Women of Denver Magazine - Summer 2018

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Featuring WHY I STARTED WOMEN OF DENVER How we began and where we're headed



From The Women's Foundation of Colorado

INVISIBLE WOUNDS The aftermath of surviving a mass shooting


r e d n u o F e h t m o r F Letter I believe our superpowers lie within our greatest struggles and fears. In my 2016 TEDx I shared my personal story of feeling a connection to Batman because he used his fear of bats to become strong enough to run with the likes of Wonder Woman and Superman, natural heroes with magical capabilities. In this issue, we highlight several women whose challenges were a catalyst for creativity and are now changing the world through their ideas. As you read these stories, consider how the struggles you face can be used to power your journey, inspire others, or solve unique problems. You might find that within your greatest fear lies a superpower that only you can wield.

Krystal Covington CONNECT @KRYSTALGOLEAD 2 thewomenofdenver.com

2018 SUMMERQUARTERLY Editorial Contributors Joce Blake Anjela Jackson Saralyn Ward Bree Weber Heather Tix Krystal Covington Lisa Christie Phylecia Jones Haylee Powers Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC, Stephen Glitzer, CHWC

4. The Business of Community: Offering Moms What They Need Most 7. The Healing Power of Creativity 9. Energize Your Life: 3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Energy Every Day

Copy Editor Ali Correll Publisher & Layout Designer Krystal Covington

10. Together On the Climb: The Journey of Bold Betties 14. Earn Your Worth: Tips fromLocal Leaders 16. Why I Started Women of Denver

Cover Photographer Lynn Clark

20. Women Can't Wait 39 Years for Equal Pay

Magazine Committee

24. How to Manage Your Money in 2 Hours or Less Each Month

Chairperson: Lynn Clark Susan Golicic Teddi Ann Barry, Esq. Angela Jackson Shauna Armitage Cyndi Stewart Janiece Rendon Tracy Revell Social Media facebook.com/Womenofdenver twitter.com/womenofdenver instagram.com/thewomenofdenver Subscriptions Order an individual issue for $7.99 or join our annual subscription for $27. Visit WODMag.comto subscribe.

26. Upcoming WOD Events 28. WOD Impact Member Spotlight: Victoria Wolf, Victoria's Gluten Free Kitchen 31. How I Support HER Career 32. Invisible Wounds: The Aftermath of Surviving a Mass Shooting 34. 5 Ways to Improve Your Spiritual Wellness 36. Review: Fiction Author Ausma Khan 37. Managing Perceptions: An Interactive Branding Guide 38. Business Tools at the Denver Public Library

Advertising For advertising inquiries contact Krystal@TheWomenofDenver.comor call 720-515-3078.

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The Business of Community The Denver Company Offering Moms What They Need Most Written by Saralyn Ward, lifestyle writer, host of a parenting segment on Colorado?s Everyday Show, and founder of The Mama Sagas. TheMamaSagas.com There is nothing like the moment you hear your child cry for the first time: you shed tears of disbelief, your body trembles with exhaustion and elation, your heart overflows with a love you never knew existed until this very moment. You hear her first cry and it stirs something within the depths of your soul: it's as if you?ve known that cry your entire life. It?s like the aunties and grandmothers and great grandmothers that came before you are suddenly present. In that moment you are life itself: the miracle of birth connects you to a force more powerful than you can comprehend. All at once your future is laid in front of you while you feel your roots deepen like never before. In that exact moment, your priorities shift. Your reality sharpens. Your worry compounds. Your identity expands.

If you are lucky, they put the baby on your chest. Somehow, she already knows who you are. Somehow, she already knows to nurse. You feel her sigh as she settles into your breast. Somehow, she already knows she is home. Acouple days later, they say that you are free to leave. You buckle her in and wonder if you are doing it right. You look both ways 9 times before pulling out of the parking lot. You drive home slow ? like, below the speed limit slow. You get home, take her out, and think, where do I put her? What do we do now?

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The whirlwind starts. There are family and doctor appointments and feedings every 2-3 hours. There are explosions of poop and vomit and an umbilical cord that falls off. There is bleeding ? a lot of bleeding ? and probably stitches too. There is pain, and sometimes stress, as you try to figure out breastfeeding. There is very little sleep. There are moments of bliss peppered into days of exhaustion and anxiety. There are mood shifts, and there is crying - from everyone. It gets hard. You realize, despite all your preparation, you have no effing clue what you are doing. You silently plead, Where are those aunties now? Where is my village?

?People have been having babies for millenia. [At the mama ?hood] we like to take an anthropological approach. So we talk a lot about what we would have done back in the cave. Back then, we would have had other moms around. We would have had support, so it's ingrained in us as a species that we do need help. We do need a community. ?Now, the way we live is in divided family units with everybody in their own separate abodes with their own four walls. You don?t have somebody to [immediately] ask, is this normal? AmI doing this right? Motherhood is a huge task that you have no practice with, and you can?t practice for. You have no idea how it?s going to go or feel no matter how much you read. You need somebody else to ask ?Did this suck this much for you? Because I feel like this is so much harder than anyone told me it would be.?And it feels so much better to hear somebody to say, ?Oh yeah, girl. It?s so hard and it really sucked.?And also for themto say, ?But I promise it gets better. And then it?s gonna get hard again, and then it will get better.??

Motherhood is a huge task that you have no practice with, and you can?t practice for.

The modern postpartumperiod is a unique and challenging time in a woman?s life. At first, there is a revolving door of visitors. But eventually, the visiting stops, her partner goes back to work, and she is suddenly alone with her baby: still trying to find a routine, still healing, still trying to familiarize herself with the quirks of this new housemate and the shift in her own identity. A new, unexpected isolation descends. She has been catapulted from the reality she knew into the brave new world of motherhood, where the stakes are high, the rules change every day, no plan is executed exactly as intended, and where ? rumor has it ? she will instinctively know what to do. But what happens when she doesn?t? ?Women used to have generations of knowledge passed down to them, but we have lost a lot of that. The words ?isolated?and ?lonely? are two of the words that I hear almost every postpartumgroup.? Allison Schneider, co-founder of the mama ?hood, is no stranger to the challenges new moms face.

When they founded the mama ?hood in 2012, Allison and her partners Linda Appel Lipsius and Amanda Ogden, RN, IBCLC, set out to help families find joy, community and support fromconception and beyond. ?There was nowhere to meet other moms in Denver. There is a really great doula network here, but there was no place other than the hospital to go be around other moms and meet people.

Community is the antidote to isolation, and the mama ?hood has figured out the business of community. Parents around the Denver metro area swear by their services: they offer everything from birthing classes to lactation support groups, babywearing class and playgroups to family-centered yoga and a fully stocked boutique. As a result, the mama ?hood is quickly becoming a pillar of the Front Range parenting community. ?It?s really interesting,?says Schneider, ?We have grown 100% by word of mouth. We?ve tried print marketing, we?ve sponsored events, we?ve done all sorts of stuff. But we ask people how they heard of us and 95% say word of mouth.? The mama ?hood?s rapport with parents is no surprise because theirs isn?t just any run-of-the-mill postpartumsupport. The mama ?hood?s biggest draw is the collaborative, expert-guided advice they provide in a judgment-free, inclusive and welcoming environment.

