Community Leaders Inspire Change Leadership

Many of our readers are very well acquainted with Leadership Fort Collins, our signature program established in 1981 that is designed to broaden participant knowledge of the community while enhancing leadership skills, encouraging contribution to the betterment of the Fort Collins community, increasing the strength and effectiveness of community leaders, equipping participants to respond to the current and future challenges of the community and to provide opportunities for direct contact with influential people, businesses and organizations while achieving the goal of educating and motivating leaders who are committed to shaping the future of our community.

We have more than 1,000 individuals that have graduated from this powerful experience over the 38 years that we have offered it to the community.  And I can’t tell you how many amazing community leaders I’ve had the opportunity to see grow through this program.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 caused us to pause this historical program.  We simply couldn’t offer the same rich experience online.

But we knew that we needed to continue to provide leadership training and support to our community.  So we launched “Change Leadership, Inspired by LFC”.

We invited community members to join us to learn about resilience and leading through times of change.  The deep dive experiences, book club readings and CEO conversations are all offered online monthly and we have 32 thoughtful leaders that have joined us for this virtual learning experience.

We hosted the fourth session with our cohort last Thursday and were blown away by our CEO Conversation. We had the opportunity to learn from Lauren Storeby and Tiffany Helton. These women are accomplished restaurateurs in Northern Colorado.

Tiffany Co-Founded Stuft Burger Bar and Lonesome Buck Brewery. Lauren Storeby Co-Founded Snack Attack Specialty Sandwiches and Brews. Together they have over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. They are both strong female leaders in a typically male-dominated industry and they have both managed to create successful restaurants by curating the guest experience, creating a sellable product and mastering online marketing. But their stories don’t stop at being smart and powerful CEOs.

During the Covid restaurant shutdowns Lauren and Tiffany really wanted to give back to the restaurant community and share all of their knowledge to help other restaurateurs thrive.  They were some of the first business owners that raised their hands to help create the county-wide Level Up program and also created the Online Restaurant Academy (ORA).  The ORA is a 60-day, 8-week online coaching and mentoring program designed to will give restaurateurs the tools they need to be successful.

In addition to the full academy, they have partnered with the City of Fort Collins to create a FREE online coaching mini course designed to provide pandemic survival insights to restaurants.

Tiffany and Lauren are mentors and leaders in the industry and community and they both shared their stories and powerful insights into leading through change and making a difference in our community.  And they did it with passion and without hesitation.

It’s experiences and stories like this that help me get through this economic downturn.  The pandemic has been tough for all of us – but we have fantastic examples of leaders in our community that are doing everything they can to help our economy recover and to inspire our next level leaders.  Hats off to them all!


Written by Ann Hutchison, President & CEO
January 19, 2021

For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at ahutchison@fcchamber.org.