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Featured 8×8 Presenters, Evelyn Baker and Anna Newell Jones

SMcMullen : April 11, 2016 11:59 pm : Blog

This is the second of a series of four posts spotlighting WiD’s 2016 8×8 speakers.

Evelyn Baker

Deputy Director, Denver Community Planning and Development

evelyn-baker-CPD Evelyn Baker serves as deputy director of Community Planning and Development for the City and County of Denver. In this role since April 2014, she oversees many of the city’s ambitious planning and development initiatives including long-range planning, plan implementation, zoning, design, permitting and special projects.  Evelyn has more than 20 years of experience in local and regional planning in Denver and the San Francisco Bay Area.Evelyn’s passion for creating sustainable, livable communities was sparked in the environmental studies program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her master’s degree in planning from Cornell University.  Evelyn is a Denver resident and enjoys chasing after her two active sons and taking advantage of the many outdoor recreational amenities that Denver and the Rocky Mountains have to offer all year ‘round.

Anna Newell Jones

Author/Blogger, AndThenWeSaved.comThe Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living…

Anna Newell Jones was rapidly suffocating under the weight of too much debt. An inveterate “spender,” she was in way over her head, to the tune of almost $24,000. She knew her debt was only going to get worse if she didn’t take action, but she didn’t know where to look for help. On a whim, Anna decided to go on a spending fast— she quickly learned what worked and what didn’t and wrote all about it on her blog, AndThenWeSaved.com.  Amazingly, Anna was able to eliminate all $23,605.10 of her debt in only 15 months! She has been seen in Forbes, Self, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, and The Chicago Tribune. Anna is the author of the book, The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living. How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get From Broke to Badass in Record Time. (The book goes on sale April 26th). Anna Newell Jones


For more information about the 8×8 and to register, click here.




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Featured 8×8 Presenters, Danika Gilbert and Diana Hall

SMcMullen : April 8, 2016 12:24 pm : Blog

This is the first of a series of four posts spotlighting WiD’s 2016 8×8 speakers.

Danika Gilbert

Expedition Leader, Ascend Afghanistan and San Juan Mountain Guides

Danika head shot Danika Gilbert has been guiding around the world for over twenty years. She has worked in many different environments, locations, and with women’s specific groups. From mountain biking and trekking to rock/ice climbing and backcountry skiing, Danika loves sharing the outdoors with others and helping them fulfill dreams. One of her most recent adventures involved guiding 13 young Afghan women on an empowering climbing expedition in Afghanistan through Ascend: Leadership through Athletics, a US based non-profit focused on empowering youth in conflict zones through sports. Danika lives in Southwest Colorado, working as a mountain guide and grant writer; helping others pursue lives full of adventure and passion.

Diana Hall

Founder/Owner, ActiveArmor

Diana Hall graduated from Colorado School of Mines in 1997 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and has worked in process engineering and software for Fortune 500 companies across the country. She completed her MBA at Colorado State University in Fort Collins in 2007, worked as a Business Development Director for nonprofits, and founded a mentoring program for children in poverty. Diana holds a patent on a hygienic, waterproof, breathable 3D-printed splint, and founded ActivArmor TM in 2014. Diana has established partnerships with professional athletes, medical specialists and business leaders to develop custom medical and sports products. Diana has spoken at several venues on the topic of 3D design and printing, small business ownership and start-ups, economic development and entrepreneurship, and has given a TEDx talk on the future of mass customization in design and manufacturing. 11894949_10204903424807012_1814524537_o


For more information about the event and to register, click here.

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Holiday Warm Fuzzy #3

Heather Howell : December 21, 2015 12:09 pm : Blog

Back in August, Women in Design joined Habitat for Humanity in the Women’s Build Week for 2015. We offered local Colorado students a $250 scholarship opportunity to join the team by competing in an essay contest. We now want to share those winning essays with you. We are proud to have these amazing, fantastic, creative, talented women living among us in Colorado and as a part of WiD.


Essay Winner #3

Essay Topic: If you could not fail – How would you use your design passion and skills to help make the world a better place?

As a young girl, I grew up in what is now referred to as Sunnyside. An up-and-coming, hip neighborhood in Denver, located northeast of Downtown. When I lived there, however, children did not play outside for fear of being hurt during frequent gang related drive-by shootings. Crime in the area was high and ones home was the only flimsy barrier offered from the chaos outside. There were no parks or safe public spaces within walking distance, the closest public library was the Central branch located near the Denver capitol miles away, accessible at that time only by car.  In this urban captivity, my home and neighborhood felt for like prisons than places of refuge. My goal as a design professional is to establish and maintain a safe, lively, and economically accessible built world.