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Their approach makes theman anomaly in a sea of unsolicited and often biased parenting advice. ?We want to meet the momwhere they are. If mama comes in and it?s a disaster and everything?s falling apart we meet her there. If she comes in and everything is going ok except ?This baby isn?t sleeping and I?mgonna lose my mind because I haven?t slept through the night in 6 months,?we are going to figure out what is the best thing that?s going to work at her house, for what her family structure looks like, and we?re not going to tell her one way or the other is better.? Schneider explains that the mama ?hood wants to help women learn to trust what they feel is right for their baby. ?We like to figure out how motherhood is going to work for you and your crazy life. What do you want to do? We are going to help you find the best plan to support whatever that is. So if you decide you don?t want to breastfeed, that it?s too hard, we are going to make that transition the easiest thing that it can be for you. ?Around here, breastfeeding isn?t so precious. We have moms who come to postpartumgroup who are embarrassed that they formula feed their kid. So what we started to drive home with moms is that it?s not the type of food that matters, it?s the place. You have to feed the kid so get the kid some food. What?s more important is that they need to be on your body and they want to be close to you. That?s just as important as what you are putting in their body. Yes, they might not get all those amazing pathogens, but who cares? They need you. Who cares how [they get fed] as long as they have a parent who feels sane and supported. They need a parent who is present and loving and that?s all they need.? As the mama ?hood?s business grows, their loyal community of empowered parents has requested ancillary support, and a way to share their unique blend of support and solutions with a broader population of moms. The company has expanded their reach through several offerings

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including triage support through the Boob Hotline, in-house support, Skype consultations, courier service for breast pumps and products, and most recently, online video classes for parents and caregivers. ?We are trying to expand in a way that allows this non-judgmental, very anthropological approach to reach more people. We want to make it really easy for parents to make all of this crazy stuff work because you don?t know what you?re doing. Nobody knows what they?re doing.? And that?s certainly true: no parent really knows what they are doing. But maybe parenting isn?t actually about knowing what to do. Maybe it?s more about knowing where to go ? to find your community, to gain support, to explore solutions. Lucky for Denver, the mama ?hood is open, waiting for you with open arms.


y t i v i t a e r of C

Written by Heather Lynn, Denver freelance writer and model It?s a warmafternoon when Darlene and I meet up to discuss her recent clothing line. We sip hot coffee in her backyard, our fingers warmed by the hot liquid while steamcircles our nostrils.

Darlene and I first met a year ago when I walked for her at a local fashion show. Denver has become a unique mecca for fashion in the West. The Rocky Mountain city has become populated with entrepreneurs, marijuana connoisseurs, and captivating artists. So, someone like Darlene, who 20 years ago could not have earned a living working in the fashion industry here, is now earning a living and giving back to her community.

Darlene gives me the rundown of her history. After working in New York, she taught in Los Angeles, and was then offered a position at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) here in Denver. Ahuge focus of Darlene?s life revolves around her students, and it is a large part of why she decided to become more closely involved in local fashion shows; to help open doors for students, sparking creativity and artistic design for what is hopefully many years to come.

Giving back to the community has certainly paid off in some surprising and exciting ways. Recently, Darlene was approached by Facebook Watch, an on-demand video watching service that hopes to rival Netflix and Hulu.

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Von Miller, one of the most popular outside linebackers in football today, hosts Von Miller?s Studio 58, a show where Von and his sidekicks find themselves in funny and out of character scenarios. When the show approached Darlene, they were looking for an environment that was creative, fun, and unique in how it highlighted the young athlete. It also benefited her students, who competed against Von and his entourage in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

?I had bought a box of used saris fromIndia before the accident. The box was sitting at my house unopened for a long time.?Darlene further explains her beliefs about sustainable fashion that all her students learn. ?We may not always be able to purchase organic, fair-trade cotton for projects, but we can incorporate at least one thing that creates less impact on our environment. This was my goal when I first bought the box of saris, though it sat there for weeks, untouched.? The box of colorful garbs, traditionally wrapped around Indian women, were bright, tattered, and mis-sharpened. Yet amid the chaos of her new reality, they were brought back to life.

But these exciting experiences have come after a long, tiring, and heartbreaking year. Tragically, last July, Darlene?s son was involved in a horrific car accident that almost claimed his life and that of his father.

When she received the call the weekend of July 4th, Darlene?s life came to an abrupt halt. Her 11-year-old-son was airlifted to the nearest pediatric intensive care unit while his father was rushed to an ICUat another nearby hospital.

Cr eat ivit y r equir es t he cour age t o let go of cer t aint ies.

?When I had finally gotten to the hospital after 6 hours of driving, the pediatric hospital where my son was at did not know where his dad was. Each hospital was focused on saving their respective lives, not keeping track of the other.?

Her voice quivers as she remembers in vivid detail the pain of that day, ?It?s taken single motherhood to a whole new level for me. He couldn?t do the most basic things on his own anymore. It was almost like having a newborn again. He needed me physically and emotionally. I wasn?t sleeping because I was listening for him. I had to be strong for us both.?

And that?s exactly when Darlene?s mind began adapting to its own stress, figuring out how to heal its own pain.

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?Your dress actually came to me in a dream,?Darlene informs me. ?Initially the skirt was going be short, but when I met you and I saw the sari against your eyes, that?s when it became long.?

Erich Fromm, a German psychologist, once said that ?Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.?Perhaps it is just this, the courage to let go of knowing how life would adjust after her son?s injuries, that gave Darlene the strength to create. Or perhaps it was that her mind needed to explore new channels and avenues within itself.

Regardless, creativity was a gift among the wreckage.

Photographer: Evan Jenson Designer: Dr. Darlene C. Ritz Hair: Alyssia Nava Make-Up: Erica Baca Models: Heather Lynn & Audrey Jackson


3 SimpleWays toBoost Your Energy Every Day Written by Jess Bonasso, Burnout Rescue Coach, Author, and Speaker RadiantSelfCare.com As a high-reaching woman in business how many days of the week do you wake up feeling exhausted? Like many women in the workforce, you?ve probably experienced days and sometimes even weeks where you felt exhausted, drained and tired. After all, it requires a lot of energy to rock it in business, come to your family?s rescue, and save the world each day! In fact, in a CDCstudy done in 2013 found that 16% of women age 18 to 44 reported they felt ?very tired,??exhausted,?or otherwise worn out most days, compared with 9% of men in the same age range. Although 16 percent may not seemlike a lot, if fatigue is left unaddressed, it can eventually lead to physical, mental, or emotional burnout that can wipe you out and take away the superpowers that allow you to succeed. To help you reclaimyour energy, here are 3 simple ways you can boost your energy every day: 1. Learn how to set boundaries like a badass. One of the biggest reasons for not having enough energy is that there?s often ?not enough time?in the day to get everything done. Let?s face it, sister. You control what you say yes and no to in your life! If you don?t have enough time, it?s because you?re not setting good boundaries with yourself and others. To address this, only say yes to others when it?s a ?hell yes!?and say yes to yourself more

often. As you eliminate unnecessary activities and commitments fromyour schedule, you?ll free up more time to refuel and recharge. 2. Manage your energy. Although time and task management is important for staying focused and productive, learning how to manage your energy is far more important. For example, if your day and week are full of energy draining activities with minimal energy fueling activities or breaks scattered throughout, you need to begin balancing energy fueling and energy draining activities in your calendar to get your mojo back! 3. Fuel your body, mind, and spirit. To keep fromsacrificing your soul, sanity, and health, it?s also important to make sure you do at least one thing every day to fuel your body, mind, and spirit. For example, getting enough rest, eating at regular intervals, moving your body, and drinking enough water are great ways to fuel your body! You can feed your mind with regular intervals of downtime, relaxation and personal development and you can fuel your spirit with activities that inspire and delight you such as spending time with your family, hanging out with your girlfriends, being creative, or just having good old-fashioned fun! That?s it! With a little practice, you?ll be back to being the badass wonder woman that you are in no time. Reference: Psychology Today

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Together on the Cl imb THE JOURNEY OF BOLD BETTIES Written by Joce Blake Did you know many women feel completely unrestricted when they immerse themselves in the wilderness? According to REI?s 2017 National Study on Women and the Outdoors, nearly three-quarters of women feel they are under more pressure to conformto social norms. It explains why women see the outdoors as a way to escape those pressures and why 72% of women say they feel liberated when they venture out. Changing the face of adventure one woman at a time, Bold Betties serves as a community of wild women exploring the outdoors together. Much like Women of Denver, the organization began as a Colorado Meetup group. These women come fromall walks of life - all shapes, colors, ages, and skill sets, fromvarious stages of life. They share one characteristic: hunger. Whether that be for adventure, exploration or transformation, these women thrived off of the

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commanding force they each owned. The larger mission of Bold Betties is to help change the face of adventure by getting more women outside and providing themwith the inspiration, gear, apparel and planning to make that happen. In such an alluring state, this mission is both ideal and impactful. There is a large misconception that to be outdoors means that you have to be dangling froman upright peak or banish your love for wearing lipstick and heels. By eliminating the intimidation factor, making it affordable, providing a community of adventuresses and using technology to get women away fromthe screens and into the outdoors, this platformmade by women for all women is designed to ignite your inner daredevil. Women of Denver interviewed Founder and CEO, Niki Koubourlis, and she made us realize some of the best views come fromthe hardest climbs.

