Boulder Chamber names Women Who Light the Community honorees

BOULDER — The Boulder Chamber on Friday unveiled the names of the six women who will be honored as 2016 Women Who Light the Community.

The awards annually recognize outstanding women business and community leaders. This year’s winners will be honored at a June 8 ceremony at the Lionsgate Events Center in Lafayette.

Former Rudi’s Organic Bakery CEO Jane Miller will host the event, with Boulder musician Rebecca Folsom performing.

“This event gives us the chance to celebrate outstanding women in our community and to recognize their many contributions and inspiring leadership,” Boulder Chamber CEO and president John Tayer said in a release. “They’ve earned our admiration and demonstrated the importance of women leadership to our economy and community.”

More information on this year’s event can be found on the Boulder Chamber’s website.

This year’s honorees include:

Michelle Carpenter, Boulder High School:  As a high school educator, AP Spanish teacher and Adelante! Program Director, Carpenter has envisioned, developed and implemented a variety of programs to help Latino students achieve and thrive. Her efforts in supporting and expanding opportunities for these students have helped dramatically increase their graduation rates (95 percent), decrease dropout rates, and garner scholarships and other assistance for higher education.

Vivian Dullien, Dullien Associates: Entrepreneur, biomedical inventor and innovator Dullien has a number of firsts to her credit: first woman to take a clinical chemistry medical device product through the Food and Drug Administration, first woman chair of the UCAR Foundation, and one of the first women in Colorado to obtain venture capital in the 1990s. She mentors men and women locally, nationally and worldwide, helping them commercialize their inventions. An adviser to the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation through the Larta Institute, Vivian has worked to improve people’s individual well-being and the global climate.

Melissa Hart, Professor of Law, University of Colorado School of Law. Professor Melissa Hart has worked to increase the CU-Boulder law school’s pro-bono and public service work to underrepresented individuals. She has also helped provide educational opportunities to young people in public high schools and at CU, for example, as director of CU’s Byron White Center for the Study of Constitutional Law.  CU students have contributed over 75,000 volunteer hours to the community since 2008.

LaVern Johnson, town of Lyons.  Johnson boasts a long career of community service, as trustee, historian, preservationist, promoter of parks and recreation, champion for the environment and education and journalist. She has fought for a variety of causes and institutions, maintaining a welcoming attitude that encourages involvement. She has helped maintain Lyons’ school classrooms, fostered opportunities for young people, and launched a senior dance club. She was also instrumental in keeping a “can-do” attitude in the face of the 2013 flood that devastated the town.

Isabel McDevitt, executive director, Bridge House. As a leader of Boulder Bridge House, McDevitt has initiated the innovative Ready-to-Work program, offering paid transitional employment and housing for 44 men and women. The first of its kind in the state, the program has become a model for other Colorado communities offering services to a number of community and local organizations, such as food service to Naropa University and the recent University of Colorado Conference on World Affairs.

Greta Cain, Boulder High School Junior, Emerging Young Leader Award. Cain has already accomplished much as a young member of the Boulder community. She is vice president of fundraising for the Future Business Leaders of America Club and coordinator and trainer for the Emergency Family Assistance Association. For the Future Business Leaders club, she has raised money to send 125 students to district and state events. At EFAA, she conducts volunteer training, helped develop a database and planned charitable events. With her tireless energy, Greta also mentors new high school students, is co-president of the Fashion Club, and interns with the CU-Boulder library.