For an impoverished population to truly thrive, there needs to be civic investment in that populations well-being. The outside world needs to care about the quality of life for their neighbors. When every citizen is proud of their home, the city as a whole is healthier. The state is healthier. The world is healthier. Economically healthy as well as mentally and emotionally healthy. There is nothing quite as detrimental to the psyche of a struggling, low-income population than being treated as a weak “other”, begging for scraps from the table. When visiting the homes of my friends living in Park Hill or Cherry Creek, I was met with lush, sprawling parks bordered and rows of cute shops and cafes. I walked away knowing that I was poor and that worlds like that were not built for people like me.

After being ignored or institutionally neglected for generations, the poor are left feeling like unwanted burdens. No child, no family, no community should feel this way. Some turn this pain into anger and perpetuate crime in these challenged areas. The only solution is to enable these groups to be their own advocates and feel confident speaking with designers to improve their area, this means that designers need to be more engaged with these groups. Engaged not as saviors with advanced degrees and inflated egos, but as community development partners.

As a working-class Latina entering a profession that is historically predominated by affluent white men, I feel it is my duty to represent my people as hard working and dedicated to a bright future for all- regardless of income. I have mentored young women of color who hope to someday be architects and I would love to participate in projects operated by Habitat for Humanity. Both activities challenge me as an aspiring design professional and part of a build team, but more importantly strengthen individuals who want to build a better world for themselves.

Author: Emilia Cabeza de Baca
Field of Study: Architecture at University of Colorado-Denver


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Holiday Warm Fuzzy #2

Heather Howell : December 10, 2015 7:13 am : Blog

Back in August, Women in Design joined Habitat for Humanity in the Women’s Build Week for 2015. We offered local Colorado students a $250 scholarship opportunity to join the team by competing in an essay contest. We now want to share those winning essays with you. We are proud to have these amazing, fantastic, creative, talented women living among us in Colorado and as a part of WiD.


Essay Winner #2

Essay Topic: If you could not fail – How would you use your design passion and skills to help make the world a better place?
I will make the world a better place by figuring out a way to retrofit existing urban structures with passive solar design, greywater recycling, and on site food production.

My name is Paula Tootle and I am in my third year at the Art Institute of Colorado earning my BA in Interior Design.  I am an Air Force brat and now a retired military spouse.  I am 53 years old and am embarking a new career.  Design has always been a part of my life. I am thankful to my husband for transferring his Post 911 GI Bill benefits to me so I could follow my passion.

If I could not fail, my passion and skills would be aimed at helping our deserving veterans.  Our veterans have offered of themselves to give me and others as well the opportunity to pursue their dreams.  Like Habitat for Humanity, I would like to partner with great organizations like Wounded Warrior and Homes for Heroes.  However, with my interior design degree, I have been focusing on pursuing residential design.  My belief is that our veterans need a space that they can call home no matter what their injuries may be.  These injuries can be physical or mental or even both therefore designing a space that addresses their needs is where I would love to use my knowledge and creativity.  Of course, I will be working with the general public but my focus will be on veterans as well as active duty military.

As a student nearing graduation, we are to present a grad project.  My project is intended to revitalize the VFW.  I am designing a community center that is geared toward our younger veterans without leaving out our aging veterans.  This is a huge need because of veterans of WWII, Korean and Viet Nam are aging and leaving us.  Our younger veterans need a place to call their own, which offers a place to bond with their comrades as well as a place offering resources to help with issues or concerns they may have.
In conclusion, I am focused on helping our veterans using my degree and passion for interior design.  I believe they are our future and they need to honored.  They deserve a space that they can call home.

Author: Paula Tootle
Field of Study: Interior Design at the Art Institute of Colorado


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Holiday Warm Fuzzy #1

Heather Howell : December 3, 2015 8:31 am : Blog

Back in August, Women in Design joined Habitat for Humanity in the Women’s Build Week for 2015. We offered local Colorado students a $250 scholarship opportunity to join the team by competing in an essay contest. We now want to share those winning essays with you. We are proud to have these amazing, fantastic, creative, talented women living among us in Colorado and as a part of WiD.


Essay Winner #1

Essay Topic: If you could not fail – How would you use your design passion and skills to help make the world a better place?

I will make the world a better place by figuring out a way to retrofit existing urban structures with passive solar design, greywater recycling, and on site food production.

