremy Fritschy, SGIS

Tammy Rivera, BKD Health Care Group, LLP

Donna Gibson, Pikes Peak United Way

Amber Robinson, West Tech Communications

Hayley Gravette, The Palisades at Broadmoor Park

Matthew Roselle, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies

Melissa Grier, Security Service Federal Credit Union

Carrie Simison-Bitz, Colorado Springs Independent

Clarissa Hobson, Carnick and Company

Jameson Smith, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

Kathryn Houston, Empowering Education Inc.

Duncan Stewart, Colorado Springs Technology Incubator

Lana Janc, KILO-FM and KRXP-FM

Amber Strang, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.

Jill Johnson, Central Bancorp

Timothy Stroh, Source Architechnology Systems

Jessica Johnson-Simmons, Pikes Peak United Way

Michael Suggs, NAI Highland, LLC

Todd Karl, U.S. Bank

Holly Trinidad, Hoff & Leigh Real Estate

2009 Rising Stars Scott Dale Anderson, Scott Anderson Agency LLC

Tyler D. Kraemer, Kraemer, Kendall & Benson LLC

Trinity Bradley-Anderson, Stockman Kast Ryan

David P. Kunstle, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP

Christi-Marie Butler, Colorado College

Peter Maiurro, El Pomar Foundation

Ivy Canady, The Broadmoor

Stephanie Mares, Security Service Federal Credit Union

Brian Chester, Security Service Federal Credit Union

Eleanor Martinez, National Homeland Defense Foundation

Deanna Cordo, American Cancer Society

Judy Mattie-Brackel, Pikes Peak Cargo Secure Inc.

Amber Cote, FutureSelf

Carrie McKee, Pikes Peak United Way

Timothy Cross, Colorado Springs Education Association

Tim Merritt, KKTV

Michael W. Deen, Kraemer, Kendall & Benson LLC

Jay Olson, Ent Federal Credit Union

Deanna DeLarge, The Promenade Shops at Briargate

Kathleen Elizabeth Owings, New England Financial

Amy Dinofrio, Pikes Peak United Way

Matthew Person, Colorado Springs Sky Sox

Natalie Eckhart, Colorado Springs Utilities

David M. Pump, Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Deborah Helton, BiggsKofford P.C.

Crystal Schnurr, Rocky Mountain Materials

Jayme Ann Holligan, Add Staff Inc.

R.D. Trinidad, Hoff & Leigh Commercial Real Estate

Greg Kalkwarf, BKD LLP

Delaney Utterback, KRCC-FM

Sarah Ann Keith, City of Colorado Springs

Sandy Wenger, Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce

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Rising Stars 2011

2008 Rising Stars Donna Billek, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Kristy Milligan, Citizens Project

Chris Blees, BiggsKofford Certified Public Accountants

Amy Folsom Mullaney, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Robert Book, Strategic Financial Partners

Ali Nagel, El Paso County Department of Health and Environment

Brad Brackel, Grubb & Ellis|Quantum Commercial Group

Benecia Newhouse, United States Olympic Committee

Andy Burwell, Merrill Lynch

Una Ng-Brasch, XanGo

Aimee Cox, City of Colorado Springs

Glenda O’Halloran, Nonprofit account supervisor

S. Kato Crews, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP

Ryan Reiff, Assurance Services Manager, BKD, LLP

Steve Czarnecki, United States Golf Association

Sean Reilly, CameronButcher Company

Trevor Dierdorff, Amnet

Shannon Rogers, Palisades at Broadmoor Park

Connie Dudgeon, Colorado College

Shannon Roth, Center for Nonprofit Excellence

Kate Faricy, PRACO Public Relations Advertising Co.

Cherise Selley, Heritage Realty

Wendy Habert, El Paso County Public Trustee’s Office

Cory D. Shultz, U.S. Bank

Douglas K. Habgood, 2008 U.S. Senior Open

Doug Sommer, Focus on the Family

Eric V. Hall, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP

Kathie Spurling, Ent Federal Credit Union

Jennifer Halloway, The Promenade Shops at Briargate

Amy Sufak, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

Patrick Kerscher, Southwestern Commercial Properties

Bettina Swigger, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region

Brad Kreikemeier, Bank of Colorado

Barb Ferrill Van Hoy, Citizens Project

Virjinia Koultchitzka, Alpern Myers Stuart LLC

Matt Vineyard, JE Dunn Construction

Lisanne McNew, Small Business Development Center

Donna Williams, Security Service Federal Credit Union

2007 Rising Stars Clarissa Arellano, Pikes Peak Assn. of Realtors Mark Lester, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Carmen Azzopardi, Griffis/Blessing, Inc. Barbara Horst, Suelt Business Advisors Carrie Lorraine Riffee, Colorado College Nat Timmins, Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care Chris Chippindale, Ent Federal Credit Union Pamela Burnelis, Kaiser Permanente

Kelly Shaffer, ADD STAFF, Inc. Megan Harmon, Garden of the Gods Bank Danielle Summerville, Big Brothers, Big Sisters Rebecca Farrar, City of Colorado Springs Timothy Watson, Strategic Financial Partners Jesse Spaeth, Vectra Bank Colorado Corey Leppert, Wells Fargo Bank

2006 Rising Stars Amy M. Kirlin, UCCS Andrew C. Oyler, Grubb & Ellis Angela Hoyle, Security Service FCU Beth M. Sparks, Keene & Sparks Bob Chastain, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Brian Wagner, Sierra Commercial Real Estate Chris Franz, Intelligent Payload Solutions Dirk Hobbs, Medical Voyce Inc Ellie Collinson, Citizens Project Evan L. Randall, Holland & Hart LLP

Gary A Butterworth, El Pomar Foundation Jessica Turnwald, Fine Arts Center Kelly Parthen, Agilent Technologies Lamar T. Johnson, U.S. Bank Mark Patterson, Stockman Kast Ryan & Co. Marlena Whitt, Air Academy FCU Megan L. Fisher, Center for Nonprofit Excellence Reno J. Reser, Strategic Financial Partners Shawn Keehn, Coldwell Banker Tina-Marie DeWolf, Kaiser Permanente


32 Rising Stars 2011

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2011 Rising Stars