The League of Extraordinary Women 10

The southern ‘burbs of Denver are thriving and changing shape thanks to the contributions of innovative, entrepreneurial women like the ones you’ll meet here. In addition to honoring the accomplishments of our 2017 Women to Watch. we leapt at the chance to learn who inspires them, the best advice they ever received, favorite quotes, what they would tell their younger selves and more. 

Marilyn Manning – 
Payroll Vault Franchising, LLC

Marilyn is Executive Director of Marketing and Franchise Development for Payroll Vault Franchising, LLC, a payroll service she founded with her husband, Sean Manning. The company, designed to remove the hassle of payroll from business owners, now has multiple franchise locations across the U.S. A passionate volunteer, Marilyn is also the founder of REV Networking, a networking and marketing service designed to ease the stress of professional networking. The company has introduced “speed networking” to Denver, a strategy that merges the format of speed dating with networking to allow business professionals to quickly share ideas with one another.

Best advice you ever received?

My father was a dentist and I worked with him as a dental assistant through high school and college. He would regularly say, “Always be in a perpetual state of learning. Be open to new ways, try new things, and learn from everyone you meet.”

Jeni Hampers – 
Window Wear

Jennifer Hampers has been in the window covering business since 1999, helping to beautify thousands of homes. She currently owns Window Wear, located in Centennial, which features an extensive showroom with a myriad of shutters, shades, blinds and textiles for bedding. Window Wear offers free in-home estimates, and the showroom is full of re-decorating inspiration. “I love helping customers find the perfect treatments and styles for their home. Your home is your sanctuary and a place where you’re relaxed and at peace from the busyness of the outside world!”

On work/ life balance:

I have a wonderful husband and six children. Work/ life balance is essential! You only have one chance to raise your kids, teach them your values and show them love. Family and business are my two greatest loves. I like to think I’ve found balance in both.

Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack -
 Blogger and Author, Muy Bueno Cooking

Yvette is a twice-published author who wrote “Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor” with her mother and sister and co-wrote “Latin Twist: Traditional and Modern Cocktails” with Vianney of Sweet Life, an award-winning blogger from Texas. Yvette is also an active blogger and founded “Muy Bueno,” a celebration of Mexican food and culture. Full of traditional Mexican recipes, many learned from her grandmother, along with original Latin-fusion recipes, “Muy Bueno” is packed with Mexican goodness. Yvette also produces cooking and lifestyle videos for her YouTube channel, Youtube.com/muybuenocooking. Yvette hopes that through cooking she can pass on her family recipes and a sense of cultural pride to her own children, as well as those she touches through her published cookbooks and blog.

On work/ life balance:

I don’t do it all. My house is not as clean as I wish it were, and there are piles of laundry calling my name. I don’t exercise often or take as much “me time” as I probably should. I hear about others balancing it all, but for me, it’s about juggling.

Wendy Skaalerud – 
Orangetheory Colorado, Inngi Float,
 and Capital Lending Solutions

Wendy is the Area Developer for Orangetheory Fitness in Colorado, with 22 operational studios and six more opening in 2017. Wendy personally owns and operates five of those studios, and she has two more opening soon. She also co-owns and operates Inngi Float, which offers a rejuvenating, healing float experience with its first Colorado location opening in June. In addition, Wendy and her husband have co-owned Capital Lending Solutions for the past 13 years, a company that provides consulting and financing for small businesses.

Best advice you ever received?

When I started to scale from 1 studio, to 3 studios, to 5, it was extremely hard to let go of my daily engagement inside the studios. A mentor of mine pointed out that it wasn’t just me that made the studios run, or did things well.. that if I’ve led my team well and empowered and trusted them, then stepping away is an important part of the process. Allow people to grow!

What would you tell your younger self?

Be graceful with yourself when you make mistakes. They will happen. And, by the way, hold tight and hang on. This is going to be an amazing ride!

Pamela Schenck-Kelly -
 Park Meadows GM

Pamela is the General Manager of Park Meadows, Colorado’s only retail resort. With its world class architecture and over $1M in commissioned art by Colorado artists, Park Meadows features some of the top retail stores in the country, including Tesla, Nespresso, Microsoft, Sundance, American Girl and Arhaus Furniture. A driving force behind the economic stability of the area, Park Meadows employs many and contributes to the arts as well as numerous charities and youth programs and to the arts. Pamela strives to impact lives and communities through the memories made and special times had at the resort. “Everyone typically has a special shopping memory of finding their favorite toy, a prom dress, even a wedding dress. How it looked on you, how it made you feel. My job brings people together to be a community.”