Currently, I am interning with Earthships Biotecture and building net zero energy and water homes out of recycled materials. The model has come a long way and I see the potential for human housing to add no waste to the environment. Single family homes was a natural starting point, but the majority of people live in cities now so this is where I see the larger environmental impact. My architectural career will be devoted to working with professionals from other disciplines on reconstructing truly sustainable and independent urban buildings.

Given the amount of infrastructure already present, we can not afford to tear down existing structures and build anew. I am committed implementing retrofit designs that introduce the necessary thermal mass that would allow for the removal of heating and cooling systems, utilize rainwater and greywater recycling so that buildings would not need to be connected to public water, and produce all their own energy and some food on site.

Author: Leigh  Bryant
Field of Study: Architecture at University of Colorado Denver


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Volunteers Needed for Boys and Girls Club Holiday Event – December 10th

SMcMullen : November 30, 2015 9:04 am : Blog, Events

Herman Miller and Workplace Resource hosts an annual event for Boys and Girls Club each year and is looking for some volunteers.  Over 20 Architectural and Design firms come up with creative crafts for the children to make as holiday gifts.  We host over 400 kids throughout the metro area. We provide dinner, entertainment, face painting, Santa and gift wrapping for all their handmade gifts.  We also raise money to provide each child with a  winter hat.


Face painters, gift wrappers, and “Santa’s helpers” are needed for this great event.  These are volunteers who host a small group of children through the event.  Click here to learn more about volunteering.

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Join SMPS for a Three Part Education and Project Tour Series Project Development A-Z: Key points in an A/E/C Project Timeline

SMcMullen : October 26, 2015 12:24 pm : Blog

The Project Development A-Z: Key points in an A/E/C Project Timeline by the Society of Marketing Professional Services Colorado Chapter


“Complete with a hard hat for every attendee, this four-part series was designed to educate and inform marketers, business developers, and A/E/C professionals about the client service stages and deliverables of a project, specifically calling out key touch points along the timeline for marketers and BD staff. Starting with an in-depth kick-off, the series will expand to include three must-see project tours of Promenade at Castle Rock, Children’s Museum of Denver, and Rocky Mountain Deaf School.”

The kickoff for the series is October 29th. Visit their website for more information and to register.

Building Blocks Series (Kick-off & 3 Project Tours)

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Team WID!

Heather Howell : June 29, 2015 8:41 pm : Blog, Share

Join us and keep track of how our team is soaring to new heights. We are ready for fun, hard work, and enriching experiences with Habitat for Humanity – Women’s Build Adopt-A-Day. Check out our fundraising page HERE. Help us reach our goal. All donations welcome!

If you would like to join Team WID click here to register!


Women Build Week: Women In Design
Saturday, August 22, 8 am – 4:30 pm

Women Build Week (WBW) is a unique opportunity to engage civic minded women with Habitat for Humanity’s mission.  WBW provides participants with the opportunity to network, build homes and make a positive impact in the community.  Women Build Week is a five day event and participants can choose to volunteer for one day or multiple days.

During Women Build Week, we will be framing an entire duplex in five days!  On the first day of the build only the floor will be in place and by Sunday night all of the walls and the roof will be completed.  It usually takes Habitat 2 weeks to complete this much work, which is why Women Build Week is such an exciting concept.
Women Build Week is a fundraiser.  Each Women Build Week participant is asked to help support the project financially as well as through volunteer labor.  Participants volunteering for one day of the build are asked to raise a minimum of $250.  Individuals interested in volunteering for multiple days are asked to raise a minimum of $250 per day.

All of the funds raised are used to help Habitat purchase the materials needed to build the home. Each participant receives a t-shirt and women who raise $500 or more receive a customized hardhat.  New this year, participants who raise $750 or more will receive a pink tool belt!




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Denver’s First Post-Recession Sustainable Condo in RiNo

SMcMullen : June 23, 2015 7:57 am : Blog

exterior Rendering w solarGreenSpot Real Estate, a leader in adding value to real estate through green-building certifications and energy efficiency, is bringing to market Factory Flats, a sustainable five-story mixed-use building expected to be completed in mid-2016. The development, located in the heart of RiNo, is targeting LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications and will have office and retail space for lease, in addition to 24 residential flats for sale. The units will feature hardwood floors, European cabinetry and quartz countertops, and all will be solar-powered.

RiNo, once an abandoned industrial neighborhood, has experienced a housing boom in recent years. Since art galleries, restaurants, shops and bars started to infiltrate the area, young professionals and Baby Boomers alike have been moving to the neighborhood in droves. Sales of office, industrial, retail, land and multifamily housing properties in RiNo have reached $365 million in the past five years.

