Extraordinary Women Connect™

Connecting Great Women to Great Women!

Abend Art Gallery: 1412 Wazee Street, in Denver, CO

At Extraordinary Women Connect, we gather in an intimate circle of wildly successful extraordinary women connecting in meaning, purpose and shared support. Together we will explore stories of courage, success and living out loud.  You’ll say yes to you, yes to connection, yes to raising up your own voice!

May 21 – REGISTER

The Art of Connection & building Community

Our Circle of Inspiration Panelists and Facilitators for the May 21 gala! These extraordinary women leaders will participate in our panel on The Art of Connection & Building Community and then lead the table discussions around topics that really matter.  You will share stories of courage, success and living with intention with other women leaders, led by amazing ladies!

  • Kristen Blessman, President/CEO of Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Shannon Block, Breaking the CEO glass ceiling many times in For Profit and Non-Profit organizations, including the Denver Zoo, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers and Denver Health.
  • Virginia Santy, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Women in Kind, a co-working space designed by women for women
  • Stacy Taubman, Founder and CEO of Rise Collaborative, a female focused co-working space
Kristen Blessman, President/CEO of Colorado Women's Chamber
Kristen Blessman, President/CEO of Colorado Women's Chamber
Shannon Block, Breaking the CEO glass ceiling many times in For Profit & Non-Profit
Shannon Block, Breaking the CEO glass ceiling many times in For Profit & Non-Profit
Virginia Santy, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Women in Kind
Virginia Santy, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Women in Kind
Stacy Taubman, Founder & CEO of Rise Collaborative
Stacy Taubman, Founder & CEO of Rise Collaborative

Who Attends Extraordinary Women Connect: Extraordinary women leaders interested in connecting with other wildly successful women in real conversations and story!  They are the change makers, the rule breakers and the rebels. They are women whose voices are meant to be heard. They are the dreamers AND the doers, and they lead with grit and grace. We’ve had representation from the DBJ’s most influential women list, and senior executive woman in some of the Denver area’s largest companies and the fastest growing start-ups.

What we do:  We start with cocktails and great conversations, followed by an inspiring panel discussion with our Circle of Inspiration Facilitators. Finally we move into intimate and inspiring circles of conversation around topics that really matter.  You will share stories of courage, success and living with intention with other women leaders, led by our circle of inspiration facilitators! To see some of our past prestigious guests, visit our Circle of Inspiration Hall of Fame! 

How often is this held:  This event is held three times per year in January, May and September!  The remaining 2019 dates for Extraordinary Women Connect are: May 21 & Sept 17! Extraordinary Women Connect was originally founded in art galleries, and we’ll be moving back into art at Abend Gallery. To register for the September 17 event:  REGISTER.

What the wildly successful women say about Extraordinary Women Connect!  

“I enjoyed the event last night….. Such amazing women and great questions to ponder and discuss!”

 “It was so inspiring to hear all the women’s stories that they shared so eloquently!”

 “It was really an amazing evening. Bravo on bringing so many amazing women together and connecting us all. And the venue was magical!”

 “A first class, one of a kind event!  I was looking forward to the event since you announced it, but had no idea the level of deep interaction and thought provoking ideas that I came away with.   My batteries were fully charged by the time the evening was over with and it’s just want I needed!”

 “It was warm and authentic, the table topics were just right, the facilitators were great, and the company was wonderful. And the food was so good, and so thoughtfully crafted into the evening’s activities.”

 “Thank you for a wonderful evening!  I had no idea what the event would include and was pleasantly surprised at the energy, sharing and networking that occurred.  It was also a great opportunity for me to reflect on my current life, where I spend my time and how I can best create more space in my life to accomplish the things I have much passion about and need for in my life. I called a close friend and told her all about the event on the way home.  Then, spent a half hour telling my husband.  He said, “You sound like you just spent an evening with your best friends!”  Great energy.”

Circle of Inspiration Facilitator Bios

Kristen Blessman, President/CEO of Colorado Women's Chamber
Kristen Blessman, President/CEO of Colorado Women's Chamber

Kristen Blessman has over 20 years of leadership experience, including strategic marketing, business development and executive management; working with both non-profit, for-profit as well as small business ownership experience.  Kristen is a change-agent leader with a focus on revenue development through the areas of innovation, strategic planning, start-up social enterprise, rebranding, and award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns.

Currently, Blessman serves as the President and CEO of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC).  As CEO of the CWCC, Blessman is responsible for executing the organization’s mission of advancing women in business.

