If you read last week’s Blacktie-Colorado “Have You Met?” our featured person, Noel Cunningham, mentioned Betsy Wiersma in his interview as one of the people he is most proud of. He calls Betsy “The Mother of Hope.” Who is this fabulous woman? Betsy is the founder of “The Hope Bracelet Project” – Beads making a difference for Project Mercy. This program teaches people in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa to create beautiful bracelets which are then sold, and 100 percent of the profit goes back to help the people of Africa. This is what Betsy calls, “Her baby.” She goes on to say that, “Although without the support and efforts of others, I couldn’t have made this happen.” Betsy continues to say, “It is a joy to serve the world with such fun and creativity and to help others - help others!” The Hope Bracelet Project plans on raising over $100,000 this year.
Some of Betsy’s other charitable involvements:
Wiersma was contacted by the Jones Film Foundation to organize and create a strategic event plan for the movie “Bobby Jones – Stroke of Genius,” starring Jim Caviezel. Betsy organized the charitable events (and every other little detail) in honor of the movie’s subject - professional golfer, Bobby Jones, a noted philanthropist and standout in the 1920’s. 89 days from the time she was contacted, her efforts raised nearly $1 million dollars, which was donated to programs involving children in 71 cities in the United States and Scotland.
Betsy is volunteering several hours a week to help the Lung Association think creatively and plan a special event, which will be held on May 16th here in Denver at the Downtown Marriott. The event known as “Catch Your Breath” Women’s Health Day, features reporter/commentator, Cokie Roberts, as the special guest speaker. (You can register for this event on our Blacktie website Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.)
Betsy makes and sells jewelry at the “Day of Caring” for Breast Cancer Boutique, which will take place on April 30th at the Merchandise Mart. (You can also register for this event on Blacktie – Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.)
Betsy hasn’t wasted any time using her talents to support Colorado causes. She is already well known as the “WOW Girl” in the PR/Marketing & Event Industry. Betsy describes “WOW” as what people remember about or take away from an event. She says a successful “WOW” has four elements: be simple, strategic, surprising, and satisfying. “My speaking and training platform is “ROI - Return on Ideas.” I want “Big Ideas” to have exceptional results,” Betsy says.
Wiersma specializes in creative events. She teaches people how to create innovative, strategic special events that can change the world. She also facilitates Leadership Conferences and Workshops.
Betsy says her goals for the future are to continue to focus on her family, fitness, health, spiritual growth and friendships, and she plans on doing more writing and speaking. “As long as I can help people achieve what they want to do in life by sharing what I have learned, I’ll just keep giving back. It’s a wonderful life when you can continue to serve those who need you!”
What is your advice to women who have families and also have careers? You can’t do it all, be selective, choose a few things, and do them very well.
Who is your hero, and why? My dad is my hero because he came from a poor family, went to college, moved out of a small town and led his family with integrity and love, honoring my mom and his children.
What is your favorite clothing store? Chico’s.
What is your favorite restaurant? Strings!
What is a moment in your life you will never forget? Waking up after my snow mobile accident in 1983 and wondering where my friends were. We lost one of our friends in the accident, and I was thought to be brain damaged...thanks to God, I am OK.
What do you most value in your friends? Positive energy, integrity, follow through of promises, a fun-loving adventure attitude.
What are some things nobody knows about you? I was a woman on the boy’s golf team in Junior High School; I had my first bead bracelet “biz” in the 6th grade.
What do you like most about yourself? I like to invent “BIG IDEAS” that make a real measurable difference...and God gave me the gift of thinking of them and implementing them with style.
What do you like least about yourself? Sometimes I work too much and it is hard to let it go.
What makes you laugh? My daughter.
What makes you cry? My daughter.
What’s different about your life now that you are a mom? I’m nurturing myself and my family and my relationships more; living in the moment, having fun, and being present, and not on this crazy agenda to accomplish everything. I’m celebrating everything about life.
What is your greatest indulgence? Dairy Queen Blizzards.
What do you consider your proudest achievement? Being a great life partner and mom at age 44.
What is your advice for a happy marriage? Love is an action; be still and listen; share adventures.
Which one word describes you best? “WOW.”
What one word would others use to describe you? “The WOW Girl.”
Tell us about your newest project? I’m working on a special event for women in 2006 called “Camp Experience.” It will be a transformational weekend that I plan to organize every year. I will create, manage, market and run it. It will serve all women in the Denver area and will raise a significant amount of money for charities. It will combine inspiration and motivation as well as explore ways to recharge and renew all those who participate. I want women to find their hearts and get involved in things that might really become interesting opportunities for them – but also just be a fun, natural weekend with some good conversations.
I know others have done women’s retreats; I’m going to come along and do it with a lot of style, and it’s going to be fun helping people meet their own goals. Creative ideas, the wacky, the edgy, the fun - it can all be part of a strategic business plan too, but taking a more energetic path, not the common path, is what I’m aiming for.
Who is the real Betsy Wiersma? Crafter, organizer, antique pottery nut, photographer, home decorator, loving friend, wife and mom.
If there was one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? Be a bit taller.
If your life were a movie, what actress would best play you? Bette Midler.
What is your pet peeve? Mediocre people and low-energy activity.
What are your hobbies or other interests? Making bead jewelry, collecting antique pottery, sewing, crafts.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you’ve ever met? Bill Cosby.
What would you do if you were Queen of the World? Educate and love kids.
What is your personal motto - or favorite quote? Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you? Your word is your most important possession.
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would it be? Get into fitness and healthy lifestyle at a younger age.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Doug Lane and our daughter Sarah Elizabeth.
What is your current state of mind? It’s peaceful to be in my 40’s and enjoying the adventure. I’m staying totally flexible to new ideas.
Is there somewhere other than Denver you would like to live? Maybe someday? I am relatively new to Denver and LOVE it here.
How did you end up coming to Denver? I was imported to Denver by my husband, Doug Lane. We met while I was a speaker at a special event, fell in love, and we’ve built a great life together. Now I’m a resource trying to find new places in the Denver area to contribute to and share my knowledge with.
What is something you would still like to learn to do – like play an instrument, learn a certain language? Make lamp work glass beads.
What might your epitaph read, or what would you like to be remembered for? The BIG IDEA girl who loved her “WOW!”
I enjoyed reading your profile. I too am from the midwest, Bettendorf Iowa, and make pillows, which I am happy to donate to worthy causes. You can see them on my website www.thepillowdiva.com, and there have been blurbs about my work published, most recently in the Dec issue of 5280.
I am happy to help if you need a pillow for a great cause, especially anything related to children's issues.
WOW - you are an inspiration and I look forward to meeting you in the future.
WOW! Two friends in one article. Thanks and congrats to Betsy and Nancy on all you add to our community. We at Day of Caring are so glad to have you as part of our lives. E.
I loved this article about my wife. She is all of it and more.
It describes her very well. Thanks for writing it.
Hi Betsy! It was so much fun getting together to do your interview; I'm glad we had the chance to reconnect. By the way, You looked mahhhvelous at the event last night! You've inspired me to "get on the program!" Love to both you and Doug, Nancy
you are so goofy and great! I love you!
Look forward to seeing you on Thursday. Great interview - thank you! Elizabeth
Elizabeth Byrnes Crony