Kelly Terrien 2015 Woman of Influence Nomination

Kelly Terrien 2015 Woman of Influence

2015 Woman of Influence

Kelly Terrien has been named one of Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Women of Influence for 2015. This nomination was submitted to recognize Kelly, and to celebrate her professional and personal successes, and to recognize her involvement and commitment to our local community.

How has Kelly influenced our community and STS?


Kelly Terrien epitomizes the character of a genuine leader who actively focuses upon making a positive difference in the services provided to customers while improving the quality of life of company employees and the surrounding communities in which they live. As a Veteran entrepreneur, Kelly built STS with effective leadership, customer service, and community service in mind. These qualities, which are the pillars of STS’s culture, exemplify Kelly’s noteworthy accomplishments as STS’s Founder, President & CEO.


Philanthropy has always been a driver for Ms. Terrien since the inception of STS nearly 15 years ago. All employees see and feel her passion for STS’s corporate philanthropy, with emphasis in the following areas: women and children in need, Veterans, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. To further integrate philanthropy as a core interest within STS, Kelly in 2013, established the Good Citizen Program to formalize the company’s commitment to giving back to the communities in which employees live and work. The benefit program allows employees at all of our locations to seek company donations and earn paid time off for volunteer service.


By setting a standard of appreciation for community engagement, STS’s leadership and employees have contributed to a diverse set of organizations in Colorado and beyond. Since 2013, employees have donated close to 150 hours of their personal time to various volunteer community events in their local communities. Since 2012 alone, STS has donated over $17,000 back into the Pikes Peak region.


Some of the many organizations and causes Kelly and STS have supported over the years include:

  • The Pikes Peak Community College food pantry: STS supplied a month’s worth of food donations for the pantry.
    • The Vice President of the college personally thanked STS for the donation mentioning that in their history they had never had such generous corporate support.
  • Organized numerous clothing drives:
    • “Women’s Business Attire Drive” for the Colorado Springs branch of the “Dress for Success” organization
    • Winter clothing drive that donated over 200lbs of clothing to The Crawford House
    • Spring clothing drive that donated over 20lbs of clothing to the Springs Rescue Mission Graduates Program that supports individuals graduating from their residency program and helping them pursue careers rather than just jobs
    • Suits for Troops: Donation of suits to the 400+ servicemen/women leaving the military every month in the Pikes Peak region
  • Panorama Middle School (Harrison School District 2) Quarterly Donations:
    • Supplied student planners and uniforms for the 2011-2012 school year
    • Assisted in purchasing 25 laptops to facilitate the Intervention Class; a class for students who are below grade level in Math and score Unsatisfactory or Partially Proficient Low on their state assessment (TCAP).
    • Your company has been wonderful and I feel fortunate to have their support!!
      • Tina Hackett, Principal, Panorama Middle School
    • Provided Science Fair judges for Colorado District 11
    • Partnered with the Vanguard School to support K-12 STEM programs
    • Monthly support at the Fort Carson and Peterson AFB Transition Assistance Program (TAP) (Formerly referred to as ACAP) to help our separating and retiring active duty service members prepare for civilian life.
    • Guided and funded (for the third year) gift support to Teens With Promise, Holiday Wishes Program, a holiday gift program for youths ages 13-18 that remain in school. STS provided gifts for over 15 teens.
    • Chevrolet Van donation to Kars-4-Kids
    • Yearly sponsorship at the local Industry Military Annual Golf Event to support STEM scholarships
    • Yearly Holiday Dinner Donations to the Salvation Army
    • Donations to the El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund
    • Susan G. Komen Foundation donations
    • Special Olympics donations
    • Donations to the Center of Differentiated Education (CODE), Kansas City, Missouri in support of their gifted student program


STS’s corporate culture is encompassed in the company tagline – Innovative. Responsive. Committed. Ms. Terrien and her employees exemplify these characteristics in their passion for philanthropy. Kelly is an innovative leader always looking for ways to maximize STS’s community impact and multiply outcomes for those in need. STS employees are responsive to their community. Because STS employees are individually involved in their communities, they are continuously identifying areas of need and finding new ways STS can engage. STS is committed both to the causes and organizations it supports as well as to expanding that impact by encouraging others in their sphere to partner with them.


