BizWest presents Notable Women Marketing Executives

BizWest recognizes women leaders from a wide range of sectors responsible for brand marketing, communications, partnerships, training, data analytics and beyond for some of the most iconic brands in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley.

The leaders profiled in the following pages were nominated by their peers at work and in the community and showcase the diversity of talent in our market. The leadership shown by the individuals profiled here is setting an example to shape a better future for our region.

METHODOLOGY: The honorees did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials. This list features only individuals for whom nominations were submitted and accepted after a review by our editorial team. To qualify for the list, nominees must be employed at companies in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado.

To nominate for future Notables, please visit events.bizwest.com/notables.

Stephanie Ashley

Brinkman Real Estate

Director of marketing and communications

Years in industry: 15

College, university: George Mason University, Colorado State University

“Stephanie Ashley blends a thoughtful, methodical approach to the art and science of marketing. From her work promoting nonprofit initiatives to her corporate marketing work now, Stephanie is an asset as a professional and as a teammate,” said Kara Pappas, a former co-worker and executive director of the McKee Wellness Foundation. 

“In addition to tackling large projects that have enhanced our local communities professionally, like the development of The Foundry in Loveland, Stephanie also believes in serving the communities where she lives and works. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), assisting children who are victims of abuse or neglect, and seeks to support other nonprofit organizations in meaningful ways wherever she can. 

Claire Knight, marketing and administrative specialist at Brinkman Real Estate, concurs. 

“Stephanie Ashley is a powerhouse when it comes to strategic marketing, and it doesn’t take long to see why. Take a look at her accomplishments, including BizWest’s 40 Under Forty, or how she single-handedly led marketing for Brinkman Real Estate as it executed on nearly $250 million in transactions, expanded to eight new markets, and rapidly rose to one of the most active multifamily buyers in several Intermountain West markets — all since Q1 of 2021. 

“During this time, she also led a complete corporate rebrand, positioning Brinkman as Colorado’s mission-driven real estate company, and played a significant role on the company’s leadership team. But it’s not just her technical skills that set her apart, it’s her passion for people, desire to see a healthy organization, and what peers describe as ‘the moral compass of the company.’ Besides her marketing role, she also leads the organizational health committee, community impact program, and is the company’s strategic operations champion. In these roles, Ashley leads cross-functional subcommittees, coordinates charitable giving, events, culture initiatives, a robust onboarding experience, and spearheaded a new work-from-home policy post-COVID. Ashley also played a pivotal role in Brinkman becoming one of the first B Corp.-certified real estate companies, leading the certification processes, and ensuring Brinkman continuously grows in its commitment to the planet and our community through rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”

Kate Baker

Brinkman Construction

Chief marketing and business development officer

Years in industry: 12

College, university: Colorado State University, University of Denver

“Kate [Baker] has been a leader in the male-dominated construction industry for more than a decade and joined the executive ranks as chief marketing and business development officer for Brinkman Construction last year. She was instrumental in transitioning the company to 100% employee owned and is committed to fostering a culture where employees are the most valued asset of the company and are able to take ownership in every aspect of their roles,” said Stephanie Ashley, director of marketing at Brinkman. 

“Kate cares about giving back to the community and has served in various ways over the years including as a member and chair of the Northern Colorado Book Trust board of directors and she serves as a member of the board of directors for the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“As my former supervisor and current mentor, I can say that Kate’s leadership style is one of advocating on behalf of her team and opening doors to provide growth opportunities. Of her many unique qualities, I believe her biggest strengths are her ability to build and maintain strong relationships, as well as her ability to develop and execute a strong vision.”

Grace Barrett

Planet Bluegrass

Director of communications

Years in industry: 2

“Grace [Barrett] joined the Planet Bluegrass team last year and is in the midst of her second festival season. Planet Bluegrass produces three festivals a summer, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, RockyGrass, and Folks Festival. She runs all marketing, communications, and partnerships for all three festivals, Planet Bluegrass, and any and all additional series or individual shows,” said friend Ashley Cawthorn, director of marketing for Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti. 

