Looking at Cindy Fowler’s list of accomplishments is both scary and delightful. Delightful, because she’s been so intimately involved with important community ventures; scary, because it seems impossible that a single person could do so much in so little time.
A fourth-generation Coloradoan, Fowler has lived in Colorado Springs most of her adult life. Married for more than 20 years to Chuck Fowler, they have a daughter, Emily, a student at University of Denver.
Since 1985, when the couple moved to Colorado Springs, she has given freely of her time and used her extraordinary management skills to benefit more than a dozen of the area’s leading nonprofits.
Fowler has served as a fundraising committee member for Newborn Hope since 1988. She was chairwoman of the organization’s annual fundraising event during 1996 and served on the corporate board for eight years, including two years as president.
Similarly, she’s worked with the American Heart Association since the early 1990s, chairing the Heart Ball for two years and serving on the Board of the El Paso County Heart Association for several years.
At the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, she’s volunteered in a number of capacities, most prominently as a member of The College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. She’s also a member of the CU Ambassadors Club, which is a statewide group that lobbies and works with legislators to ensure the success of the university system.
Closer to home, she’s worked with the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, as a board member of the National Charity League, with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and with TESSA. Fowler is particularly pleased that, as a competitor in TESSA’s annual “Pasta in the Park” fundraising event, she has won no fewer than four times.
“Cooking is a passion with me, and those were all my original recipes,” she said. “One year I won with a wasabi alfredo sauce, and last year with a chili chorizo cream sauce.”
Currently, Fowler is deeply involved with the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, where she has served for the last five years as chairwoman of the Women’s Business Council.
Professionally, she has been associated with OfficeScapes for the last seven years, where she has been responsible for business development and special projects.
Through her work at OfficeScapes, she has coordinated the Pikes Peak Posse since 2001.
The posse is a group of community and business leaders who attend the state and county fairs and purchase animals raised by students participating in 4-H. Proceeds from the sales fund scholarships for the students.
“Cindy participates in activities that make a difference to women, youth or children. Most times, work and community are intertwined for Cindy,” according to OfficeScapes CEO Peter Husak, who was among several people who nominated Fowler as a woman of influence. “She is always looking at where she can serve as a role model, or even as a civic model, to other women in the community.”
Having been a member of the Junior League in Denver, Fowler immediately joined the league when she moved to the Springs, beginning two decades of intensive community engagement.
“I have a passion for making a difference,” she said. “Wherever I am and whenever I’m involved in a nonprofit, I want to make sure that they involve kids. A lot of kids don’t get parented and mothered the way I was, and I want to help in any way that I can.”
Asked to name role models and mentors, Fowler doesn’t hesitate.
“My mom. She was a ‘by the book’ mom, with freshly baked cookies when we came home from school,” Fowler said. “She was lovely and nurturing, and gave me a lot of confidence. And my grandmother. She was a feisty broad and she volunteered a lot. And Zoya Miller (the founder of Newborn Hope). She’s regal, elegant and diplomatic. When I’m with her, I want to be better.”
And now that she’s mentoring others, what does Fowler try to impart to them?
“I give young women the advice that I’ve given my own daughter,” she said. “Make your own life. Know what’s going on around you, and decide what you want to be known for. Do you want to be known for having a pierced lip or for being a mover and shaker in your 20s? Think what the next step in your life should be, and don’t live so much in the moment.”
So what does Fowler see herself doing in 10 years?
“The same, just more of it,” she said. “I love what I do. I love my job – it doesn’t feel like work to me. I want to be around people who make me laugh and motivate me, and I want to do the same for them.”
She pauses, and laughs.
“I don’t take myself very seriously,” she said. “I get more done that way.”