Prior to the CWCC, Blessman was the Chief Marketing Officer for Goodwill Industries of Denver.  Having been drawn to the organization’s triple-bottom line business approach of people, profit and planet, she was responsible for the rebranding of Goodwill’s image in 2009 and started Goodwill’s first customer loyalty program, Club Blue in 2012.  Blessman was appointed as innovation and business development officer in 2013, launching several new social enterprise businesses as well as doubling the organization’s fundraising revenues.  Under her leadership, Goodwill opened more than 40 new retail locations and grew from $30 million in revenues to over $70 million.

Ms. Blessman has received several awards for her marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns, including the 2009 Public Relations Society of America’s Gold Pick Award.  Kristen has served on multiple committees and boards of directors, including The American Marketing Association,  The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Denver Press Club, The Women’s Leadership Foundation, and Arapahoe House.  She also volunteers for Goodwill Industries of Denver’s youth career programs in several metro Denver high schools and has been a guest lecturer at Metro State, Argosy and Regis University.

Shannon Block, Breaking the CEO glass ceiling many times in For Profit & Non-Profit
Shannon Block, Breaking the CEO glass ceiling many times in For Profit & Non-Profit

Shannon Block has been the CEO of both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  She has severed as an executive in a variety of industries from healthcare to zoos. She has been an entrepreneur and helped lead companies with over 1 billion in revenues and across thirty different countries.

She has led data management teams at both PwC and Deloitte and has served on many Boards including Children’s Hospital, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, YPO’s Western United States Board and Women’s Forum of Colorado Executive Committee. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from George Washington University, M.S. in Physics from Tufts University and she is currently completing her Doctorate in Computer Science.

Her children’s books “What If” and “Finding Solutions” are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Shannon currently serves as the Executive Director and COO of Skillful Colorado, helping bring the future of skills to the future of work.

Listen to Shannon’s interview on Extraordinary Women Radio!

Virginia Santy, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Women in Kind
Virginia Santy, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Women in Kind

Virginia Santy, Ph.D., is co-founder and CEO of Direct Object Communications, a digital marketing and strategic communication agency representing a range of clients —including Fortune 500 companies, government organizations, startups, and national thought leaders — in fulfilling objectives via purposeful, effective communication. She received her doctorate in strategic communication and women’s studies from UC-Boulder and has ten years of experience in strategic communication advising around an array of social issues and business challenges. A former professor of communication and women’s studies, her research on women, leadership, and work is published in a range of academic and professional outlets. Her examination of women in power and leadership roles earned her the National Women’s Scholar of the Year Award from the Organization for Research on Women and Communication. In addition,Virginia conducts research and consults with developers, private enterprise, and elected officials on how to plan and design cities to support women. Finally, she is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Broadview Denver, an online publication and resource for the women of Denver dedicated to helping women to see themselves as a force for change and positive action in the community.

Stacy Taubman, Founder & CEO of Rise Collaborative
Stacy Taubman, Founder & CEO of Rise Collaborative

As the Founder/CEO of RISE Collaborative, Stacy Taubman launched a company that is changing the way women do business. RISE Collaborative Workspace has been featured in publications including Today Show, NBC News, USA Today, Bloomberg, and ELLE Magazine as a leader in the multi-billion-dollar coworking industry.

Since opening in February 2017, RISE Collaborative’s growing membership includes over 350 of some of the most impressive businesswomen in St. Louis and Denver. Dozens of members have reported business growth of 150% or more since joining RISE Collaborative, a true testament to the impact of women supporting women.

Focused on empowering women in business and building social capital, Stacy and RISE Collaborative create meaningful connections between individuals, companies and organizations to foster a stronger and healthier business community for women in St. Louis and Denver.

Stacy is also Co-Founder/Co-President of RISE Society, the 501c3 arm of RISE Collaborative, which provides programming, mentorships, and scholarships to help women of all ages tap into a powerful pipeline for success. Through RISE Society and speaking to aspiring female leaders and businesswomen here in St. Louis, Stacy is actively investing in the next generation of smart, strong, successful women in St. Louis.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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MEPHotography
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This event is a part of the Extraordinary Women Connect series created by Kami Guildner, a Storyteller, a Community Builder and a Coach for Women. Kami believes that women’s voices matter – and she helps them raise up their voice, their brand and their business. The mission of Extraordinary Women Connect is to connect great women to great women and give voice to their stories!

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