“Like most people in marketing, she wears many hats and really makes up her entire department. She manages all social and PR, artwork and creative, internal and external communication, executes, implements, and delivers all partnership contracts (not to mention working on identifying and negotiating partnerships). It’s easy to see the success and growth Planet has seen since her start — check out Planet Bluegrass social media. It’s booming. 

“I know that is such a small part of what she does for this company, but it’s really a large improvement. To add to this, Grace is incredibly active in the Lyons community. She is the vice chair of Lyons Economic Vitality Commission and is involved in Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission/Lyons Creates.”

Ashton Belk

Huebner Integrated Marketing

President

Years in industry: 12

College, university: Colorado State University

“As the recently named president of Huebner Integrated Marketing, Ashton [Belk] has solidified the firm’s base of clients, raised the awareness of the firm, and has been able to get a seat at the table with C-Suite executives of PE groups and international manufacturers,” said Jim Huebner, CEO of the firm. 

“A Colorado native, she loves representing the talent, skill and expertise of her home state to clients across the country. As the organization’s leader, Ashton provides clients with strategic branding insights with the intent to help them understand and focus on how they can become more relevant to their customers and more profitable in the process. 

“Ashton is a member of the RVWA, a member of Mill City Church in Fort Collins, involved with Harmony School in Fort Collins, and formerly the executive producer of the Western Conservative Summit. She and her husband, Harrison, have two daughters, and they live in Windsor. 

“Ashton has been the perfect fit for leading the company into the future. I spent the past several years looking for our next torchbearer — someone who emulates our values and can guide clients toward a more relevant existence with authority. I’m convinced Ashton is that person.”

Abby Carey

White Label IQ

Director of paid media

Years in industry: 12

College, university: Wheaton College, University of San Francisco

“As director of paid media, Abby [Carey] worked with dozens of advertising and marketing firms across the country, serving as a white label resource for these agencies and their clients. She directly consults, plans and places digital advertising on behalf of the firm’s agency clients and has grown this portion of the firm’s business two times over the past two years,” said Jim Huebner, CEO of White Label. 

“A graduate of Heritage Christian Academy in Fort Collins and Wheaton College in Illinois, Abby has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spend over the years, has a number of digital marketing certifications, and is seen by peers as a true expert in the industries she represents. Abby is a member of City Park Church in Fort Collins where she also serves with her husband as children’s ministry directors. She has coached junior high volleyball at Heritage Christian Academy for the past five years and is a shareholder in the firm’s parent company, Cornerstone Communications Inc. 

“She and her husband, Ryan, have three children and are expecting a fourth in December. She and her family live in Fort Collins. 

“Abby is truly a leader when it comes to the combination of expertise, attitude and tenacity. Agencies love working with Abby because she makes them look really smart, and she provides great ROI for their clients. And we love having Abby on our leadership team because there are few who can provide the strategy, insights, smarts and positive attitude that she does. She’s a joy to have as a partner in this business.”

Ashley Cawthorn

Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti

Marketing director

Years in industry: 9

“Ashley [Cawthorn] joined our firm three years ago and has worked diligently to showcase our firm, its partners, practices, and our commitment to our clients and community,” said the nomination submitted by the firm. “She handles everything from strategic and creative planning and branding to design, web development, project management, and hands-on community engagement. Outside of her leadership within the firm, Ashley is incredibly active in the Boulder, Denver, and Lyons communities. 

“Not only does she volunteer and serve on many boards and councils, but she also holds leadership roles in those spaces as well. She is the chair of the Lyons Emergency and Assistance Fund board of directors, vice president of the St. Vrain Anglers Trout Unlimited, co-chairs the Boulder Chamber’s Community Affairs Council, serves on the Bolder Young Professional Board, and serves on the Workforce and Education Committee and the Public Affairs Council for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. 