Your beginnings started with an accelerator program. What did you learn that helped your founding team succeed in expanding nationally? Koubourlis: When Bold Betties entered the Boomtown Tech Accelerator, we were in business for a little over a year and had a completely different business model. At that time, it was more of an eCommerce play and the model was more ?Rent the Runway meets REI.?Our community was around since before I launched the business, and we were regularly going on adventures within the community, but we weren?t monetizing that aspect of the business. At Boomtown, we had the opportunity to conduct thorough customer research. That allowed us to take a step back and really understand where we were truly adding value for the audience we wanted to serve. It became abundantly clear our audience really wanted the community and experiences. The friendships and connections they were making with the other women were adding a lot of value for them. It was so much easier to formthose bonds over the active experiences we were providing as opposed to social events where they normally might meet other women.

markets. Women-led startups sometimes struggle to get funding. Did your team receive startup funding? If so, what would you say was the top strategy that helped you achieve your financial goal?

Koubourlis: We have raised approximately $1Million in funding thus far. $750k of that came in our first Seed Round that we closed in March 2017. We are currently working on our next round. It is indeed difficult as a woman to raise capital. It?s a ?game?that was not designed by or for us, and most of the players are not women. While this was true for a long time when it came to upper management in the corporate world, we now have laws and protections in place to help even that playing field. That isn?t the case when it comes to startup financing, so discrimination is still a major issue. Although in this world, it?s not called discrimination. It?s called ?pattern recognition?or As a woman who has always ?unconscious bias.?Same thing.

operated in male-dominated environments ... I always believed that I could simply work harder, educate myself more, and earn more credentials to accomplish my goals.

Once we realized that, we began focusing on the community and the experiences then the Chapter model we have today emerged. We first expanded to five Chapters within Colorado, and now we have 39 Chapters in 21states and two countries (U.S. and Canada). The experimental mindset they instilled was a huge takeaway fromBoomtown. They taught us to constantly examine the assumptions that were critical to our success and then to deliberately test those assumptions, almost in an effort to ?break? the business. Once we started launching Chapters outside of Colorado, we applied this mindset religiously by choosing locations in hopes of learning if certain assumptions held true in different

As a woman who has always operated in male-dominated environments and didn?t come froma well-connected family, I always believed that I could simply work harder, educate myself more, and earn more credentials to accomplish my goals. Initially, I tried with fundraising, but the sad truth is that this is one of those things in life that truly does come down to who you know, particularly if you are a woman and you are in the early stages with your startup. As a man, you will have better luck convincing strangers to invest in you. As a woman, you and your co-founders are better off mining your networks for potential investors. This will likely change if more women become angel investors, but that isn?t happening quickly.

Celeste Van Rooyen

Each of our investors came through personal networks and the bigger checks came fromthose several degrees removed, meaning distant connections or connections of connections of connections. We spent a lot of time meeting with angels in Colorado and California and I met a lot of smart and interesting people that way. But ultimately our time was better spent mining our networks. We are certainly employing that strategy with this next round we are raising. I amhopeful that our increased traction will make the task easier this time around. What's the story behind the name "Bold Betties"? Koubourlis: I often joke that I chose Bold Betties as the name because it sounded better than Crazy Bitches! Truthfully though, crazy bitches was never under consideration as a name. I had to pick a name very early on, far earlier than I was comfortable. It became an urgent matter when I wanted to start working on a website and had to pick a domain name, and also when I wanted to launch a Meetup group. All of those things were happening at the same time, around the end of March 2014.

I wanted to make it easier for women to explore and adventure together.

All I really knew at that stage was the problemI was wanting to solve. I wanted to make it easier for women to explore and adventure together. I never considered myself a creative person before. In fact, I amextremely analytical and left-brained. In my former career, I was a ?numbers?person and spent most of my time in Microsoft Excel (so much so one of my sisters actually calls me ?Spreadsheet?as a nickname). So naturally, when it came time to pick a name for Bold Betties, I opened up a new workbook in Microsoft Excel. I had no branding background to draw from. I knew the name should

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be something that tells people what the company is or does. It was critical to capture this was for women only and that it was for adventurous women in particular. So I started with two columns in a spreadsheet. One column listed synonyms for adventurous and the other, synonyms for women. After I had my lists completed, I was kind of doing a visual matching exercise, pairing words fromeach column together and trying themout. As soon as the combination of ?Bold? and ?Betties?rolled off my tongue, I got chills. I purchased the domain name within 5 minutes. It just felt right. Of all the decisions I have made in building this business, this is one I have never second-guessed. Can you share a story or moment that made you proud to be part of the organization? Koubourlis: There are countless! At Bold Betties, we are building a company that has the opportunity to positively impact women?s lives. Whenever I see evidence of the good we are doing in the world, that makes me incredibly proud. I love seeing and hearing women share what Bold Betties has meant to them.

Five Rings Financial has been helping Middle Americans for the last thirty-six years achieve their financial goals built on safe money principles. We at Five Rings Financial believe that America has an education problemthat has stopped Middle America frombecoming financially independent simply because we were not taught fundamental money principles. We have the largest teamof female Financial Service leaders in the nation and the fastest growing Financial Service Company in the nation we pride ourselves on changing lives, changing generations of lives and intend to change the financial culture of Middle America. We have trademarked" Wine, Women, and Wealth" financial seminars ANDthe National Award winning money workshop, ?Money 101". We invite you to help us change America. You may access one of our workshops, available to all in Colorado at www.taxfree4me.com and www.fiveringsfinancial.com/education. Follow the events and time zone for the next workshop near you.

Feel free to contact Rudy Garcia E.V.P. or KymColvin E.V.P. listed on this page.

Welcome Home!

Fam ily Fir st Agen cy Ru dy an d Kym 303-349-6706 303-514-7186 Taxf r ee4m e.com

Earn Your


If you're in the cycle of being underpaid, these tips can help you increase your pay and finally earn your worth.

Don't be Afraid to Self-Promote The inability to take credit when it is due is something we can definitely improve on! I've seen a tendency in women, as knee-jerk reaction, to spread the credit around to others even if she was truly responsible for a win. This humble response can feel like the right thing to do in the moment, however this can lessen her impact on or importance to a team, paving the way to be overlooked for a promotion or raise. Chelley Canales, Corporate Relations Manager

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

Work with Your Manager

Focus on Value Remember that a raise is based on ?value? not ?want or need.?Prepare in advance, document the value you bring to your position and the organization, demonstrate how you go above and beyond in terms of additional responsibilities, and research the market value for your position. Once you have those details gathered, schedule the conversation at an opportune time (not during a tight deadline or at the end of a busy day), give advanced notice about the agenda, anticipate objections, create accountability by seeking support, role play if needed, give yourself a big boost of confidence, and then celebrate! Aimee Cohen, CEOat Woman UP!

"If you?re already in the job role, it?s an uphill battle. One approach is to be truthful and convey your desire for upward mobility in salary and to advance your career by jointly developing a plan with your manager. Identify and track your major contributions and accomplishments and quantify with specifics on how you were able to cut costs, increase revenue, or implement systems for efficiencies." Paula McClain, Inclusion Marketing Strategist USTAColorado,


Speaker, Executive Career Coach, Author

Don't Let Your Inner Critic Stop You "Start the conversation! So many women hold back being their own inner critic instead of taking action. Similar to applying for new jobs, promotions or a change, we think we need to check all the boxes before making moves." Natalie Foote, Senior Operations Manager, Agent Care Zillow Group

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WODemblem provided by Ann Kaemingk of Front Range Cutting

WHY I STARTED WOMEN OF DENVER How Women of Denver began and where we?re headed by CEO& Founder, Krystal Covington I remember like it was yesterday. I left my condo carrying bags of event supplies and headed on my way to Fluid Coffee Bar in Uptown where I would soon be hosting the first Women of Denver meeting. I walked in and began setting up the room, nervously rearranging chairs to make sure the experience would be perfect for my arriving guests. I then proceeded to order enough pastries, fruit, and cheese to feed 40 people. Each new arrival could probably sense my apprehension as I tried my best to appear calmin my greeting. I couldn?t believe people showed up. There were five attendees in total, seven if you count my husband and my dad.

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The event was called Sunday Morning Coffee and Conversation, and the topic was about our limiting beliefs, or the stories we believe that hold us back fromachieving our goals. The ladies went home with new ideas for tackling their inner critics, one attendee went home with a lifetime supply of pastries and cheese, and I went home knowing for the first time what my true calling might be. I?d been in the city for only a year, having moved to Denver fromDetroit where I worked in affordable housing helping to fund, build, and market apartment communities in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) programand volunteered with One Brick Detroit helping to coordinate and inspire volunteers supporting a number of nonprofits.