From the top down, STS’s constant commitment to enhancing our community is exemplified within the team and their policies that encourage community involvement. Our President & CEO is a hands-on action oriented leader and a caring individual by nature. She cares for her employees through benefits and programs that go above and beyond requirements and exceed industry averages. She believes that her approach to philanthropy is a growth tool that comes full circle from her, to her team, to all those impacted, and to society at large. By promoting philanthropy within the company, STS employees grow as individuals and impact many people around them that will also go on to change the world for the better.


Kelly strives to make her company an active part of positive change within the community. We wholeheartedly understand that our successes are shared with the people and organizations where our employees live and work and we are passionate about strengthening those regions. More than for the amount STS gives, Kelly deserves this recognition based on the heart behind the giving; the sincerity of her employees and the example they set as they come together for the greater good. Kelly in word and deed exemplifies the very best standards for leadership, business accomplishment and community service and is truly worthy of Colorado’s Women of Influence Award for 2015.

What are Kelly’s Most Significant Professional Accomplishments:


Kelly’s passion for continuous improvement through new techniques and ideas has succeeded in making STS the Federal Government’s best value for technical and support services. Kelly’s efforts have resulted in STS’s steady growth from one employee in 2001 to over 450 employees today. Kelly guides her employees under an umbrella of shared values and commitment to: excellence; being customer-centric; ethical conduct in all business dealings and activities; and treating others with respect, trust and dignity. Kelly’s most significant professional accomplishments stem from the competitive advantages she set out for STS from the start, to include: commitment to veterans, recruiting young talent, and dedication to quality.


Kelly is a hands-on action oriented leader supporting efforts across the spectrum of departments to drive company productivity and reduce costs. Additionally, Kelly brings industry best practices to facilitate processes, operations and improved communications. Examples include consultant Action Coaching and ISO 9001:2008 certification. These processes have been recognized by our customers as a key to our continual customer satisfaction.


Since January 2015, STS has been awarded three contracts totaling more than $76 Million and resulting in the planned addition of 100-150 employees to its workforce by year’s end. As a result of these wins the company has added 66 employees this year so far, including 11 in Colorado. Kelly is also committed to aiding the growth and development of other small business leaders. As an example she supports RIM Technology, a local WOSB/SDVOSB, by providing advice in business development, contract administration, and business operations. By providing jobs within STS, and supporting fellow locally owned organizations, Ms. Terrien has accomplished significant business growth for countless individuals.


As a business leader and Veteran herself, President & CEO Kelly Terrien understands the value Veterans provide, not only in service to our country, but also to our community and is committed to attracting, retaining and supporting Veterans throughout all levels of the company. Today, our DOD contracts are comprised of 81% Veterans; continuing to serve our country by supporting our government contracts/customers. STS is proud of their dedication, work ethic, loyalty, and commitment, and we continue to promote career opportunities for Veterans who are sincerely deserving of our appreciation. Recently, STS received The American Legion Department of Colorado’s Employer of Veteran’s Award for outstanding achievement in employing our Veterans.


STS is also embarking on our first formal Mentor-Protégé relationship with a small 8(a) company headquartered in the Southwest. Finding an 8(a) company to mentor was one of Kelly’s top five goals for 2015. This new relationship will have STS coming along side this smaller company to provide them with resources, lessons learned and training based on our experience growing from an 8(a) to now an established small business poised to become a medium sized business. As a self-graduated 8(a) company, Kelly is very excited to be able to pass on many of her lessons learned over the years to this young company and hopes to help them fully develop their competitive capabilities.


Another initiative of Kelly’s has been to keep an active intern program. We hire graduating, or newly graduated college students who have an interest in the Defense industry. In the past year, four interns have joined the STS team and employees have helped them improve and hone the skills they were taught in school. So far, three of the interns have been hired into full-time positions, from business analysts to engineers.


At STS, the core of our competitive advantage exists in our ability to be mission responsive, capable and ready for every challenge that comes our way. Throughout our 15 years, Kelly has led a team that delivers innovative, effective and efficient solutions. As a business model since STS’s inception, Kelly has built exceptional quality service into the core of the company and ensures this promise is delivered. In order to provide the government and US citizens the quality work they deserve, STS follows a series of steps in order to assure the best value for the best price. First and foremost, a cornerstone of our work is to be responsive. What we preform directly affects the priorities of this Nation, and being responsive to the customers’ wants and needs is imperative to a job done right the first time. We have shown our ability to be responsive time and time again as illustrated by our consistent excellent reviews.


