The 2nd annual “Girls Rising: Building a Pipeline of Female Leaders” honored five young college students with scholarships and offered a panel discussion from women leaders from throughout the Denver metro region. This year’s event, hosted by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, was held Wednesday morning, May 15 at the Hilton Denver City Center in downtown Denver.

Emcee meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo of KMGH/Denver7 introduced keynote speaker Susan Frew, an author and woman business owner who found success in a predominantly male industrial field.  Also on hand were: Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) President/CEO Kristen Blessman; CWCC Board Chair Deb Siverson; and Lorii Rabinowitz, CEO of the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

Frew is CEO of Sunshine Plumbing, Heating & Air and author of “The Pufferfish Effect: Secrets to Crush Your Competition.” She provided guests with some hard-fought lessons that she picked up from her personal and professional struggles as a woman-owned business in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The entry-point for many women in non-traditional careers is a continuous support of education for STEM careers. Today, about 29% of STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering, and math) are held by women. However, only 1-2% of electricians and plumbers are women, and Frew made a case to encourage more women to enter the high-paying trade professions.

This year’s 5 scholarship recipients represent CSU, UCD, Metro State, and CCD

Participants from the business community heard from government, non-profit and for-profit business leaders who addressed what is being done and what still needs to be done to change perceived career options for women. The event honored five top female students entering non-traditional fields. College student scholarships were awarded to help them take the next step in their education and careers.
Presenting Sponsor for this year’s event was Xcel Energy with Sustaining Sponsors: Cummings, Denver Water, and the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

As part of the event a 5-member panel discussion was held to discuss today’s challenges for women in the workplace and personal stories of achievement from the world of entrepreneurs, politics, philanthropy, top-tier corporate industries, and small businesses. This year’s “Girls Rising” Panel of Experts was moderated by Paige Goss of Point Solutions Group. Panelists featured were: Makisha Boothe of Sistahpreneurs; Denise Burgess of Burgess Services, Inc.; Polly Lawrence, Government Affairs; Carrie Morgridge of the Morgridge Family Foundation; and Laura Roberts of Xcel Energy.

Special congratulations to the 2019 Girls Rising Scholars:
Lucy Appel– studying Construction Management at Colorado State University
Giselle Barrios– studying International Business at University of Colorado at Denver
Odalis Castro – studying Bioengineering at at University of Colorado at Denver
Katya Torres – studying Civil Engineering at Metro State University of Denver
Sierra Morales – studying Criminal Justice at the Community College of Denver

For more information regarding the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce visit:

Blacktie Colorado
Blacktie Colorado