Being an introvert (INTJfor the MBTI nerds out there) made it challenging to meet people, and after numerous failed experiences with other groups it made sense to take ownership of the journey and build the network I wanted to see in my life. The format of facilitated discussions, workshops, and mastermind sessions makes it easy for someone like me to join in, meet others easily, and feel comfortable being open and authentic, so I created the atmosphere that makes me feel most at home.

It all added up to this.

On Sunday's nearly every week I'd dress up in a suit just like my mother and sit in the second pew of the church we attended. Mom was no regular attendee; she took on the role of handling the church accounting after each service, so we had a job to do. After the offering was passed we'd scurry back to the office along with another church leader and begin counting the money. I took the job of rolling coins and I watched as my momhandled the cash and calculations.

I do find it powerful to look back and realize that every experience has led to arriving here.

Nowhere in my life plan did I ever state that I wanted to be the founder of a women?s network, producer of a TVand podcast show, and publisher of a magazine, but apparently I?ve been training for this job all my life.

Frommy college job hosting developmental seminars for freshman at the ?Student Success Center,?to my administrative role planning everything fromcorporate retreats to high-end parties, and my internal communications job where I hosted a weekly show interviewing company executives and sharing updates on the company, my life has offered me an obvious pathway to succeeding in building this business. But my training began even earlier with the mentorship provided by my parents, Roy and Arethia.

Momtaught me how a community leader should look and behave and led me to value volunteering. I also learned how important money is even when the work being done is as personal and spiritual as church service.

Both of my parents pushed me to be a leader to my three sisters as well as an example in our small community. Because of them, I took my role of oldest child extremely seriously and became consumed with the idea of being a role model. I was the kid staying after school to help grade papers and wash the board (yes, we still had chalk in elementary), and participated in educational summer programs for math, science, and leadership. While I don?t believe that our pathways are predestined, I do find it powerful to look back and realize that every experience has led to arriving here and that something I never imagined could be part of my story may very well be part of my legacy.

Why Women of Denver? My father was a factory boiler operator by day, and an avid artist by night. Several walls of our home were decorated with canvas paintings he personally produced. One of the major lessons he instilled in me was to always embrace art and to never be afraid to express myself. His passion for traveling and meeting new people taught me to always seek new moments to grow and learn from others. Any conversation can be a lesson and every experience is an essential part of the journey.

When I first moved to the city I came without a job. I?d spend hours each morning submitting job applications and have the entire afternoon after to roamthe city. Since the 16th Street mall was short walking distance, I?d spend much of my time there and on Larimer Square, watching people pass and blogging for my family and friends back home.

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Fascinated with the Humans of New York series, I was determined to create my own version of their project in Denver and feature people I met on Denver?s car-free strip. The trouble was, I was way too nervous walking up to strangers to go far with the idea.

Instead, I started a blog titled ?The Women of Denver,?and began talking with women about what it means to be a leader. The first interviews were simply three acquaintances I?d met since moving to the city whomI felt were positive role models. Two video experts fromwork helped me filmthe project in my home and I edited the videos myself. After that, I was hooked on the idea of building a platformfor women and began educating myself on all things related to content creation.

Adding cash to the equation. Women of Denver's mission of helping women earn their worth certainly didn't come out of nowhere. As a college student I launched an Ebay brand that auctioned lace front wigs. I began the company selling the wigs sight unseen as customorders, and as the company began to profit I started purchasing and holding inventory based on the top selling units. My father was my first investor, providing $1,000 to purchase my first big inventory, and I was able to double his money in a matter of months.

Desperate to find and keep a job I took the first offer for each new role without asking for additional pay or benefits. After realizing how underpaid I was, I tried three years in a row to renegotiate a salary and each time was unable to succeed in standing my ground. It wasn't until a few years after moving to Denver that I would finally try and succeed thanks to a female manager who understood my plight. Having struggled to earn my worth as both an entrepreneur and a corporate employee, I realize how necessary it is to have access to education to better understand the business world and how to navigate. Many membership organizations are structured for either entrepreneurs or corporate career women, but what my experience has taught me is that in today's market we often find ourselves spending time on both ends of the spectrum. I believe it's needed for us to have experience and understanding of both, in order to build a network that can help us succeed in an entrepreneurial path or help us find jobs when we need one.

As a woman, I believe the ability to truly understand business at every level and the many ways that money is acquired is essential for our freedom.

Eventually the vendors selling the wigs to me began selling directly on Ebay themselves, undercutting my profits and forcing me to sell my remaining inventory at a loss. I was bankrupt. Had I known more about business, I would have been aware of the need to follow and research the industry and could have better planned for the massive transition the industry experienced. After receiving my undergraduate degree I turned to the professional world to build my resume and start earning an adult salary, but in 2008 that was harder than I imagined.

As a woman, I believe the ability to truly understand business at every level and the many ways that money is acquired is essential for our freedom. We can't be trapped in a circumstance if we understand the keys to financial freedomin any environment.

But while earning our worth financially is the goal, we can't fight for ourselves if we don't know how valuable we are. Professional development has no impact without personal growth. I knew the steps to negotiating my pay, but failed repeatedly because I didn't believe in my own value and couldn't project confidence when sitting in the negotiating chair. Women of Denver seeks to provide coaching to help women succeed by not only knowing the steps, but believing they are worth the investment.

Hashtagitude, Ryan Kane 18 thewomenofdenver.com

The road ahead. Although I feel like I?ve been at this for a decade, it?s been only a few years since this journey began. Through the successes and learning lessons what I?ve identified is that there?s truly a need for networks where women can authentically discuss what they need, and find camaraderie in others who can help themin achieving their objectives. Denver already had a strong business networking community and a list of incredible nonprofits serving the mission of helping women progress before we came along. What we offer is something a bit in the middle. WODaspires to be the connector, helping to link Denver women to the resources available and to build a true support network for all women to get the personal and professional development they need to earn their worth as business women, whether in corporate roles or as business owners. Our official mission is to connect and inspire 100,000 women through our educational events and progressive thought-leadership, so they can acquire the knowledge and confidence to earn their worth.


Referrals don't often come from a one-time meeting passing business cards and telling people what you do. Real business connections take time to grow and require demonstrating trustworthiness and mutual support. That's why Women of Denver is focused on long-term connections and collaborative partners.


Experiential learning is important for long-term retention of new information. That's why Women of Denver workshops and events incorporate activities that make knowledge actionable.


Building connections requires us to go deeper -- past the surface level of "What do you do?" That's why we cultivate a culture that prioritizes deeper conversations that go beyond the obvious, so we can quickly build trust and begin truly supporting each other.

As we move into the coming years, we?ll be empowering more leaders to host meetings under our brand, becoming a more powerful voice for women in the community, and creating new and innovative tools to help women network and connect to local resources. I?mproud to be the founder of this community and to be able to say that I have already connected thousands of women through this platformand inspired the same number through the empowering thought-leadership Women of Denver has provided. To say I?mgrateful to all of our supporters would be an understatement. The generosity of the women who have made WODpossible is unbelievable. There are numerous women who have shared consultations with me offering advice to support the growth of this programand who have dedicated their hours to helping me fill in the gaps of my business while I worked a full-time job. There?s no greater gift than the time and support they have offered. As we grow this platformI continue to look to you, our community, to help steer our organization, so we continue to provide timely resources to help you thrive. Thanks for being part of the Women of Denver journey!

Learn more at TheWomenofDenver.com

Written by Lisa Christie, Sr. Director of Communications, The Women?s Foundation of Colorado On Equal Pay Day, little girls accompanied by their mothers gathered around a podiumat a press conference where legislators introduced two new bills that would accelerate the closing of Colorado?s gender pay gap. On the girls?shirts were the ages they would be when Colorado is projected to reach equal pay. The youngest?s read 40. The latest research fromthe Institute for Women?s Policy Research (IWPR) funded by The Women?s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) shows the gender pay gap is not expected to close until 2057. While it has narrowed for some Colorado women since the last report fromIWPRin 2015, there is a significant distance to go to achieve equal pay for all women. Colorado women aged 16 and older who work full-time, year-round earn 86.0 cents on every dollar earned by men who also work full-time, year-round. This is an increase from80.0 cents on the dollar in 2015.


