Dr. Jenni Skyler, director of The Intimacy Institute of Boulder, was named the 2010 Young Careerist in the annual competition organized by Boulder Business and Professional Women. Lindsay Shaw, owner of Lindsay's Boulder Deli at Haagen-Daz in downtown Boulder, was selected as the runner-up.
This was the second year I was asked to help judge this competition, which looks at the candidates' career achievements as well as their their ability to project an image that reflects the role of today's young workforce in society. And once again, this was a tough and close contest, with each of the five women competitors taking the initiative to compete before judges as well as a final speech before members of Boulder's BPW organization.
In one part of the competition, all of the candidates join in a group discussion, looking to come up with solutions to a topic presented by the judges. With a sex therapist, an ice cream shop owner and others involved in different businesses, from architecture to financial consulting, the candidates decided they wanted to launch an community education group, providing mentoring and education on topics such as equity in pay to other women. And one idea for the name of the group? "Sex, Ice Cream & Business." Now that could certainly attract some participants.
I was always a supporter of BPW while I was editor of the Boulder County Business Report, and the business newspaper continues to be a sponsor of this competition, along with Flatirons Bank and w3w3.com. Joining me as judges were Sue Deans, former editor of the Boulder Camera, and Wendy Reynolds, senior vice president of Flatirons Bank in Boulder.
Skyler, a Ph.D. and board certified sexologist, was enthusiastic and kept the audience listening close as she spoke about her career as a sex therapist. She also writes several sex columns -- "Sophisticated Sex" for the Boulder Weekly; "Sexy Shabbos with Dr. Jenni" for the Boulder Jewish News; and Sunday Sex Talk on www.Buffscret.com. She spoke on how to build healthy sexuality and how this helps men and women in our society.
Shaw also impressed both the judges and BPW members with her own life stories of how she has been a businesswoman for the past six years after encountering sexual discrimination in her first career as a teacher. Her talk about how she lost her job because she was living an "alternative" lifestyle -- dating another woman -- was open, honest and from the heart.
Also competing were Julie Winslow, a investment adviser with Securian Financial Services; Katie Pekarek, a project manager for Kristin Lewis Architects; and Kathryn Matta, an event specialist with A Spice of Life Catering. All of the young businesswomen are active in numerous humanitarian and nonprofit organizations.
Funds raised from the event help support the Colorado BPW Education Foundation, YWCA and other advancement of women programs. The competition is also designed to attract new young member to BPW, and Skyler won a membership in the organization.
To learn more about the Boulder Business and Professional Women, visit their Web site at www.boulderBPW.org. The group meets monthly with the mission of full participation, equity and economic self-sufficiency for working women.