Tag Archives: alum news

Girl Scouts announces 2021 Denver Metro Women of Distinction: 10 Extraordinary Women Honored

The Women of Distinction honor is bestowed annually upon 10 exceptional women in our community. This year’s honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Becky Takeda-Tinker, Woman of Distinction ‘18, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. These women join a network of more than 500 alums and are shining examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership, who serve as role models for our female leaders of tomorrow. The Women of Distinction event combined with the newly formed Women of Distinction Network brings together a network of outstanding women who serve as mentors, guides, and examples of leadership to inspire our girls.

2021 Class of Women of Distinction

  • Akasha Absher, President, Syntrinsic Investment CounselNamed to the Who’s Who in Impact Investing and one of Colorado’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women, Akasha has put her finance background to work consulting for nonprofit organizations and philanthropic private clients. She has influenced investment decisions for $500 million in assets by educating and empowering clients and their Boards of Directors.
  • Dr. Katie Bakes, Medical Director and ER Physician, Denver Health and Hospital Authority- Dr. Katie Bakes is an emergency physician at Denver Health and a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine. Her work as an emergency physician in Colorado’s primary safety net institution fostered her efforts in the areas of violence intervention and prevention, children’s needs, diversity, and social justice.
  • Kristen Blessman, President and CEO, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce- Kristen spearheads the organization’s mission of advancing women in business; she was hired in 2017 to bring value to membership through innovation, brand awareness and long-term vision. Through the creation of a new leadership program, mentoring program and unique peer group programming, Kristen has overhauled programming and curriculum at the CWCC and brought a new value proposition to CWCC members and the community. 
  • Kristin Bronson, City Attorney, City of DenverAs the chief legal officer for the City of Denver, Kristin provides policy and legal advice to the Mayor, City Council, the City Auditor and the Clerk and Recorder, all city agencies, departments, boards and commissions. She is the final decision maker on critical legal decisions facing the city and manages the Department of Law, a public law firm of more than 220 attorneys, paralegals, victim advocates, and staff.
  • Katie Kramer, President and CEO, Boettcher FoundationKatie was selected as a Boettcher Scholar in 1993 and has been at the foundation in various roles since 1997, including as the director of the scholarship program and vice president — a title she assumed at the age of 26. She’s been recognized as one of Colorado’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women, is known as an expert in the field of scholarship, and has served the community on various boards.
  • Kasia Iwaniczko MacLeod, Vice President Community and Government Engagement, CignaNamed as one of Colorado’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women, Kasia is known as a visionary community thought leader, successfully cultivating relationships across private, public and nonprofit sectors. She leads the expansion of Cigna’s community engagement activities across Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico by deepening civic and governmental relationships, and developing a philanthropic strategy that deploys local community investments where the need is greatest.
  • Roberta Robinette, President, AT&TFor more than 20 years, Roberta has been a leader in the telecommunications industry and business community, with extensive experience developing and executing public policy strategies for large corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. As president, Roberta leads AT&T’s government and community affairs and supports their new technology deployment and infrastructure investment.
  • Lola Salazar, President, Salazar Family FoundationLola, with her husband Rob, founded Salazar Family Foundation in 1999 with a mission to encourage Denver-area students to achieve their educational dreams. The Salazar Family Foundation has supported hundreds of organizations through scholarships, literacy programs, and classroom grants, totaling more than $20 million gifted to our community.
  • LaDawn Sullivan, Director, The Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund, Denver FoundationLaDawn has organized and supported social justice and racial equity through her various roles at The Denver Foundation for more than 23 years.  She created and directs the recently established Black Resilience in Colorado Fund. She also leads programs that support emerging leaders of color including the Executive Directors of Color Institute, The Landscape Project, and national Black philanthropic networks. 
  • Sylvia Young, President and CEO, HCA Healthcare and HealthONE- Sylvia, a veteran of hospital administration since 1985, has been named both an Outstanding Women in Business in health care and a Most Admired CEO. As president and CEO, Sylvia oversees 10 hospitals, 9 freestanding emergency departments, 20 ambulatory centers, and dozens of physician care and urgent care clinics. In 2019, Sylvia was appointed At-Large Trustee of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will welcome the Class of 2021 honorees on September 29 at the Denver Botanic Gardens from 4:30 – 8 p.m. The event has been reimagined with honorees and guests invited to engage in a comfortable, outdoor setting, allowing for safe social distancing.

“I am honored to welcome this year’s class of Women of Distinction. They are strong, bold, empowered women who represent the leadership and excellence that powers today’s world,” said Leanna Clark, Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer.

Proceeds from the event will support Girl Scouts of Colorado’s crucial leadership development programs in entrepreneurship, outdoors, STEM, and life skills for more than 20,000 members across Colorado.

Event chairs are Kelly Brough, Women of Distinction ’14, Donna Evans, Women of Distinction ’09, Luella Chavez D’Angelo, Women of Distinction ’05, and M.L. Hanson, Woman of Distinction ’15.

For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/ or contact Ashley Walsh at ashley.walsh@gscolorado.org

World Thinking Day 2021: How to Participate



Submitted by Krista Beucler and Anna Beucler

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

What is World Thinking Day?

Since 1926, World Thinking Day on February 22 has been a day of international friendship for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world. February 22 is the birthday of Lord Baden Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, and his wife Olave Baden Powell, who was one of the founders of Girl Guides. On February 22, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts connect with each other and join together in global action to make the world a better place.

For the last two years, the World Association Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS), World Thinking Day themes have set the foundation for peacebuilding: we have empowered leaders and explored why it is important for our communities to be rich in diversity, equity and inclusion. In this year’s activity pack, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 152 countries will become better peace builders so we can truly live out our global promise. You can find the Activity Pack here.

