Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Honoring 17 at the 17th in 2017 – Women in Business – Women Making a Difference Luncheon / Feb. 10, 2017

In place of the regularly scheduled February Women in Business meeting, the Women Making a Difference Luncheon was held on Friday, Feb. 10.

The 17th Annual Women in Business Women Making a Difference luncheon on Feb. 10, 2017 honored 17 “Unsung Heroes” making a difference in our community. 17, 17, 17 – it has a ring to it!

Debbie Gilliard, PhD, professor of management and Management Department Chair at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Chair of the Women in Business committee welcomed attendees and thanked FirstBank, Wells Fargo Bank, and Westerra Credit Union for their sponsorship of the event.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon Dr. Connie Johnson, Colorado Technical University’s chief academic officer and provost, gave an uplifting and entertaining – as well as thoughtful insight into taking chances, mentoring, and keeping up with technology.

The awards presentation began with introducing and acknowledging the nominees:


Sylvia Bowen, Aurora Symphony Orchestra

Camilla Dellinger, Aurora Law Firm

Kelly Folks, Arapahoe Douglas Works

Teresa Lehman, Nelowet Business Solutions

Dianne Lewis, Aurora Public Schools

Terry NeSmith, Citywide Banks

Laura Noe, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Andrea Rasizer, Arapahoe County Fairgrounds

Jennifer Reali, Community Re-Entry Place Inside/Out

Jennie Schmaltz, Aurora Public Schools

Karlyn Shorb, Aurora Sister Cities International

Rachel Stetz, Colorado Technical University

Pam Whitaker, Ronald McDonald House

Polina Yakusheva, Fitzsimons Credit Union

Mandy Young, Jim & Nicks BBQ

Then, the three finalists were introduced, Micki Hackenberger, President of Axiom Strategies; Sarah Senst, Creative Counseling Center; and Tami Morrissey, Community College of Aurora.


Morrissey received the top honor as the 2017 Unsung Hero, as she has been deemed as the ‘community part’ of the Community College of Aurora. As the assistant to CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven, Morrissey is responsible for event planning and implementation, taking care of schedules, and making things happen!

With CCA for many years, she makes it possible for the administration to be helpful and responsive to requests and inquiries. Her knowledge and background, as well as her positive attitude and unflappable demeanor, always make CCA look good!

Because Morrissey is always behind the scenes, making things work, valuing and helping the community she lives and works in, she is the recipient of the 2017 Unsung Hero Award!

The event also served as a “changing of the guard,” as Dr. Gilliard turned over the Chair of the Women in Business committee to Terry Spencer of Colin Spencer Productions.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the chair of the Women in Business committee for many years,” said Gilliard, as she introduced Spencer as incoming chair. “I have truly enjoyed the camaraderie and the wide variety of subjects we have covered in our meetings, and I know that Terry will be a great leader.”

Terry with Shoes

Spencer took the opportunity to have a little fun, and pulled out a pair of size 12 platform very high heel, silver sparkle pumps, and exclaimed that “She has big shoes to fill, but that she is looking forward to the opportunity and challenge.”

Table sponsors for the event were American Association of University Women; Aurora Mental Health Center; Aurora Public Schools; Aurora Sister Cities; Aurora Symphony Orchestra; Citywide Banks; Laura Noe, Realtor – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; Colorado Technical University; Community Banks of Colorado; and Community College of Aurora.

Businesses providing door prizes were Outback Steakhouse – Abilene St., Colorado Technical University, DoubleTree by Hilton Denver-Aurora, and The Chamber. Goodie bags were provided by Southlands Shopping Center.


About ac-admin

Facebook LinkedIn YouTube RSS
Back to Top