Local businesswomen raise funds for nonprofits

The Vail Valley Business Women is dedicated to the advancement and future growth of professional women in the Vail Valley.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — On the heels of a successful and fun Holiday Soiree, where much merriment was had and money was raised for the Bright Future Foundation and local scholarships, the Vail Valley Business Women is reflecting on 2014 and readying for 2015. The soiree provided a time to mix, mingle, network and give back to the community in a very real and tangible way.

“We’ve found that women want to be engaged, but sometimes it’s hard to take the first steps. The Holiday Soiree was the perfect launching point for new members and for current members to reconnect,” said Clare Hefferren, president. “Vail Valley Business Women, working together, can provide a much larger community impact that we can individually.”

That was evident at the soiree, where more than 60 women helped raise in excess of $5,000 that goes directly to the Vail Valley Business Women’s selected giving program — a holiday toy drive for the Bright Future Foundation and to help fund six $1,000 scholarships for young women intent on pursuing their goals of attending college.

It was just as easy to give as it was to receive with more than 70 items including restaurant gift certificates, spa treatments, gift baskets, wine, chocolates, books and hotel stays — with winning auction items like a two-night stay at the Sebastian (spa treatments included) and Vail Film Festival Prima passes. The Soiree took place at Larkspur Restaurant earlier this month.

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New leaders

To get to a point where one nonprofit can raise such significant funds for giving takes dedicated leaders. As such, the Vail Valley Business Women is pleased to announce new officers and initiatives for 2015. The board is made up of professional and passionate women throughout Eagle County. The 2014-15 officers include Clare Hefferren, Anna Mattingly, Presley Ilieva, Lori Gleason, Tiffany Loman, Nicole Geraci and Abby Dann.

The new board brings passion, wisdom and empowerment to the job. Not afraid to take a chance, President Clare Hefferren began her Vail journey with a short stint from 1997 to 2000. In 2005, she launched Callosum, a Chicago branding consultancy with a five-year plan for a Colorado office. True to the plan, Hefferren moved to Vail in 2011, where she melds her 23 years of experience in marketing, fashion, graphic design and project management to serve local and national clientele, now from a Vail home base. Upon returning to the Vail Valley, she saw the opportunity to contribute at Vail Valley Business Women.

“It’s unusual to find such an influential group of women, those who work together and have the vision, planning and strategy to move the organization forward,” Hefferren said.

Mattingly, vice president, brings a decade of sales and marketing experience to her role. She’s been involved in real estate in the Caribbean and the resort industry throughout the mountains.

Rounding out the board are Ilieva relying on her financial savvy as treasurer; Gleason bringing exciting new programming opportunities; and membership director Loman, encouraging women of the valley to get involved and find their passion.

Member at large Geraci is a certified financial planner with Rocky Mountain Planning Group. She’s not a novice investor: in middle school she served on Young American’s Bank Advisory Board and wrote monthly articles for a local Vail Valley newspaper about money and investing.

Secretary Dann has 32 years of experience working with developers and architects in Eagle County, having watched the valley grow and evolve.

“This is a very exciting time for our communities, and I am excited to empower women and girls,” Dann said.

More events on horizon

“Growing this organization, fostering relationships within the business community and bringing awareness to all we have to offer is just part of VVBW,” Hefferren said. “VVBW has changed over its 37 years, just as the Vail Valley has. I thrive on being part of the momentum, working with nonprofits and developing the educational component. It’s inspiring to be amidst a room of ladies who range from new college graduates to retirees simple wanting to give back and share their knowledge. We have an amazing community of women; VVBW allows us to network, collaborate and develop deep friendships.”

Founded in 1977, the Vail Valley Business Women offers networking events, social gatherings, educational opportunities and fundraising opportunities for women in all levels of their career. The Vail Valley Business Women provides opportunities for those who want to give with their time, too, with commitment to volunteering in the area’s nonprofits — especially those with a focus on helping women and girls.

The Vail Valley Business Women is open to all women in the valley. If you missed the Holiday Soiree, there are plenty of chances to meet this lively, engaged group of businesswomen throughout the year. The next event will take place well after the holidays are over — Jan. 14 at Vista at Arrowhead. For more information, visit

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