Women to watch in Colorado business

They are making an impact as CEOs, startup founders and strategists

Women in Colorado are making an impact in every industry, enterprise and workplace role imaginable. They are CEOs, startup founders, strategists and irreplaceable employees who not only are instrumental in their own organization’s success; through their daily actions and achievements, they set a precedent of possibilities for the next generation of women in business to build upon.

Every woman in business has her own story, and we present a few of them in this special advertising section with profiles specifically designed to show the person – the face, if you will – behind the business or organization that she has helped build or nurture. We think you’ll come away with something valuable – whether you’re a man or woman.


Holland & Hart

Elizabeth A. Sharrer

Partner and Firm Chair

555 17th Street Suite 3200

Denver, CO 80202




Building a career representing owners and investors in commercial real estate, Liz became fascinated with complex multi-faceted legal projects pulling together myriad resources and people. Today she leads Colorado’s largest law firm, which has offices throughout the West and in Washington D.C. Leading 500-lawyers during a time of dramatic industry change, Liz focuses on a “client centric,” approach to delivering legal services. She encourages the firm to improve efficiencies, provide optimal value, and ensure that a diverse client base is served by an equally diverse and inclusive team of highly qualified lawyers.



Martha Dreiling

Vice President of Operations

101 W. Colfax Ave,
Denver CO 80202




OnDeck not only values women, but creates an inclusive culture for all employees. The work schedule is flexible, allowing for mothers to be available for their families as much as they need to. Personally, OnDeck has propelled my career and my managers have all been supportive of my career growth, while still being mindful of personal obligations. Since joining OnDeck in 2009 I have held a variety of leadership roles. During my tenure, I have focused on building processes and systems for customer service, portfolio management, and loan servicing. Currently I am the Vice President of Operations and oversee all aspects of the department, including loan originations and servicing, fraud strategy, and sales and operations training


dfine Branding

Danna Simons

President + Lead Brand Manager

3457 Ringsby Ct. #103, Taxi 2

Denver, CO 80216



“If you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” Danna Simons’ father’s mantra inspired
her to fill a need in the Colorado business community. Working in merchandising and event branding, many of Danna’s clients asked, “Can you also design my logo? Website? Write messaging? Print collateral?” For her clients’ convenience and brand consistency, Danna started dfine Branding—a comprehensive branding  agency that offers strategy, design, development, implementation and management under one roof. dfine’s collaborative, relationship-driven team of specialists engages with passion and executes with pride, working with clients of all sizes and industries throughout each stage of the brand’s life.

– Brand Strategy + Development

– Marketing + Communications

– Graphic + Web Design

– Print + Display Production

– Environmental Branding

– Event Branding + Strategy

– Merchandise, Apparel, Accessories + Recognition

– Fulfillment + Custom Packaging

– Corporate Purchasing Websites

– Brand Identity Management


Craters & Freighters

Diane Gibson


331 Corporate Cir,
Golden, CO 80401



Diane Gibson founded Craters & Freighters in June 1990 and is the CEO managing the company’s direction and growth.  Craters & Freighters, the Nation’s largest specialty shipping company with over 65 brick and mortar locations continues to meet the needs of consumers and businesses requiring specialty packaging, crating and shipping. The company serves a myriad of market sectors including hi-tech, medical, aerospace, commercial/industrial, and fine art & antiques.   When Diane established the company, she did more than simply identify a previously underserved niche in the shipping industry; she developed an unconventional and unique business model with unlimited revenue potential.

With increased market demand, Diane launched Craters & Freighters Platinum in 2014 to serve the worldwide needs of large companies with high-value, time-critical multifaceted logistical requests.  Platinum offers centralized, one stop project management and has the unique ability to provide end-to-end shipping solutions including reverse logistics and multifaceted engineered crating for a wide range of customers.


