OUR TEAM

Founded in 1974 by the YWCA of Metropolitan Denver, in cooperation with Gart Brothers Sporting Goods Co., Sportswomen of Colorado is recognized as the first community-based organization in the nation to solely honor female athletes, celebrate their achievements and recognize those whose efforts have advanced girls’ and women’s individual and team sports endeavors.

Board Members

Laura Fischer

Laura Fischer

President

Laura is a retired teacher and administrator, with over 40 years in the field of education.  She coached a variety of sports at the middle school, high school, and Division II levels.  Laura attended the University of Denver in the ’70’s and was afforded the opportunity to play basketball and field hockey for the Pioneers due to Title IX.  She had no prior experience of playing a team sport, as it was illegal for girls to play on a high school team in Illinois until 1975.  This opportunity instilled a passion in Laura to work to further support opportunities for girls and women in sport.
 
Laura received the Sportswomen of Colorado’s Contribution to Sport Award in 1983 for her work with the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports leading them through the first six years of their Annual All-State Games.  She has experienced and seen the attributes that athletic opportunities offer and wants to be a part of supporting girls and women in their athletic endeavors. She is honored to be an intricate part of Sportswomen of Colorado.
Tanya Haave

Tanya Haave

Vice President

Tanya Haave is currently the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she has guided the program to unprecedented heights, getting to an Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen during her tenure. Haave has been involved in athletics for her entire life on every level. After a successful high school career participating in volleyball, basketball, and track, Tanya went on to become an All American in both basketball and volleyball at the University of Tennessee, where she played for legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt.

A member of the Sportswomen Hall of Fame along with being named the 1980 Sportswoman of the Year, Tanya joined the Sportswomen of Colorado Board of Directors for a number of reasons. She loves what this unique organization stands for in promoting, honoring and empowering female athletes. Also, as a former athlete she recognizes that she had the help of many people and would like to be able to give back and “pay it forward” to help athletes now thrive and succeed.

Tanya believes it is important to increase the profile of Sportswomen of Colorado particularly on the collegiate level. Tanya’s goal is to increase Sportswomen of Colorado’s exposure to Colorado’s collegiate institutions through an increase in nominations and ultimately award winners from those institutions.

Tanya enjoys hiking, biking, and golf.

Terri Ward

Terri Ward

Vice President

Retired Physical Education teacher from the St. Vrain Valley Schools.  Currently Terri is the Head Girls Basketball Coach at Niwot High School.  In addition, Terri is the current President of Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports. 

Terri has the utmost respect for Joan Birkland and Joy Burns for their insight into how important it was/is to have an organization for and about girls and women in sports in the State of Colorado.

Lynn Barczuk

Lynn Barczuk

Treasurer

Lynn is a Colorado native and currently lives in Centennial.  She brings extensive experience in non-profit tax and other reporting compliance.  She is the owner and principal of LW Barczuk & Co. LLC., a local CPA firm.  She has been involved with Sportswomen of Colorado as a Board member and volunteer since 2002.  She has volunteered as a board member and committee participant on a variety of girls and women’s sports organizations and teams over the past three decades.

“The annual Awards Celebration is a marvelous tribute to the hard work and dedication of girls and women of all ages and never ceases to inspire”. Expanding the visibility, preserving the history and ensuring the future of the organization for subsequent generations is her continuing goal as a member of the Board.

Lynn enjoys spending the time with her family, participating in and following a variety of sports, travel and enjoying life in Colorado.

Paula McClain

Paula McClain

Paula McClain is the principal of BPM Global, a social responsibility marketing consulting firm.  Previously, she was Marketing and Diversity Director for U.S. Tennis Association Colorado (USTA), responsible for diversity and inclusion outreach efforts to introduce tennis to underserved communities, along with developing marketing campaigns to grow the participation in the sport.  An accomplished marketing professional, McClain has experience in branding, strategic planning, creative direction, media campaigns, as well as promotions and special events gained from working in key industries, including high-tech, telecommunications, cable, government and nonprofit organizations.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Paula was a standout track athlete and original member of the Colorado Flyers.  During her track career, she qualified and attended two national track championships and was a member of University of Colorado’s women’s track team.  She received her undergraduate degree in Journalism from the CU Boulder and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Phoenix.  Paula has a passion for global travel and has been to six continents and 29 countries.

