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

Co-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.

Ashley Cook

Ashley Cook

Co-Treasurer

Ashley joined the Sportswomen of Colorado Board because of her love of sports and her passion for supporting and encouraging girls and women in sports.

Ashley has been involved in sports her entire life through coaching and playing. Ashley is a Las Vegas native and UNLV graduate with a B.S. in Kinesiological Sciences.  She then worked in occupational therapy while coaching girls varsity high school basketball.  Ashley moved to Colorado in 2011 and earned a M.B.A., with a concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management from CU Denver.  Ashley is now Vice President of Human Resources at FirstBank.

Ashley’s goal is to introduce young professionals to Sportswomen of Colorado and grow the visibility of Sportswomen of Colorado.

Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors.  Her favorite phrase encourages others to promote themselves each and every day; “No one looks out for you in life, except YOU”.

Britney Simpson

Britney Simpson

Secretary

Britney has been recognized by Sportswomen of Colorado three times, all in figure skating.  In 2011, she was recognized as Most Promising.  In 2012 and 2014 Britney was recognized for figure skating.  Britney competed in Pairs skating discipline for Team USA both nationally and internationally.  She gives back to the sport not only as an instructor for those just learning to skate but also for children with special needs.  Britney graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelor in Sports Management.

Dr. Colleen Colles

Dr. Colleen Colles

I joined the Board for Sportswomen of Colorado because I wanted to give back to an organization that shares my passion for supporting girls and women in sport. Throughout my lifetime, I have participated in sports both competitively and recreationally.  By way of sport, via athletic scholarship and graduate coach assistantship, I was able to further my education and follow my dreams.  Through the service on the Board, I hope to assist future generations of girls and women by fulfilling the mission of SWOC: To promote, honor and empower Colorado girls and women is sport.

Colleen has over 28 years of experience teaching in higher education and has spent time as a collegiate volleyball coach, athletic administrator, and sport event manager.  She earned her Doctorate of Education in Athletics Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.  Colleen’s dissertation focused on the Office for Civil Rights’ investigation and interpretation of Title IX.

Colleen’s current position is Professor and Program Coordinator for Sport Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  Before MSU Denver, she spent 12 years at Nichols College where Colleen taught undergraduate and MBA courses and served as the Faculty Athletics Representative.  Dr. Colles’ most recent research has focused on international sport management and education and study abroad.

Colleen enjoys hiking, cycling, and travel.  One of her favorite quotes is from Arthur Frommer: “to have meaning at all, travel must…challenge our preconceptions and most cherished views, cause us to rethink our assumptions, shake us a bit, make us broader-minded and more understanding”

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

Annie Hoskinson

Annie Hoskinson

Annie has been involved with sports all her life. She’s coached, been an athletic administrator at the collegiate level, worked in sports marketing, produced events, volunteered at events, and was a collegiate athlete and continues to be an active competitive athlete. Annie has coached young athletes from the age of 4 to 65 plus. Sports include soccer, ice hockey, basketball, and triathlon.

Annie was previously involved with Sportswomen of Colorado as the Executive Director and Camp Coordinator. Her passion is to ensure that female athletes of all ages have the opportunity to participate in the sports of their choice. This passion fits well with the mission of Sportswomen of Colorado: “To Promote, Honor, and Empower Colorado Girls and Women in Sports”.

Diane Thompson

Diane Thompson

Diane is the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Colorado Christian University where she is charged with reviving the program.  Prior to her time at CCU, she served as an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Regis University and was also High School coach in the state of Colorado for many years before that.

Diane graduated from the University of California Bakersfield where she earned her degree in Science with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology. She was a three time All American, a three time All Conference player, and was a three year captain for her team.

“I have been a part of sports in Colorado my whole life and I love to give back to the women and serve the community that has always taken care of me.  I cherish the opportunity to uplift, lead and empower other females in their journey through life and sport.”

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.

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.

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