Movers and Shakers

Greeley Women Making an Impact

Article by Rachel Hawley

Photography by Lillian Lens Photography

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle


President & CEO, Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Greeley & the Greeley Chamber Foundation

Growing up in a small farm town in Nebraska, Jaime Henning was drawn to Greeley’s long-time connection to agriculture. Moving here, only a year and a half ago, she is already making great strides for the community. Henning represents over 700 investors and Visit Greeley, promoting tourism and small businesses. In these trying times, her foundation helped over 300 businesses through recovery funds.

Henning connects with businesses and brings them together; ensuring the betterment of the community. “The business industry has incredibly strong female leadership in Greeley. It’s nice to be among such great women.” The Chamber of Commerce offers both networking and advocacy opportunities to build better connections within our city. “Collaboration is much more important than competition, and we thrive on working with other organizations in the community.”

Her love for the natural beauty of Greeley is one of her main reason for moving here, but her devotion to the community is her reason for staying. “Greeley has so many big-hearted people. Anyone will invest time in you, champion you, and shepherd you in your process,” Henning said. Greeley’s preservation of history mixed with its potential for growth, captured her attention right from the start.


Executive Director, Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity

In 2015, Evans saw a devastating flood, and 200 families lost their homes. Thanks to the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity, and Cheri Witt-Brown, 7 new homes are under construction in their 27 home Mission Homestead development. Along with Habitat’s co-developer Commonwealth Companies they will provide the community of Evans with 95 affordable housing units. “Far too many people don’t have the American Dream opportunity of owning their own home anymore.” To further help local Habitat homeowners control the high cost of homeownership they will be building their first affordable, zero net energy home, saving the Habitat homeowner over $2,000 a year in costs.   

The Women’s Build is now accepting volunteers. Building a home is a “great opportunity for women of Greeley to get involved and make a difference in their own backyard.” Of course, men are welcome to volunteer too, if they are willing to wear pink! In 2018, the Women’s Build raised over 50,000 dollars to help support the much-needed homes in their community.

Understanding how important a home is for a family, Witt-Brown felt a calling to help her community regain what it had lost. “I feel so fortunate to do what I do for a community that cares so much about others.” Compassion and dedication shine through in Brown’s every action.


Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, West Greeley Conservation District

Working with the West Greeley Conservation District, Kristi Helzer found her calling. But it isn’t the only thing she is passionate about. Helzer works with woman all over the county. She connects with others through Northern Colorado Woman in Business, a networking event for woman, started by Helzer in 2009.  When she isn’t introducing women to one another, she is putting all her efforts into helping them. Their Sister to Sister Pay it Forward philanthropy donates to a different non-profit every month.

Helzer serves as a board member for Weld Women to Women, a life changing organization that provides one-time financially support to local women in crisis. Supplying items such as furniture, dental work, or vehicle repair.  If you are looking to help, “there is never a shortage of places to volunteer.” Weld Women to Women is always looking for more board members and volunteers.

Helzer volunteered with A Woman’s Place for 17 years, providing safety and shelter to victims of domestic violence. Her hard work and dedication to the women of Greeley has made a huge impact on the community. Whether it’s helping those in financial binds, advocating for local non-profits, or supporting connections between women, Kristi Helzer is always there for those in need.


President, Morrell & Associates

Gaining leadership skills seems to come naturally to Greeley’s residents. Perhaps, this is because of Jean Schober Morrell’s company Morrell & Associates. Started by her late husband Pete in 1986, Morrell & Associates has helped develop some of the best leaders of tomorrow.  

Finding a mission you care about is how you can make a difference in your community. As a 32-year Breast Cancer survivor that is exactly what Morrell did. She became an advocate for organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, and helped raise millions of dollars for cancer services and research. While dealing with all this, she was also working as the Dean of Students at the University of Northern Colorado, making this woman a true miracle to our community.

Morrell was asked to be the chair of the 2021 Cattle Baron’s Ball, a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. “Greeley is large enough to have many opportunities, whether it be cultural, educational, recreational or spiritual; yet it’s small enough where individuals can make a difference,” Morrell said. Volunteering has never been easier. By visiting the United Way or Chamber of Commerce websites, you can learn about many non-profits in the community. Visiting your local church or temple or joining a service club are also excellent ways to find volunteer opportunities and ways to help support our community.


Latinx Professional Network & Inclusion Advocate Network

Building your Network, Business Basics, Social Media Marketing and Neuro-leadership are only a few of the topics covered during Latinx Professional Network’s free workshops. The networking group, co-facilitated by Maribel Talamantes, was created as a space for Latina/o professionals in Northern Colorado to connect, develop, and support each other's careers and businesses. The Latinx Professional Network has also assisted non-profit organizations in building outreach plans and engagement strategies to reach Spanish speaking origin populations; similar to the work that Talamantes facilitated while working as a community engagement officer in local government. The organizers of Latinx Professional Network believe in the power of community and professional development, and the impact networks can have on communities of color and the Northern Colorado community as a whole.

Reach out to the Latinx Professional Network on Facebook for details about how you can get involved.


Executive Director, The Success Foundation Serving Greeley-Evans Schools

Starting as a volunteer Julie Hill’s passion for education lead her straight to the top. Through the Success Foundation, she works to fund the necessities kids need to be successful in their future. “I wanted to make sure all the kids of Greeley and Evans had the same opportunities as my kids.” To achieve this goal the Success Foundation funds district-wide projects focused on innovation, teacher grants, internet access, nutrition needs, and more.

There are many ways to volunteer through the Success Foundation, including: committees and taskforces. However, Hill also mentioned the importance of getting involved with the schools themselves. “It would be awesome to have women of all different backgrounds to become guest speakers, provide industry tours, or job shadowing opportunities for students. Providing education opportunities for children is the gift that keeps on giving. Ensuring that the children of our community have every necessity they need guarantees a successful society

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