What would you tell your younger self?

Relax, enjoy, and be present to the moment. It is fleeting and oh so special.

Kristi Hoben and Tricia Shepard – 
Family Law

Kristi Hoben and Tricia Shepard, both family law attorneys, share office space in the beautiful Parker Station office building on  Mainstreet in Parker. Kristi’s pactice is Hoben Law Firm LLC, while Tricia is the owner of Shepard Law, LLC. The two work closely together and share similar values, striving to assist families through some of the more stressful changes families go through including divorce, child custody, relocation, grandparent rights, adoptions, protection orders, child support and modifications to family plans. They both aim to bring professionalism and personal understanding to all of their clients and cases.

Who inspires Tricia:

My blended family! I have one son and three step-sons. Each of our children have individual talents and traits that I admire. The drive that I see in them to become better athletes, students and people inspires me to apply that same drive and passion 
in my career and family life.

Kristi’s favorite quote:

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

Anne Barrington – 
Barrington Group Real Estate

Anne is the owner and Managing Broker for Barrington Group Real Estate in Parker. The company works to help clients buy and sell real estate in the South Denver area, specializing in the Parker market. The realtors at Barrington Group Real Estate strive to build life-long relationships with their clients by being the definition of reliable and trustworthy. “I truly care about people. Along with death, divorce, major illness, and job change/ loss, moving is one of the top five most stressful situations individuals and families go through, and oftentimes people move at a time when they’re also experiencing another major life stressor. I take on the stress for my clients so they can stay focused on the joy of a new home and just living the good life!”

Favorite quote:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Kathy Letson, 
The Gluten Escape

Kathy Letson is the owner and founder of The Gluten Escape in Centennial. The company’s motto, “Stay healthy, feel good, have choices,” pretty much sums up what the bakery is about! A dedicated gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, and 90% egg free/ vegan bakery, The Gluten Escape is also an artisanal bakery, which means every baked good is made by hand using their own personally mixed, gluten -free flour blend. “I love seeing kids come in who have lived with limited choices, and watching them realize there are so many options! I love to see them run to the cases with their eyes wide, see them jump up and down and wiggle with fun. It’s great to see moms and dads having “dates” with their kids here!

What makes you/your business unique?

My employee team here is exceptional! They are a hard-working group of “younger” people who believe that food is medicine and that it directly affects how your body functions. We opened five years ago, and my original employees are still here with their same dedication and passion.

Raemi Vermiglio – 
Freelance Photographer

Raemi is a lifestyle and commercial freelance photographer based in Parker whose work has been published across the U.S. Raemi loves collaborating with the businesses and new clients she photographs. “I believe we all have the power to act on our dreams, no matter how big or how small. Having flexibility and earning money through my passion for photography was my dream. The flexibility to make my own schedule is important to me – I have two young kids at home and I get to do what I love at the same time!”

Best advice you ever received?

My parents used to tell me that I could do or be anything I wanted in life if I put my mind to it and didn’t give up. That gave me the confidence to believe in myself when I went into business for myself. I tell my kids that same thing almost daily.

What would you tell your younger self?

Slow down. Be present for what’s right in front of you.

Erika Morrow, 
O.D., M.S., Vision Care Specialist

Erika is an optometrist at Vision Care Specialists in both Parker and Highlands Ranch. With 14 years of optometric experience, Erika provides comprehensive eye care, including specialty contact lens fittings for patients with corneal diseases, treatment of ocular disease and vision correction with contact lenses, glasses and LASIK. “I jump out of bed every day with a smile on my face because I know I can improve the lives of others by providing exceptional eye care that ensures each patient sees their best. Everyday I’m on a mission to improve my patients’ lives by providing more than just an eye exam and glasses or contacts.”

Who/ what inspires you?

I’m inspired by fitting specialty contact lenses for people who have had corneal transplants or corneal diseases  and those who’ve suffered vision loss from an eye injury. It’s inspiring when I fit a patient who hasn’t seen well in many years with a contact lens that allows them to see better than they ever have.

Favorite quote?

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” – Jack Canfield