How to Earn Your Badge

Complete one activity from each section of the activity pack: Stand Strong, Stand-Up, Stand Together, then complete the Our Global Promise activity. Once you’ve completed the activities, you can get your WAGGGS World Thinking Day badge from the shop.

Join Anna and Krista

Anna and Krista are lifetime  Girl Scouts and have participated in international Guiding and Scouting opportunities including World Thinking Day events at Pax Lodge and Sangam World Centres, and the Juliette Low Seminar.

This year, because of COVID-19, most activities look a little different. Anna and Krista will be hosting World Thinking Day activities online. They welcome everyone to participate with them on TikTok or Instagram to earn the World Thinking Day badge!

Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Follow the project on TikTok (@jls100girls) and Instagram (@jls100girls).
  2. Learn from an informational video about World Thinking Day.
  3. Participate in the three activities and the Global Promise activity.
  4. Like, comment on, and share the videos.

You can complete the activities and let us know in a variety of ways. On TikTok, you can duet, stitch, use our sounds, or make a new video, and tag us. On Instagram, you can post photos or videos and tag us. Or, if you’re uncomfortable sharing your photos or videos publicly, you can send them to us privately at jls100girls@gmail.com. Once you’ve completed all the activities, you’ve earned the World Thinking Day badge!

Did you enjoy World Thinking Day? Well, don’t go anywhere yet! Anna and Krista will be continuing to post activities you and your troop can do from home on TikTok and Instagram. These activities will focus on the WAGGGS Leadership Mindsets, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and how to build a Gold Award project!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

2021 Women’s Week and MMR Reunion: Registration NOW Open

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO


Registration is open now for Women’s Week 2021 and the 60th Anniversary Meadow Mountain Ranch Reunion.  The dates are July 22 – 26, and the reunion’s special events will take place on Saturday, July 24.

Women’s Week has been running for several years now, with the exception, of course, of 2020, and those previous participants have been anxiously awaiting the return of the event.  As a result, Women’s Week will be sponsoring the reunion event, and activities will be integrated and coordinated throughout the weekend.

The theme for the combined event is “I Am Camp,” and many of you will remember the beloved poem which starts out “I am Camp; I am sunlight, a sheen on the water, a mist on the mountains, and stars.”  Our MMR staff alum, and artist in residence for many years, Deb Heidebrecht (“Pepper”) has created a themed graphic logo, which you will see on the flier and registration form below.  This logo will be featured on all materials as well as items for purchase during the events.

Women’s Week is open to all women ages 18 and up, and the reunion on Saturday is open to all MMR alums, families, GSCO staff, Board members, former campers, and friends.  For Women’s Week, you don’t have to be a registered Girl Scout or ever even been to camp before.  It’s a great chance to go to the high country in Colorado and have fun in the out-of-doors as a camper yourself.  The program plans itself, while all the usual activities are built in.  Hiking, singing, cooking, crafts, nature activities, tours of the area – – – the sky’s the limit.  If you have a special program to offer, please bring your materials and ideas and we will see there is a time for it.

Of course, the cuisine is one of the big attractions.  We love to cook outside over an open fire if conditions allow.  We are quite adventurous in our menu selections, while accommodating any special dietary needs.  If you remember doing Dutch oven cooking, bean hole cooking, stick cooking, or other outdoor cooking techniques, we’ll probably have it for you.  A chili cook-off or a pineapple upside down cake Dutch oven competition have been big hits in past years.

We are hoping to fill our event, while being aware during our planning that changes or restrictions might apply.  Keep your fingers crossed and register early if numbers are limited. Please contact Penny Roberts, very informal camp director, at (970) 586-1775 or email probertscolo@gmail.com if you have any questions.

2021 Women’s Week and MMR Reunion

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She was at the can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout named 2020 Truman Scholar

Congratulations to Gold Award Girl Scout and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen! She has been named a 2020 Truman Scholar and is among 62 outstanding college students chosen from 55 institutions nationwide. The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

Sarah, a. current student at Colorado State University, is the founder, board chair, and CEO of Score A Friend. The Denver native founded the organization to help her twin brother, who has an autism spectrum disorder, find a friend. In addition to honors from Girl Scouts of Colorado and Girl Scouts of the USA, Sarah was also given the 2016 Outstanding Youth Award for National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. She was a speaker at both the 2019 PEAK Parent Center National Conference on Inclusive Education and the 2018 Colorado Social and Emotional Learning Forum. Alongside rock band NEEDTOBREATHE, Sarah is featured in the Pass It On campaign, highlighting the value of inclusion. She majors in corporate finance, investment analysis, and marketing, with a minor in entrepreneurship. She serves on the CSU College of Business Dean’s Student Leadership Council, as an ambassador for the Entrepreneurship Institute, and is an honors student. She earned first place in both the national Startup Summer Pitch Competition and the OtterBox Ethics Challenge. Sarah is an aspiring public policy attorney and social entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for making the world a more inclusive place for people of all abilities.

For 2020, the Truman Foundation reviewed 773 files from 316 institutions. Students were nominated by their institution based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement. Read more about the 2020 Truman Scholarship Finalists here.

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, demonstrate academic excellence, and be committed to careers in government or the nonprofit sector.

The Truman Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Truman and the presidential monument to public service. The Foundation’s mission is premised on the belief that a better future relies on attracting to public service the commitment and sound judgment of bright, outstanding Americans. In fact, it was this belief that led President Truman, when approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, to encourage Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For more than forty years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds and from across the United States to public service.

For more information, please contact Truman Foundation Executive Secretary Terry Babcock-Lumish at (202)656-6386 or terrybl@truman.gov.