Announcing CIE’s New CEO: Stephanie Knight

I am beyond excited to take the helm as the CEO for Colorado Inclusive Economy! I am a very proud member of CIE Cohort 5 (one of the best), and I truly learned a great deal through the training and teachings of our expert DEIB professionals and guides.  Each session was rich with insights and extremely valuable as members thoughtfully shared their DEIB questions, personal vulnerabilities and commitments to evolve as organizational leaders in this work. The conversations and heartfelt shares I experienced, in and out of the CIE sessions, with members led me to pursue the role of CEO.

As a woman of color, a nonprofit leader, business owner, and healthcare director, I have been fortunate to occupy professional spaces and sit in companies that were highly profitable, but frequently wondered how much I would truly benefit. Although I received these roles by virtue of talent, education and preparedness, I struggled, remained frustrated, and I was frequently discouraged with the obvious disparities I endured. I was very aware, in comparison to my white counter parts in each setting, I was not receiving the same level of compensation, mentorship, funding or large client accounts that they were.  I knew “others” were enjoying the benefits of belonging, access and mentorship, and I was not. Unfortunately, my experience is not unique for persons of color, but remains a constant, as we continue to feel inequities in our places of work that not only cause additional stress and isolation but impact our ability to secure our financial futures in ways that create household and community wealth.

I knew I wanted to contribute to the CIE movement in a more significant way and lend my leadership and lived experience to not only make Colorado the most inclusive state, but to create a template that other states could adopt to do the same.

My passion for the CIE movement stems from my experience and the experience of other persons of color. In engaging with CIE members, I am encouraged by leaders across our great state who are willing to do better and make their organizations diverse and inclusive intentionally and commit themselves to the action steps needed to get there. Equally impressive is the empathy, self-awareness and open-mindedness these leaders display in the sessions with their peers.

I am by nature an optimist and a visionary and hold firm to the belief that we can be the change we seek, in many forms, as agents, allies, mentors, stewards and disruptors. All have a place in our CIE movement.

At CIE, we are fortunate to have extraordinary talent in each learning journey we embark on.  Not only does each guide have the training, education, lived experience and sought-after credentials to do this work, but they have the unyielding drive and spirit filled purpose to be the change agents of this moment. The CIE Board of Directors are no less accomplished. They are a group of individuals who devote countless hours of will, professional contacts, resources and funds to drive the CIE movement, recognizing this work will exceed many of their former professional efforts and be life changing for many.

CIE as an organization is strong, and our mission and vision are clear.  We look to continue to edit and refine each learning journey with the feedback and input of our members.  Our CIE Summit will continue to grow each year and showcase notable speakers from around the country that embody the CIE movement in their corporate, social, academic and community-based work.

Finally, the CIE roster of member offerings will continue to grow through strategic partners we seek, as well as those who hold current membership.  CIE has HUGE goals on this journey in making Colorado the most inclusive state in the nation and will move alongside the current progressive initiatives and innovative practices of our state to do so. The CIE community will use its power of many voices to ensure our economy is equitable and just for all persons that reside here.

I am honored to lead in partnership with the dedicated, committed and compassionate voices of our CIE community and welcome all voices that are mission aligned to join me, as our work continues.

Stephanie Knight
Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Inclusive Economy

May 1, 2023