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By Griffin Swartzell Vanessa Harmoush was bitten by the journalism bug early on, and it gave her a taste for making a difference. The Colorado native worked on school newspapers in middle and high school, and studied journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She started her professional career...
By Bridgett Harris Amber Ptak is the new CEO for Community Health Partners in Colorado Springs — and her appointment is a new milestone in a career devoted to advancing public health. Ptak grew up just outside of Detroit, and after graduating from high school in 1993, she moved to Kalamazoo...
By Griffin Swartzell Commercial real estate wasn’t in Tyson Liese’s plans. After this Highlands Ranch native earned dual bachelor’s degrees in business communication and philosophy from UCCS, he aimed to attend graduate school and study law or public policy. But when he looked at the numbers, his plans changed. “Looking at...
By Bridgett Harris Helping others has always been a powerful motivator for Adah Rodriguez — and that drive has led her to mission-based nonprofits. A Colorado native, Rodriguez grew up in the small town of Gardner, between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Wet Mountains. She says the strong sense...
By Griffin Swartzell Claire Sanderson loves being part of the family business. Her mother, Noreen Landis-Tyson, is the president and CEO of local nonprofit Community Partnership for Child Development … giving preschool children a head start. Sanderson started volunteering with the organization when she was a kid. CPCD gave Sanderson her...
By Bridgett Harris As a leader invested in community-centered work, Keith Willschau has always been devoted to supporting the Pikes Peak region. His résumé reads like a who’s who of the region’s favorite nonprofits. He’s worked with the Trails and Open Space Coalition and the Rocky Mountain Field Institute —...
It’s hard for Valerie Terrill to predict what she’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis. Her job as community wealth management trust advisor for U.S. Bank has her tackling a variety of tasks and responding to her clients’ needs as they come up, which makes it sound like her...
By Bridgett Harris  As a self-described Jill-of-all-trades, Jolie NeSmith brings an array of unique experience to her role as executive director of Pike Ride, Colorado Springs’ first and only nonprofit bike share program. She’s opened restaurants, bartended, worked with at-risk youths and driven all over the southern half of Colorado as the...
By Bridgett Harris Annie Snead has always been devoted to the people of Colorado Springs — and the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased her dedication to the community she loves. As director of marketing and public relations for Pikes Peak United Way, Snead works with dozens of...
By Bridgett Harris Kassidi Gilgenast is passionate about establishing volleyball as the next big sport in the United States. At the beginning of this year, she took on the role of chief marketing officer at USA Volleyball and got to work building out the organization’s marketing team and supporting all areas...
By Bridgett Harris Carrie Clarke stresses innovation, agility and strategic planning in her work with Springs business owners. They’re also tenets the small business consultant and coach abides by in her own career ambitions — which are plentiful. With a background as an attorney and risk advisor, Clarke co-founded Next Level...
Sharie Dodge is serious about throwing herself into the great outdoors, whether it’s for her work, her weekends or her wedding. As office manager for the nonprofit Trails & Open Space Coalition, she’s immersed in a range of environmental advocacy efforts, from trail preservation to “green” races to encouraging Coloradans...