Women in Business  April 1, 2022

Notable Leaders – Administrative Assistants – April 2022

These are the  professionals who keep an office running smoothly every day. Professionals who are central to any business. While organization is key to their success, their flexibility and ability to handle the unexpected make them valuable to their employer.

The leaders profiled in the following pages were nominated by their peers at work and in the community and showcase the diversity of talent in our market. The leadership shown by the individuals profiled here is setting an example to shape a better future for our region.

METHODOLOGY: The honorees did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials. This list features only individuals for whom nominations were submitted and accepted after a review by our editorial team. To qualify for the list, nominees must be employed at companies in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado.


Prioritizing mental health in hospice care

Prioritizing mental health support alongside physical comfort, Pathways hospice care aims to enhance the quality of life for patients and their families during one of life's most challenging transitions.

To nominate for future Notables, please visit events.bizwest.com/notables.

Michelle Beard

Solid Power

Senior executive administrator

Years in industry: 1

“Administrative assistants are vital to any business, but at a startup, they’re especially critical,” said Haven Enterman, marketing coordinator for Solid Power. 

“Michelle Beard joined Solid Power in the summer of 2021, perhaps our busiest period to date. We were getting ready to announce a $135 million Series B investment round led by BMW and Ford, as well as our plans to go public on Nasdaq. Michelle has been a critical part of the Solid Power team and its recent path forward. It’s hard to believe she hasn’t been with the company much longer. 

“Michelle is the heartbeat of our C-Suite [executives], most of whom participate in high-visibility engagements both domestically and abroad. It’s not easy to keep our team of traveling executives organized and informed, but Michelle makes it look effortless. She also manages our entire inventory of branded merchandise, ensuring we always have a healthy supply of high-quality apparel, office supplies, and visitor gifts. 

“Recently, defining and nurturing our company culture has become a top priority. Michelle’s a shining light — an infectious enthusiasm for our mission and the people who are making it a reality. [That] made her the obvious choice to lead the way. She was tasked with creating and leading a culture-building subcommittee, now dubbed the “ReChargers.” This new team’s goal is to ensure that all Solid Power employees feel valued and included at their place of work. Under Michelle’s creative guidance, ReChargers has planned a variety of initiatives such as on-site happy hours, off-site team-building activities, ticket and prize drawings, food drives, and holiday parties. 

“Anyone who works with Michelle can attest to her kindness, diligence, and go-getter attitude. Thanks in part to her tremendous influence, Solid Power is even more aligned on our journey to electrify transportation.”

Destiny Bennett

The Water Valley Co.

Executive assistant to the CEO

Years in industry: 8

College, university: Colorado Technical University

“Destiny Bennett is an executive administrative assistant icon in Northern Colorado. She has been the executive administrative assistant to Martin Lind, the CEO of The Water Valley Co. since July of 2013,” said Kurt Hinkle, director of marketing and public relations for Water Valley.

“Destiny has handled every and all of her duties at The Water Valley Co. without even scratching the surface of her talents,” said Lind. “She’s moved into project management, project administration and multitasks in at least 20 different entities throughout our company.” 

Bennet served two years in the United States Army as a private first class and obtained both her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs. She has an MBA in international business and a minor in construction management. 

“Destiny is ridiculously structured in finishing tasks,” Lind said. “The best part about Destiny is when it comes to work, she’s no nonsense. When people don’t perform for her, she demands their performance and demands it in excellence. Destiny makes everything better when she gets involved. She gets it.” 

Bennet and her husband live in Windsor and spend free time with their pets and traveling.

Annette Biddison

Ensight Skills Center

Administrative assistant

Years in industry: 12

College, university: Colorado State University

“Annette [Biddison] is a wonderful addition to our team, but she is also a crucial component.  Many things that we need to get done each day happen because of Annette,” said Melody Bettenhauser, chief operations officer for the organization. 

“She works hard for our patients, who have special needs. She has driven patients to and from appointments, dropped off special equipment at their homes, and chatted with them for hours (many are elderly and live alone). She goes above and beyond in every way through her work.

