What's your superpower? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 05:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

That’s exactly what several panelists shared from their own personal experience at the Women in Green luncheon during ProGreen EXPO. Each woman has been in Colorado’s green industry +/-20 years--and they all spoke candidly about the challenges and individual “superpowers” that helped build successful careers in industries that remain predominantly a “man’s world.”

While each woman’s superpower was unique, a common thread voiced by all was that diligence, doing the hard work to move up, and determination have been critical to their advancements within a workforce still underpopulated by women at a ratio of about 10 to 1.

Read more about the superpowers these women credit for their success.

Nicole Stone, maintenance division manager, LMI Landscapes 
She admits landing in the green industry was an “unintentional mishap.” Her superpower? The “power of being invulnerable”—the quality that makes one incapable of being wounded, hurt or damaged. “Your team needs you, as a leader, to show strength… to be at the front of the line, strong and ready to take anything on.”

Caitlin Hupp, regional sales manager, Loma Linda Nursery, Ottawa, KS
Empathy is her superpower. “It’s perceived as a weakness, especially for women, but it gives me an advantage.” When empathizing with customers or employees, “I can realistically meet them where they are and intuit what they need from me.” She also said, “setting boundaries goes hand-in-hand with empathy.”

LeAnn Ostheimer, executive vice president design/build, Lifescape Colorado
“My superpower is competing with confidence. I’ve always been competitive and lead with confidence. It’s in my DNA. I hate to lose but losing is part of being a good competitor. You learn from your mistakes, get better and move on.”

Gretchen Kah, vice president sales & marketing, K Rain
 “My superpower: tenacity. Why? To be successful in any industry requires persistence and determination. Never give up. In sales, ‘NO’ is the first step to ‘YES’!”

Ale Spray, business development manager - community engagement, Mortenson
“My superpower is confidence—not to be confused with arrogance. I am confident in what my worth is, what I bring and have to offer. I recognize and admit that I don’t have all the answers and that I can’t do everything or be everywhere, so I need to delegate and ask for help.”

Katy Hiatt, president, Plantivity
“My biggest superpower is being rooted in the success of others. This is also our tag line for Plantivity. The others whose success I am rooted in include all the farmers we buy from, all the customers we provide product to, the truck drivers who carry and deliver our products, and our small but mighty teams.”

Learn more about new initiatives to recruit more women to the green industry in the May/June issue of Colorado Green magazine.

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