Dr. Steph named CEO of the Year

Dr. Stephanie Gripne, our CEO, is Colorado’s 2022 Vistage Impact Award winner!

Vistage is a peer network of 26,000 CEOs across the globe, 600 of which reside in Colorado. This award honored Steph’s leadership climb and enduring impact on the Vistage group, Impact Finance Center and the broader community.

Vistage makes being a CEO feel like you are playing a team sport, Dr. Steph said, and the diversity of our group proves that love is stronger than any of our biases. Dr. Steph says her Vistage Group gives her hope in America. “This award is recognition of my transition from an applied academic to a CEO, and our team’s transition from solving a problem, to creating a system to solve problems at scale.”

Dr. Steph joined Vistage thanks to longtime Impact Finance Center donor and impact investor, Randy Welsch. Initially Impact Finance Center offered Randy a leadership position, but Randy realized he did not want to help just one organization, he wanted to help many. Thus, Randy joined Vistage and flipped the offer, extending an invitation for Dr. Steph to join Vistage’s peer CEO group.

Dr. Steph is thankful for the opportunity to build relationships with her peer group of 14 other CEOs who are deeply invested in each other personally and professionally, amidst a network of 26,000 other CEOs.

Dr. Steph describes her leadership with five simple tips:

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and develop a daily commitment to practice self-improvement and alignment.
Figure out what you would do if you won the lottery and make that your job.
Assume positive intent, get curious, and ask why.
Find thinking partners who are not echo chambers to create constructive criticism feedback loops and help identify blind spots.
Find more ways to do well by doing good.

Dr. Steph credits not only Vistage, but all of the peer networks she has been a part of for playing a pivotal role in her career growth. She has completed fellowships with the Ford Foundation Community Forestry Fellowship, Environmental Leadership Program Fellowship, Property Environment and Research Center Fellowship, Aspen Institute Environment Fellowship, and the Boone & Crockett Fellowship Program.

Private and community foundations frequently ask Impact Finance Center about creating place-based fellowship programs. Impact Finance Center is excited that there is interest in full spectrum capital fellowship programs. Dr. Steph knows how influential peer networks were throughout her career and is excited for Impact Finance Center to offer the same experience for others.

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