39 YEARS FOR EQUAL PAY 20 thewomenofdenver.com

While this is progress, substantial pay disparities between racial and ethnic groups persist. IWPRreports that Hispanic women earn just 53.5 cents for every dollar earned by white men (the highest earners) and black women earn 63.1cents. ?These trends are troubling because Colorado women and girls of every background and identity deserve the opportunity to prosper,?said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEOof The Women?s Foundation.

would be added to the state?s economy. The findings reinforce the essential work of The Women?s Foundation and its WAGES(Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) work. With the partnership of 23 grantees fromaround the state and the support of WFCO?s communities of giving, WAGESfocuses on programs and policies that boost and maintain economic gains for women and their families.

If Colorado achieved pay equity, an Day, WFCOdeclared support additional $9.2 billion OfornEthequalEqualPayPay for Equal Work Act and that sports icon and equal pay would be added to the announced activist Billie Jean King will be the special guest at its 2018 Annual Luncheon. state?s economy. Women can?t wait another 39 years for

?While our state thrives economically, Hispanic women, one of the fastest growing populations in Colorado, fall further behind and that negatively affects the futures of their families, their communities, our workforce, and our entire state.?

Equal pay for equal work is a win-win situation. IWPRreported in 2015 that if Colorado achieved pay equity, an additional $9.2 billion

equal pay. Come together with WFCOand 3,000 other champions for women?s advancement and help raise critical funds to create change for Colorado women and their families. Tickets, tables, and sponsorships are available now at www.wfco.org.

IRINA VLADA, PCC CERTIFIED WOMEN'S CONFIDENCECOACH ?I believe that self-love is the answer to every challenge in life.? Originally froma small town in the Soviet Union, Irina moved to America when she was 19, with only $200 and speaking little English. Now bilingual, she has three degrees frommultiple institutions and a professional coaching certification. As a foreigner so far fromhome, Irina?s life experiences have taught her how to embrace challenges and fall in love with her story. Irina created a coaching practice that focuses on empowering women by giving themthe tools to embrace their individuality and find their personal truths. By teaching women how become confident, she has given numerous women the ability to identify self-limiting beliefs and manifest the highest vision of themselves. Follow Irina on Instagram & Facebook: @IrinaVladaCoaching Schedule a complimentary session at www.IrinaVladaCoaching.com

MEG SEBASTIAN EVANS INTERIOR DESIGNER Meg Sebastian Interior Design is the only design firmin Denver specializing in residential interior design and staging for homeowners and realtors. Meg started the firmafter working in New York City, Chicago, Vail, and her hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. With a degree fromthe New York School of Interior Design and vast experience with several designers, her projects have traveled across the world. Meg has the experience to help you with your interior design projects, frompaint color consultations and staging your home to sell, to furniture placement, or kitchen and bath renovations. Facebook: @MegSebastianInteriorDesignLLC Instagram: @megsebastianid \ Twitter: @4friendsdesign www.megsebastianinteriordesign.com and www.4friendsdesign.com


TEDDI ANN BARRY, ESQ. FAMILY LAWATTORNEY AND MEDIATOR Teddi Ann is a woman for others, a child advocate, a family law attorney and mediator throughout Colorado. With offices in Cherry Creek, Castle Rock, Thornton, Avon and Steamboat, Teddi Ann has a successful and forward-thinking practice focused on client empowerment and resolution. Her results-driven approach to divorce leads to more creative ideas for settlement and child-centered parenting plans with strong advocacy and transparency during the family law process. She has vast knowledge and experience with high-end asset marital estates, and has developed a professional teamto serve your best interests during a most difficult time. Twitter: @TeddiAnnBarryPC, \ LinkedIn: TeddiAnnBarryEsq., www.DivorceInColorado.com \ www.UnifiedDivorce.org

KRYSTAL COVINGTON, MBA MARKETINGCONSULTANT Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business marketing consultant with over 10 years of progressive experience in the field of communications. Her diverse background offers experience in several industries including real estate, finance, grocery, retail, membership organizations, consulting and tech. Krystal has presented a TEDx Talk, contributes to Forbes, and has been featured in numerous media outlets including the Denver Business Journal. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @KrystalGoLead To learn more visit www.krystalcovington.com


thewomenofdenver.com 23

Fromunexpected medical bills, home repairs, car breakdowns, and the running list of emergencies that we never seemto be prepared for, it can always feel as if you are three steps behind your finances instead of being ahead.

According to a survey by Bankrate, many other Americans are in the same position. 57% can barely afford to cover a $500 emergency and only 39% of Americans would be able to cover the same cost from their savings account. With so much pressure to be great with money and to have our dollars stretched more and more each day, it is easy for many to lose confidence and choose avoidance when it comes to money.

By establishing the easy-to-follow 1st & 15th money management system, you can banish the stress of money management, eliminate unnecessary spending, have more savings, and avoid increasing debt. Follow these three simple steps and you will be ahead of your money in two hours or less each month.

Written by Phylecia Jones, Budgetologist & Solopreneur Money Management Expert keepupwithmrsjones.com

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HOWTO MANAGE YOUR MONEY in 2 Hours or Less Each Month


Circle the 1st and 15th day of each month on your calendar Systems and processes are not just for big business! They are the lifeblood of being effective and efficient with money management. That is why it must be on your calendar! Every 1st and 15th of the month, schedule one hour, between 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. and look at the overall status of your money.

Evaluate how much went out and what came in last month


When controllable expenses eat away at your bank account each month, it is easy to become frustrated. Analyze monthly subscriptions, review unexplained charges, and look at the small expenses that add up. If you are not sure where to start, begin with your meals and entertainment. The occasional happy hour with friends, $5 download, or quick trip to your favorite superstore adds up fast!

Look ahead and plan the current month?s expenses


Stop making up imaginary budgeting items and plan for what you are actually going to spend money on! Estimate how much of your money will go toward expenses, savings, debt repayment and track the amount of money coming into your bank account for the current month. This simple step of planning the future with your finances gives you more control on where your money is going.

In the end, it may seemas though managing money requires a degree in finance, but it really takes a few simple steps to stay ahead. Are you willing to take those small steps? If you find yourself pushing your money management duties to another day, you will be in the situation that many Americans are facing right now: unable to handle small financial emergencies and entering into debt to stay afloat each month. Having a plan to manage your finances monthly will help control unnecessary spending, avoid increasing debt, and put more money in your savings account. The 1st & 15th systemwill put you on track to financial success and instantly set you apart fromthe rest.

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Wednesday, June 13 from 6-8 p.m. Strategic Mastermind Session Led by Krystal Covington, MBA Sometimes we just need someone new to put things into perspective and help us find a solution we hadn't come up with yet. Come with an idea or a problemyou'd like to solve with the group, or join us as a solution provider to support others.

Thursday, June 21 from 6-8 p.m. The Brand of You: Igniting Your Presence, Purpose and Profile as a Thought Leader Led by Kami Guildner, Founder of Extraordinary Women RadioTM and Extraordinary Women ConnectTM You will determine your personal Thought Leader Brand Type, so that you can develop a content strategy to share YOUwith the world! Kami will give you real world tips on how to play a bigger game and up-level what you?re putting out into the world, so you are seen, heard and making an impact leading the change you desire.

Wednesday, July 11 from 6-8 p.m. Badassery in the Boardroom Led by Krystal Covington and featuring Olivia Omega, Wallace Marketing Group and Amy Collette, Positively Powered When was the last time you stopped to celebrate your wins? Badassery in the Boardroomis a community space where women gather to share success stories, build each other up, and share resources to take the next step.

Thursday, July 19 from 6-8 p.m. Top 10 Hot Topics of Business Led by Noreen Wilson, Operation Hope Does having ?Good?credit matter anymore? How do you account for the money flowing through your business? How do you handle the roadblocks and detours on your journey to being an entrepreneur? Learn the answers to these questions and get started with building a solid foundation for your small enterprise.

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Thursday, August 2 from noon to 1 p.m. Rise With Purpose: Leading With All You Are Led by Lori Heisler, Greater Good Institute Change has to come through intentional efforts and the only way to create change in is for us to rise and become the leaders we want to see. This training will help you develop your leadership philosophy by unveiling the beliefs, behaviors, and practices you're operating by.

