The Steering Committee
Christie Doherty, B.S., is the President of Trinity Partners, LLC, a business performance consulting firm that specializes in leadership and organizational development, executive coaching, and workforce transformation. Trinity Partners brings together the components of People, Performance and Profit into an integrated strategy aligning all key elements of the enterprise to achieve superior performance, employee engagement, and a sustaining culture for now and the future. Her extensive corporate and non-profit experiences have given her a unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in small and large for-profit and non-profit firms. As Former Vice President, Wholesale Service Delivery at Qwest, Christie had responsibility for Customer Service Operations for Wholesale customers, managing over 1,700 employees with revenue responsibility for $3.2 billion. She held a number of positions in the telecom and cable industries, including executive positions in Strategic Planning, Customer Operations, Marketing, Sales, and Organization Effectiveness. Christie was also President of Women’sVision Foundation, now the Leadership Investment, a non-profit focused on the development and advancement of women in business. Active in the community, Christie is Chair of the Women’s Collaborative for Colorado and Board Chair and Member in a variety of local and national non-profits including INROADS; DenUM; Foundation for Global Scholars; the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame; and Women Powering Change, focused on international education; diversity; hunger and life skills development; and the advancement and support of women.
Lisa Voncino, M.B.A., is the owner of Sundance Web Design, a company specializing in the design and development of Squarespace websites. Lisa founded her original company in 2004 and contributes her expertise to a variety of businesses, nonprofits and organizations. She was a monthly contributor to the award winning global media blog, Social Solutions Collective and has contributed her writing expertise to numerous blogs. Lisa is past Vice-President of Art Reaching Kids, a nonprofit organization serving teens in residential rehabilitation programs. She is also former Marketing Consultant of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, Colorado Chapter. Lisa has lengthy experience working in the nonprofit community as the Boulder County Director of The American Cancer Society and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boulder YWCA and Denver Mobility. She was honored to be chosen as the 2010 Cherry Creek Business Women’s Network Woman of the Year and 2010 Colorado Business Women “Celebration of Women” honoree. She was also a member of the Green Jobs for Women Pipeline Coalition and worked with the White House on Public Engagement on creating a Colorado roundtable. Lisa holds certifications in Hootsuite, Web Business and Web Technologies. She has given presentations on the many facets of marketing, entrepreneurship and personal development to a variety of organizations including the Adams County Education Consortium, Belmar Business Builders, East Coalition for Senior Services, Colorado Business Women and the American Association of University Women. Lisa is a member of the Posner Center for International Development, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Toastmasters.
Faculty at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work
Karen Bensen, B.A., M.S.W., is on the faculty at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work and has served in a variety of administrative positions since 2009. First as the Director of Student Services, then as Assistant Dean of Community Academic Programs, Karen is deeply committed to educating tomorrow’s social workers to be passionate about social justice. As a predominately female dominated profession, she believes it is critical that students learn early to stand in their power as women to work toward changes in attitudes, behavior and policy for the benefit of all people but especially marginalized communities.
She has taught courses on power, privilege and oppression, human sexuality, and post-apartheid South Africa. Karen has had the opportunity to travel to South Africa, Tanzania, Bosnia, India, and China to pursue partnerships with local NGOs and universities on behalf of GSSW and has discovered some extraordinary community projects from which social work students can learn and to which they can contribute.
Karen is also passionate about advising and mentoring students and especially enjoys advising students pursuing dual degrees and international experiences as well as those searching for life direction or experiencing life transitions.
Karen’s career home has been in education, having done social work in Early Head Start, elementary school, high school, undergraduate and graduate education. She has lived in Denver since receiving her Masters in Social Work degree from DU in 1991.