“Annette also leads a team of three additional administrative assistants to make sure they have the proper skills, procedures, and resources to do their jobs. She often works outside of her scheduled time to get things done and make sure they are done properly. I have worked with Annette for almost 10 years and am still in awe of her ability to stay positive and encouraging. That is extremely important when working with patients who have disabilities and often struggle with day to day tasks. 

“Annette is a key staff member and leader at Ensight. Without her, I do fear we would be lost.”

Ashley Brantley

C3 Real Estate Solutions

Financial manager

Years in industry: 25

College, university: Colorado State University

“Ashley [Brantley] is beyond deserving of this award. She has been with our company since our humble beginnings and has been with us through all the highs, lows, and every day in between for the past eight years,” said the real estate company’s owners, John Simmons and Jesse Laner.

“Her loyalty and commitment to myself (John), my partner (Jesse), our company, our agents, and her peers is unmatched. She shows up every day ready and willing to do what it takes to get the job done. She is a true leader, and we would not be where we are as a company without Ashley. She goes above and beyond and is always willing to lend a hand even when her hands and plate are full. 

“In business they say that everyone is replaceable, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to Ashley. She is truly irreplaceable, and we are so blessed and incredibly honored to have her a part of our growing company.”

Tiffany Breitbarth

C3 Real Estate Solutions

Personal licensed manager

Years in industry: 20

“Tiffany Breitbarth has been in the real estate industry for 20 years, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her directly for 10 years of those. She is deserving of this award because she is knowledgeable, loyal, passionate, and an extremely hard worker. Her work ethic is unmatched,” said John Simmons, co-founder and owner of C3. 

“She started with C3 Real Estate Solutions eight years ago and has been an asset since day one. She oversaw the opening of our Loveland office and has shown tremendous leadership and organizational skills. Together as a team we’ve helped thousands of families realize the American dream of homeownership. 

“Not only does she excel in her career, but she is also a leader in her home and in the community. She is a member of NAR, CAR, and FCBR. She is a member at Citipointe Church in Northern Colorado and sponsors three children with Compassion International from Ecuador and Honduras. 

“She loves to motivate and inspire others around her to nurture their spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. She is a fitness enthusiast and recently trained for and completed a marathon. Tiffany loves to help others realize their potential and that makes her an incredible leader and someone who I’ve grown to rely on to help my business grow.”

Cherry Chavez

Clovis Oncology Inc.

Manager of administration and business operations

Years in industry: 40

“Cherry [Chavez] is the administrative lead for our office of about 100 staff. We are a small biotech company that has several offices globally. Due to several resignations over the past year, she is now the sole person supporting the staff and the entire C-suite,” said Gwyn Wold, senior vice president of project leadership. “Besides providing administrative support, Cherry is the office manager and liaises with our property manager to keep the office running during the COVID shutdown. She also took the initiative during COVID to lead meetings with other administrative staff who are in offices around the globe when they felt isolated with the office shutdowns.”

“She sends out inspirational posts to each of the teams she supports on a regular basis, she provides work / life balance and career advice to staff at all levels, she proactively puts together gifts for team members who are in need and she is the shoulder many of our staff lean on during these hard times.”

Gillian Ivers-Read, chief regulatory officer for the company, concurred. “During the past two years of COVID, Cherry has stepped up even more to forge a link between all the administrative group globally, put systems in place for safely working in the office, and managing the facilities by directly being there a couple of days a week while all the rest of the staff were working remotely.”

Lisa Makssour, director of health care compliance, said Chavez is one of the first people to interact with new employees “and she has a way of making them feel welcome and part of the team regardless of which department they work. … She never hesitates to share her knowledge but is also confident to give productive feedback.”

Said Gilbert Goodworth: “Cherry is not only an amazing leader and team player but she often takes the time to recognize that we are not just robots that get things done but that we are humans with thoughts, feelings and emotions. … She has become the team’s heart and soul.”

