CWCC Honors TalenTrust CEO with Top 25 Award
TalenTrust CEO Kathleen Quinn Votaw was named to the annual Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The 7th annual award and gala profile powerful and impactful women in the Colorado community, and aims to inspire other business women by highlighting 25 women who live a well-balanced life by charting new or innovative career paths, have a passion for civic engagement and exhibit perseverance in their company, their community, and their family.
Kathleen practices what she preaches. Two-thirds of her company’s staff are women. Many of them work virtually much of the time so that they can manage their personal and work lives more effectively. In one case, as example, a woman vice president on her staff has had two children over the past few years and Kathleen’s flexible work practices have allowed her to accomplish her work goals and contribute innovative ideas, while spending all the time she needed to with her children. Kathleen strives to create a healthy work-life balance for herself, and does all that she can to encourage the same for her employees. She makes sure that every woman in her employ has the tools and support to excel in their job—and has plenty of time for a fulfilling personal life. Her business grows first by promoting these talented, long-term employees from within. Every woman on her team I’ve spoken with is inspired by Kathleen (as are the men).
A prolific writer and speaker, Kathleen regularly promotes women on her nationwide circuit, helping companies understand the valuable perspective and contributions women add to executive teams, boards, and business in general. She devoted an entire chapter of her book, Solve the People Puzzle, to the benefits of hiring and promoting women. She makes her points without ever denigrating men in any way. She believes in the power of diversity and practices it both in her own business and as she works with clients and business groups.
Kathleen and I served together on the board of the Association for Growth (ACG-Denver) for several years. ACG is a global organization with more than 13,000 members, dedicated to corporate growth. Denver is one of the fastest growing chapters, with more than 450 members, including business leaders, capital executives, advisors and intermediaries. Kathleen’s participation extended beyond Colorado to earning a place at the national leadership level. The Denver chapter’s mission is helping small- and mid-sized companies grow, a close alignment with the mission of Kathleen’s company, TalenTrust. .One of her top priorities was to grow the number of women members. Time and again, I saw her mentor women and go out of her way to promote them or their businesses or nominate them for executive roles on the board or as committee chairs. There are dozens of women in that organization alone who owe much of their success to Kathleen, myself included.
After several years in the role of ACG Denver membership chair, where she more than doubled the number of members during her tenure, with most of her focus on attracting and promoting women members, Kathleen was elected president of the Denver chapter.
Under her leadership, ACG Denver grew more than 12% and held two exceptional conferences with more than 650 attendees at each—when the economy was deep in the recession. She created a fair, and well-thought out selection process for new board members that included a selection committee and guidelines. She also initiated marketing strategies that have succeeded in attracting many times more C-level executives, achieving ACG’s prime membership goals. In a male dominated organization, Kathleen was instrumental in bringing more women members into ACG by initiating or involving ACG in joint events with women’s groups that support aspiring women executives and women who work in financial industries. Under her leadership, ACG-Denver became a model for other ACG chapters around the country that now look to Denver for event and administration ideas. She was rewarded with a nomination for ACG Meritorious Service Award, which recognizes the leaders within ACG who have contributed to the success of the organization through extraordinary service and achievement.
Kathleen is thankful for the women and men who have served as her mentors over the years. In her own words from her book, this is her perspective on helping women grow to their full potential: “Since we need more women leaders, if you are a woman, mentor another woman. If you are a man, mentor a woman. You will be creating better business.”
Above all, Kathleen is a role model for all the women she meets or works with. She is the main breadwinner in her family, a dynamic business leader, understanding boss, wife, mother, and rhythm and blues vocalist. She absolutely wows me, as well as the many other women and men who know her.