Top 25 Release 2016

The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the Top 25 Most Powerful Women


(Denver, CO) November 1, 2015 – Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) will honor the Top 25 Most Powerful Women for their professional achievements and leadership within the Denver community. The Top 25 Most Powerful Women’s Gala is to be hosted at the Seawell Grand Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex, on January 20, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Launched in 2012, a Top 25 honoree is typically a president, CEO, board chair or other senior-management executive with significant decision-making authority in the corporate, non-profit or government sector.


Meet the 2016 Honorees:

  • Senator Irene Aguilar, D. Colorado General Assembly, Senate District 32
    • Aguilar worked for 23 years as a Primary Care Provider for Denver Health and Hospitals and now serves on their board of directors. During the Interim she practices medicine at Clinica Tepeyac, caring for the uninsured.
  • Fiona Arnold, Executive Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
    • Arnold joined OEDIT from River North Investment Company LLC, where she serves as owner and president of the real estate development company focused on commercial and residential urban redevelopment projects, including the redevelopment of a city block in the River North (RiNo) District of Denver.
  • Diane Barrett, Chief Projects Officer, City and County of Denver
    • As CPO her primary responsibility was to oversee the redevelopment of the Denver Union Station Site into a multimodal hub for FasTracks. Prior to her current role, Ms. Barrett was a lawyer for 25 years where she practiced primarily in the areas of public finance and land use/development.
  • Kim Bimestefer, President and General Manager, Cigna Mountain States
    • Kim Bimestefer serves as President & General Manager for Cigna’s Mountain States region including Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. In this role, Kim serves as the senior leader for Cigna’s operations, competitiveness and growth in the region.
  • Dayna Bowen Matthew, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, University of Colorado School of Law
    • In 2004, she became the Law School’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and she served as the Law School’s Vice Dean from 2010-2011. Professor Matthew currently teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Evidence, and a variety of health law classes.
  • Molly Broeren, Owner, Molly’s of Denver
    • In 1981, Molly purchased Marcia Rommel’s store in historic Brown Place Hotel and named it “Molly’s at the Brown”. In 1988, Molly expanded the store again, moving to its present location in the Equitable Building, and “Molly’s of Denver” was born.
  • Lauren Casteel, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
    • She is the first person in Colorado to lead three foundations and possesses more than 20 years of philanthropic leadership as well as a dedication to inclusiveness across gender, racial, economic, ethnic, military, abilities and sexual orientation perspectives in Denver and throughout Colorado.
  • Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor, University of Denver
    • Rebecca Chopp, PhD, has been chancellor of the University of Denver since September 2014. Informed by a campus wide listening tour during her first 100 days, Chopp announced a community-wide strategic planning effort called Imagine DU.
  • Leanna Clark, Vice Chancellor of University Communications, University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus
    • Leanna Clark directs the university’s marketing, communications and community outreach for both campuses. She has 25 years of business experience, including 12 years as a small business owner of one of Denver’s largest marketing and public relations firms, as well as roles in Denver’s corporate, foundation and nonprofit communities.
  • Susana Cordova, Chief Schools Officer, Denver Public Schools
    • Susana Cordova is a life-long Denver resident and has worked at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Taryn Edwards, Senior Vice President, Saunders Construction Inc.
    • Early in Governor Ritter’s administration Taryn was named Executive Director of the Job’s Cabinet. In her current position Ms. Edwards oversees project development and procurement including the management of marketing and business development efforts.
  • Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Executive Director, Civic Center Conservancy
    • Prior to her position as Executive Director, she previously served as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s communications director for both his 2003 mayoral campaign and his first four-year term in office. 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.


  • Beth Ganz, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Vail Resorts
    • In her current role, Ganz oversees the company’s government relations at the national, state and local level, and the company’s community relations, corporate stewardship and sustainability programs
  • Paula Herzmark, Executive Director, Denver Health Foundation
    • Paula is responsible for managing the Foundation created to support the Denver Health and Hospitals Authority. In this role she has built and staffed an organization, developed a strategic plan, and holds responsibility for the hospital’s Volunteer Association and Volunteer Department, its gift shop and all hospital SICU and MICU front desk operations. She has doubled revenue and attendance at the Foundation’s annual black tie gala, designed and implemented a corporate giving and sponsorship program, more than tripled the donor base, and has launched seven $1.5 million endowment campaigns.
  • Jacqueline Hinman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CH2M
    • Jacqueline (Jacque) Hinman brings more than 30 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry to her role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CH2M, a Fortune 500 company with approximately $5.5 billion in annual revenue and 25,000 employees operating in approximately 90 countries.
  • Cary Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer & Deputy Mayor of Denver, City of Denver
    • In her current role she oversees the City’s financial rules and policies, creates greater efficiencies in accounting and fiscal procedures, develops accountability and performance management programs, and is involved in large development projects that have an impact on future City finances.
  • Robin Kniech, Denver City Councilwoman At-large, City of Denver
    • Robin Kniech represents Denver as City Councilwoman At-large. She serves on the Finance and Health, Safety, Education and Services committees of the City Council, on Denver’s Welfare Reform Board, and actively shapes regional transportation and land use policy through the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
  • Katie Kramer, Vice President and Assistant Executive Director, Boettcher Foundation
    • In her role Ms. Kramer is responsible for all operational aspects of the $300+ million foundation, including the administration of more than $15 million annually awarded in grants and scholarships throughout the State of Colorado.
  • Barbara Mowry, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, GoreCreek Advisors
    • Barbara Mowry is an experienced business executive and entrepreneur, having served as the CEO of four firms and as a senior officer of several Fortune 500 companies. She has led enterprises through rapid growth and guided international expansion. Before founding GoreCreek in 2011, she was senior vice president at Oracle, president and chief executive officer of Silver Creek Systems, chairman and chief executive officer at Requisite Technology, senior vice president of customer satisfaction at Comcast, founder and chief executive officer of the Mowry Company and a vice president of United Airlines.
  • Karen Nakandakare, Diversity and Community Investment Program Manager, CH2M
    • In her current role Nakandakare has consistently played a role in diversity-related groups and initiatives in the Denver area, recently serving as project manager of the Summer Engineering Enrichment Program for Kids (SEEK), a three-year program with City of Denver and Denver Public Schools.
  • Mary Rhinehart, President and Chief Executive Officer, Johns Manville
    • Before becoming President and CEO, Ms. Rhinehart was previously CFO of the company with responsibilities encompassing all financial elements of the organization, as well as global supply chain.
  • Kim Rivera, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, HP Inc.
    • Kim Riveria recently became the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for HP after having been in the same role with DaVita HealthCare Partners.
  • Rosemary Rodriquez, State Director, US Senator Michael Bennet
    • As State Director, Rosemary oversees the day-to-day operations of Senator Bennet’s eight regional Senate offices, located in Denver, Fort Morgan, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Durango, Pueblo, Alamosa and Colorado Springs.
  • Meg VanderLaan, Chief Communications Officer, MWH Global
    • In her current role, VanderLaan serves as the senior public relations executive and primary company spokesperson. In addition, VanderLaan leads message development across various media channels for the company’s operations in 35 countries.
  • Robin Wise, President and Chief Executive Officer, Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, Inc.
    • Robin Wise provides leadership and vision for the largest economics education organization in the region. Under her direction, the organization inspires student success through three vital pillars: entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness.


About the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

Since its creation in 1987, The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) has played a significant role in growing business in Colorado. With the mission of creating an environment and the resources conducive to our members’ business success, the CWCC is the premier organization that provides opportunities and visibility for women in business through relationship development, education, mentorship, partnership and alliances. Visit for more information.