American Association of University Women - Colorado
Amy Blackwell, B.S., M.A., represents the American Association of University Women (AAUW) – Colorado, which awarded her its Judith C.Sanderson Young Leader Award in 2010. Empowering women since 1881, AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Blackwell is an immediate past member of the AAUW Board of Directors, served as an official AAUW delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2016, and has facilitated AAUW Start Smart salary negotiation workshops since 2010. Amy is current AAUW President. She also owns and operates Blackwell Communications LLC, a STEM and healthcare strategic communications and research company based in Castle Rock. Appointed to the Colorado State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners in 2014 by Governor Hickenlooper, Amy was recently reelected chair of this mental health regulatory board. She is excited to be part of the 2016-2017 Leadership Douglas County cohort and hikes extensively throughout the US amid frequent business travel. Her social science and wildlife biology research projects have taken her to South Africa, Cuba, China, and Antarctica — with a Galápagos Islands expedition planned for December 2016.
Denver Women's Commission
Kim Desmond, B.A., M.A., is a Denver native who attended Manual High School. She holds multiple degrees which include a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Masters Degree in Community Counseling from Fort Hays State University and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration & Policy Studies (Early Childhood Leadership certification) from the University of Denver. She has a decade of experience in the education/family engagement field delivering services to parents/children in various capacities, which include management of program operations, case management, and strategic planning/implementation. More recently, she works with the Denver Women’s Commission to create policy recommendations to the Mayor, in order to outline relevant initiatives to enhance the quality of life for women in Denver.
Her passion includes, advocating for women to eliminate barriers to employment, equity in pay/compensations, health care, education, housing, and other systemic issues impacting access to an overall quality of life. In the past, she worked for the Denver Housing Authority as a Youth/Adult Program Coordinator; Clayton Educare as a Center Based Coordinator and Lead Child Family Educator; OpenWorld Learning as a Multi-Site Director; and more recently, she works for the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships (City and County of Denver) as the Director of the Denver Office on Women & Families. She also serves as the Staff Liaison to the Denver Women’s Commission and Denver African American Commission. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and playing basketball.
Zonta International seeks to empower women worldwide by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local levels. Zonta International affiliates with the United Nations as a non-government organization with consultative and participatory status. Biennial Service Projects are funded through UN Agencies. Members of the International United Nations Committee represent the organization in NGO Forums in New York, Geneva, Vienna, and Paris. Fellowships honoring Amelia Earhart, aviator and Zontian are awarded annually to women pursuing PhD and or doctoral degrees in aerospace-related engineering. District 12 includes Colorado, Wyoming South Dakota and Montana. Goals include a call for the dissemination of vital information to members and their communities relating to women’s rights, health, safety and opportunity throughout the District. Sharon Faircloth has been a member of the Zonta Club of Denver II, District 12 of Zonta International since 1987. Sharon is a Denver native with a varied background in real estate including, development, sales and title insurance. She is honored to represent Zonta with the Women’s Collaborative to spread the power and influence of like-minded partners to achieve our shared goals, aspirations and calls to action on behalf of the women and girls of Colorado.
Betty Flaten, B.A., M.A., is a valued member of the Steering Committee of the Women’s Collaborative for Colorado (WCC). A retired educator, Betty brings her years of practical experience and involvement with numerous nonprofit, community and political organizations to aid in the mission of the WCC. Betty grew up in Iowa and began her illustrious career as an elementary school educator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Reading from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Educational Library Media from the University of Colorado. Upon retirement, after 31 years of teaching, Betty managed the campaign offices of former Congressman David Skaggs for five years. She then went on to manage the May Company’s OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program for the Aurora and Jefferson County School Districts. At present, Betty considers herself to be a professional volunteer. The Collaborative came to know Betty through her work with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She joined AAUW in 1984 and served as the Colorado State President from 2006 to 2008. In addition, she has served in a variety of prominent roles, including Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee, Major Contributor to the AAUW Lily Ledbetter Impact Grant Giving Circle, Volunteer Lobbyist, Chair of the Education Fund, Chair of the 2010 Rocky Mountain Regional Conference and Chair of the 2014 State Convention. Betty’s dedication to her community is evident through the accolades she has received for her educational and political endeavors. These include:
- 1970 Jefferson County Educational Association Jeffy Award
- 1983 Colorado Education Association Award
- 1992 Colorado Education Association LION Award
- 1993 Hazel Petrocco Colorado Education Association Leadership Award
- 1993 Jefferson County Association of Educators Leadership Award
- Who’s Who in American Politics
- 2014 AAUW Legacy of Leadership Award
- Rocky Mountain PBS Volunteer Board President – current
Betty is a seasoned world traveler and has visited all seven continents. She likes to hike, read and garden in her spare time. The Women’s Collaborative of Colorado truly appreciates the immense contributions she continues to make, along with her wry sense of humor, and a penchant for getting the job done!
