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Better Because of Her Luncheon

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better because of her

Better Because of Her Luncheon

We are truly without words after the amazing generosity of this community at our 2023 Better Because of Her Luncheon.  Thanks to each and every one of you, we raised more than $137,500 during the Paddle Raiser Auction! Thanks to your incredible support:

  • Parents and families can depend on affordable, high-quality child care at Persimmon Early Learning.
  • Youth and girls of color will forge new paths for their future in STEM careers starting with our STEM E3 program.
  • Latina high school students can depend on additional support and guidance to navigate their academic plans and achieve their dreams.
  • Thousands of elementary students will discuss bullying and racism in their classrooms, and their parents will learn how to talk to their kids about racism, with Reading to End Racism.
  • We will continue to grow our Racial Justice & Equity Education programs to help our community learn and grow towards a more just and equitable future for all.
  • Through our Advocacy efforts, we will continue to fight for the rights of women, girls and people of color.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU. We could not do the critical work we do without your generous support!

Our outstanding awardees!

Better Because of Her Award: Jane Miller
Energizing the Future Award: Shannon Peterson
Active Ally Award:  Congressman Joe Neguse

Jane MillerJane Miller is a CPG industry professional with three decades of experience in the corporate world in executive positions with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She is once again the CEO of Rudi’s Rocky Mountain Bakery and previously held CEO positions with Lily’s Sweets, HannahMax Cookie Chips, ProYo and Charter Baking Company (Rudi’s Organic Bakery). Prior to Charter, Jane had 25 years of experience in large consumer product companies. She was part of an executive team that brought Hostess out of bankruptcy. She worked for H. J. Heinz as the Chief Growth Officer and then President of the UK & Ireland Division, and also ran the Western division of Bestfoods Baking (now Bimbo Bakeries). The first 14 years of her career were at PepsiCo, where she became the President of the Central division of Frito-Lay. Jane’s passion is mentoring the next generation of leaders. She is the founder of a career advice website, Janeknows.com, and the author of a sassy business book, “Sleep Your Way to the Top: and other myths about business success.” In 2021, she co-founded Haevn, a start-up focused on early career development. Jane has a Russian Studies degree from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Shannon Peterson

Shannon Peterson is a Manufacturing Engineer II at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, and a motivational speaker and mentor for indigenous students wanting to pursue higher education and careers in the STEM fields. A Native American who grew up on the Navajo reservation in northwestern New Mexico, Shannon moved to Colorado during her sophomore year of high school and experienced the culture shock of going from being surrounded by Native Americans to being the only one in her school. When a physics teacher noted her aptitude for math and recommended the program, Shannon applied for a summer internship with the Colorado School of Mines Engineering Program, which changed her life. After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Shannon joined Ball Aerospace and now works as the Lead Manufacturing Engineer for a National Defense Program. Shannon has also helped establish the first employee resource group for Native Americans, the Indigenous Peoples Ball Network Employee Resource Group, which launched in March 2022, and acts as an Intern Coordinator/Mentor. Shannon uses short-form media content on TikTok @sunwise_direction to reach out to indigenous people and to share her experience as a first-generation Native American college student in the corporate world.

Congressman NeguseCongressman Joe Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to his first term in November 2018, becoming the first Black Member of Congress in Colorado history. In December 2022, Rep. Neguse was elected by his colleagues to serve as Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), becoming the first Coloradan to serve in a senior elected leadership role in the House in over 85 years. Over 40 years ago, Rep. Neguse’s parents immigrated to the United States from Eritrea. As hardworking immigrants and naturalized citizens, they never forgot nor took for granted the freedom and opportunities the United States gave them and their children. Their experience motivated Rep. Neguse to be an active participant in our democracy at an early age, and to give back through public service. Rep. Neguse’s public service is rooted in his firm belief that we should be expanding—not restricting—opportunities for all Americans, and he has spent his career doing the same. He received his B.S. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he graduated summa cum laude, and received his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Special Guests

Enjoy the beautiful rhythmic movement of the North Indian classical dance “Kathak” (dancing a story) with folk and modern elements and drumming from the Mudra Dance Studio and the musical performance of Wellington Bullings who adds a soulful touch to everything she sings. Her music is a balance of classic soul, R&B, and Jazz.

WEllingtonMudra Dancers

Showcase your company’s community values with an event sponsorship!  View Sponsorship Packet

Ready to sponsor?  Click HERE to purchase your sponsorship.

All sponsorships are flexible and fully customizable to highlight the benefits most important to your unique business. Please contact Susan Hirano at shirano@ywcaboulder.org for more information!

*New* Sponsorship Showcase: Take advantage of a tabling space in the Boulder JCC’s lobby  when doors open at 10:00 a.m. to connect with our audience of 300 guests from diverse industries and business audiences. Together we will support our local community and businesses dedicated to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank You to our Sponsors

Platinum Level

REnewMovementUna VidaXcel EnergyGold Level

Blue Spruce Construction ServicesMarkel Homes

Silver Level

Alpine Bank
Comadre Speakers Collaborative
Fern O’Brien, O’Brien Law PC
Megan Hotze Editorial
Rudi’s Rocky Mountain Bakery
She’s Independent Investments

Bronze Level

Crown Trophy of Boulder
Eldorado Natural Spring Water
Deidre Farrell, Thrivent Financial Advisor
David and Claudia Imhoff
Schapell Jewelers
Sonata Aesthetics


Amy Hayes Design
Blackat Video Productions
Crown Trophy of Boulder
Dedalus Wine Shop & Market
Morrell Printing Solutions