Have You Met?

According to Steffie Allen, her visionary, sage-like qualities weren’t acquired overnight. This adventurous lady – known for her rock solid ethics and integrity - first had to “push the envelope” and take a few chances before becoming one of the top leadership development experts in the country.

Steffie Allen, founder of the nationally recognized Athena Group, and the Women’s Vision Group – whose mission is: “Enhancing success of corporate women and corporations through leadership development and meaningful connections” – is a fourth generation Denverite with a lifelong commitment to the advancement of women in corporations and to elevating the status of women throughout the world by always giving them a voice. Steffie also points out: “Women who have made it to the top need to support each other; it can be lonely at the top.”

Steffie Allen comes from a lineage of Colorado public contributors and institution builders all the way from her grandmother being one of the founders of the Denver Symphony to her uncle starting the law firm of Holland & Hart.

Steffie has served on over 20 boards and contributed to such organizations as the Colorado Woman’s Leadership Coalition, the Women’s Forum of Colorado, the Denver University Women’s Library Association, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Health ONE, and the Junior League of Denver. Steffie credits her Junior League experience with teaching her many of the “how to’s” of leadership and responsibility.

Steffie is astute and gets her message across with sense, sensibility and clarity, and leaves you with tangible ideas to put an action plan together that you can take to the bank.

Steffie’s philosophies are geared towards teaching you how to grow with your success and finding fulfillment in the workplace and still stay true to yourself without losing your soul. Steffie says: “Reflection is the key; take time to soul search and reflect.”

In a nutshell, Steffie leads with innovation, courage, and determination. Steffie’s vision is “Enlightened leadership development for a better workplace and a better world - Creating workplaces where the human spirit thrives.”

If you have the opportunity to hear Steffie Allen speak at a conference or forum, take time to reflect on what she says; it will make a difference in your life and can get you moving in the right direction.

Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Robert Redford.

What word best describes your life right now? Rewarding.

What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time? Women’s Vision Foundation.

Is there a nonprofit event you really look forward to attending each year? “The Success Forum.”

What is your proudest achievement? Being loved and appreciated by my grandchildren.

What is your fondest childhood memory? There are so many….Riding my horse both alone in the mountains, galloping across fields with my friends and competing in horse shows. I learned so much about life just riding my horse for hours.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be? An Unexpected Adventure.

Who is your hero? My husband.

What is your idea of a perfect vacation? A month in the mountains at my family’s summer home in Buffalo Creek.

What’s been the key to the success and growth of the Women’s Vision Foundation? Caring about the mission and the people.

In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead. Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make? Yes, too big to sustain and a reason why many women leave or choose not to advance beyond a certain level.

How does one hold on to their true self and still become successful? This takes a lot of self reflections added by being in strong women’s group so that you know that you are not alone.

How do you stay so motivated and committed? My passion, my reason for being, is for the advancement of women – not just because it is fair and equitable, but because I believe with all my being that women MUST be at all of decision making tables if we are to advance the humankind…and possibly to survive the challenges of today’s world.

When does someone know when it’s time to move on? When you are bored, when your voice is no longer heard, when you feel the work is much more of burden than source of creation and fulfillment.

What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies? Knitting, playing with grandchildren, being outside especially in the mountains – so, golf and hiking.

Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace? Yes, but there is much more to do, not to change women but to change the workplace.

How does the “seasoned” woman compete in a marketplace that is focused on looking and being young? By being damn good at what she does. By becoming very competent at something she specializes in; it can make one highly marketable and irreplaceable. Focus on your strengths and draw from your experiences. Also, by being well connected and adding terrific value to any organization she joins. Being young and pretty has a short life. Besides one can be a very attractive person at any age.

Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”? Too many to count and each a different “aha”.

Are there any future trends you see in the marketplace for women? There’s no coasting, you must be agile on your feet. The increased demand for competent woman will continue - and woman can earn more. A need for better ethics in the workplace. More stay-at-home dads. Women will be fine at any level not necessarily the top; there will be a lot of shared power.

You are evidently a very capable and talented woman, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? I‘d love to sing.

Is there a saying, motto, or “words to live by” that is your favorite? “If not me, who?” Another favorite: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

What is your favorite book? I love all of Louie Lamour’s books; Magazine? Enlightenment; And movie? I see so many I can’t possibly have just one favorite.

Do you have a ‘fashion addiction’? Yes, jewelry.

And an everyday ‘snack’? Diet Cherry Cokes.

What is your biggest fear? Loosing a child.

What do you like the most about yourself? My sense of humor.

What’s in the future for Steffie Allen? That is a mystery – I can only give it direction.

What would you still like to learn how to do? Tap dance.

What do you have to say to all the young women out there ready to take on the future? Be ferocious when needed and stand up for yourself and others.

How do you want to be remembered by future generations? As someone who made a difference for women leaders – that their voices are heard.

Regional Women in Business "Advocate of the Year Award" from the US Small Business Administration - 1996; The University of Denver "Dan Ritchie Colorado Ethics in Business Award" - 1999; "Colorado Women's Leadership Award" -2004; Denver Business Journal's "Outstanding Women in Business Award" Finalist - 2005.