“Ashley’s door is always open. She works with nearly 50 attorneys in various ways, but she also supports other members of our staff and administrative team. She is a team player who leads by example and it certainly shows. Her ability to come to the whiteboard and execute in addition to her willingness to be out in our communities truly makes her an exemplary and certainly notable marketing executive.”

Robin Choate

Alliance Construction Solutions LLC

Client development manager

Years in industry: 20

College, university: Lamar University

“Robin Choate lives by ‘the more I contribute, the more I grow.’ She exemplifies the perfect marketing role at Alliance Construction Solutions and enjoys giving back to the company and community, which has allowed her to experience professional and personal growth through business networking and deal-making opportunities,” said Sherri Keefer, contracts manager for Alliance.

“She is truly the best client development manager ACS has ever had. Over the past 12-18 months, Robin was forced to think outside the box relative to the pandemic, the challenges presented to ACS and the current market. Her position requires a department strategic plan that coincides with ACS’ corporate strategy. It is her responsibility to help develop and communicate these actions to achieve those goals. 

“She has grown the market share of ACS by implementing a strategic account manager best practices policy by educating our project leaders on expectations and helping them to ensure our clients expectations are being met through all phases of the project and beyond. Robin continually gives of herself and always does what it takes to get it done. 

“She is heavily involved in CREW Denver on the board of directors. She strives to build within the organization and capitalize on the vast array of women in the Denver area. Robin uses her experience in business development and networking as a stepping stone in meeting new contacts in the Denver area. 

“She is a strong leader and role model for others at ACS. ACS is an employee-owned company, and Robin is proud to be one of the owners. She never waivers in her actions and continually is looking out for the greater good of the company. I am proud to say that I work with Robin and appreciate all that she has done for ACS over the years and continues to do so for the company.”

Lara Darvie

Prometheus Materials Inc.

Marketing leader

Years in industry: 1

College, university: Ryder University, Seton Hall University

“A career marketer, Lara [Darvie] has served as both client and agency liaison, building global brands and executing large-scale campaigns and events. Prior to joining Prometheus, Lara held a range of posts, serving diverse clients and industries such as technology, entertainment, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceutical,” said Loren Burnett, president and CEO of Prometheus. 

Darvie has a master’s degree in corporate and public communication.

In her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as “a global marketing professional motivated by the drive to make an impact in highly visible brand ecosystems.” She has led global projects in technology,  health care, consumer packaged goods, and event production.

“I have a track record of creating strategic partnerships through trust and empathy — driving complex, end-to-end global projects with multiple stakeholders. I deliver on opportunities by integrating the needs of all parties and aligning goals and outcomes.

“As a social and environmental advocate, I am dedicated to leveraging my unique skill set to make a significant contribution to a healthier and more harmonious planet,” she said.

Tabatha Erb

Erb Element

Owner

Years in industry: 5

“Tabatha Erb is a driven, kind-hearted resident and business owner in the town of Johnstown. Beginning with her business, she is a valuable resource in our community to help our businesses be seen and get on the map. She has volunteered with Johnstown BBQ Day for years and with her assistance the event has flourished and had a higher attendance than ever before,” said Amy Tallent, owner of The Tallent Co. 

“To Tabatha, it’s not just marketing. It’s telling a story about the person who built the business and what their dreams in this world are. I was blessed and lucky enough to have Tabatha as a part of our marketing company for years, and she was a tremendous asset full of knowledge with a thirst to always learn more. Her creative mind sparks passion in everyone she interacts with and reignites their business. She meets everyone at their level and helps guide them to achieve their next stage of business.”

Jennifer Hamdun

People Productions

Vice president of creative operations

Years in industry: 25

“Joy. That is the single best word that I get when I collaborate with Jen. Our clients provide this feedback to me regularly, as well. Politeness. What a world we would have if everyone approached their lives with such grace as Jen. What a difference this makes in the workplace. Jen is the epitome that kindness pays off,” said Don Poe, CEO of People Productions. 

“Work can be challenging. Jen is right there with our team, digging in and providing leadership by being at the head of the charge as we jump into a creative hurdle. 