Marry Cohn

Front Range Center for Spine and Sports Medicine

Office manager

Years in industry: 20

“Marry [Cohn] has both a bachelor’s degree in Merchandising, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). She has managed both my medical specialty practice as well as a colleague’s for multiple years. Her duties have included interfacing with multiple insurance carriers, and legal offices,” said Dr. Justin Green, president of the Front Range Center.

“She has provided exceptional patient care and support through scheduling, education, and assistance with navigating the insurance maze for patients. She has extraordinary organizational and multitasking skills that have allowed me to focus on patient care as our number one priority. She has created and strengthened existing business and referral relationships for my specialty medical practice. She has also performed many specialty projects at my request with ideal outcomes,” he said.

Amanda DeBord

Town of Frederick

Administrative clerk

Years in industry: 10

College, university: Northern Arizona University

“Amanda [DeBord] is the glue that holds things together,” said Ryan Johnson, assistant town manager. 

“The town of Frederick is a community that is growing fast, including the organization itself. In particular, during the past three months, her department has undergone significant change and reorganization. Through it all, she was the voice of optimism and stability that was so much desired when things didn’t seem certain. Her positive attitude and ability to continue moving things forward is partly why I’m convinced others in the department have been able to adjust so quickly. 

“Amanda continues to contribute not only to the team, but she volunteers to help other work groups as well as in her own community. Her work experience, which includes other notable things such as working for the Adams County Workforce and Business Center as well as other municipal roles, clearly set her apart as a dedicated leader and public servant. Amanda is a joy to be around and her level of professionalism is unmatched.”

Cheryl DeGrave

Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development

Executive assistant

Years in industry: 12

“Cheryl [DeGrave] is THE master at herding cats. She keeps the Larimer County Workforce Development Board of Directors in compliance with regulation and policy and on-track with priorities, while bringing valuable insight and guidance at the same time,” said Nancy Patton, senior community involvement specialist for Canvas Credit Union. 

“Cheryl’s knowledge of specific details and program requirements at the federal, state, and local levels is critical to the success of the Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development department. Cheryl recently was instrumental in the Workforce Innovation Grant proposal process. The WIG, funded out of American Rescue Plan Act resources, has provided LCEWD an opportunity to fund upward of $1.1 million dollars in investments to community based partners to support workforce development initiatives. Through Cheryl’s thoughtful and deliberate approach, the WIG process supported a more inclusive and accessible opportunity for partners in the community to imagine proposal ideas that could be eligible for consideration.

“Cheryl has worked behind the scenes to ensure these opportunities have been well organized, communicated, and efficiently managed. Additionally, Cheryl has also helped the LCEWD adopt a more skill based, non-bias hiring process for the department’s recruitment efforts. Her experience, organizational skills, and wise input have been impactful to Larimer County Workforce programs for more than 10 years. Her gentle, thoughtful and welcoming style makes everyone comfortable in her presence, and she encourages participation from all while finding value in the different personalities of all she interacts with.”

Shelly Fisher

Envirotech Services Inc.

Senior executive assistant

Years in industry: 1

“Shelly [Fisher] has the ability to anticipate what needs to be done and follows through in achieving the goal. She overcomes obstacles and solves problems in a very professional way. In a short period of time, she has earned the respect of those she works with while creating a positive teamwork environment,” said company CEO Roger Knoph. 

“She is a fast learner and takes the initiative to introduce herself when needed and to build relationships that help us all be successful. If there is something she needs to learn to do her job, she does so timely. She has helped us all be better at our jobs while enhancing our ability to get things done. We’re glad Shelly is a part of our team.”

Lauren Grandbouche

C3 Real Estate Solutions

Executive assistant

Years in industry: 8

College, university: California State University – East Bay

“Lauren Massa came to our company a few years ago from another real estate company in Northern Colorado. To say we scored big time when she transitioned is an understatement,” said owner Jesse Laner.

“Lauren has been a true blessing through and through and now I couldn’t imagine doing real estate without her by my side. She has become my right arm, my left arm, and my brain. She is loyal, trustworthy, hardworking, committed to excellence in all she does, and really goes above and beyond my expectations. 

