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image of a woman with two dogs and the words Farra Lanzer, Empowerment Council member

Profiles in Philanthropy: Farra Lanzer, Empowerment Council

// January 30, 2022

Meet Farra Lanzer, Empowerment Council Member and Co-Chair of WomenGive – United Way of Larimer County

Farra Lanzer of Fort Collins has been an Empowerment Council member since 2019. She also is the chair of WomenGive, a partner and funder of The Women’s Foundation, a member of The Foundation’s communications advisory committee, and director of public relations and community relations at Madwire. 

Tell us something not many people know about you?

Although I mostly grew up in Colorado, I am from Long Island, NY! Raised by a mom from Queens and a dad from the Bronx. 

What about our mission inspires you?

Over the course of my life, I have watched the strong women in my life fight for their rights. Fight for their right to equal pay, fight for their right to have a seat at the table, fight for their right to be a mom and still be taken seriously in their workplace, and so much more. I am fiercely passionate about women’s rights and the mission of WFCO aligns with my every passion. 

Aside from being the only organization in Colorado dedicated solely to women and their families, WFCO is truly putting in the work, day in and day out, to create a better future for women and girls in Colorado. The small, but mighty, WFCO team is truly inspirational in all that they accomplish and I couldn’t be prouder to support the mission.

If you had a personal philanthropic mission statement or slogan, what would it say?

My mission in life is to leave this place better than I found it by fighting for inequalities, radiating kindness, and making a true difference in people’s lives. 

What do you believe is the most pressing issue women and families are facing in Colorado? 

Right now, I believe that access to quality, affordable child care is one of the most pressing issues for women and children in Colorado. COVID really shined a light on the extremely fragile practices that we have in place to support working mothers. When schools and daycares shut down, we saw a record number of women leave the workforce, and we still are. 

Prior to COVID, child care was already a huge issue in Colorado. The cost, alone, forces women to make tough decisions about leaving the workforce and we are also seriously lacking early care and education professionals. 

Who have been the leaders/mentors on your journey?

I feel so lucky to be surrounded by tons of incredible women in my life, but my mom is definitely my biggest Shero. Everything about her is amazing. I could literally write a novel about my mom, so I will keep this short. My parents recently celebrated their 42nd anniversary and I couldn’t be more thankful for both of them, and for raising me to understand the importance of being a fierce, independent woman. 

My mom worked in nonprofits pretty much my whole life and I credit her with instilling in me the importance of philanthropy and giving back. Recently, I was visiting my parents in Denver and when I arrived at their house, their next-door neighbor was outside. She came to say hello and ended the conversation with, “your mom is memorably kind.” It’s true. That is who my mom is at her core and I think everybody should strive to be memorably kind. 

What is the best personal decision you’ve ever made? Why?

The best personal decision I ever made was changing my major in my third year of college. Yes, it added some additional time to my college experience, but that decision led me to where I am today.

If you had to teach a class on one thing, what would it be?

I have two fur kiddos, Oliver and Bella. I would teach a class on dog training. No, I am definitely NOT an expert, but I cringe sometimes at how I see people training their dogs and I think more dog parents need to be trained 🙂

What would you tell your 15-year-old self?

I’d tell my 15-year old self that there is so much more to learn. As many 15 year olds do, I thought I knew EVERYTHING. I knew nothing. 

What is the most pivotal moment in your career?

The most pivotal moment in my career is yet to happen! I feel lucky every single day for my career and the company that I get to work for, but when I look at the last 11 years, I realize that there is so much more to go and so much more to learn. The opportunities are endless and I intend to make some waves along the way.

Who would you like to see speak at the Annual Luncheon?

I mean, how do you top Robin Arzón??? Ok, maybe Michelle Obama. Is that an option? (WFCO note: Former First Lady Michelle Obama was the special guest at our 30th anniversary celebration in 2017!)

What movie scene lives in your head rent free?

The scene in Crazy Stupid Love where Emma Stone says to Ryan Gosling, “Seriously? It’s like you’re photoshopped!”

Should pineapple exist on pizza? What is your favorite pizza topping?

Absolutely not. Hard pass for me. I like plain old cheese pizza. Boring, I know. 

What is the most binge-worthy show? No judgment😊

Gossip Girl for me. So silly, so dramatic, but so entertaining. 

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