Katie Shilts, at age 13, discovered her passion for volunteering to help communities, and by age 16, she had joined several local boards. From there on, it inspired her that she could make a difference, …
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Katie Shilts, at age 13, discovered her passion for volunteering to help communities, and by 16, she had joined several local boards. From there, she was inspired she could make a difference, and she dedicated her life's work to helping others.
"We all have an idea of what stirs our interests and ignites our passions, and I truly believe those are there for a reason," she said. "They aren't simply for hobbies, but to make the world around us a little softer and little kinder and a little better for each other."
Shilts was named the 2022 "Champion for Women" by the Women's Fund of Weld County.
The award recognizes women for their ongoing dedication to the Women's Fund of Weld County after service on the board is complete. It also honors recipients as ambassadors for the community, the organization, personal and financial investments and representing the organization at functions.
When Shilts received the call about the call, she cried and said she felt honored.
"I am sincerely grateful," she said. "This is an amazing group of women who serve on the Women's Fund of Weld County board, so the compliment is truly in those who bestowed the award. They are hardworking, dedicated, talented women who all make a daily positive impact in their worlds."
Past "Champion for Women" recipients include Julie Constance, Kristi Thomas and Women's Fund founding member Betty L. Tointon.
Shilts, a native of Colorado, was born and raised in Fort Collins and now lives in Greeley. Her parents were dedicated to the community, and she said she and her siblings were inspired by them.
"We understood that we were meant to bloom where we are planted," Shilts said.
Shilts graduated Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, majoring in communications. She reinvented herself several times during her career, working with senior housing, nonprofit management, health care, and now, accounting and finance.
She received her master's in health care administration and management from CSU Global in 2016.
Her involvement with the Women's Fund of Weld County includes starting a fundraiser for the organization in 2015, being named to the board of directors in August 2015 and serving as president from June 2018 to December 2019.
"When the time came to consider being president, I took time to seriously consider the obligation," Shilts said. "I have home requirements — as we all do — as well as a chronic disease multiple sclerosis, so I have to be mindful of what I take on."
Her time on the board was significant for Shilts because she said it taught her about so many people and their needs.
"I truly felt this was a worthy use of my time and talents," she said. "It was sad to leave the board when I termed out last summer, and my year and a half as their president was a time of challenges and fun I will never forget."
During Shilts's time with the Women's Fund, one of her favorite nonprofits the group supported was Soccer Without Borders.
"This is a great organization that brings together many different cultures and ages and soccer abilities to give girls an outlet after school," she said. "Hearing about their great work building community, helping their clients adjust to life in the states and the fun they had doing it, was inspiring."
In the future, Shilts will continue to serve on the board of directors for A Women's Place and her church. She is currently working on her second master's degree in finance. She and her husband, Luke, will be doing some traveling this summer along with their dog Tazz.
"Who knows? I may join another board," she said.
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