Welcome to the Volunteer Spotlight

We’re sharing some of the stories and experiences of our amazing volunteers as a way to show our gratitude for the positive impact they have on our work and throughout their lives.

Ready to nominate a volunteer for the spotlight?

Lara Smedley

Women-Owned Business

“As a 5th generation Coloradan my family has deep roots in our State and contributes to my desire to support our community. I believe we as individuals are only as strong as the community that surrounds us. My business (Smedley Events) was affected by COVID and the number one thing that got me through that was focusing on what I could do to support others.

I like to think of myself as a connector. Energize Colorado stepped up when small businesses needed it the most. I’m honored to be a small part of their work. How can I support other small businesses and link with the resources and communities that best fit their business goals? This outlook has allowed me to develop amazing relationships in the small business community, particularly in the women owned business community.”

The pandemic taught me many lessons, both personally and professionally. It taught me to slow down and take care of myself, to listen to my mind, body and soul. What do I actually need to be happy and fulfilled? How can I better support my community and those around me? The greatest lesson I learned from 2020 was to always strive to grow and be better. A passion project of mine is purposeful conversation and one of our signature events is the Sunset Dinner Experience.

Connect with Lara on LinkedIn

Michael Bevis

Business Guidance Mentor

“I used to work in banking and finance, and found that I loved helping people learn how to run their businesses better so they could apply for the loans they were trying to get from me. I moved into higher education because I love teaching so much. Currently, I’m the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Emily Griffith Technical College and in the Denver office of Economic Development and Opportunity in Government. I run my own startup. 

I love trying to help others achieve what they didn’t think was possible for them to achieve. While a lot of times this is professionally, other times it is in regards to extracurricular activities such as getting outside more! We live in a beautiful state with lots of outdoor activities and opportunities, often free to the public.

I love being outdoors and helping people in Denver, especially, to get outside more. I have hiked 30 of Colorado’s 14ers, and even hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro with my mom a few years ago. Every morning I hike, most often at Mount Falcon. For me, my passion and experienced value of getting outside, motivates me to help others find the value in exploring our state.”

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn

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