Wednesday, August 8 from 6-8 p.m. Strategic Mastermind Session Led by Krystal Covington, MBA Sometimes we just need someone new to put things into perspective and help us find a solution we hadn't come up with yet. Come with an idea or a problemyou'd like to solve with the group, or join us as a solution provider to support others.

Thursday, August 16 from 6-8 p.m. Learn How the Experts Leverage LinkedIn Led by Karen Albert, Behind Your Curtain LinkedIn is a powerful tool for business, but getting the most out of it takes planning. In this workshop you'll learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to get more exposure, attract job recruiters, and garner more leads for your business.

Thursday, September 6 from noon to 1 p.m. A Simple Marketing Strategy for Boosting Revenues Led by Shauna Armitage, Making Moxie Most business owners know what tools are out there to manage their business marketing, but knowing how to use themeffectively can still be a challenge. In this programwe'll discuss how to market effectively, and build a community of brand advocates that buy fromyou again and again.

Thursday, September 8 from 5-8 p.m. Women of Denver Quarterly Networking Party Led by Krystal Covington, MBA Get inspired, build new connections, and learn fromlocal experts at the Women of Denver quarterly networking party. Our event starts with open networking, then we come together for a special guest speaker making a powerful impact, a panel of local experts, and activities that bring our learning to life.

Ryan Kane, Hashtagitude

With the growth in popularity of specialty diets like Gluten Free, Victoria and her husband Rich, have made a name for themselves as an artisan baking company in a wildly growing niche. With their combined background in the food and marketing industries, they?ve been able to create a brand that attracts raving fans, and develop a product line that has seen triple digit numbers in growth every year since their launch. Despite the tremendous growth of Victoria's Gluten-Free Kitchen (formerly, The Gluten Free Explorer), it wasn?t an overnight success. Victoria talks about how they got their start, the biggest challenges they faced, and what they learned along the way ? plus a sneak peak at what?s coming down the pipeline this year.


WODIMPACTMEMBERSPOTLIGHT VICTORIA WOLF, CEO & FOUNDER OF VICTORIA'S GLUTEN-FREE KITCHEN Written by Bree Weber, content writer, publishing expert, and founder of Pig Pilots. fly.pigpilots.com

What was your original inspiration for launching Victoria's Gluten-Free Kitchen? In March of 2007 I went gluten-free, and my body was so happy! It was a tough couple years at first, but I learned to adapt. In 2010 I went dairy-free, and my body loved me again. I was managing the lifestyle well by cooking much of what I ate, but in order to satisfy my cravings for pizza and bread, I purchased gluten-free (GF) products fromthe store - Udi?s and other brands hoping to get back some of what I lost. Rich and I met in 2013, and he had been cooking since he was nine ? same as me. He loved food and had been in the food industry in varying roles for most of his career. He had an appreciation for good food, and also wanted to support my gluten- and dairy-free lifestyle. He saw it as the ultimate cooking challenge, but was certain he did not want to give up the foods he loved, especially pizza. I felt the same way, however the options available at the time (pre-made crusts, mixes, etc) were nothing like the pizza I remembered. Rich tried all the available options and his resounding opinion was ?yuck?to put it mildly ? not dissimilar frommine. He suggested we make our own. I had been GFfor six years without getting into baking and I was not interested. I was just discovering my passion for food and did not have much confidence in my ability and the prospect of creating a pizza crust ? something I knew nothing about ? scared me to my core. Rich kept saying, but it's pizza! And, because he knows me well enough to know when and how to push me to be more than I think I can, I agreed.

Ryan Kane, Hashtagitude 28 thewomenofdenver.com

I had never baked before, so I had a lot to learn. I loved it and was completely hooked after my first few attempts. I kept making pizza after pizza, and after about six months we felt we had a good pizza crust, and knew it was time to share it with others. We served it to our non-gluten-free friends and they all were blown away with the it, saying they would have never known it was GF. That?s when we knew we had something special, and decided to start the company. The Gluten Free Explorer, now Victoria's Gluten-Free Kitchen, was originally a company I started in 2012 with the intent to write a GFtravel book. I never did write the book, but I already had the name, website, and company. We decided to re-brand it as a product company. What did you learn about getting started with a food product? Did you take classes or find a mentor? Rich and I both had years of home cooking experience and were always learning more; it was our hobby. Having a good palate helped, but we wanted to learn further, so we enrolled in the Escoffier Online Cook School. We learned techniques and skills, which certainly helped us on our journey.

a commitment to always strive to be better than I amis the power behind our growth. Success and giving to others is what drives me. My favorite way to give to others is through food, and this has brought us much success. We love to feed people and that has opened many doors for us. Once, the owner of a local brand said we are always ?feeding the masses?at our demos. We believe he meant this as a dig, but we took it as a compliment. Everyone who is not GFnow knows someone in their life who is GFand when they taste our product and like it, they will tell their friends. It?s a simple approach, which works so well. Having a product people love helps too! What's been the biggest challenge you've faced in building and growing your brand? Money. Everything else can be figured out. I feel the hardest aspect of growing any business is financing it. It takes a considerable amount of money to grow a food company and for the first couple years or more, there is hardly any profit and rarely money for your own salary. You work you butt off for years, invest your savings, and got into a bit of debt, with promise and hope, and if you do everything smart and with a good heart, it will pay off later on.

My strong aversion to fail ure coupl ed with a commitment to

I also read many baking books, blogs, articles, etc. to learn all I could about GFbaking. I was driven to learn everything that was available to create the best GFpizza and bread I could. It became an obsession for me and I loved it!

al ways strive to be better than I amis the power behind our growth.

I ama huge P!nk fan and one of her songs, Wild Hearts Can?t Be Broken, completely sums up my world. It?s an inspiring song about pushing past innumerable obstacles and coming out of impossible situations, because the passion that fuels your dreams is far greater than the pain of the

battle to get there. What is it about your product, approach, or team that made you successful when so many others fail? Resilience, persistence, and tenacity for are the ingredients of my success. Rich?s years of experience in the food industry and my 26 years in marketing were a huge asset in the beginning, and still help us to this day. The food industry is very difficult, and it?s expensive to bring products to market. My strong aversion to failure coupled with

The lyrics may seema little dramatic, but when you own a business, it really can feel like a battle much of the time. My inner fortitude and many motivational P!nk songs keep me moving forward.

Anita Roach

What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Check your gut first. Make sure you have the drive and passion (and intestinal fortitude) to keep going when things get tough, because they will. If the passion is there, then go for it. Knowing your ?why?is critical. If you can?t explain why you are doing what you are doing, then how will anyone truly understand or connect to you? My why is an unrelenting drive to make the lives of the GFmore inclusive and delicious. There is nothing better than making people happy with my food. What mindset or perspective is important for success in the food industry? Consumers want brands who relate to them, who ?get them.? I have preached this marketing philosophy for 26 years, and really see it coming to fruition with Victoria's Gluten-Free Kitchen.

Currently, we are still self-distributed, and are in over 70 restaurant locations including all Etai?s CafĂŠ?s, TAGBurger Bar, Oskar Blues, Crave Real Burger, Old Major and more. We are in 46 grocery stores in four states, and are projected to add 100 more stores by the end of 2018, including Natural Grocers, Lucky?s Market, Alfalfa?s, Mondo Market, Colorado Local Foods Market, and Hy-Vee in Iowa What are your plans for the future? What new advancements will you make in your product mix and distribution? We plan to add more ready-to-eat gluten and dairy free convenience foods. Our focus is foods that are currently not represented in the market. I plan to work on expanding our dairy-free offerings including dressings and sauces as well as additional bread flavors. By the end of the year we should be working with major distributors, and represented by a national grocery broker. This is the year we really break out!

Resilience, persistence, and tenacity are critical as is an unwavering belief in yourself and your product.

Do you think being in Denver gave you any advantage? Are there resources here in Denver that were of value for your business?

What kind of growth and progress has your company seen since your launch?

Yes, a huge advantage. Denver and especially Boulder are where many, many new brands have been born in the last 10 plus years. There is considerable support here in all areas: manufacturing, branding, sales, etc. And, the amazing food scene has fueled our growth in food service and restaurant relationships. It would have been harder to grow like we have in another geographic area, I believe.

We stared in a very small commercial kitchen on December 22, 2014, producing 24 pizza crusts froma product line of two, which I thought was so many! Now we have 12 products in our line and produce over 2,000 pieces per week. We are planning to move to our fourth kitchen later this year as we expand again. This time next year, we will be producing more than 10 times that amount, probably much more. In 2016 our revenues increased 565% over 2015; in 2017 they were 120% over 2016 and this year we project 163% increase over 2017.