“RiNo is hot right now, and Factory Flats is an exciting prospect for people who want to invest in this up-and-coming neighborhood,” said Melissa Baldridge, Co-Owner & Co-Founder of GreenSpot Real Estate and Women in Design member. “This project furthers GreenSpot’s mission of affecting climate change through the built environment. With sustainability top of mind, we are proud to offer a beautiful, green, community-focused home in Denver’s hottest zip code.”

For more information, visit http://www.factoryflats.com/.

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8×8 Presenters

SMcMullen : April 15, 2015 1:33 pm : Blog

In preparation for Women in Design’s 10th Annual 8×8 on April 29th, the WID blog will post the background information on each speaker.  Each speaker presents for 8 minutes and the theme for 2015 is Industries on the Modern Frontier.  Early registration for the event is available until 4/22/15.

headshotGH-crest-logo-grey-and-greenAlicia Perez is the Promotora for The GrowHaus, a non-profit in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood that provides healthy, organic, and affordable food to a food desert community, as well as education programs, internships, and jobs. As Promotora, Alicia runs a free grocery delivery program for community members, and is one of the instructors of Seed to Seed, a Summer Program for teens. She is training to be a Permaculturalist and continually strives to serve as an example to educate and empower her community. She is a longtime resident of Elyria-Swansea and the proud mother of a 2-year-old son.




Coburn ArchitectureAmber Stewart has been involved with the design of a variety of projects including breweries, airports, museums, newspaper facilities, offices and residential.  She has most recently been with Coburn Architecture working on the Great Divide Brewery in Denver, CO and Karbach Brewery in Houston, TX. Coburn has led the design of other breweries including Avery, Breckenridge, Finkel & Garf and Palmetto.  She has enjoyed the opportunity to bring a diversity of microbrews to the community.  When not designing spaces, she enjoys spending time in the Colorado mountains with her husband.



JG PhotoEOC StackedJennifer Gremmert is the Deputy Director of Energy Outreach Colorado and is responsible for all program management and advocacy activities for the organization.  Previously, Ms. Gremmert worked for numerous nonprofit organizations including Urban Peak, a shelter for homeless youth, the national office of Junior Achievement in Colorado Springs, Up With People, the University of Arizona and the University of California system.  Ms. Gremmert received her Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and her undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Arizona.  Ms. Gremmert currently serves on the Advisory Board for the National Energy and Utility Assistance Coalition and serves on the Governor’s Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance in Colorado.



Jocelyn HittleJocelyn Hittle is the Director of Denver Operational Initiatives at Colorado State University and is primarily focused on the National Western Center, a large redevelopment project in North Denver. The project seeks to provide a year- round opportunity to experience world-class cultural events, learn about food systems and sustainability, and conduct research. She is also working to engage the surrounding communities in ways that support their goals and enhance this emerging gateway to the City of Denver.  Prior to joining CSU, Jocelyn was the Associate Director of PlaceMatters, a national non-profit think tank based in Denver and focused on informed, inclusive decision making in land use, sustainability, and planning. She also worked for the Orton Family Foundation and Sightline Institute on issues around land use and planning. She has a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.



JuliaLeach1404TDYJulia Leach is the founder of the Fort Collins-based marketing agency Clay Pot Creative and is currently president of Toddy, LLC.  Toddy manufactures cold brewing equipment for home and cafe use and is a driving force behind the current cold brew craze in the specialty coffee industry.  Julia knows just enough about coffee roasting to be dangerous at the controls, but prefers to find her perfect pick-me-up at a local cafe.  She is a Colorado native, happily married for the past 15 years to a guy she met in third grade and is the mother of 3 boys who look just like her husband, Andy.






DIA Logo Horiz Preferred (2)JulieJulie Wienberg is a creative, collaborative, and enthusiastic executive with over 21 years in design and construction management.  For the last 15 years Julie has focused on transportation and aviation related developments. Julie excels in the leadership of diverse project teams inspiring cohesive collaboration and provides the highest quality of performance in all assignments. Julie embraces her career as a part of a bigger life picture and loves to find the joy in the journey.

In her current role at Denver International Airport, Julie has taken on the leadership for the development, evaluation, and initiation of major projects and programs at DEN. Julie is currently leading the effort for the “Great Hall Project”, which will establish a new public-private partnership to redevelop the Jeppesen Terminal.

