DEBBIE BROWN | Director, Colorado Women's Alliance
HEIDI GANAHL | Founder & CEO, Camp Bow Wow
BETH BOWLEN WALLACE | Special Projects Director, Denver Broncos
TAMRA WARD | President & CEO, Colorado Concern
MODERATOR: DEBBIE BROWN
Director, Colorado Women's Alliance
Debbie Brown, a marketing and communication strategist, directs her expertise to political opportunities with a reputation for clarity of purpose and results. Debbie has directed the strategic plan, messaging, marketing and collateral material production efforts for advocacy organizations and candidates.
As the Executive Director of the Colorado Women’s Alliance, she develops strategies, messaging and infrastructure focusing on issues that matter most to women. Her work has been featured on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, BBC News World Have Your Say, SkyNews, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, and the New York Times.
Debbie is a consultant for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, working to provide state-wide outreach and coalition-building strategies to educate on the importance of abundant, responsible and affordable energy development in Colorado at a time when energy innovations, like fracking, are misunderstood and under attack.
PANELIST: HEIDI GANAHL
Founder & CEO, Camp Bow Wow
Heidi Ganahl is the founder and CEO of Camp Bow Wow, the largest pet care franchise in North America. Through her personal and professional tragedies, from the loss of her young husband to losing a million dollar insurance settlement, Ganahl has faced extraordinary adversity. She responded by turning her life-long passion for dogs into Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest pet care franchise company, and created the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and health of dogs. Ganahl and her first husband Bion conceived the idea of starting a doggy day and overnight care business born out of their love for dogs and the need for a market alternative to the bleak conditions of the traditional kennel environment. Unfortunately, shortly after Heidi and Bion finished developing the Camp Bow Wow business plan, Bion was killed in a tragic plane crash, while in an open cockpit stunt plane for his 25th birthday.
The untimely death had a paralyzing effect on Heidi and sent her into a downward spiral – albeit temporary. She then lost almost the entire $1 million settlement from Bion’s crash in a complicated custody battle for her daughter, unreturned loans to friends and family, a series of bad investments, and the failure of two start-up businesses. Finally, in 2000, as a single mom with only $83,000 of the dwindling settlement left, Heidi was encouraged by her brother to take a leap of faith and start Camp Bow Wow. She invested the last of her savings -- $83,000 -- and opened the first camp in Denver in the Fall of 2000. In 2003 Ganahl started franchising the concept and has sold over 150 franchises! Today, Camp Bow Wow is one of the largest woman led franchise companies, one of the largest and fastest growing brands in the pet industry, the largest pet care company in the world and an $80 million leader in the $53 billion United States pet sector. Outside of leading Camp Bow Wow, Heidi is involved in many programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Leadership Program of the Rockies, and runs Moms Fight Back, a nonprofit empowering moms to make social change, and the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, Camp Bow Wow’s 501c3 focused on lending a paw to animals in need. Heidi is also the proud mom of Tori, Hollie and toddler twins, Jack and Jenna!
PANELIST: BETH BOWLEN WALLACE
Special Projects Director, Denver Broncos
Beth Bowlen Wallace, Director of Special Projects for the Denver Broncos, has a passion to support the community that has been so loyal to the Denver Broncos. Her work includes supporting Colorado based nonprofits and charitable foundations. Beth played an integral role indevelopment of the Ring of Fame Plaza at Sports Authority Field and the recently commemorated statute of her father, Pat Bowlen.
Prior to her work at the Denver Broncos, Beth owned and operated Social Butterfly, LLC, an event planning and management firm located in Honolulu, HI. Her company earned the nod for "Best of" by Honolulu Magazine in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, while in Honolulu, Beth worked for Team Unlimited, LLC, assisting in the creation and operation of the first ever XTERRA mountain bike and triathlon event which has now grown to an international event represented in over 30 countries. From 1998-2000, Beth worked for Nike, Inc., directing marketing and event planning services for Niketown in the Denver metro area. Beth received a BS in Sociology from the University of Colorado and is currently completing her final year of law school at the University of Denver.
Beth has embraced various public speaking opportunities in Denver and feels a call to encourage young adults and women. Beth is a member of the Greenwood Community Church, and she serves on the following boards: Colorado Uplift, Urban Youth Ministries, Tennyson Center for Children, and the Rocky Mountain Children's Health Foundation. She most recently has become involved with the Alzheimer's Association and other related nonprofitssupporting the research for the disease.
Beth is an avid equestrian, showing in the hunter and jumper disciplines throughout the western United States. She also enjoys running, hiking, skiing, yoga, and water sports. Beth is married to John R. Wallace.
PANELIST: TAMRA WARD
President & CEO, Colorado Concern
Tamra Ward is the President and CEO of Colorado Concern, a business advocacy association of more than 100 chief executives from across the state.
Before joining Colorado Concern, Tamra was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce where she was responsible for the development and execution of a local, state and federal government relations and political strategy that met the needs of the organization’s 3,000 member businesses, as well as executing an organization-wide internal and external communications plan that benefitted the Chamber and all its affiliates. Ward also is known for her work as the business community lead on statewide ballot measures. Since 2005 she has led efforts to raise $18.8 million for three successful campaigns to support or defeat measures viewed as helpful or harmful to Colorado’s economic climate. While at the Chamber Ward also provided oversight and management of the Colorado Competitive Council (C3), a separately funded statewide business advocacy affiliate created by the organization in 2006.
A 1990 graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Journalism and Slavic Studies, Tamra’s career began on Capitol Hill, where she served as Assistant Press Secretary for Senator Alan Simpson, Press Secretary for Representative Craig Thomas, and Deputy Chief of Staff following Thomas’ election to the Senate in 1994. Prior to moving to Denver, the Wyoming native served as the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Columbia Hospital for Women, a private, not-for-profit hospital in Washington, D.C.
Building on a personal interest in serving Colorado, Tamra has been involved with the Daniels Career Coaching Program, the Junior League of Denver, and served on the Board of Directors of Hope Communities, Inc, an affordable housing provide in Northeast Denver. She is a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Denver Program, and was named by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver’s “40 Under 40” – an annual list of Denver’s up and coming business leaders. Tamra also represented the First Congressional District (Denver) on the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education and served on the City of Denver’s Commission to End Homelessness. Ward is Chair of the Foundation Board of Porter Adventist Hospital, is a member of the History Colorado Board of Directors as well as Mile High United Way, and was named a 2006 ”Women of Distinction” by the Mile High Chapter of the Girl Scouts.