“Balance. Or maybe I should say ‘the complete package.’ While Jen has her PMP and can navigate through all the twists and turns of a messy creative project, she also provides her own creativity to projects. This growth is why she is a leader at People Productions. She hears the client’s marketing challenges and gives the perfect insights, hand in hand with the creative team, to launch our clients to success. 

“Jen pops her head into my Skype, asking if I have time for a quick chat. I drop everything to have the chance to talk to her. She is a visionary, mentor, collaborator, and I am so happy to say, a friend.”

Connie Hanrahan

Mantooth Co.

Founder, chief relationship strategist

Years in industry: 37

College, university: Aims Community College, Colorado State University

“Connie Hanrahan has positioned herself as a notable leader in marketing since she founded Mantooth Co. in 1995. The name Mantooth honors Connie’s mother, who taught her that the greatest attributes a person can have are honesty, loyalty, a hard-work ethic and respect for others,” said Randy Morgan, owner of Outpost Sunsport. 

“During the past 27 years, Mantooth Co. has mentored more than 150 interns, the majority from Colorado State University. Connie considers and treats these paid interns as staff members; for many this is their first professional job. She works to help them build their portfolios to ensure they are equipped to secure future employment. The mentorship teaches them to have confidence in their abilities. 

“She has served on the board of the Fort Collins affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and continues to support the organization’s work, especially its Women Build program. She is a founding member of WomenGive, which provides support and financial assistance through child care scholarships to single mothers pursuing postsecondary education. She’s been a significant supporter of CSU Athletics for close to 30 years, including serving as president of Ram Club board of directors for six years. She was also part of the successful capital campaign for the Gardens on Spring Creek. 

“Connie has been involved in many of Northern Colorado’s signature community events and has produced the free Lagoon Summer Concert Series at CSU for 25 years as her gift to the community; she only raises enough sponsor dollars to cover Mantooth’s hard costs. Her approach to marketing always includes a well thought-out strategy and provides results. These are just some of the reasons my company, Outpost Sunsport, has trusted our marketing to her for more than 15 years. We value and trust her advice.”

Vallene Kailburn

Old Town Media

Chief creative officer

Years in industry: 15

“Vallene [Kailburn] is a true leader in her industry. I have watched her grow since she and her husband, Miles, started Old Town Media in 2007. She is an expert in her field and is sought out by companies that are looking to both rebrand and grow their businesses,” said Greg Woods of Johnson Storage and Moving. 

“Vallene has grown her team significantly over the years and is known for being a driven, thoughtful, and creative leader in her organization. Vallene has a true heart for her company, her industry, as well as her community. Vallene and her team volunteer countless hours, as well as provide in-kind services, helping not-for-profit entities. 

“As she states in her LinkedIn profile, Vallene has volunteered for many organizations including: Poudre School District Foundation board president, Fort Collins Breakfast Rotary member, Project Smile board president, Kiwanis member, Museum of Art board member, as well as being a member of the Local Legislative Affairs Committee with the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“Through Vallene’s leadership, Old Town Media has been recognized locally and nationally for its successes: Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest growing private companies, as well as Colorado Biz’s 2021 Top 200 private companies, Top 100 Women-Owned Companies, and the Best of Colorado Business Choice in 2020. Somehow, Vallene finds time to be a great wife and mom as well.”

Jessica Kochik

The Tea Spot

Chief marketing officer

Years in industry: 15

College, university: University of California San Diego, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

“It’s my great honor to nominate my colleague, The Tea Spot’s CMO, Jessica Kochik, for recognition as a most outstanding marketing executive in the Boulder Valley. In the 15 years since I hired her, she has built our brand and consumer channel into the engine that is the main driver of our thriving and profitable Public Benefit Corporation of 35 employees,” said Maria Uspenski, founder and CEO of The Tea Spot. 

“Jessica’s keen analytical capabilities and tireless perseverance are responsible for our brand presentation and online ROI. Much of The Tea Spot’s success as a company can be directly attributed back to her decisions and efforts. Also of note is that Ms. Kochik has been our main liaison with the B Corp. community since 2011, where we are consistently awarded an annual shout-out as ‘Best for the Community.’ 