Ryan Kane, Hashtagitude 30 thewomenofdenver.com




Life for an entrepreneur can be challenging. There are so many demands. In the beginning stages, you?re often chief cook and bottle washer. If I see her stressed, I?ll ask if there?s anything I can do to help. Sometimes I?ll simply go over to rub her shoulders. Most of the time, she has everything under control. I just want her to know that I?mthere if she needs me.

I help her see the value of her worth and what she has to offer and then structure her offer in the marketplace to effectively monetize on that value. My wife has such a giving heart, so I balance her generosity with strategies to overcome the difficult conversations of what to charge clients. -


Eric L. Lipsey, President, VENTRE Teresa Lipsey, Editor-n-Chief of VENTREMagazine, Ceo of TL Designs



Shawn Wallace, Monetization Consultant - Wallace Marketing Group Olivia Omega Wallace, Branding Strategist - Wallace Marketing Group

When my introverted wife began growing as an influencer, I started supporting her by teaching her the skills I had acquired during my broadcast career. I would provide insights, techniques, and principles I learned to her videos, stage presentations, and workshops. Now she is better than I ever was! -


Bennie SCovington, Director of Talent and Organizational Development at ScrumAlliance Krystal Covington, Founder and CEOof Women of Denver

INVISIBLE WOUNDS She intentionally set her alarmto wake up to ?Good Day,?a song fromthe hip-hop band Nappy Roots. Part of the chorus is: ?Ain?t nobody gotta cry to today, cause ain?t nobody gonna die today. Save that drama for another day. Hey! We?re gonna have a good day.? Sherrie Lawson got up, got ready, put on her four-inch Kenneth Cole suede wedges, slung her Michael Kors bag over her shoulder and headed out the door to get to an 8 a.m. meeting her programmanager had called. ?It was a beautiful day weather-wise. It was gorgeous. It was probably 80-degrees that day; the sun was out. It was just a really nice day,?Lawson said. She ?was in a really good place?on the morning of September 16, 2015. She loved living in Washington, D.C. and owned her own home in Ward 7. She was finishing up her doctorate degree while working with the Navy and was a contractor for a software engineering company. In addition to all that, she was an elected official as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and had traveled to over 25 countries. She arrived on base at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. Her clearance got her through the front gate, but not without a little flirting fromthe guard as he checked her I.D. Then she walked hurriedly through the yard to get to Building 197 where the meeting was being held. Determined to get her Pumpkin Spiced Latte and Greek yogurt before the meeting started, Lawson rushed past Mike Ridgell, the security guard, who sat in the hallway everyday. ?I had made it a point a couple months before that I?mgoing to speak to Mike when I go in. And that particular morning I was rushing so I didn?t speak to him.? She saw himout of the corner of her eye, and didn?t give it a second thought. Little did she know that that was the last time she would ever walk by him. Afew minutes after the meeting started, around 8:17 a.m., the program

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manager heard a strange sound and asked the group, ?Was that gun fire?? The steel, glass and metal building often echoed the sounds of people setting up tables and chairs in the cafeteria and auditoriums nearby. The others didn?t think much of it and went back to the meeting. Then a second round of noise rang out and this time no one thought it was just the clang of moving furniture. The programmanager and another one of Lawson?s colleagues went to check it out. She remained in the conference roomuntil the teamlead decided this might be something serious. She wanted to go to her office to gather her things. Lawson decided to do the same. ?I got to my desk and right at that time a group of people were running. They were running by us and they were frantic,?Lawson said. Then one of themshouted five words that would change her life forever: ?There?s a shooter. Get out!? They walk among us everyday but you can?t tell who they are just by looking at them. They may be your barista, your mail carrier, your neighbor. They are the survivors of mass tragedy. The Washington Navy Yard shooting occurred on September 16, 2013, when a lone gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, fatally shot 12 people and injured three others. It was the second-deadliest mass murder on a U.S. military base. Although Lawson made it out of Building 197 safe, she did not make it out unharmed. The shooters in these mass tragedies do not wreak havoc for just one day. They create a tremendous amount of collateral damage. Later that week, Lawson and her coworkers were told to come back to the building to get their laptops. She made an attempt to resume her normal routine and took the bus to the scene where 12 people were killed. ?I couldn?t get off in front of Navy Yard. I couldn?t do it. I got there and I became very emotional and I just stayed on and finally got off in front of the Marine barracks, which was a couple blocks away and just broke down in the middle of the sidewalk. That was the first time I really felt the gravity of what happened,?Lawson said.

The Aftermath of Surviving a Mass Shooting Written by Angela Jackson Angela, former Vice President of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists and Executive Board member of the Denver Press Club. There are no physical scars to mark the internal war she wages since then. ?I was having nightmares every night, when I was able to sleep. And they were very dark nightmares.? She often cried on the way to work, had panic attacks, was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe anxiety, and depression, and has spent lots of money on the six therapists she?s had since the shooting.

Once the dust settled she started thinking about how companies could handle situations like this better. She asked herself: Where were the mishaps that happened with me and what can an organization do better? What can be done to protect employees?

Life as she knew it vanished and thoughts of suicide crept in. She thought to herself, ?If I have to live like this the rest of my life, I don?t want to do it,? Lawson said.

She sat down with a business coach and an HRprofessional and they encouraged her to share her insights on how to better manage employee relations during these times of trauma. All of her notes and research evolved into a presentation she has shared at Human Resources conferences around the country.

San Bernardino, CA Alicia Cuello also knows the effects of surviving a mass tragedy. The Women of Denver member was 70 yards fromthe San Bernardino, CAshooting on December 2, 2015. At the time of the attack, it was recorded as the second deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. Cuello was a senior business partner with her company. She was in the city with her senior vice president of human resources. Ironically, they were there to investigate ?an employee who had dressed up in fatigues and shot his coworker in the face with a Nerf gun?at the time the shooting started.

The Red Cross became aware of the work Cuello was doing and decided to partner with her to take her programand develop it to become more leader focused. It will soon be presented all over Denver.

They walk among us everyday but you can?t Lawsonhas alsofiguredout away totakean tell who they are just unfortunatesituationand turnher lifetoward positive things. Although the pain and trauma by looking at them. will never go away, Lawson made a choice to They may be your press on. barista, your mail She had to ask herself: ??Are you going to stay in carrier, your apartment closed off or are you going to neighbor. They are the your live??I made a choice for myself and I said, I survivors of mass have to live.? tragedy.

Although she was not in direct line of fire, or even in the same building as the attack, she was significantly impacted. ?When we got out of lockdown, we were escorted to our cars with bomb-sniffing dogs; there were bombs in our parking lot. We were put in our cars and we were told to drive home. And they made us drive past the conference roomwhere the bodies were,?Cuello said. At that point her company called and basically said ?Get on a flight. We need you to come back in to the office tomorrow. You?ve got deadlines to meet.?

She is now the Director of Development at The Rebels Project (TRP). TRPis a nonprofit founded by survivors of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, COto provide support for those who experience similar trauma to that which she experienced in the Navy Yard on that fateful day.

When Cuello returned to Denver, her insurance company and her employer didn?t believe she had PTSDbecause she wasn?t in the roomwith the shooters. She got stuck in a workman?s compensation gray area. ?I didn?t work for 10 months. Alot of it had to do with just decompressing and figuring out what to do,?Cuello said.

If you are interested in getting more information about The Rebel Project, please go to: therebelsproject.org. To learn more about Alicia Cuello visit UnderlyingCommunications.com.

Lawson is currently a lecturer at University of Colorado, Denver and lives with her cat Jax.

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WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SPIRITUAL WELLNESS Written by Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC, Holistic Life Coach and Stephen Glitzer, CHWC, Holistic Life Coach, Chef Uninhibitedwellness.com

This magazine has showcased several people with the desire to make an impact and change the world ? to improve the treatment of others, to increase equity for women, to challenge current policies, to help give everyone a chance at a beautiful, happy life. But the first step to changing the world is to start with yourself! If you strive to be the best you can be and then share that with others, a ripple effect is produced. Your best self is rooted in your personal wellness. Wellness is comprised of seven dimensions ? spiritual, intellectual, occupational, emotional, physical, sexual, and social. While all of these are interrelated and impact each other, you can work to improve each area individually. In this quarter?s article we?ll start with spiritual wellness ? the core of who you are, what you believe, and your purpose in this world. It is fromhere that your true impact will grow and your wellness will blossom. Here are five things you can do to further develop your spiritual wellness.

