Women of Influence: Denise Krug

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Denise Krug has spent the better part of four decades carrying out the mission of Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado, and that makes her a Woman of Influence in the Pikes Peak region.

“I will have been with Goodwill 38 years soon, and I’ve always worked in the mission services area, especially around program development,” Krug said.

“It has been a really important journey for me.”

After years specializing in areas pertaining to multi-program and business development, Krug became the organization’s vice president of workforce development and community programs in 1988. She now successfully manages an $11 million annual budget and supervises more than 200 professional employees at multiple locations.

“In her role, Denise has dedicated herself to helping individuals with disabilities and disadvantages become independent,” said Barb Winter, a Discover Goodwill board member who nominated Krug for the award. “She has worked selflessly to fulfill Discover Goodwill’s mission of offering people a hand up, not a handout.”

During her years at Discover Goodwill, Krug has received numerous commendations, the most recent ones including the Unsung Heroine Award by the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, membership on the Vision Council and a seat on the GII Task Force on National Policy of Rehabilitation Act. In 2012, Krug helped organize Goodwill’s Possibilities program — the first of its kind in the nation. Possibilities is a life-skills program for adults with disabilities and learning challenges, currently serving more than 200 people.

“All the folks we work with have the potential to be successful, and if we can offer that assistance to get people back on track or get them started for the first time … that’s just an incredible experience,” Krug said. “Every day, I see people less fortunate than I am and realize how lucky I am to be able to help them.”

In 2008, Krug developed the idea of setting aside government work contracts for individuals with severe disabilities. State Rep. Bob Gardner liked the idea so much that he worked with Krug to write legislation, and in June that year, HB 08-0147 was approved. Under that bill, Discover Goodwill thus far has secured $990,970 in contracts and created 16 jobs for members of the community.

“I really see Goodwill as the heart of this community to a great degree,” Krug said, “and I think we’ve been very instrumental in pushing forward our mission.”

— Cameron Moix