Thursday, October 12, 2017, SLV Lean In welcomed Liz Thomas Hensley, PhD., Associate Professor of Marketing and MBA Director at Adams State College, to speak on her career and experience as a business professional. In her discussion, Liz spoke on her life in the San Luis Valley for over 20 years, her start in the San Francisco/Bay area and her path to her current career. She told the audience of her struggles as a sole provider where her young family didn't always know when the next paycheck would be coming. She referenced the ups and downs of Dr. Suess's book, "Oh The Places You'll Go," which is still her favorite gift for students' graduation. In 2017, she is starting her 10th year working at Adams State University. For Dr. Hensley, there is no substitute for the satisfaction she gets on a daily basis from mentoring, guiding, and helping students inside and more importantly outside the classroom. The environment at ASU allows her to build relationships with each of her students past just what happens in the classroom. Whether it is working on how to write a resume, helping with mock interviews for an internship, or just someone to talk to when they are having a tough day - Liz enjoys being that person they can go to. She is also the Ward 1 City Councilor for Alamosa, current vice president of Kiwanis, liaison to Circle K at ASU, a member of the SLV Housing Coalition board, Women's Cattails officer, marketing board member, Alamosa Recreation Board member, and Colorado Municipal League Board member. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 2005 at ASU, MBA from Arizona State University, and her PhD from Capella University in Minnesota. She is married to Lynn Hensley and has two daughters, Eryn and Sammie, two step-children, Chelsie and Alan, and two granddaughters that she adores, Marlie and Luxei.
SLV Lean In was founded by Audrey Reich Loy with support from a group of women at San Luis Valley Health 5 years ago this season. Audrey shares, “Lean In has been built with intention – our goal is to provide a supportive and empowering environment for anyone to come and meet new people, network, learn, and grow. Even though our own community has incredible women in leadership positions, nationally, women only make up 1 in 10 senior leadership roles in organizations, even though men and women alike assume that women are well-represented in leadership, a misperception.” Past events here in the valley have received incredible community turnout and success, clearly demonstrating that our community is looking for an opportunity to connect, learn from others, and truly "Lean In."
Audrey announced that this October’s Lean In event would be her last under her direction. She is happy to pass the torch to Dr. Liz Thomas Hensley, and is excited for Lean In to continue, because research shows that women who attend Lean In events are more confident, more aware of the role gender plays in the workplace, and more likely to ask for, and receive, raises and promotions.