These past few months have given us time to reflect and figure out how we’re adjusting to our new normal. We’ve seen our alumni share their experiences, challenges and optimism on The Network, an online community just for Leadership Foundation alumni.

Our Networker of the Quarter Lara Smedley, Impact Denver Fall 2019 alum, has shared her voice on The Network. Smedley, owner of Smedley Events, added her perspective to the June Question of the Month about what questions she’s asking during this time and shared how she’s leading with compassion.

Get to know Smedley and connect with her and more alums on The Network. Login to The Network to get started!

Elizabeth Prutch: What have you gained from being active on The Network?

Smedley: The Network allows me to stay connected with my fellow alums. It’s a valuable resource that shows up in my email a few times a week and provides reminders of the amazing work that alums are doing in the community to make our city and state a better place.

Prutch: What has been the most interesting discussion you’ve had on The Network and why?

Smedley: I use The Network as a tool to stay connected and informed. I like to show support for what others are doing with simple acknowledgements or words of encouragement for upcoming events or thought-sharing. I’ve seen some wonderful conversations recently that have opened up the conversation surrounding equity in our community. I’m thankful for this space where I know forward-thinking dialogue is happening followed by collective action.

Prutch: What are your passions and interests in the community?

Smedley: My passion is connecting communities and people through purposeful conversation. My business has several intentional conversation experiences that were flourishing prior to COVID-19. When COVID hit, I started to receive requests to partner with organizations and groups to help lead their communities through intentional conversation that would help them through this difficult time. We’ve shared virtual dinners around topics like acceptance, grief, identity, forgiveness, resilience and awareness. I believe in the power of conversation and its ability to help us uncover our commonalties while building our capacity for compassion.

Prutch: What Colorado’s Civic DNA™ attribute would you like to see in the community more and how?

Smedley: Collaboration is so important for my business and an attribute that I believe will make our communities and world a better place. Meaningful change will happen when we come together to solve problems and have productive conversations.

Prutch: Now for a fun one. What is your leadership animal and why?

Smedley: My leadership animal is a horse. Horses are very intuitive creatures that sense emotion and can exude compassion. Their herd mentally ensures that they never leave another horse behind. I try to lead with compassion in everything that I do and find ways to build up my community whenever possible.