By Diana Cordova, Business Development and Marketing Director, CWCC
On the afternoon of September 27, 2011, guests flooded the Hyatt to enjoy an afternoon dedicated to honoring women in business and the companies that foster and support women’s success. One of the first highlights was a short video by Greenworks Video with clips of board members and award finalists discussing what inspires them to support women.
Next, the first round of awards was given out starting with Sustainable Company of the Year which went to two recipients: Goodwill Industries of Denver and Xcel Energy. The Large, Medium and Small Companies of the Year went to: Raytheon, Sherman & Howard L.L.C., and Entitlement and Engineering Solutions.
Then Cathey Finlon took the stage as the keynote speaker. In 2009, Cathey was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame and also received the prestigious Leader Award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. She is currently president of the Denver Art Museum and chair of the board of trustees of the Children’s Hospital.
The audience was riveted during her talk that began with an admission that she hates public speaking. Had she not said it, no one would have believed it, because as she spoke it was clear something important was being imparted and as she ended feelings ranged from impressed to inspired.
Beyond getting to know Cathey as a person, we learned about the following five themes that she applies to living and working in a prosperous, satisfying manner.
1. Opportunity and serendipity can be spectacular friends to you.
2. Run; don’t walk, always from unacceptable situations. See them. Know them. Respond to them.
3. Mentors can make the difference between a dark night and hope. Mentors pick you and it’s up to you to earn their respect every day.
4. Hard work counts. Hard work can be the difference between success and failure.
5. Work must have meaning. We must create a value in our daily work and love that value.
According to Cathey, “Creating meaning in work is about doing work professionally and with satisfaction—about striving to do it different and better than ever—by seeking new ways to replace the old—and it is also about finding the way to personally give to others. It’s only in our heads to realize.”
After Cathey’s talk, Madison Carter of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and On the Pulse LLC was announced as the Young Professional of the Year. After hugging her father on the way up to the stage, she congratulated the other finalists, thanked everyone and commended the CWCC on its wonderful and innovative programs. Madison stated that women officially control more than half of the wealth in the country and they continue to flourish with success in business and in their communities. This drives the need for women’s financial education which is her main focus. Her success in business and her support of women and the community through involvement in multiple non-profits has earned her this year’s Young Professional award.
Next Frances Owens, former first lady of Colorado who is currently with Galloway Group, was announced as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. “I’m a little bit overwhelmed,” Frances stated as she stepped up to accept the award. She thanked her family, friends and associates and talked about how we all need balance in life, and then she thanked the CWCC for the amazing job it does in being there for all of us in our lives. Frances thanked Jean Galloway, “who always helps others” and acknowledged her daughter Monica who works for an all-women’s organization. She discussed how powerful women are and left us with a sense of her humility and gratitude.
The Annual Awards Luncheon is much like a holiday—it’s an exciting event that we plan and anticipate for months, and then it’s over in a flash. We are already planning for next year and we hope to see you there.
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