While modern day trends have made the word influencer a legitimate job function with a focus on profit, lifestyle, and politics, the word itself has been used in the English language since the mid-1600s. Holding significant meaning, old school influence was about the ability to communicate vision, ignite forward-thinking ideas, and create tangible resources to leave a legacy-level impact.
We caught up with five Broomfield women who have been doing just that!
Each of these ladies was influenced by women who carried the torch before them, and they have used the impact in their own lives as a catalyst. Day in and day out, most often behind the scenes, through collaboration and empowerment, they are dedicated to being a part of something bigger for the community they love.
Broomfield Chief of Police
Immigrating from Italy as a child, and settling with her family in the Westminster area, Chief Hempelmann speaks of her mother Josephine Navarra as one of her great influencers, modeling a life of unwavering support and resiliency. Her mother was always at-the-ready to offer words of empowerment, “Get through. Be strong. You’ve got this.” In turn, Hempelmann credits her mother and her family as the support system that cultivated the leader she is today.
Offering a style that leads with being human, Chief Hempelmann has committed her influence to humanize the police force, broadening the portrayal of protector and enforcer to protector, enforcer, community member, mother, father, daughter, son, and friend. Leading by example, Hempelmann recognizes everything starts in-house. If the Broomfield PD staff is well, it will translate directly to the community. As such, the action philosophy of the department centers around seven core values Hempelmann penned 10 years ago as a Sergeant: Service, Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Professionalism, Pride, and Trust. Heading up a department and staff of first responders, providing connection to these core values builds bridges when hard decisions need to be made.
Chief Hempelmann’s vision for long term influence portrays the future of policing in a different way, with a focus on how the role of the department has evolved and how it can create more thoughtful and intentional ways of engaging the Broomfield community.
Executive Director – Broomfield Community Foundation
Marianna Williamson quickly offers credit to her Board, her staff, and her invaluable volunteers as the reason why working together, the Broomfield Community Foundation has been able to be an effective, influential resource for non-profits throughout the City and County of Broomfield. Supporting the dreams and motivations of more than 40 non-profit organizations, she is inspired daily to do better and be better though the people who surround the organization.
Providing connections, resources, and financial support for budding non-profits, The Broomfield Community Foundation has realized its ultimate influence. When healthy non-profits are effectively serving their community, it thrives. And, this past year, the Broomfield community at large has responded, allowing grant funding to double.
Marianna finds passion and fuels future impact through the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee, mentoring high school leaders through the realities of philanthropy, and passing the torch of charitable giving. Any student in a Broomfield high school can apply to participate in this “Philanthropy 101” experience.
Community Engagement Manager – Broomfield Fish
Board of Directors – Broomfield Chamber of Commerce
President – Broomfield Chamber Young Professionals
Honoring her family legacy, Emily Crouse-Joo embraces every opportunity to make Broomfield better. It was no surprise, when asked to name a driving influencer in her life, without hesitation she said, “Grandma Anne.” A working mom of four, Anne Crouse built a community. Emily describes her as highly effective because she was thoughtful, patient, and carried a temperament that made you want to be around her, and a part of what she was doing.
Emily is a Broomfield native, working, law-school bound mother of three incredible boys. As a child she saw her future self as a lawyer engaged in social activism and community engagement. Still chasing those dreams, she finds her day-to-day passion as being a connector. It is her gift. She understands the opportunity of a simple introduction. Emily has an extraordinary talent for making friends and helping them find the connection they need to achieve their goals.
For the future she sees a community opportunity for influence toward seniors. Having a huge heart for the elderly, Emily hopes to actively promote resources and an environment of kindness, compassion, and inclusion for Broomfield’s elderly.
Executive Director – Bal Swan Children’s Center
Having been at the helm of Bal Swan Children’s Center for just over four years, Debbie Kunz is using her quiet, steady influence, faithfully advancing the organization’s mission to create a more inclusive world where all people experience a sense of belonging. Highly influenced by supervisor and mentor Allison LaMont, Debbie experienced the firsthand possibilities of empowering parents to be a child’s first and best teacher. The experience was a practical application in empathy, seeing the unique strengths in all people and meeting them where they were.
With intention, she now chooses to see people through the lens of strength. Recognizing it is a choice to believe in others, particularly when they differ from you, she knows such discipline and restraint are the path to compassion and understanding.
In her immediate circle, Debbie creates a culture of empowerment, ensuring everyone feels a sense of wholeness in themselves, just as they are.
Looking to the future, Debbie, alongside her staff at Bal Swan, hope their influence creates a community with more empathy, one that can deeply connect to the respect and care of their neighbor.
Executive Director Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities
Keri Dillingham understands just how much art, on its own, is one of the ultimate influencers. Pre-pandemic, to most, art was seen as a luxury and had little impact on everyday life. In March of 2020, everything changed as isolation became the new normal. The loss of usual touch points forced people to engage with themselves (sourdough anyone?) and their community (Zoom!) with creativity! It was creativity that created connection and Keri held a solid vision for what this could mean for her community. Right person. Right time.
Highly influenced by her mother’s work ethic and belief, as well as her mentor Sherill Bunetta who always believed you don’t have to be an artist yourself to support the arts in a big way, Keri worked behind the scenes to be a conduit of creativity, bringing artists and community members together in meaningful ways.
The Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities creatively continued their programming through virtual storytelling, and Friday evening virtual art shows with local musicians providing the soundtrack. It stayed on point with its student art shows, igniting others to have an impact and create their own ripple effect.
Keri is passionate to inspire and believes if you can get to the core of why it is you do what you do it will have a lasting impression.