WFCO Adds Six to Board of Diverse Women & Men
Business Leaders, Nonprofit Executives, Diversity and Inclusion Experts, and Public Servants Represented
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) has elected six women to our board of trustees with terms beginning April 1, 2019. The trustees represent the diverse backgrounds and identities of the women who make up the state of Colorado and bring the board total to 25.
The trustees work in partnership with WFCO President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel to set The Foundation’s goals and priorities, determine policy, and manage The Foundation’s assets totaling $23.9 million. They also develop financial resources that ensure sustainability to meet the current and future needs of Colorado women.
“We are thrilled to add this enormously talented class of trustees who are community and business leaders, nonprofit executives, diversity and inclusion experts, and public servants,” said Stephanie Bruno, chair of the board. “Their dynamic backgrounds and diverse perspectives will enrich our dialogue and decision making and help to advance and accelerate economic outcomes for women in Colorado.”
Michelle Blessing, Colorado Springs
As an associate broker for ERA Shields, Michelle is a top real estate agent locally and nationally. Before her real estate career, Michelle competed as a professional athlete and was the U.S. Olympic Triathlon coach in 2000. In 2015, she was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. She has extensive nonprofit board experience, currently with the Discover Goodwill Foundation, and previously with The Children’s Literacy Center and The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute. In 2018, she was honorary chair of WFCO’s Colorado Springs Community Forum & Luncheon.
Gracie Gallego, Denver
Gracie is the assistant vice president and business development specialist for Heritage Title Company, earning the title of top sales executive for the past five years. She is among the top 10 percent of the nation’s Fortune 500 sales executives and the top 5 percent for Colorado. She served on the board of the Hispanic Chamber Foundation from 2009-2015 and chaired The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Annual Luncheon in 2018.
Kendra M. Oyen, Pueblo
Kendra is an attorney and owns her own firm, Kendra M. Oyen, LLC., that focuses on probate including estate administration, guardianships, and conservatorships, as well as litigation related to probate matters. She previously worked as a Deputy District Attorney and has more than 20 years of legal experience. Before earning her J.D. at the University of Colorado School of Law, she was a Boettcher Scholar at the Colorado College. Kendra has served as a board member for the Pueblo Domestic Violence Task Force, Sangre de Cristo Hospice, and the Western Colorado AIDS Project.
Sue Sharkey, Castle Rock
Sue was elected in 2010 to serve her first term on the CU Board of Regents and re-elected to a second term in 2016, representing the 4th Congressional District. She also was elected to serve as chair for the board of regents for FY 2017 and again for FY 2018. As a regent, she sponsored a resolution that was passed and implemented in the university’s non-discrimination and harassment policy to include political philosophy and political affiliation. She is interested in military-connected students as well as CU’s pre-collegiate program serving first-generation, underserved high school students.
Danielle Shoots, Denver
Danielle Shoots is the founder and CEO of the Daily Boss Up, a digital start up that provides coaching, mentoring, and consulting for leaders in every stage of their career. She is also an accomplished financial executive. A proud Colorado native, Danielle was named to the Denver Business Journal’s 2017 “40 under 40” and in 2019 she was named one of the “Top-25 Most Powerful Women in Business” by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Danielle is also passionately involved in the community as the president of the Board for Mile High Ministries, and as a long-time mentor with the Challenge Foundation.
Faye Tate, Denver
Faye Tate is a nationally recognized leader in diversity and inclusion, and currently the vice president of diversity and inclusion at CoBank. She has earned many accolades for her social justice work, including the Distinguished Warrior Award from The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, the Ally Award from One Colorado, and The Paul R. Hunter Award from the Colorado Human Rights Campaign. Faye serves on the national board of directors for The Arc of the United States, an organization that advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 2018, she was an honorary chair of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Annual Luncheon. She is also a member of The Links, Inc. Denver Chapter and the Denver Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.