Start a routine practice. Develop a daily practice that brings you closer to the power you believe in (God, Buddha, Allah, The Universe, Mother Earth). If you don?t already, add prayer, meditation, or journaling to your morning and/or evening routine. Go to yoga or a church/temple service weekly. These types of routines will become part of you and your spirit, enhancing whatever you already do for your spirituality.

Get outside more. Get outside more. We are inherently connected to the earth and all that encompasses nature. When we spend time outside and are surrounded by nature, our body relaxes, our breathing deepens and our minds calm. This helps us get in touch with our inner nature and authentic self. So get out among the trees, streams, grass, flowers, rocks, and sand more frequently; you may discover some interesting insights about yourself and what you want for your life!

Volunteer. Volunteer your time to a cause you believe in. If you struggle with finding the ?right?one for you, consider starting a new organization that serves those you want to help. Offering a piece of yourself to others through service demonstrates your values and beliefs and is the foundation to living spiritually. Volunteering is selfish generosity - it has the power to make you feel good while helping others feel better.

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Play regularly. Allowing yourself to be joyful and playful in your interactions is important, and it?s even more important to find time for whatever you find the most joy in! Whether hiking, cycling, connecting with new people, or dancing, intentionally make time every week to do something that excites you at your core. Your spirit soars most in those moments, so be sure to find your ?spiritual recreation?!

Go a retreat or mission. Have you ever participated in a sweat lodge, visited a sacred place (like Machu Picchu), or gone on an adventure trip where the purpose was to spend time focusing on yourself, your intentions, and your spirituality? There are numerous providers that can help you find a good location/experience match for your values. For those in Colorado, here are some local possibilities: https://www.colorado.com/articles/6-spiritual-attractions-colorado

It?s too often we take our spirituality ? our connection with the human spirit ? for granted. It?s important to note that not everyone considers themselves to be ?spiritual?. Wherever you are on the spectrumthese steps can help one become more centered, thoughtful, compassionate, and understanding. Nurturing the mind, body, soul connection can lead to one?s own enlightenment (spiritual or not) as engaging in these activities allows one to see the truth of what is valuable in life. May it be an inspired one!


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Review FICTIONAUTHOR AUSMAKHAN Written by Bree Weber, content writer, publishing expert, and founder of Pig Pilots. Learn more at fly.pigpilots.com.

?The only defense against the ignorance of men is the brilliance of powerful women.?While this quote summarizes one of her books, the sentiment can be easily applied to the writer, herself, Ausma Zehanat Khan. Khan?s background and achievements are brilliant, to say the least. She received her Ph.D. in international human rights law, served as Editor-In-Chief of MuslimGirl Magazine (the first magazine to address a target audience of young Muslimwomen), and taught as an adjunct law professor in the U.S. and Canada. She?s also the award-winning author of nine fiction books (and counting). Khan found that she didn?t see a lot of stories with characters that looked like her. This was before the days of #diversebooks and publishing panels on diversity. The stories that she did find with Muslim characters, she couldn?t quite identify with, because they were told froman outside perspective, one that didn?t always paint a complete picture of the beauty and richness found in the Muslimculture. While she had the opportunity to research and write in an academic setting, Khan yearned to share her own perspective ? one that is bold and forthright.

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As a lifelong writer, Khan was compelled to create complex, real characters that grapple with the myths and stereotypes that modern Muslims experience on a daily basis. She creates fictional worlds that are not unlike reality; worlds in which our modern wars are exposed and hate crimes examined, but also where flawed characters embark on their own journey of self-discovery, taking the readers along with them. In Khan?s fantasy and mystery works, she explores the taboo constructs of jihadist ideology, Islamophobia, and the ?us vs them?mentality. She also dives into the foundation of the very perspectives she seeks to disrupt; her work expresses that only by understanding how and why individuals make decisions that seemadverse to logic, can ?they?be humanized. We all know about the power of language and storytelling, but Khan uses her books to create another kind of power. She believes in fighting injustice with fiction: with compelling characters that highlight and celebrate minority communities, and with settings that clearly depict the global human rights conditions that often receive one-sided coverage in the media. While her writing is very personal ? she draws on her own experiences, background, and beliefs ? it is also quite universal, because every chapter is an opportunity to scrutinize the nature of human behavior.

MANAGING aninteractivebranding guide PERCEPTIONS

Created by Haylee Powers, Brand Strategist and Designer, Bad Bitch Branding. Learn more at badbitchbranding.com Personal branding is when you intentionally craft and control the messages you convey to others. To create a consistent brand when interacting with employers, clients and customers it?s helpful to start with a list of tone words to define how you want to be perceived. These tone words can be used as a guideline for making public choices that might impact the way your brand is viewed by others. For example, before posting a new photo on social media, you can review your tone words to make sure it?s consistent with the perception you want others to have of you. To get started with setting the tone for your brand, circle five words below that most closely reflect the way you want others to view you.





























































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TheDenver Publ ic Library Written by Krystal Covington, MBA, Founder of Women of Denver


As an entrepreneur on the rise it can be challenging to stay afloat, especially in the first few years. Luckily, the Denver Public Library offers dynamic resources and training programs to help companies grow and scale. I sat down with Amanda Armstrong, Business Reference Collection Specialist at the Central Branch to learn more about the tools and education being provided at the library. The following are my top mentions.

3D Printing The Denver community can explore 3Dprinting and other creative technologies in ideaLABs, the library?s makerspaces. During open lab time at the SMEnergy ideaLAB at Central Library and at the Montbello Branch Library ideaLAB, you can get help designing a 3Dobject fromscratch in free online software, then submit it for printing on 3Dprinters and see your creation in real life! People have 3Dprinted personalized phone cases, replacement parts for household appliances, and prototypes for new inventions.

AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTION TOOLS Access to production tools can be a barrier to entry for those wanting to expand their business through multi-media content. The Denver Public Library offers resources such as a studio with lighting, green screen, video camera equipment, audio tools and software tools for editing and production. With these tools that future podcast or video training course can be on its way in no time.

WEB DEVELOPMENT TRAINING Whether you're designing your own business website, or brushing up on skills that help you better service customers, the library's web training is an essential tool. Develop your skills in Wordpress, HTML, CSS, Javascript and more.

MARKET RESEARCH Knowing your industry and your customers is key for success in business, but getting access to that knowledge can be a burden. The DPLbusiness librarians can help you find the resources you need to understand your business, the trends you should know about, and resources and templates that can make your life easier.

CUSTOMERDEMOGRAPHICS If you're in the process of building your marketing strategy, customer personas, or just want to get a solid leads list, the library's database offers excellent tools for getting the information you need. The "Best Customer" database offers details including buying habits, interests, addresses, phone numbers and more.

Last fall I met a gentleman who is starting a customlighting business and was taking one of the local small business development classes. After going through the normal BizBoost demonstration of our industry and market research tools he asked if I could help himbuy a CNC machine here in Denver. I told himabout the people at Makerspaces, where instead of purchasing a machine that will cost upwards of $20,000, he can utilize a CNCmachine along with other useful equipment for only $50 monthly dues. At the end of the session he told me how words couldn't express how thankful he was for my help. It meant so much because I know what it means to save overhead as a business owner. It's transformational. Amanda Armstrong Business Reference Collection Specialist

Schedule your BizBoost appointment

DenverLibrary.org/ BizBoost

Women of Denver 757 E20th Ave STE370 #232 Denver, CO80205 www.TheWomenofDenver.com

JOIN WOMEN OF DENVER OUR PROGRAMMING Women of Denver (WOD) is the most diverse and active women's organization in Denver. With over 50 events per year our dynamic network helps women increase their business knowledge, build leadership skills, and connect with other powerful and inspiring women throughout the metro area. WOD?s social enterprise mission is to connect and inspire 100,000 women through educational events and progressive thought-leadership, so they can acquire the knowledge and confidence to earn their worth.

- Interactive Workshops - Facilitated Networking Experiences - Mastermind Strategy Sessions

OUTCOMES - Connect with impact-driven women - Hone your leadership capabilities - Build your business acumen

JoinWOD.com or learn more at TheWomenOfDenver.com

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