“She is always more than ready and willing to jump in and help and has blessed many of our agents and families in our area with her real estate knowledge, expertise, and helping hand. Not to mention, Lauren is one of the nicest, kindest humans you’ll meet ever. She is very deserving of this award and recognition. I couldn’t do what I do without her.”

Denise Harvey

Northern Colorado Powersports


Years in industry: 8

“As the controller, Denise not only handles our dealership’s finances, human resources and administrative items, she also runs two powersports dealerships. And everyone she works with becomes better at their jobs when they work with her,” said general manager Jonathan Hinshaw. 

“Her style of training, coaching and encouragement is amazing. As the main controller for two large powersports dealerships, she is in charge of more than 50 employees in two different locations. Denise also goes above and beyond helping our other John Elway dealerships install the procedures and processes that work for all the Elway locations, currently four.

“Denise is not required to help our other, ever growing stores, however, she loves helping and it shows. She has helped onboard controllers and administrators at all four locations.

“The best thing about Denise is she listens. Her character and follow through are second to none. When an employee needs help, or has a question, she listens. This may sound silly but my favorite thing about Denise is how she communicates. When an employee walks into her office with a question, she pushes her keyboard away, turns her monitor around and looks them in the eye, giving the employee 100% of her attention. 

“It’s easy to say that we depend on Denise, but it’s not because of what she does as a job. It’s what she brings as a team member and as a coach to our employees. She’s been involved in multiple non-profits and helps do the taxes for many people who could not afford to have their accounts handled in the way Denise can handle them.”

Pamela Heeney

Larimer County Extension Office

Administrative assistant

Years in industry: 17

“The majority of Pam’s volunteer activities are within the 4-H community. Although her job tasks are for the 4-H Extension Office, she provides countless hours of service above and well beyond the duties of her position,” said Cindy Buckardt, president of Construction Supply House. Buckardt works on 4-H activities. 

“The level of service that Pam provides could never be accomplished in a standard work week, month or year. She makes the 4-H community, kids and families feel extra special and truly recognized with all the extra touches she gives to all she does for us all. She truly cares about the families and provides extra support to members in transition, struggling or in crisis. 

“Pam is an ex-officio member of several committees in that she either attends committee meetings or she keeps abreast of the happenings of many committees, which include but are by no means limited to: Larimer County 4-H Advisory, Fashion Revue, Larimer County Junior Livestock Sale Committee and Shooting Sports Council. Pam is a huge asset in providing a link between these committees, Larimer County leaders and youth participants. 

“Pam is amazing in knowing members. She has made it a point to know the youth participants personally. There are not many people in today’s world who go over and beyond getting to know people that well. She takes the time to visit with people and engage with them at all events. Pam Heeney is synonymous with Larimer County 4-H. Mention Larimer County 4-H and instantly Pam’s name comes up.

Jennifer Jenkins

The Weld Trust

Executive administrative assistant

Years in industry: 24

“It is with great pleasure that I nominate Jennifer Jenkins to be recognized as a Notable Leader in Northern Colorado. Her leadership in the role of executive administrative assistant has been crucial to the successful transition of The Weld Trust and North Colorado Medical Center Foundation,” said Michelle Booren, grants program associate for the trust. 

“She has seen this organization through numerous changes and navigated them with grace, easing the burdens of everyone around her. Jennifer began her role in December of 2019, only months after North Colorado Medical Center had been sold to Banner Health, and NCMC Inc. began a new era as The Weld Trust. With this transition, The Weld Trust became the supporting organization to the NCMC Foundation. This involved a growing team, location change, strategic planning, and a complete change of structure for the organizations, all occurring during the height of COVID. 

“Jennifer held everything together and coordinated a smooth transition. From starting out with a team of three to where we are now with a team of 20 with the addition of Bright Futures to our programs, Jennifer has managed seamless transitions and taken on countless new duties.

“Outside of the office, Jennifer is an amazing mother and advocate for her daughter. She makes an effort to get out in her community and volunteer, instilling the value of helping others in her daughter. 