In order to be mission capable, Kelly ensures we offer fair and equitable prices that allow work to be done without breaking the government’s bank or risking low-quality performance. National safety and security is first priority—not winning the contract. Instead of promising work at an improbable price, we drive competitive rates. Companies who bid the lowest rates are not always the best value as they are not always able get the job done right for that price. At STS, we believe our pricing is competitive and that gives us the capability to perform what is in the best interest of the country, furthering our goal of making a difference for our customers and creating value for the Federal Government.


The final core to our competitive advantage is our commitment to be mission ready. Following Kelly’s leadership, we are always innovating and improving ourselves. From leveraging strategy to utilizing best industry practices, STS is constantly creating strategic plans to be proactive instead of reactive. Through Kelly’s visionary leadership, we at STS truly have a passion to make a difference not only for the government, but the nation as a whole. We achieve this through our competitive advantage of being mission responsive, capable, ready and committed to excellence.

What are Kelly’s Most Significant Personal Accomplishments?


STS culture emphasizes collaboration, safety, ethical business practices, and community support. This company culture branches from our CEO’s involvement and desire to be in touch with the needs of her employees. Through engagement, Ms. Terrien keeps aware and is able to fulfill her goals of truly taking care of those she employs. With a corporate structure, many companies can struggle to keep up morale and productivity. Where STS excels is through our collaboration and commitment to success, keeping our employees excited about their work, accomplished, productive, safe, and healthy. To combat the restrictiveness that can occur from working in a corporate environment, wearing business casual dress and sitting at your computer 8 hours a day, our President and CEO, Ms. Kelly Terrien decided to shake up this 8-5 routine and add in a bit of fitness and fun. As an employee perk and teambuilding activity, STS has implemented health and wellness challenges throughout the entire year. Two activities in particular, our health and wellness week, and monthly wellness initiatives illuminates the culture that STS cares for its employees beyond the 8-5 workday. By inciting a friendly competition, employees are challenged to fitness goals, such as steps taken in a day, to who can hold the longest plank. Ms. Terrien was recently cited by Scaling up Author, Verne Harnish in The Nature of Business – his latest Fortune column that taps into a fast moving trend, sharing lessons from Mother Nature that can help us build better businesses.

Our culture of employee wellness stretches far beyond a week of activity. STS has an extensive benefits program that promotes health, but also volunteer opportunities, education assistance and more that fosters a culture of well-rounded individuals who are supported by their work community.

What is the most significant community project that Kelly has been involved with?

As a woman business leader, Kelly has experienced the importance of quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in her own life. STS has supported several local schools over the years with donations and volunteers centered upon improving STEM education in Colorado Springs. Under Kelly’s leadership, in 2014 STS formed a relationship with the Vanguard School at Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy to support K-12 STEM programs. This year we provided:

  • Rocketry supplies and tools
  • HD camera equipment
  • Laptops and USB drives
  • Pi Day prizes/supplies
  • Science fair volunteer judges
  • Sponsored 30 students to attend the 31st Annual Space Symposium

Unlike many firms, STS aspires to give back to our community and be more than just a name on a check. We are truly a hands-on company that wants to make a difference through active participation and hold true to our Innovative, Responsive, and Committed tagline. Like Vanguard, STS takes a hands-on, classical approach to education, and uses philanthropy to enhance students’ learning experience, in and out of the classroom. In April STS approached Vanguard with the opportunity to sponsor a group of its students to attend the 31st Annual Space Symposium, allowing the students to see the exciting possibilities available to them in the future. Thirty members of the next generation STEM workforce were inspired and excited as they toured the exhibit floor of more than 150 members of the global space community.

This tour was an amazing opportunity for the students, many of whom are gifted in science and math, to see how their aptitudes can be applied to the problems of space – both today and for tomorrow. This event has also opened the door for other kinds of local experiential training for our students and has helped connect teachers with the space community. It was Kelly’s intent when co-sponsoring this event to provide long lasting benefits, not only to students and staff, but to the community as well. Her passion for STEM continues to grow and each year she and her team find new and innovative ways to provide support.

Ms. Terrien, out of the kindness of her own heart has seen and filled a need for STEM support in the Colorado Springs Region. It is through her personal passion and dedication that has increased awareness and action within her staff that has grown outside the company and within the community.

Kelly’s staff are incredibly proud of the initiative she has taken towards this community project and for that and many other reasons we are honored to follow such a genuine and compassionate leader. For all of these reasons, Kelly Terrien, President & CEO of Summit Technical Solutions, LLC, is most deserving to be named one of Colorado’s Women of Influence for 2015.