Colorado State Bank and Trust

Left to Right: Kristen Sundin, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Nonprofit and Municipal Banking; Nicole Dews, Senior Vice President, Treasury Services; Sonja Borodko, Vice President, Energy Lending

Left to Right: Laura Fuschino, Vice President, Commercial Real Estate; Roberta Wolff, Vice President, Business Banking; Marisa Famariss, Senior Vice President, Treasury Services

1600 Broadway

Denver, CO 80202



Colorado State Bank and Trust has served the local community for more than 100 years. In 2003, we became a division of BOK Financial, a top 25 U.S.-based financial services company. Today, this combination gives us the best of both worlds: excellent customer resources and strong local loyalty. Our bankers are some of the best in the business and our commitment to industry specialization and face- to- face service is strong. In the community, we volunteer or contribute to more than 100 organizations. A third of our workforce serves on local boards and committees. Whether transacting business or supporting local organizations, we take serving the community seriously.

At Colorado State Bank and Trust we are fortunate to work with distinguished women across the Colorado business community. We created the Outstanding Women Leaders (OWL) group to develop and expand relationships with our clients. Throughout the year, we host networking and educational events for women keeping in mind what matters most to us and our guests – good food, genuine camaraderie, learning, laughing and having fun. Before you know it, the evening has ended, but the conversations, information sharing and friendships have just begun.


Avocet Communications

Lori Jones

President & CEO

425 Main St

Longmont, CO 80501



Great products and services don’t do any good unless they are in the hands of your customers. Avocet’s integrated marketing communications programs specialize in keeping up with the ever-changing landscape to get your “sales wheels” out of the mud and moving again. We listen – to you and your customers – then we tell your story the way no one else can, and you get the pleasure of seeing your sales speed up.

When Jones isn’t navigating her team and clients down the road to success, she and her husband manage a household of very active children. She serves on the Board of Directors for Rocky Mountain Down Syndrom Association and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. She also serves on the Forbes Agency Council and publishes a weekly blog and podcast called Integrate & Ignite.


Innovate ICC Inc.

Susan Ruhl

President, CFO

1873 S. Bellaire St, Suite 750

Denver, CO 80222



At ICC, we firmly believe that the success of a business lives and dies by its people. Acting as an extension to companies’ internal resources, we help add value to their bottom line through talent management consulting, organizational effectiveness and compassionate outplacement services.

We designed our business model to run countercyclical to the economy, so we are positioned for continued growth regardless of the economic climate. Committed to delivering unique and high-quality products, combined with our culture of collaboration and creativity, we look eagerly to the future to build upon our momentum.


PayTech Inc.

Jan Allen

President and CEO

8400 E. Prentice Ave. Suite 1400

Greenwood Village, CO 80111



In 1999, Jan Allen founded PayTech, a premier provider of Payroll and HRIS consulting services guiding companies through change management. A 28-year veteran to the Payroll Industry, Jan led several Fortune 500 companies through change within their Payroll and HR departments. Learning from these experiences, she started PayTech and now employs over 130 professionals. Jan supports many local charities including Children’s Hospital and the Denver Rescue Mission. Globally, Jan supports the Nyaka AIDS orphans project in Uganda in addition to feeding and supporting education efforts for children in Mexico. Congratulations to PayTech for making the Top 100 Woman Owned Companies in ColoradoBiz.

PayTech’s Core Services

– Project Management

– Payroll Consulting

– Managed Services

– HRIS Services

– Carve-outs/M&A


Colorado State University EMBA

Jill Terry

Director, Executive Programs

475 17th Street, Suite 750,
Denver, CO  80202

O) 303-534-3191, M) 720-979-8071



Jill Terry has dedicated her career to supporting individuals’ professional development through executive business education. This year she’s redesigned Colorado State University’s Executive MBA program to a blended learning model that makes the most of professionals’ in-class time. The new format, which is comprised of both online and in-person learning, allows for greater flexibility and expansion of the program to professionals outside of the Denver Metro area. Working with faculty, Jill infused a unique use of technology to maximize students’ experience – including retention of content. Through her extensive community involvement, Jill continues to advance executive education throughout the state.

Categories: Business Leaders, Magazine Articles, Sponsored Content, Women in Biz