Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

It was the day before Thanksgiving when I met with Layne Hunt and realized how grateful I am to get to know her – and how thankful I am for all the blessings I have.  

There’s so much more to this somewhat new Denverite than the striking pizzazz and glamour she exudes.  The Georgia belle’ is a straightforward, kind-hearted compassionate woman with a fun outgoing personality.  Layne jokingly says: “I can make a brick wall talk!”

For Layne, to say the least, life has presented her with some slings and pretty deep arrows.  It’s hard to imagine what Layne and her family must have gone through when her young son, John Butler Hunt, age 3, died in a drowning accident in 1993.  In her own words: ”It was the darkest time of my life.” 

Layne made several life-changing decisions since that heartbreaking time, and one of them was to make Denver her new home in 2006.   Layne has settled into our community quite nicely, and just happened to catch the eye of Blacktie co-founder, Georgia Imhoff who immediately saw the leadership potential in Layne and asked her to be the next President of the Kempe Foundation Alliance.  Layne is looking forward to doing whatever she can to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Now enjoying being a grandparent for the first time, her daughter, Bryce, and new grandson, Bentley, were just in town from Georgia for a visit.  Layne finds joy in knowing that everything she has been given in life is a gift – even if some were for only a short time.   

When I asked Layne what she hopes to accomplish in the next few years, she said:  “I want to share my passions: organ donation, child protection, and guiding bereaved parents with others.” Layne Hunt is a brave and courageous lady who has an amazingly strong spirit; and she has much to give to her new community.   Get to know Layne Hunt – she’s a delightful lady and a beautiful human being. 

You are the President-Elect of the Kempe Foundation Alliance, tell us how you got involved with one of Denver’s strongest non-profit alliances? I have been involved with charitable and political fundraising for at least 20 years. My resume in that area is quite extensive. My fiancé, Craig, passed my resume along to Georgia Imhoff, who in return, left a message on my answering machine while I was out of the country telling me I was chosen President-Elect of the Alliance.

Give us a snapshot of a day in the life of Layne Hunt? Busy!

You have attended many wonderful charitable events in Denver, which one from “an all around well-planned event ” point of view impressed you the most? All of them are well-planned and entertaining, but I have to say the ICON Awards stands out because each year it serves a different charity.

When you were out in the work world, what was your favorite job, and why? I was a Project Manager for a medical software company. I traveled across the country implementing and teaching physicians and their staff how to use our product. I love teaching and getting my message across and making sure it was understood and that the students learned from me.

What store has become your favorite place in Denver to shop? Too many to mention!

Your favorite restaurant? Elways

Is there someone who is your hero or mentor that has helped get you through some of your most challenging times in life? Jack Wooten. He helped me through my darkest hours after the death of my son.

What do you consider your greatest strength? My fundraising abilities for worthwhile causes and my interest and knowledge of politics.

Weakness? Having to say goodbye.

In your travels, what has been your favorite place to visit so far and why? Australia, with its warm people coupled with natural beauty like the Great Barrier Reef – and man-made beauty – like the New Years Eve fireworks in Sydney Harbor.

What do you consider your proudest achievement? Establishing a foundation in memory of my 3 year old son, “The John Butler Hunt, II Foundation” and the program it held every year for children called “Kids’ Safe.” We serviced approximately 500 children a year. Hopefully through that program, I was able to save a child’s life.

Your greatest challenge? Trying to become an early riser! I’m definitely not a morning person – and also, sticking to my workout program.

How do we get more people involved in doing community volunteering and charitable giving? By sharing with others our own devotion, passion (and compassion) for the charities we are involved with.

What qualities do you look for in a friend? Honesty, character, someone who is considerate, genuine – and of course fun!

What are your hobbies or favorite leisure-time activities? Travel, Bridge, Bunko – and golf.

With all the projects you are involved with, what are you most passionate about? Working with children and adolescents who are victims of abuse and neglect.

Who would you like to trade places with for one day, and why? Craig, my fiancé. He’s bright, articulate, tenacious, charismatic and goal-oriented. He’s as passionate about his work as I am about my charitable and political fundraising.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be? “This Time Around…” I’ve been through so many different phases in my life – ups and downs, good and bad. “This Time Around” I will offer to teach others the lessons I’ve learned.

With all the holidays coming up, what are you most thankful for? That I’m not a turkey! Honestly, with the Thanksgiving holiday here, I am reminded how blessed I am and how thankful I am for all the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful man who has taught me even more about life. I have two incredible children and am lucky enough to have another son that was brought into my life through Craig. And, now I have a precious 4 month old grandson. They are the light of my life! Unfortunately, I have experienced “loss” and realize that precious moments and precious time can be here one minute and gone the next. Also, I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and wonderful friends. I appreciate and live life to the fullest everyday. I am truly thankful.

What’s coming up in the future for Layne Hunt? Marrying the love of my life, Craig Fleishman; and I also have an interest in running for public office.

What would you like future generations to remember you for? My commitment to my charitable work and my love for people and life.

What is something valuable that you have learned that you would like to share with the young women of today trying to make their mark on the world? Be respectful of your elders. Learn from them, they have the experience and wisdom to show you the way.