Business and Professional Women of Colorado
Nancy Litvak is President of Colorado Business and Professional Women (BPW). The mission of the organization is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information. BPW is supported locally, nationally and internationally, with a consultative seat on the United Nations Commission for Women. Nancy is also a Board of Trustee of the Colorado Women’s Education Foundation (a sister organization of BPW) which raises money to support nontraditional aged women transform their lives and the lives of their families through education.
Barb McDaniel has been a contributing member of the American Association of University Women for many years and served as Colorado Public Policy Director. True to her passion for government policy and state legislation, Barb also served as the Denver Tech Center Business and Professional Women Legislative Team Leader and as State Legislative Team Leader. Barb has been an active investor in private companies since 1982 when she started a Montessori Child Care which she ran with her partner in California until moving to Colorado in 1995. She is currently a partner in Denver Custom Signs, LLC.
The Women's Foundation of Colorado
Louise V. Myrland, B.S., M.P.A., has dedicated her career to advancing social justice through education. She joined The Women’s Foundation of Colorado in 2014 as Vice President of Community Initiatives and Investments, drawing on her programmatic and evaluation experience to lead the organization’s work in research, public policy, and strategic community investments. Louise earned her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Colorado Denver and her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from The Ohio State University. More than 12 years ago, she began improving educational opportunities for low-income and traditionally under-served students by managing two science education outreach programs through The Ohio State University. Most recently as Director of College Success and Scholarship for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, Louise applied her scientific background to develop, implement, evaluate, and refine data-driven college access, affordability, and success programs that empowered 4,000 Denver Public Schools graduates to pursue higher education in Colorado. Louise lives in Denver with her husband Steve and daughter Elise.
The League of Women Voters Colorado
As the League of Women Voters of Colorado Vice President of Administration, Cath believes that public policies at every level should reflect the needs and diversity of the communities that they affect. The League’s 95 years of experience has taught us that this is best accomplished by fostering an engaged and representative electorate that is heard by our elected officials not just during elections but also throughout the year. Through the work of our Education Fund, we provide VOTE411.org, a national election website, and support our members who help register voters, provide voters with election information, and allow voters to hear from candidates in their own words through debates and voting guides. Together, these two arms of the League are protecting and expanding our democracy and fighting for policies that benefit our communities.
As a member of the WCC Steering Committee, Cath believes that by collaborating and leveraging the resources of our member organizations, we can better influence positive change throughout our communities.
Mary Ann Roe
Colorado Coalition for Gender and Information Technology
Mary Ann Roe, B.A., M.Ed, Ph.D., co-directs the Colorado Coalition for Gender and IT (CCGIT) and is treasurer for the CCGIT Board of Directors. CCGIT extends Mary Ann’s long time efforts to introduce women and girls to technology and needed knowledge and skills for successful career outcomes. She participates as a member of the Leadership Team and the Workforce Alliance of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT As coordinator of Workforce Education and Strategic Planning for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Dr. Roe integrates Colorado workforce development as a partner with secondary and postsecondary education communities and fosters development of new collaborative partnerships with other state agencies. She supports high growth technology initiatives as they relate to the Colorado workforce and require essential knowledge, skills, and technical education. She is a founding member of the Colorado Photonics Industry Association Board of Directors, secretary of the Board, and chairs the CPIA Education and Employment Committee. Dr. Roe maximizes workforce development/workforce education content for e-Colorado knowledge portal (https://e-colorado.coworkforce.com) users through content acquisition and integration. Previously, Dr. Roe’s work in two-year colleges was in areas of innovation and advanced technology education On behalf of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, she led applied research teams to Singapore, Japan, and Germany to study technology infrastructure and has written extensively on technical education and manufacturing. She received her BA degree from Adams State College, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.