“Some of Jessica Kochik’s most notable achievements over the past 12-18 months include building and managing an exceptional customer service team that has helped earn us a Google store rating of 4.9 stars with almost 2,000 reviews; major pivots to our sales and marketing plans to best support our customer community throughout the pandemic; driving our ‘10% for Wellness’ philanthropic efforts toward a $100,000 donation to bring clean water to 2,500 people in need, in partnership with charity: water; implementing a thriving brand placement campaign with media, influencers and affiliate marketing partners; and most recently, securing a $10,000 small business grant from UPS Ignite for our company. As The Tea Spot’s CMO, Ms. Kochik was among only 10 selected to participate in an executive education program in partnership with Kellogg School of Management, one of the top five MBA programs in the U.S. Jessica Kochik gives her all each and every day, she is efficient and impactful — which is why I feel she is entirely deserving of this nomination.”

Dana Leventhal

ReMax of Boulder Inc.

Marketing director

Years in industry: 11

“Dana [Leventhal] has demonstrated excellent leadership by organizing all facets of the marketing process to make each campaign competitive and tasteful. The impact of her work more than triples the response rate of our prior marketing options,” said Todd Gullette, managing broker with ReMax of Boulder. 

“Dana originally started a campaign for the Boulder community with a separate identity called the Boulder Source. She marketed new businesses to the area for free, connected businesses together, interviewed them, and generated a local network there for charitable awareness. She now assists our agents on connecting the business community, and she markets dozens of charities and non-profits in the area. Her responsiveness and organization has sped up the ability for our office to take advantage of immediate marketing opportunities in addition to the large demands placed on her with more than 100 Realtors at our office. 

“While she is busy, she is never without a great attitude and a warm welcome for you. Dana’s leadership style is one in which she will take any idea and run with it. When she does, look for big things to happen.”

Jennifer Moore

DaVinci Sign Systems

Marketing director

Years in industry: 30

College, university: Colorado State University

“Some people are happy just going through the motions each day, while others seek to inspire change, challenge the status quo, and make an impact with everything they do. Jennifer [Moore] is clearly the latter. She is a pioneer, a trailblazer, and a tall glass of cool water on a hot day,” said Brian Macke, vice president of DaVinci. 

“She has helped lead DaVinci Sign Systems to many great successes over the years and is our beacon of hope shining through the clouds. Serving as the CEO of her own marketing company, while also serving as our sole marketing director, Jennifer always knows how to make our name stick in people’s minds. She has seen success through her efforts in working with multiple local publications such as BizWest, The Coloradoan, The Colorado State University magazine, and many others, where she highlights the great work of our company and positions us as an industry leader. 

“She also works diligently with the international and world sign associations to enter us in competitions and engages our staff in company newsletters highlighting their work, accomplishments, and dedication. She understands our industry well, and our client’s needs, and she leads her efforts with passion and conviction. 

“She is active on all aspects of social media and is always the first one to know what’s moving and shaking in the area. Coming from Louisiana, and hailing from Texas, Jennifer is clearly a sharp-shooter. She is a huge contributing factor to our company’s continued success, and we are honored to have her as one of the best parts of our team.”

Samantha Mueller

Parallel Path

Director, strategic consulting

Years in industry: 21

“Sam [Mueller] joined Parallel Path in 2021, bringing her 20+ years of brand-building and marketing experience, to lead the strategic consulting team for the agency. As a member of the leadership team, she helped the agency achieve record revenues in 2021 while also being named a Mercury 100 top company,” said John Kadlic, CEO of Parallel Path. 

“Sam has been instrumental in driving our learning and development agenda by ensuring each employee has a personal learning plan and bringing in outside speakers. Previously, Sam was marketing director, brand purpose at Danone, leading an enterprise-wide approach for brands to create and communicate tangible commitments and contributions toward the company’s One Planet One Health mission. Sam also served as director of the enterprise-wide Consumer Engagement organization, leading teams in development of creative campaigns, integrated marketing plans and activation programs for brands including Silk, Activia and Horizon Organic.

