Cindy Fowler has blazed her share of trails, wearing multiple hats.
The first she wears is one of a business developer for office furnishing and design company, OfficeScapes. For the past 11 years, she has built winning customer relationships with those from the private sector as well as from education and government services.
The second is a cowboy hat — usually pink — that she sports as the only female member of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo board since 2008 and as co-founder of the annual Cowgirls and Cocktails’ fundraiser, which benefits women battling breast cancer.
A member of the rodeo board, she’s been inspired by the organization’s “grand tradition” that benefits military charities.
“I feel very proud and quite honored to be a part of it,” she said, of the event’s 70th anniversary this year from July 14-17.
Fowler, who holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in communication studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, moved to Colorado Springs with her husband, Chuck, 25 years ago. The couple’s daughter, Emily, is a Denver University grad who’s already moved into her first job in Chicago.
“I was a fourth generation Denverite and both of our families are still there,” she said, adding that she has since embraced life in the Pikes Peak region … with a few reservations.
“Colorado Springs is a very beautiful city. But it struggles without a clear identity and brand. I’m a strong believer in branding. Our founding fathers had a vision for this place, but … that vision has been misplaced. Budget issues aside, our community must focus on what it has rather than on what it lacks. Our leaders need to begin to embrace that concept, to create a new viable identity and brand for our city.”
She credits much of her ability to combine business and community to OfficeScapes’ president Peter Husak who has supported Fowler’s multi-tiered involvement from day one.
“I love what I do,” she said. “Peter believes it’s important to mix business with community interaction and support. He calls it “blurring,” which means if we as individuals shine, then the company will shine.”
Her loyalty to OfficeScapes is rooted in the company’s ability to distinguish itself from the competition through what she calls “our ‘wow factor’ — a solid reputation, going the extra mile to service customers, our consistency, our staff tenure and the fact that we provide maximum resources right in Colorado Springs.”
While the office furniture and design industry has been hit, to some degree, by the economy, she believes the business’ future holds plenty of promise, thanks to growing online orders and project management.
“Customers are more informed today. They expect vendors to be on top of their game. That could mean a greater selection of manufacturers and product lines and the development of two or three new supporting businesses that add value to what OfficeScapes already offers,” she said.
Fowler’s passion for work and community, however, now shares the stage with a tough life reality. The pink hat, she admits, is one she hopes fewer folks in the future will ever have to wear, but it is one she wears.
“Personally, I’ve been challenged with cancer for two years. Learning to live fully and enjoy the grace of each day is a huge accomplishment,” she said. “I find a deep peace in knowing that others are being helped on a very basic level — and I admire every person who has faced a battle with cancer. Their stories, while different, all focus on strength and the will to survive and love.”