We are excited to introduce our members to Kristen Staniewicz, the CWBA’s new Deputy Director! Kristen started in this new position with the CWBA on April 3, 2023, and she will be working with our Executive Director Kim Sporrer primarily on membership services, committee support, CLE programs, events, and other initiatives that further the mission and goals of the CWBA.
As a young girl, Kristen was always described by her teachers as compassionate and caring — but also talkative during lessons, earning her the nickname of a social butterfly. While her peers were exploring different hobbies and career goals, Kristen struggled to figure out her calling in life. She excelled in physical activities like basketball and biking and was recognized in school for her language arts talents, but her true passion lay in helping others find happiness in a world that she knew was less than forgiving.
Kristen's mother, Mary Staniewicz, introduced Kristen to volunteer and mission-based work at a young age. Every year, they would pick out a child to buy Christmas gifts for; instead of paying Kristen for chores in December, Mary would add money to a collection to buy gifts for the children that Kristen and her brothers selected. Mary made the tradition fun, and her children began to enjoy the process of giving gifts more than receiving them. Kristen also helped at volunteer events in the community, from fundraisers for children in foster care to food distribution events at the local food pantry. Her mother instilled in her the importance of standing up for what is right, and Kristen's passion for helping those in need fueled her desire to pursue a career in non-profit.
In college, Kristen found herself drawn to causes like LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, women's rights, the homeless crisis, and food waste. She volunteered, protested, and got involved in advocating for change while obtaining a bachelor's degree in business, with the hope of working with an organization that aligned with her values and morals. She helped coordinate food distribution events for Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, a non-profit in the greater Philadelphia area that her mother had helped build.
Through her work at Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Kristen met many inspiring people who shared her ambition and passion for change, including local physician and philanthropist, Dr. Kristann Heinz. Together, they turned Dr. Heinz’s small practice into a wellness center aimed at supporting and caring for people with chronic illnesses. The work was challenging and incredibly rewarding, and the friendship Kristen built with Dr. Heinz helped inspire her to pursue her dreams without hesitation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic approached catastrophic levels, Kristen and Dr. Heinz knew they could not sit back and watch the world suffer any longer. They reached out to a former med school student and friend of Dr. Heinz who worked with a company called AMI Expeditionary Healthcare to see how they could help. Within twelve hours, Kristen became part of an administration and logistics team to help build and operate a COVID-19 field hospital at the Atlanta Convention Center. For two months straight, she worked 12-24 hour shifts every day, helping with the daily operations of the hospital. The experience was life-changing, and Kristen realized it was time to make a leap and follow her dream of moving somewhere new.
At the end of her two-month contract with AMI, Kristen moved to Denver, where she continued to manage female physicians while working remotely as a business advisor and manager for Dr. Kristin Reihman, a physician she met through her mentor and previous employer, Dr. Heinz. Kristen helped Dr. Riehman grow her business into a membership-based, virtual support space for those struggling with undiagnosed illness. Although she loved using her business skills to help those in need, Kristen felt she could serve her own community on a greater level, with a bigger reach.
Life in Denver was incredible. She formed an exceptional group of friends who inspired her with their own achievements in their careers and life. By challenging herself and stepping out of her comfort zone, Kristen gained a new sense of confidence. She even took up mountain biking and snowboarding, and despite failing miserably at first, she persisted and eventually succeeded. Unexpectedly, she met a wonderful partner, just when she had decided she didn't need one! He encouraged her to pursue her passions even more and to empower those around her. With his help, she found a job posting that aligned perfectly with her career goals and spoke to her heart.
Kristen’s new role as Deputy Director at the Colorado Women’s Bar Association holds great significance to her beyond just the day-to-day responsibilities of the position. It signifies that the work she does truly matters. Whether it's coordinating events, providing administrative support, or ensuring the organization runs smoothly, every effort Kristen makes helps to empower women in Colorado and beyond. This cause is particularly close to her heart, and she is proud to follow in her mother's footsteps. Kristen is thrilled to embark on this new adventure and looks forward to growing and learning from some of the most inspiring women in the field.
Kristen Staniewicz is an avid nonprofit coordinator and volunteer. She has a passion for managing events that benefit a greater cause and has spent most of her career working with underserved communities. She is excited to continue her journey in the nonprofit world with the CWBA, working alongside the amazing influential women that make up this team. She is passionate about utilizing her business and event planning skills to help support a meaningful cause.
Editor: Jenny Carman, Publications Committee Member