Nicole Hogrefe, senior accountant for the organization called Jenkins the glue that holds the organization together. “She acts as secretary, organizer, coordinator, minute-taker, event planner, interior designer, buyer, mailroom clerk, receptionist and backup to many other duties too numerous to mention. Jennifer stays on top of many calendars and assists to keep leadership on time and schedule. She acts as liaison with board members (of 2 boards), grant partners, and community members.”

“Jennifer remains an integral part of our organization, wears many hats, and does it with grace and sometimes a cheeky grin or two,” Hofgrefe said.

Kelly Kapperman

DaVinci Sign Systems Inc.

Communications manager and executive administrative assistant

Years in industry: 10

“Kelly [Kapperman] has been our rock for the past decade. She is thoughtful, extremely well organized, friendly, and a role model to all. Her performance highlights the unwavering commitment she has to her trade, and she consistently outperforms and exceeds all expectations, even when nobody is watching,” said Brian Macke, director of finance and human resources. 

“One of her greatest achievements has been organizing and managing all of our sales leads, building spreadsheets to track customer contact and workflow, and ensuring that every single customer is followed up. She also assists with many community outreach efforts through our new DaVinci Cares program and helped plan and collect donations for those impacted by the recent fire in Boulder County. 

“She is the face and the voice of our company, and our community, and we would not be where we are today without her. Kelly is typically one of the first people to show up in the morning, and one of the last to leave. She has a warrior spirit and treats the business like it is her own (which it now is after our recent transition to 100% employee ownership). 

“She has worked very closely with our founder and has helped us grow our voice on the Front Range by ensuring we are involved in local organizations including the Fort Collins, Denver, and Parker chambers of commerce, the Rotary Club, Realities for Children, and the ISA and WSA international sign associations. On top of this, she has been a devout supporter and contributor to the United Way of Larimer County charity organization for many years. You will always see her with a smile on her face, laughing, and bringing light and joy to the office each and every day.”

Carol Kauffman


Executive assistant

Years in industry: 35

College, university: Goshen College

Carol Kauffman serves as an executive assistant to the McWhinney community development team, which oversees the development and management of Centerra, a 3,000-acre master-planned community in Loveland, and Baseline, a 1,100-acre mixed-used community in Broomfield. 

“She works closely with executive and leadership team members, spanned across two offices, to help ensure everyone and everything remains organized and moves along swiftly according to deadlines,” said Celeste Smith, senior marketing director for McWhinney. “Carol is a master juggler and a key collaborator, always willing to lend a hand, troubleshoot, seek solutions and consistently puts everyone’s needs first to provide continued fabled service. Carol manages and supports one executive member, the investment committee, three high-level project leadership members, while also providing support to more than a dozen internal team members, plus she helps manage a variety of brokers and vendor partnerships. 

“In 2021, Carol was instrumental in assisting the community development team in more than $100 million in transactions for Northern Colorado and Baseline. When she isn’t running around wrangling people, managing complex tasks, or getting contracts executed, she is first in line to volunteer to help fulfill community engagement and impact commitments to the cities in which she lives and does business. Carol’s gentle heart is massive, and she proudly ran to the store to source more frozen turkeys when she heard there was a shortage in November to benefit clients of the Food Bank of Larimer County and didn’t bat an eye to monetarily support hosted food drives to support of families in need during the pandemic. When it came to building and gifting bikes for underserved youth, Carol showed up twice to turn wrenches to help bring smiles of joy. 

“We find Carol to be consistently reliable, thoughtful, flexible and generous, which defines her impactful character and makes her a valuable company and community asset.”

Kaitlin Keyes

C3 Real Estate Solutions LLC

Broker operations specialist

Years in industry: 3

College, university: Colorado State University

“Kaitlin Keyes is the reason many people come to work. Kaitlin brings to her office energy that brings a smile to everyone’s face. There is no question that Kaitlin either knows or will find out the answer to help you do your job and make you better,” said Stephen Foster, managing broker.

“Selfless would be the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Kaitlin Keyes and the way she treats others and truly cares about them on a professional and personal level. From the real estate agents, the customers, and fellow broker operations specialists to the postman, Kaitlin truly cares and makes everyone feel important and heard. 

