2012 Women Who Light The Community Honorees
The 17th Annual Women Who Light the Community awards luncheon hosted by the Boulder Chamber, took place on Wednesday, June 13th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. The Chamber will recognize five outstanding women who have generously contributed their time and resources to make Boulder County a better place to live, work, and play.
This event honors women who have made a significant difference in our community through their civic, professional, and community involvement. The 2012 honorees were selected from a pool of about 40 nominations by a committee of the Chamber’s Business Women’s Leadership Group. This year’s honorees are:
Cindy Carrillo -Founded the Work Options Group in 1986. It was created to provide back-up care consulting services for Boulder, expanding into western states and ultimately becoming a national presence. In 1994, Carrillo took the company to the next level by building nation-wide networks of high quality service providers. When the company was sold in 2008, its 84 employees were serving 150 corporate clients through a network of 5,000 providers. Carrillo has served on a number of local boards, in many instances, as Board Chair or President. She is currently the Board Chair for HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties and the CU Deming Center for Entrepreneurship.
Deborah Conley - Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Blind Community donates over 400 hours per year for the development of sports for endurance blind athletes. She speaks to blind organizations and parents of blind children about the benefits of participating in athletics and how to help their children within the public school system. She personally guides blind athletes in the Boulder and Denver area and designed blind running and swimming tethers for them when she discovered these products were not available. In 2011 and 2012, Conley was the race director for all the blind runners at the Cherry Creek Sneak 5K run. In 2012 she registered 18 blind runners & 23 guide runners; the largest field of blind runners ever in any major U.S. road race to date. She is also the President and Founder of Lending Sight, a USABA (United States Association of Blind Athletes) Sport Club that offers guiding and running training at no charge to visually impaired individuals of all ages and abilities.
Diane Dimeff - Executive Director of eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship formed from a partnership between the University of Colorado, a national leader in aerospace engineering, and Sierra Nevada Space Systems. The eSpace mission is to support the creation of entrepreneurial space companies, to commercialize the technologies they create, and to develop a diversified 21st century workforce to fuel their growth. By securing $1.4 million through an Air Force Research Lab grant, eSpace has incubated 13 young aerospace companies, created $2.9 million in revenue to these companies. In the Straight to Space program, eSpace has supported the training of 74 aerospace technicians and engineers in 24 different companies, creating $3.3 million in annual salaries, for a total economic impact of $6.25 million since 2009. In addition, eSpace has supported eight student projects at CU, five of which have either transitioned into the eSpace Incubator or experienced an important commercialization event. Dimeff’s driving passion through all these ventures is working with students and as a Scholar in Residence in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU Boulder and connecting individuals to the people and organizations that will help make them successful.
Janet Russell - Founder of the Louisville Arts District & the First Friday Art Walk is owner of Creative Framing Art Gallery where she enacted her vision to create a vibrant art movement that brought noted talent of international and national prominence to her gallery yet emphasized and featured local artists from surrounding communities. She initiated the walk over five years ago to expand the art scene in the Louisville community. Today the art community has grown and become a highly valued asset to the city providing a robust adjunct to the city’s allure, regularly drawing over 500 people from all over Colorado and beyond! Artists have been flocking into the scene to teach, produce and participate in several new venues that have opened the door to visual art. Janet has sought out and enlisted many community members to join forces and establish formal ways to promote effective use of art to bring added vitality and verve to the city’s growing reputation as a “Colorado Destination”. The recently formed Louisville Arts District is the latest progression of Russell’s vision. Looking ahead, the Louisville Arts District board is collaborating with city government and other community organizations to achieve designation for Louisville as a Colorado Creative District.
Alex Zinga – Program Coordinator for the Youth Services Initiative, City of Boulder Parks and Recreation. YSI is a community-based after school and summer program for youth living in Boulder’s public housing sites. The YSI mission is to provide youth from low income families the opportunities, skills and resources necessary to make positive recreational, educational and lifestyle choices. Over the past eleven years, Zinga has counseled hundreds of kids in the program. She has organized several community events such as the YSI spring art show and the YSI Holiday Gift Giving Program in partnership with the Boulder Fire Department. Under her guidance, the youth she works with annually participate in Boulder’s Parade of Lights, a Learn to Ski or Ride program at Eldora and the BolderBoulder. She recently initiated a bike event where bikes were donated and repaired for those without, and she helped to set up a cooking competition so that youth could learn about healthy eating. She is one of the strongest advocates of children from low income families in the community.