Colorado 50-50 organizers were pleased to see an entirely different audience at Winning With Women on November 15, 2017. This was the second time the group has put on the event and the first time it was in Loveland.
Many women attending expressed an interest in running for office, such as Julie Pignataro.
“Attending the Winning With Women event was a truly inspiring and valuable experience,” she said. “I have known that I plan on running for political office in the next couple of years, but what I did not know was what a talented and supportive group of individuals are available to help me through the process and support me as I pursue my goals!”
Another participant, Patricia Miller, found the information stations were helpful in providing details about elected positions, terms, and district boundaries. “I got a lot out of the workshop. The process for running for office was clarified and explained,” she said. “The speakers were highly qualified, informative, warm and accessible. They presented their experiences in a relatable and inspiring way.”
The panel discussion was a rich conversation with Kristie Melendez, current mayor of Windsor, Kathy Gilliland, former mayor of Loveland, and Marty Tharp, former Fort Collins city council member. The women shared their journeys to elected office, including the highs and lows. In answering audience questions, they offered many wonderful insights.
“It was great fun for me!” said Gilliland afterward. “I loved the enthusiasm and interest from the participants and am hopeful some will step up for leadership roles.”
Colorado 50-50 Moderator Erin Hottenstein encouraged the audience to get on a path to leadership and to consider applying to boards and commissions.
“We benefit from women’s experiences and we need to hear their voices,” she said. “There are so many ways that women make a difference in public life.”
The event was made possible through generous donations from Public Speaking for the Professional, the Larimer County League of Women Voters, and Electing Women. Colorado 50-50 also thanks all the volunteers who worked so hard to create a successful event.
“In the future, I hope to see women supporting each other and running for office,” said Miller. “I know now that I can be a part of it all.”