“Kaitlin runs and operates her Old Town Fort Collins office from setting the mood with upbeat music to offering treats and water for the dogs walking by. Furthermore, Kaitlin assists real estate agents with their businesses to enhance each Realtor’s knowledge and ability to serve their customers and provide them with the best real estate experience possible. Kaitlin is an instrumental part of the everyday business and success and the overall success of C3 Real Estate Solutions and all of the amazing agents who get the opportunity to work with her on a daily basis.

“It has been said by those that Kaitlin serves and works with that she is the best in the business. Kaitlin has taken her education in journalism and has discovered many ways that she is able to apply her knowledge in the real estate industry by helping others with their personal biographies, property descriptions, professional editing, and other areas that make others look good. Kaitlin continuously takes a back seat to those who she serves and allows them to take the credit and look amazing. Kaitlin is a true rockstar of administrative assistance.”

Barb Lessman

United Way of Weld County

Executive assistant and office manager

Years in industry: 17

“Barb Lessman is the glue that helps keep the United Way of Weld County office together,” said Jeannine Truswell, president and CEO of the Weld United Way. 

“First and foremost, she helps ensure that everyone who enters the door is greeted with a smile and good customer service whether it is a family in need of assistance or a generous donor. She treats everyone she greets, interacts and works alongside with dignity and respect. She always is willing to go the extra mile to help anyone solve a problem. She is sincere and pure of heart. 

“No two days are alike as she supervises and helps cover our reception area, is responsible for handling all facility/building/equipment issues, supports the president/CEO, helps with support for the volunteer board of directors, orientation of new staff, handles large mailings, correspondence, helps support donor relationships and events. The list goes on and on of all the projects and responsibilities Barb juggles each day. 

“From time to time Barb handles confidential information and clearly understands the seriousness of keeping this confidential whether it relates to donations or personnel. Barb is a loyal ambassador for the United Way of Weld County sharing what good work we are doing to improve the lives of people in Weld County. She is a treasured employee.”

Anna Luce

Eger CPA

Client care

Years in industry: 4

College, university: Geneva College

“Anna Luce is now entering her third year as an administrative assistant at Eger CPA. To call her an administrative assistant is probably underselling her significantly. She previously worked in the Poudre School District in a variety of roles including office assistant, health technician and a bus paraprofessional,” said Nate Grossnickle, director of sales and marketing for the firm. 

“In the year I have been at Eger CPA, I have seen how the office thrives under Anna’s leadership. She has created processes for many of the day-to-day tasks in the office and has kept detailed information that is constantly updated to stay on top of changes in the office. 

“In the past three months our CPA firm began using new software for database and task management and billing. Anna has taken on more duties with this new software implementation and has never shown signs of being overwhelmed and is always ready to put more on her plate. She has an unselfish spirit that helps her serve our small business clients without hesitation. I am so proud to recommend Anna for this award and feel there is not a better or more deserving candidate.”

Amy McMahon

City of Boulder

Executive senior assistant

Years in industry: 5

Amy McMahon serves as the executive assistant to the city manager for the city of Boulder. “In this role, she ensures that city employees and members of the public are supported each day, providing access and assistance that epitomizes excellence in local government,” said Sarah Huntley, director of communication and engagement for the city. 

“She is always willing to help other departments with administrative duties so they can focus on their core missions of serving our public. She clearly understands the role she plays in helping individuals feel comfortable around city leadership, in sharing their ideas for improvements and in contributing to the vibrancy of the Boulder community. Amy came to the public sector after a career in hospitality, and she has a special gift for making visitors feel welcome and included.

“Government employees are not always recognized for their amazing contributions, and I would love to see Amy honored for her organizational talents, her ability to navigate through bureaucracy and her genuine kindness. She is truly a gem.

Julie Meadows


Executive assistant

Years in industry: 20

Julie Meadows is an executive assistant to Nicole Staudinger, president of FirstBank’s Northern Colorado Market. “In addition to this role, Julie has been vital to the growth and success of the bank over her 20 year career. She is a master of project organization, an excellent meeting facilitator, and is skilled at communication,” said Kristen Bernhardt, executive vice president at the bank. 

