Have You Met?

It’s enlightening to see an abundance of exceptional women in Colorado. Without question, one of Denver’s best examples is rock-solid, Tracy Ulmer, Community Relations Director of the Denver Newspaper Agency.

When you talk with Tracy about her work, she can’t help but sing the praises of her company. Tracy’s role as the Community Relations Director for the Denver Newspaper Agency has given her a vast array of experiences that in turn have made a vital impact on the community. Tracy says: “I genuinely enjoy going to work each day because I’m lucky enough to be able to help others through my job.”

Tracy never wavers from the mission of the organization, which is to improve the quality of life through support of programs that benefit children, the arts, literacy, and education - and the provision of basic human services.

Tracy’s organization accomplishes this through the implementation of various community giving programs including: The Post-News Charities and Post-News Season to Share, both funds of the McCormick Tribune Foundation; Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News sponsorships, and the DNA ACTS (Assisting the Community Through Service) employee volunteer program - and many signature events where the funds raised goes to the Post News Charities.

The Denver Newspaper Agency, through its programs, has given out more than $12 million annually ($9 million in trade advertising space, and $3 million in monetary grants) to non-profit organizations in the Denver area.

Easy-going, levelheaded and balanced Tracy Ulmer has earned an impeccable reputation for her loyalty, professionalism and commitment to maintaining the values and vision of the Denver Newspaper Agency, through its Post-News Community programs.

Tracy has an earthy and comforting quality about her, and she sets the standard with her non-stop dedication to providing improvement, help, and hope for so many.

Going back to when you first started with the organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? Breaking the one million dollar raised mark for Post-News Season to Share in 2002.

What do you enjoy the most about your work? Making a difference; serving as a catalyst to get others to join in the efforts.

Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input? The agencies we serve; the people we help.

You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Malcolm Tidwell of the The Tipping Point; Maya Angelou; Jane Goodall; Tiger Woods (all people I can learn from).

What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? All of them! But most recent, KIDS CARE, our new program that teaches kids the value of philanthropy. We currently have 6,000 students utilizing the curriculum in schools statewide. Each month, one school is awarded a $500 grant to help fund their philanthropy efforts.

How do you determine who will be awarded one of your grants? There is a committee process with the McCormick Tribune Foundation – based on guideline fit, effectiveness of programming, financial stability, numbers of people served, etc.

Is there a charitable event you really look forward to attending each year? Lots! We are so lucky to be in a city that has such diverse quality events to attend – Western Fantasy to Children’s Hospital to Booklovers’ Ball to the Mutts and Models Fashion Show.

If you were to retire today, what nonprofit would you still want to stay involved with? Post-News Season to Share and Post-News Charities, because they affect so many different metro area agencies, and it represents such a sound investment with the McCormick Tribune Foundation matching dollars and 100 percent - of all funds raised - being distributed.

How have things changed for you through the years? I’ve had to reach out to engage people/support. Can’t do it all on your own … It takes a village.

What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? Vision; Persuasive and Persistent.

What is your greatest challenge at this time? To create new ways to engage people for support; raise more money!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sounds hokey, but just where I am – doing something I love, in a place that I love, with a fabulous husband, and two beautiful children.

What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? Be yourself; Follow your passion; and Pursuit of excellence.

How do you relax? - Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Home; Down time. My normal schedule is so busy at work and with the kids; down time is heaven….

What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of? Energy.

If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? Health and happiness for all.

How can we reach out to other people in the world? Try to make a difference where you think you can, and try to do as much as possible on the charitable side as you can do.

Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others? Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

What can make you laugh? Taking myself too seriously.

What can make you cry? Stories of overcoming challenge: Most recently: The American Red Cross Breakfast of Champions.

Is there a fond childhood memory you can share with us? Summers on the farm with my grandparents in upstate New York. Also, living with my family in Italy.

When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? I was interested in everything. Being an artist.

What is your vision and hope for the future? That everyone try to find “connections” with each other. We all are connected, and the more we try, the better off we all will be.

What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? I think it’s just resolution; I keep coming back to that connectedness; that people have so many different agendas and passions, in some ways you have to realize we should be more connected for the better good. Politically, there can be such division between the parties. Let’s get rid of much of the divisiveness, and figure out a way to come together. I believe that is many people’s vision and hope for the future. We just have to keep working towards it by reaching higher and deeper.

How do you want to be remembered by future generations? As someone who made a difference.

Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life? “Carpe Diem/Seize the Day!”