As deputy Program Manager for the HTC, she is responsible for oversight of design and construction contracts and activities for the Hotel and Transit Center project for the past six years.  The program includes construction of a new 519-room Westin Hotel and Conference Center, a Public Plaza, and a Transit Center for the Regional Transportation District’s new Commuter Rail line between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport as well as existing regional bus service. Under her leadership, the HTC team has established change management and facility activation procedures for the airport and has become a precedent for BIM implementation and asset management.

Julie is a registered architect, with a degree architecture and planning from Kansas State University, and a growing list of certifications. Focusing on airport development and program management, throughout her career she has been involved in several complex airport developments at both major US hubs and regional airports. Prior to joining the Denver International Airport in early 2014, Julie worked as the Director of Design for Aviation, for HNTB Corp. In her years at HNTB, she led numerous, diverse teams for aviation clients on a variety of project types and delivery methods.   Julie also helped establish a mentoring program focused on the whole person, and worked with leadership to develop an innovative team development approach for the aviation practice.  Julie also serves as a visioning and charrette facilitator, providing peer review and support to major project teams around the country.

Julie and her network of adventuring family and friends love to travel/explore the world, learn, dance, and pursue creative construction and design projects.  Julie is active in the industry, as a mentor and participates in a number of professional organizations, panels and workshops.  She is also a civic leaders who volunteers in her local community as an educator and design consultant.



Lindy Eichenbaum Lent headshot_compressed fileCivicCenterLogo_BWLindy Eichenbaum Lent has served as the Civic Center Conservancy’s executive director since 2009, leading the organization’s public-private-nonprofit partnerships to revitalize downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park – elevating and sustaining this historic urban oasis as a vibrant and iconic cultural and community hub through programming, capital improvements, advocacy and fundraising.   Named a Frontline Park by the national City Parks Alliance in 2011, Civic Center is now recognized as a “leading example of urban parks creating economic, environmental and social capital through innovative partnerships.”

Lent previously served as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s communications director for both his 2003 mayoral campaign and his first four-year term in office – serving as the mayor’s spokesperson, speechwriter and media strategist while overseeing the internal and external communications-related functions of the administration. In 2007, she was named senior advisor to the mayor and subsequently served as the City and County of Denver’s director of communications for the Democratic National Convention.

Lent’s previous endeavors included work on Colorado State Senator Mike Feeley’s 2002 Colorado congressional campaign and serving as the communications director for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Texas. Beginning her career in political journalism, Lent covered Chicago City Hall for suburban Chicago newspapers and Capitol Hill as a Washington correspondent for local TV affiliates in Wisconsin and Texas. Lent received her bachelor’s degree in political science with honors from Stanford University and her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Named a 2012 “Forty Under 40” honoree by the Denver Business Journal, Lent co-chaired Governor John Hickenlooper’s 2010-2011 Governor’s Residence Transition Committee and Mayor Michael Hancock’s 2011 Parks and Recreation Transition Committee and was appointed to the City of Denver’s 2011-12 Structural Financial Task Force by former Mayor Bill Vidal.

Appointed to the Lowry Redevelopment Authority board of directors in September 2013 by Mayor Hancock, Lent is also a member of the Colorado Women’s Forum.  She previously served on the University of Colorado Cancer Center Fund Board, the Denver Preschool Program Advisory Board, the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Urban Exploration Trip Steering Committee, and the boards of the Civic Center Conservancy and the American Jewish Committee/Colorado Chapter.



Valerian LogoSusan-headshotSusan Brown is the founding principal of Valerian. Her extensive background in landscape design, combined with her strong leadership skills, have made her an outstanding principal and mentor. Typical work which she has overseen within the firm includes reclamation of disturbed sites, environmentally-responsible design, open space, trail and park design. Susan is an integral Valerian team member creating sustainable designs incorporating Low Impact Design (LID) and Best Management Practices (BMP’s) throughout the front range of Colorado, Washington, and Argentina. Susan provides guidance and direction on all Valerian projects, while also serving as a direct participant and professional representative on special projects. During her tenure as a Landscape Architect, the industry has experienced steady change, calling for constant flexibility and innovation. She has an enduring commitment to become a pioneer in the various dimensions of service – both the client’s vision and the different user groups, while upholding the values of sustainable design. Susan’s consensus building expertise over the past 23 years has enabled public officials, senior executives, team leaders, project managers, and staff to foster dialogue, clarify areas of agreement and disagreement, improve the information on which a decision may be based, and resolve controversial issues in ways that all interests find acceptable. Susan regularly facilitates design charettes for multidisciplinary teams and public forums to synthesize various ideas.




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