“She has helped our 20+ person team of lending officers successfully grow the bank to more than $1 billion in assets. Julie does this by creating processes to gain efficiencies, which adds significant value. Julie helps our team achieve goals by always looking for solutions. Although her role is focused in Northern Colorado, she is well known among executives across FirstBank’s network as being a valuable resource. 

“She has the ability to form strong relationships with colleagues and customers alike and is a positive influence to many. Outside of the bank, Julie has volunteered with organizations such as Loveland Habitat for Humanity and Front Range Community College Foundation. She is an amazing leader and does so without asking for recognition.”

Bella Risley

Vortic Watch Co.

Executive assistant

Years in industry: 5

“Bella [Riley] demonstrates exemplary leadership qualities every day no matter what that day throws at her. She shows up prepared for anything and is willing to do everything,” said company CEO R.T. Custer.

“Her help building our Watch of the Day program and developing the logistics, team, and standards of operation around it helped the company grow by at least 25%. She was also supporting her leadership team through the growth of two additional companies, balancing everything perfectly and with ease. The entire team looks up to her and always goes to her for help or advice even if that’s not Bella’s role. 

“She is always in the loop, never missing a beat. She supports local wherever and however she can, attempting to do business with as many Northern Colorado suppliers and owners as possible. She constantly is recruited for other roles given her skillset and helpfulness but is the most loyal human the team has ever met. 

“She’s a great listener and excellent problem solver and uses those skills to benefit the entire company, always putting herself last. With her help, Vortic Watch Co. was able to continue business as usual during the pandemic, growing 25% in revenue specifically from her work, all while building a new headquarters, which she also helped in securing. She does at least three people’s jobs all in one and will be impossible to replace when she heads off to bigger and better things.”

Ray Sloan

Colorado Mountain Ranch

Office manager

Years in industry: 5

College, university: Illinois State University

“Ray Sloan has developed into the most competent and effective administrative assistant the Colorado Mountain Ranch Summer Day Camp has ever had since its beginnings in the mid-1940s,” said ranch owner Lynn Walker. “Ray’s most unique quality is her assessment of priorities as she smoothly switches between the many roles required of her.” 

Walker said that Sloan sets her priorities based on what’s most important, “bouncing with a smile from one to the other as situations arise.

“As psychologist, Ray gently helps children and staff members problem-solve their own way out of crisis. 

“As health care assistant, Ray attends to bumps, bruises, and upset tummies for whomever in the large camp community needs medical attention.

“As social worker, she listens to anyone who has a problem and advises in a way that builds team within both small and large groups.

“As receptionist, Ray offers a warm welcome, answers the phone, emails, and in-person visitors. She responds knowledgeably with professionalism, and follows through as required.

“As secretary, she manages paper and digital files for hundreds of clients, online billing and payments, as well as record keeping and the U.S. mail.

“As teacher, Ray respectfully trains helpers to assist her with some tasks.

“As organizer, Ray will clean and organize office and storage spaces to best advantage. And finally, Ray always confers appropriately with the office manager whenever a question comes up when she’s in any of her roles, which isn’t very often.”

Anita Van Soest

Good Samaritan Society Loveland Village

Administrative assistant

Years in industry: 42

“Anita [Van Soest] has been the brains for our campus for decades. She goes above and beyond to ensure our residents are smiling with either a joke or a good discussion. She makes sure that they feel heard and happy,” said Matt Rosazza, business officer supervisor. 

“Anita gets her tasks done methodically, and she has always accepted new responsibilities with grace and works hard to ensure every detail is in line. When a tough issue comes up, she works to understand the problem and show empathy for the situation. She then knows where to go to resolve the issue and promptly reaches out to remedy it. 

“She has an exceptional relationship with staff as a point of information about most issues/tasks. Anita also handles her wide variety of duties in a prompt and organized manner and is sure to keep detailed explanations of process. Anita has gone above and beyond for our center for so long, she is truly a huge asset for our whole organization.”

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