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Steamboat Women's Leadership Summit

January Speakers and Session Descriptions

The Steamboat Springs Chamber and Alpine Bank are proud to present Steamboat’s premier women’s leadership summit, Thrive Together, a collaboration that promotes, motivates, and empowers women in all phases of life through personal and professional development.


10 Important Steps to an Anti Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle for Longevity and Health
Cara Marrs  | January 5 at 11 AM

You hear a lot about anti inflammatory diets but what does that mean? What is inflammation and how do I work towards decreasing it in my body? Nutrition information can often be contradictory and confusing, in this presentation I will give you 10 concrete points that you can incorporate into your everyday life to help you live happier and healthier. From diet to exercise small but consistent changes can make a big difference.

Empowering the Next Generation of Female Leaders
Robin Schepper  | January 7 at 4 PM

How to develop and support female leaders in your organization and community. This session will cover the following:

  • Identify typical barriers female leaders face
  • Learn what female leaders bring to organizations
  • Practice leadership skills
  • Commit to three ways to develop and support female leaders

Reclaim and Reassert Your Power As a Woman 
Mary Hendra  | January 12 at 9 AM

In this world, women often struggle internally and externally to be and feel heard. Whether advocating for professional advancement or discussing different public policies and community interests, when our anxiety rises the differences of male and female conversation styles amplify. It can make you feel simultaneously like screaming and hiding under a rock. How do you stay engaged in a way that is true to your values, beliefs and experiences? Our communities and our democracy grow stronger when women build the skills to insert themselves as women into tough conversations and help guide them from adversarial to productive.

Transform Into a Highly Effective Public Speaker
Dr. Carrie Hauser  | January 29 at 10 AM

Have you ever tried to deliver a great idea, just to see it fall flat because your public speaking skills could use a little work? An intentional, powerful delivery can grab your audience’s attention and help them adopt your ideas. This session will give you the tools you need to:

  • Structure your speech effectively
  • Sell your ideas without lecturing
  • Use storytelling
  • Relax and increase your confidence 


Cara Marrs is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and has lived in Steamboat for 24 years with her husband Dave and 9 year old son Max. Cara attended Colorado State University for her undergraduate degree, Central Michigan University for masters studies and the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences for her medical internship. Cara is currently coming to the end of a 2.5-year long program studying functional medicine. Cara has owned her private practice Cara Marrs Wellness at Nutrition Prescription for 14 years and has worked at Yampa Valley Medical Center/UC Health for 11 years. Cara sees patients and clients for gastrointestinal issues, nutrition for disease prevention and treatment for many conditions, weight loss, food sensitivities, and general wellness. As an avid endurance runner and skier herself she also works with athletes from recreational to olympic level on their sports nutrition. In addition, Cara has worked for many years with the SSWSC, formerly coached with them for 10 years, helps volunteer direct the Steamboat Springs Running Series and likes to spread the word of health and wellness throughout the community.

Robin Schepper uses her background in public policy, communications, events and campaigns to develop comprehensive strategies for her clients. She is an experienced and dedicated manager who develops communications and public affairs strategies; facilitates meetings and retreats; trains and coaches executives; provides organizational and communications counsel and writes numerous types of documents for her clients.

Over the past 25 years, Robin has worked in many arenas. She worked on three Democratic presidential campaigns and in the Clinton Administration. She was a small business owner, co-founding Pyramid Communications, a Seattle-based public affairs company that specializes in environmental, health and Native American issues. Robin spent four years working as a consultant to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games providing communications expertise; building their press office; and serving as a spokesperson and advisor to the President of the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee. Robin also was the first Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s children’s anti-obesity initiative, Let’s Move! 

Mary Hendra has worked in government, education, and non-profit industries with the consistent goal of building a more compassionate, engaged community. A Chapter Leader for the Ellevate Network for Professional Women, Mary consistently advocates for and supports the growth of opportunities and professional development for women from diverse backgrounds. She also regularly facilitates online workshops for cross-industry professionals to find clarity and take action - even when confronting extreme stress or perhaps painful transitions - with a combination of stillness, creativity, and community. Her 24 years in education has included teaching students and educators in online, in-person, and hybrid settings. Learn More


Since 2013, Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser has served as president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. Previous to CMC, Hauser held leadership roles at the Kauffman Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Daniels Fund.

Hauser is currently a governor’s appointee to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, a member of the El Pomar Northwest Regional Council, and serves on the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and Vail Valley Foundation boards of directors. At the national level, she serves on the American Council on Education Board of Directors and the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Economic Advisory Council, and is past president of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA). She has been recognized as the 9News Leader of the Year and one of the Fifty for the Future of Colorado. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business. Learn More