New leadership summit in Steamboat focuses on women |

New leadership summit in Steamboat focuses on women

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Some of Routt County’s most prominent female leaders have organized a new leadership summit devoted to women, the first of what they hope becomes a recurring event.

The “Thrive Together” Steamboat Women’s Leadership Summit is being held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 at The Steamboat Grand.

“We want everyone from current leaders in organizations and industries to moms, who’ve been staying at home doing an incredible job but may want to figure out their next step in life and how to take on leadership roles,” said Steamboat Springs Chamber CEO Kara Stoller.

The inaugural event, which is sponsored by the Chamber and Alpine Bank, will feature three sessions with keynote speakers headlining each one. The overall purpose of the event is to promote, inspire and empower women.

Author Lori Hanson, known as the “Success Whisperer,” kicks off the event with the keynote presentation, “The Passion Accelerator.” Kristin Race, Steamboat resident and founder of Mindful Life, will present “From Surviving to Thriving,” and meteorologist Lauren Whitney from CBS4 Denver will deliver the final keynote address, “Chasing More than Storms.”

If you go

What: Thrive Together: Steamboat Women’s Leadership Summit

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4

Where: The Steamboat Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Circle

After each keynote address, participants will then get to choose a break-out session with other successful female leaders.

Retired engineer and former Texas Instruments executive Kim Smith will host a session on “Building Your Network.” Smith has helped organize similar women’s summits in Texas before she retired to Steamboat Springs.

“I really think that people who don’t network are left behind,” said Smith, who rose up through the ranks at Texas Instruments during a time when women engineers were few and far between.

“Women have less exposure to top-tier influencers, and that’s key for their advancement,” said Smith. “I tell them how to prepare and just give them tips.”

Smith’s own experiences will certainly give her audience perspective.

“I was in an industry with mainly men. Many times, I was asked to get drinks or take notes. And I would do it. Once. The next time I’d say ‘you’d like me to take out the trash?’ then everyone would laugh,” Smith said. “You make sure people know you’re as smart and capable as anyone in the room, but you have to take that initiative.”

Lisel Petis, another Thrive Together organizer, said Routt County is one of the few rural areas she’s familiar with that have had generations of strong women leaders who have made their mark on the community. And she wants that tradition to continue.

“This is a great event for women to network with other women, whether they’re looking for advice or mentorships or sharing innovative ideas,” said Petis, executive director of Advocates, a nonprofit that deals with sexual and domestic abuse.

Petis said the idea for the summit came from the “Masterminds,” a group of seven local women who look to each other for mentoring, business and leadership feedback.

To register for next week’s summit or for more information on the schedule and speaker lineup, visit

The price of the all-day summit is $110 for Chamber members and $140 for non-members and includes breakfast, lunch and a Champagne toast.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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