“Sam has two beautiful young daughters. Her now 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed in infancy with a rare genetic condition, compelling Sam toward a new purpose and passion for affecting positive change in health care advocacy. Highly involved with the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED), she serves as Colorado State Advocacy lead, fighting for federal legislation. Additionally, she leads a local fundraiser each October to raise awareness of, and funding for NFED. Sam also volunteers with Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

“Sam provides a unique and innovative perspective to address business challenges, enrolling and influencing key stakeholders to drive alignment and action. She drives for continuous improvement, leveraging foundations of trust, with natural collaborative spirit, to affect positive change. Sam is heart-led, culture-first, and seeks to unleash everyone’s full potential and unique contributions, fostering an environment that inspires everyone to thrive. Sam is an empathetic leader, demonstrating adaptability, critical thinking, active listening, and emotional agility drawing from both her personal and professional experience.”

Jackie O’Hara

Jet Marketing

Owner/president

Years in industry: 13

College, university: Colorado State University

“It’s my pleasure to nominate Jackie O’Hara as a notable marketing executive. I have worked with Jackie for nearly 12 years, and her work is more than notable. It is exemplary,” said Jennifer Riley, CEO of Memorial Regional Health. 

“As the founder of Jet Marketing, Jackie leads a dynamic and diverse team of women in strategic and innovative thinking to create customized solutions for her clients, big or small. Jackie’s focus is always meeting the client’s needs ensuring that projects are on-brand and right for the target audience. 

“Jackie’s vision and drive are what make her an invaluable resource to her clients. She strives to get the details right without losing sight of the big picture; this sets her and her company well-above anyone in the field. 

“In addition to being the leader of an all-female marketing firm, Jackie’s leadership is seen throughout Northern Colorado. Jackie’s passion for the CSU University Rams is felt on campus and in the athletic venues. She supports the school and athletic teams financially as well as a volunteer. Jackie also offers paid internships to students who are striving to build a career in marketing. These relationships provide invaluable experience to young professionals as well as helping Jackie keep her finger on the pulse of the rapidly evolving marketing field. 

“Jackie lends her expertise to her community though involvement with local organizations including the Poudre Valley School District Health and Wellness Board that recently funded a new Health and Wellness Center at Lincoln Middle School. Jackie is part of the United Way’s WomenGive, which provides opportunities to support other women in Northern Colorado. Jackie’s love of the Northern Colorado Community extends beyond growing a vibrant business and supporting organizations that provide valuable resources. She is an advocate for outdoor recreation. Her advocacy helped successfully establish the Whitewater Park in Fort Collins.”

Tara Rasmuson

Greeley Lifestyle Magazine

Owner/publisher

Years in industry: 1.5

College, university: Colorado State University

“Tara [Rasmuson] took a vision off a LinkedIn job posting (to purchase a lifestyle franchise) in September of 2020 and in just over a year’s time she has built an amazing community magazine that is getting rave reviews of all facets of Greeley businesses, community leaders and non-profits,” said her husband and business partner Craig Rasmuson. 

“She was recently tasked with doing a commemorative magazine for the July 2022 100 years of Greeley Stampede edition and along with support of her amazing team, they created a 100-page magazine that Greeley and Northern Colorado will cherish for many years to come. Being an entrepreneur myself, I was very skeptical that she could motivate the Greeley business community to buy-in to advertising and spending marketing dollars in a print format. She not only got them to see the value, she has continued to build market share and month over month she creates a new edition that outdoes the previous month(s). 

“She truly worked her tail off, listened to her constituents, and created a great community forum that all businesses and residents of Greeley celebrate monthly. She is a poster child for taking a vision and opportunity and making it thrive. 

“She is a former oil and gas professional, and jobs in that space have dwindled to such a level that she had to re-create herself, and she’s done it with flying colors.”