“I have a deep passion for storytelling and I’m honored to be a part of an organization committed to celebrating the full range of female athletics and the amazing accomplishments achieved by coaches, mentors and girls and women athletes in Colorado.  These “Her-Stories” will not go untold.  They inspire girls to pursue and achieve their highest level of sports competition and become the women of the future with no limits,” says Paula

Leslii Lewis

Leslii Lewis

Leslii is a native of Colorado, is married and has 3 daughters and her cousin.  She works as an Expedited Settlement Specialist for the Department of Regulatory Agencies in Denver.  She has over twenty years of experience in conflict resolution, leadership, training, mediation, and supervision. Leslii has served on various Boards and Commissions and actively volunteers in the community.  In 2015, Denver Public Schools, Board of Education honored her with the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award for her service to the community.  Leslii is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Leslii graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and a M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Regis University.  Leslii and her family have a passion for sports, which have been woven into the fabric of their lives.  Raising daughters increased Leslii’s passion for sports. Her daughters are trained in martial arts, played basketball at the collegiate level, participated in track and field, and her oldest daughter even tried flag football.  Leslii appreciates women sports because it develops and boosts self-esteem, teaches leadership, fosters positive relationships, and develops social skills; to list a few qualities.

“I am honored to be a part of an organization that raises awareness about the value of sports for girls and women. I want to raise awareness about the importance of providing equal opportunity and access to girls and women athletics. My motivation is to be a part of an organization that supports healthy development girls and women and celebrates their successes.” 

Rachel Sanford

Rachel’s passion for Sportswomen of Colorado began during the 2022 Annual Awards Ceremony when one of her Evergreen H.S. lacrosse players won an award.

“I am blown away by how much potential this organization has and am happy I can be more involved. I coach and officiate lacrosse and have enjoyed competing at all different levels over the years.”

Rachel works as a coach and consultant for RMS Coaching and Consulting LLC in Denver. As a leadership development expert, she led career development and networking workshops for 75 women for the Career Combine, a network of former college athletes in CO, MA and NYC.  She also partnered and co wrote “Compete Confidently: A Workbook for Female Athletes” and facilitated a leadership curriculum for high school athletes and conducted in person workshops and online webinars.

In 2012, she launched girls programming for 3D Lacrosse LLC which up to that point, only offered programming for boys.  She recruited, trained, and evaluated all coaches and created a culture of development. 

Rachel graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Duke University and with a M.B.A. from the University of Denver.

Gail Hook

Gail Hook

Gail joins the Sportswomen of Colorado Board after a successful coaching career, most recently at Monarch H.S. in Louisville, CO coaching girls basketball.  She mentored numerous girls during that time many of whom went on to play collegiate basketball. One of her many accomplishments was being named the 2009 recipient of the Dave Sanders Award which recognizes a high school coach who not only has longevity and success in the ranks of teaching and coaching but also has outstanding character.  In 2005-2006, she was the host and producer of “Colorado Women in Sports” on ESPN Z560. In addition, Gail was a WNBA Assistant Coach in 2003 and coached the USA U17 Basketball Team to a World Championship in 2011.

Gail earned her Masters Degree in Physical Education/Athletic Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.  Currently, she is working on her Sports Management Certification and is devising a pickleball curriculum to be used as a tool for aspiring young and older women pickleball players. Prior to being named as a Board of Director, Gail served on the Sportswomen of Colorado Nomination Committee from 2005-2010. “My intention as a longtime coach and advocate is to continue to help raise the bar for our Colorado athletes and recognize them for breaking glass ceilings.”

Executive Director

Linda Lappe

Linda Lappe

Linda joins Sportswomen of Colorado from the University of San Francisco where she served as the Senior Women’s Administrator and Senior Associate Director of Athletics since 2019.  While there, she led the internal operations of the organization which included all facets of enhancing student-athlete experience.

Prior to joining the staff at USF, she worked in the non-profit sector as the Senior Vice President of Competition and Regional Services at Special Olympics Colorado. Using sports as a vehicle to promote inclusion and acceptance, she supervised all areas of community programming in 22 sports for 13,000 athletes during 4 seasons throughout the state of Colorado.

Linda also spent fourteen years as a collegiate basketball coach with nine of those being as a head coach in the state of Colorado, first at Metropolitan State University of Denver and then at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Linda received a B.S. in Business from the University of Colorado. She was a two-time captain of the women’s basketball team and participated in three NCAA Tournaments. In her free time, Linda enjoys biking, camping, and spending time with her dog.

Interns

Marisa Tenorio

Marisa Tenorio was born and raised in Wheat Ridge Colorado, where she attended Wheat Ridge High School and played softball and golf. She began her college studies at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces New Mexico and later transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver where she began her studies in sport management.

She previously was an operations intern for the Colorado Golf Association where she helped run many tournaments across the state and more recently worked for the Denver Broncos as a guest relations team member for Broncos game days and all major stadium events in the premium level of the stadium.

In May of 2023 Marisa graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management and hopes to one day be working in a community relations department for an NFL team or running a youth development program for a professional sports team.

Abbey Glynn

Abbey Glynn was born and raised in Longmont, CO. Abbey went to Mead High School where she competed in basketball, volleyball, and track. She is currently at the University of Colorado, Boulder and competes for the Women’s Track and Field team.

She is studying Psychology and Leadership and Community Engagement as well as earned a certificate in Business of Sports. With sports being a huge passion for Abbey, she plans to stay involved in sport while being involved within her community.

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