About Us



About Women Powering Change

Started by philanthropist Cynda Collins Arsenault as “Women’s Work, Wisdom and Wine” in 2013, Women Powering Change highlights the critical and necessary roles of women in creating a more sustainable, secure, and just world while connecting individuals with social change organizations. 

The Convening Partners, who comprise the steering committee, are passionate women leaders from the community dedicated to supporting the advancement of women. Their ultimate goal is to accelerate the social impact of women creating a just world by engaging community members in the inspiring work being done locally and globally by women-centric organizations located in Colorado.

Committee Members

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Cynda Collins Arsenault


Cynda Collins Arsenault, Co-founder, Board Chair and President of Secure World Foundation, an operating foundation working for the secure and sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of humanity. She also co-founded and serves on the Boards of the Arsenault Family Foundation and One Earth Future, an operating foundation working to catalyze systems that eliminate the root causes of war. She has 45+ years of experience in non-profit work including peace and justice, criminal justice, mental health, disability rights and environmental issues.


In her personal philanthropy she focuses on bringing women’s critical skills to the table for solving the difficult problems we face, with a focus on women, peace and security. She helped establish and works with One Earth Future’s initiative Our Secure Future - Women Make the Difference.


She is a member of the Womens Donor Network, Women Moving Millions, and The International Women’s Forum. She is the founder of Women Powering Change, an annual gathering of women working to create a better world. 

Ms.Collins Arsenault received her BA in Sociology and Psychology at University of California Berkeley and her MA in Education from Colorado State University.

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Dr. Nicole Pearson

Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Nicole Pearson is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) who has been working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for more than a decade.

She is the Founder of West Side Behavioral Associates (www.westsideba.com), a practice in Denver that provides consultation and treatment services to schools and families. She is also a Psychologist at The Joshua School in Englewood, CO.


Dr. Pearson holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology from
Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BS from Villanova University. Her volunteer efforts focus on supporting autism programs internationally and organizations supporting women and families.

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Colleen LaFontaine

Director of Development

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

Colleen LaFontaine has over twenty years of development and management experience. Colleen was the first Executive Director of One World Children’s Fund, in San Francisco. Prior to One World, Colleen was the Director of Fundraising for Sparks, a UK non-profit focused on pediatric and maternal medical research.


Her first role in non-profit was the Managing Director of Step Up Women’s Network. She managed the National, Los Angeles, and New York chapters of this organization dedicated to igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential through innovative programming and partnerships.


Preceding her move into non-profit Colleen held senior management roles with start-up and media companies. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MSc in Population and Development from The London School of Economics. Colleen currently lives in Denver, Colorado and is the Director of Development with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

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Anne Elgerd

Managing Director

Collective Capital Philanthropy

Anne Elgerd is Managing Director for Collective Capital Philanthropy, a consulting firm specializing in providing thoughtful strategic guidance, facilitation and technical support to foundations, individuals and families seeking to develop purposeful, impactful and transformative philanthropic partnerships.


Anne draws from her own personal experience and over 15 years of leadership in the local & global non-profit sector, to create a unique peer-peer, experiential learning process for her clients. Her deep experience as a donor, volunteer, board member, social enterprise entrepreneur, consultant and advisor to dozens of non-profit organizations and philanthropic giving circles has given her a distinct lens to understand challenges, opportunities and sustainable solutions.


Anne blends her professional experience in systems change, community-driven development and ethical leadership through her Public Health background, with knowledge of innovative and emerging funding mechanisms to offer a humanistic perspective approach to engage & learn. A 21/64 Certified Facilitator, Anne infuses a multigenerational approach to family collaboration in philanthropy & impact.


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Christie Doherty


Trinity Partners

Christie Doherty is the President of Trinity Partners, LLC, a business performance consulting firm that specializes in leadership and organizational development, executive coaching, and workforce transformation.  Trinity Partners brings together the components of People, Performance and Profit into an integrated strategy aligning all key elements of the enterprise to achieve superior performance, employee engagement, and a sustaining culture for now and the future.  


Her extensive corporate and non-profit experiences have given her a unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in small and large for-profit and non-profit firms. Former Vice President at Qwest Communications, Christie held a number of executive positions in the telecom and cable industries, including Strategic Planning, Customer Operations, Marketing, Sales, and Organization Effectiveness.  Christie was a founding member and CEO of the Leadership Investment, a non-profit focused on the development and advancement  of women in business. 


Active in the community, Christie is Chair of the Women’s Collaborative for Colorado, Board Member for the St. Francis Center and the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, and a Convening Partner of Women Powering Change, focused on diversity; hunger and life skills development; and the advancement and support of women. She is also a member of AAUW and the Women’s Lobby and actively advocates for the rights of women and families. A native Coloradan, Christie lives with her husband in Castle Rock and enjoys spending time playing golf, traveling, and hanging out with her family.

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Alexis Newton

Director of Education

Museo de las Americas

Alexis Newton is the Director of Education at Museo de las Americas where she focuses on creating arts integrated programming and culturally relevant curriculum infused with social justice activism. She is also the Latin American Representative for the Canadian based social
enterprise Lucky Iron Fish which works to combat iron deficiency anemia around the world.

Alexis has previously worked with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York City and in Mexico City on human trafficking prevention and advocacy. As an activist, educator and philanthropist, Alexis spends her time as Co-Founder of Do Gooders, as Vice President of the United Nations Association Denver Chapter, as a Board Member of the Mexican Cultural Center, as Vice Chair of Beyond Our Borders, as a SheEO activator, as an advocate on the
Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking Hotline (CoNEHT), as a mentor for Watson Institute, and as an Advisory Board Member for the Global Fund for Women.


Alexis has lived, worked, and studied in Mexico, Spain, Guatemala, and India, and has native-speaker fluency in Spanish.

Rocío del Pilar Durán

Bilingual and BiCultural

Life Coach and Trainer

Entrepreneur, happiness coach, inventor and a multicultural connector. A bilingual Community Psychologist passionate about connecting cultures and transforming lives. I truly believe that we have to build bridges between communities and promote their connection. If we work together from our similarities instead of our differences we will build a more inclusive and stronger society. I believe in the power of women working together.

Read Rocio's full bio here.

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Sarah McCarthy

Ambassador Engagement Leader

Project C.U.R.E.

Sarah McCarthy leads Ambassador Engagement for Project C.U.R.E., Colorado’s largest international development firm which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.  


Sarah has become immersed in Colorado's international non-profit and young leadership community, participating as an active member of UNICEF, UNHCR, UNA Women, Global Ties U.S., WorldDenver, World Trade Center, Global Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International and Mile High Young Professionals. 

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