Bold Journey: Meet Lorez Meinhold

Bold Journey

July 2, 2024

We recently connected with Lorez Meinhold and have shared our conversation below.

Lorez, we’re thrilled to have you on our platform and we think there is so much folks can learn from you and your story. Something that matters deeply to us is living a life and leading a career filled with purpose and so let’s start by chatting about how you found your purpose.

One of the people that really shaped my worldview early on was my aunt. She became paralyzed, and when this happened, it changed her path. She never really focused on the things she couldn’t do or the path she couldn’t take anymore but took every opportunity to change the world.

It inspired me not to be focused or bound by what is but to look for what can be. So, that’s how I see my leadership journey. When I see opportunities to make a change in the world, I go for it.

I see that same potential to make change for the better in every person, and in every community that I work with.

Thanks, so before we move on maybe you can share a bit more about yourself?

I’m the executive director of Caring for Denver Foundation – an independent, grantmaking nonprofit founded and funded by Denver residents to address mental health and substance misuse needs.

So many community members have walked beside us, giving us their time, trust, and expertise so that we can transform healing and recovery in Denver. We are changing lives and improving outcomes in our communities.

Together, we have given over $154 million to 257 organizations committed to healing and recovery in Denver. Annually, these investments reach more than 100,000 people in Denver and we have seen reduced substance misuse and improved or maintained positive mental health. We’ve also garnered national attention for Denver’s STAR program, which sends a mental health professional and EMT to non-emergency 911 calls.

This is all possible because the people of Denver stepped up to the needs of their community, and we are immensely grateful for their continued trust, and passion for creating a healthier, healing Denver.

Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these?

One of the most impactful qualities that has shaped my journey is being open to taking risks and helping others get comfortable with changing the status quo. The best way to approach discomfort with change is to understand where it’s coming from and build a shared commitment to the issues we are aiming to solve.

Another important piece of the puzzle is ensuring that lived experience is at the heart of every change. It’s important to collaborate, listen, and learn from the people you serve to ensure that any changes you make fit.

Finally, you must take the time to create safe spaces that allow you to be authentic, approachable, and vulnerable.

These qualities ensure you can achieve a shared vision with others – they are critical to building trust and creating lasting change.

My advice for others early in their journey are:

Be adventurous and take risks, do not put limits on yourself.

Keep your passion at the center of what you do

Amplify each other’s voices and ideas – championing our peers means more opportunities and success for all.

Alright so to wrap up, who deserves credit for helping you overcome challenges or build some of the essential skills you’ve needed?

My life has been touched, curated and uplifted by kind, smart, bold, and compassionate women of all races, and identities. I am, and my life is a product of those architects. I’ve also been very fortunate to have strong mentors and friends that have shown me the importance of servant leadership – they inspired me to pursue a life that was committed to equity, inclusive collaboration, and authenticity.

They taught me that it’s important to not let the fear of not knowing hold you back, and it is important to approach the unknown with a goal of learning into the solution we need.

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