Marya Read

People Productions

Senior creative director

Years in industry: 44

College, university: Herron School of Art of Indiana University

“Marya [Read] and I have worked together for nearly 30 years. As a mentor, I sit back and use her approach to solve creative challenges. She is the angel on my shoulder,” said Don Poe, CEO of People Productions. 

“Everyone on our team loves to see her at work, coming up with new angles and keeping on task to solve our clients’ issues. A solid business answer is more important than just being catchy,” he said.

“Messaging and campaign development — Her approach elevates others in our brainstorming sessions.

“Directing photo and video shoots — She provides a keen art director’s eye, vision, and conducts insightful interviews.

“Learning and training — Marya developed this entirely new branch of business, working with enterprise clients on sensitive topics such as helping kids at risk, educating physicians on how to be sensitive with people with disabilities, people dealing directly with trauma, and diving deep into technical courses.

“In the Boulder community, Marya has volunteered with aging populations, kids facing trauma and even cyclists.”

Rachel Schlegel

Old Town Media Inc.

Account director, partner

Years in industry: 7

College, university: Ball State University

“Rachel Schlegel has led our account services team at Old Town Media over the past four years. Throughout that time, including during COVID, she worked to create a client engagement model that supports our clients and their goals. That engagement model has allowed us to expand her team by 400% in the past 18 months,” said Miles Kailburn, CEO and founder of Old Town. “This allows our team to stay ahead of our clients’ known and unknown needs and enables us to truly be a partner and adviser to our clients. 

“Rachel is a collaborator. She has built our client engagement model through iterative work with her growing team of strategists and in collaboration with our clients. She has an incredible ability to align her team’s focus on being solutions-oriented and client-focused. Rachel’s empathy, optimism, professionalism, creativity, and grit have not only helped lead to her individual success, these qualities have also influenced those around her in meaningful ways.”

Jenna Stadsvold

Namaste Solar

Brand manager

Years in industry: 16

College, university: University of Minnesota

“Since Jenna [Stadsvold] started at Namaste Solar more than five years ago, she has continually been promoted, from a content marketing specialist to strategist, and she now serves as the company’s brand manager,” said Dave Rizzotto, Namaste’s director of marketing.

“She’s led many impactful initiatives that have driven business, improved company culture, and benefited the community. Over the past 10 months, Jenna led our company through a brand refresh in which we developed a new visual identity and updated logo. Once those guidelines were established, Jenna organized the roll-out of these assets, which included a website redesign, new vehicle wrap designs, social media templates, ads, and print collateral. As a result, the company has a unified visual identity that reflects the brand’s unique attributes.

“Whether as a writer or editor, Jenna has driven our content strategy that has resulted in more than 50,000 blog visitors annually. Jenna helped form and serves on our Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Circle. A primary goal of this group is to uncover and dismantle oppressive systems in ourselves, in our company, and in our community, and to cultivate an inclusive environment for people to bring their authentic selves to work. 

“Jenna spearheaded a community giving program called Keep the Lights on Colorado. In 2021, the campaign brought businesses and individuals together to raise nearly $100,000, which provided community solar subscriptions to 395 low-income families.”

Carli Taylor-Drake

Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies

Director of marketing and practice development

Years in industry: 11

College, university: Colorado State University

“Carli Taylor-Drake is the director of marketing and practice development at Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies. She took over from an OCR veteran in 2018 as he retired, and she has continued to support the growth of OCR through expansions and acquisitions of other providers and facilities,” said Miles Kailburn, CEO of Old Town Media Inc. 

“Carli leads a small but mighty team focusing on ensuring OCR’s incredible team of providers are accessible and known to the region’s patients. As a leader, Carli helps teams navigate and drive positive, innovative change with passion and purpose. She recently became a KG Certified Aligned Leader, powering up her skills in creating and maintaining alignment on her team and across her organization. 

“Carli is also involved in the community and her impact has been felt widely in Northern Colorado through her philanthropy. She gives back to all of the organizations that OCR supports and has implemented projects within her own organization to bring OCR partners together for a greater cause.”