In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce has debuted a campaign to honor Arvada’s women leaders. Throughout March, the `Badass Women of Arvada’ program will honor …
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In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce has debuted a campaign to honor Arvada’s women leaders. Throughout March, the `Badass Women of Arvada’ program will honor one impactful Arvada woman per day on the Chamber’s website and social media pages.
The campaign’s goal is to highlight the role that women play in the community, specifically recognizing women in leadership positions in businesses and nonprofits. Nominations can be made through a form on the campaign’s website and will be accepted on a rolling basis until the end of the month.
Chamber of Commerce President Kami Welch said that the campaign aims to celebrate the role that women play in the community — especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. A study conducted by the Common Sense Institute, a nonpartisan research group that studies Colorado’s economy — found that women accounted for 54.4 percent of all jobs lost in 2020 despite making up 47% of the workforce.
“We recognize that over the past year, women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Welch. “With that in mind, we wanted to do something that really celebrates the role that women play in our community.”
“Obviously, this also aligns with Women’s History Month,” Welch continued. “And we have a growing group in the Chamber called Inspiring Women, so we’re starting to see women really active in these leadership roles and wanting to give back to the community, so we saw this as an opportunity to recognize their efforts.”
First of the badass women
Jessica Fitzgerald, director of the Flatirons Dance Company, was the first women recognized by the campaign. Fitzgerald, an Arvada native, opened Flatirons Dance Company in 2016 after studying at Colorado Mesa University.
The studio offers programs for children and adults in a number of disciplines including jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop. Flatiron’s youth programs have over 500 participants across all disciplines and features a competition team for children aged seven to 18.
While Fitzgerald faced challenges early in the pandemic as she worked to move her classes online, she settled into using Zoom as a tool to help her dancers stay in shape. When Jefferson County allowed the studio to re-open for in-person classes, Fitzgerald ensured that the studio was following Public Health guidelines and operating in a safe manner.
Fitzgerald said that she is honored to be a part of the `Badass Women of Arvada’ campaign and is glad the Chamber is recognizing women in leadership positions.
“I think that women business owners and working mothers have come so far over the years,” said Fitzgerald. “Celebrating those women that work so hard to give so much to their family but also work just as hard to bring their community parts of their business and just to make their business successful is really amazing.”
Fitzgerald also added that she is thankful for the ongoing support of the Chamber and said that for her, Arvada is the ideal place to grow a business.
“Being in Arvada and having a business is probably just the best place to grow a business and have a business and have a family,” said Fitzgerald. “Everyone is so supportive, and it really gives you that small town feel. Everyone knows each other, and the Chamber of Commerce has just been the biggest blessing to our business because they help us so much.”
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