Level-headed and unpretentious, continuously classy and elegant……Maureen Regan Cannon is more than just a distinguished member of the Denver philanthropic scene. Maureen, an entrepreneur at heart, has had an impressive career in journalism and publishing and has been an inspiration and trail-blazer for women empowerment since 1984 when she created the “Women’s Yellow Pages: An Annual Directory of Women in Business in the Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs” which brought public awareness to women who owned their own businesses and offered their services to the community.
Maureen grew up and thrived in a traditional home in Kansas with a loving and spiritual family. She graduated from the University of Kansas, with a degree in Journalism and found her passion early on in the world of publishing.
Maureen began her career when she moved to Denver in 1984, and aside from her pioneering work with the "Women's Yellow Pages", she founded Regan Publications and launched and sold three different companies. Among her many growing recognitions, Maureen was named “Media Advocate of the Year” by President Clinton for the SBA in 1998, “Denver’s Woman of the Year” (awarded by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce) and she won the “American City Business Journal Eagle” (selected from 55 markets, the Eagle is a national award for the top-performing newspaper) three years in a row.
Maureen was the publisher of the Denver Business Journal; and in 1996, Regan sold her company to American City Business Journals in Chicago, where she served as their national sales director. Maureen says: “My career allowed me to live in wonderful cities such as Chicago, Dallas and of course, it brought me to Denver.”
Maureen married, continued to run her successful business, and as she calls them “the joys of her life”, had a son and a daughter – Clayton and Regan. She then experienced tremendous sadness and loss when her husband died of cancer.
Maureen created the Custom Publishing Division of Wiesner Publishing (now WiesnerMedia) and grew that division with published magazines for HealthOne Hospitals, the National Stroke Association, Colorado Ballet, Broadmoor Hotel, Metro Denver Home Builders Association & Parade of Homes, Successful Living, EnergyBiz, DU Sturm College of Law, Great-West Life, Colorado Association of Home Builders, Spectrum Retirement Communities and RE/MAX. She sold the division to Hungry Eye Media in 2011, and now devotes her time to a variety of philanthropic efforts while supporting her children’s educational successes and celebrating a loving, supportive married life with her husband, Ren Cannon.
Maureen is consistently on her own spiritual journey and looking to better the lives of others. Knowing Maureen for almost three decades, she has exquisite taste, and a style and a flair for everything she does. For example, Maureen carries on the cherished holiday traditions of her family when she was growing up in Kansas by recreating the same glittery holiday environment for her family today. She decorates the Cannon family Colorado home and turns it into a "Christmas Wonderland" filled with nutcrackers, sugar plum fairies and spice.
Maureen Regan Cannon, a successful wife, mother, sister, friend - and a beautiful relevant woman of today - is filled with her own sparkle and joy, and just permeates niceness in every way!
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? 25 years ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Oprah Winfrey. She was traveling the country interviewing women in business for her new show, “Oprah.” I remember returning to my office saying, "Oh my, I just had lunch with the most incredible woman I've ever met!" It's been such a joy to watch her evolve into one of the most powerful and compassionate women in the world. I have tremendous respect for her and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her.
What words best describe your life right now? Exciting and a bit scary. Recently, I retired after 32 years in the publishing industry and also became an empty nester! So, now I'm focusing on reinventing myself!? It's such an exciting time of change and new beginnings. I feel very grateful to be exactly where I am in my life and ready for the next chapter.
My husband, Ren, and I are trying to simplify our lives as much as possible so we can focus on the important things in life...our health, family, friends and each other.
What do you advise women who want it all these days… marriage, children and a career! How did your life change after you had your kids? Careers are extremely important for women because sometimes life can take a turn and you may be solely responsible for your family. Sadly, I lost my former husband when I was 39. I became the breadwinner and a single mother overnight. I was so grateful to have had a well-established career so I could take care of my family. I had no other choice but to be a "single working mother". When I look back, it was a very stressful and difficult time in my life. 8 years after my husband died, I was very blessed to meet my incredible husband, Ren. He has been a tremendous partner and step-father to my children.
As for me, I did what I needed to do. In the end, it was well worth the struggle and pain. My children are awesome human beings and my greatest source of joy in my life.
What charitable organizations are you – or have recently been - involved with? Too many to list all but here are a few favorites:
Food for the Poor, Inc., Kempe Foundation, Excelsior Youth Center, Notre Dame Haiti Program, Chi Omega Sorority, Global Down Syndrome, DU Sturm School of Law, Bruce B. Johnson endowed scholarship, Colorado Ballet, Denver Art Museum and the Denver Botanical Gardens.
Is there a non-profit event you really look forward to attending each year? We enjoy All of them!!
What is your fondest childhood memory? I grew up in a large Irish Catholic traditional family. I'm the fifth of the six siblings, so there was never a dull moment in our house. My fondest childhood memories were of the special holidays we shared as a family. My mother always made our home exceptionally beautiful and her cooking was extraordinary. It was all about celebrating our faith, traditions and family. I've tried to re-create some of the same traditions for my children over the years.
Another significant memory was going to John F. Kennedy's funeral. To this day, I can still visualize the funeral procession and the impact it had on me and my brothers and sisters.
Can you share with us a life-altering event in your life? The loss of my former husband and my father. They were both extraordinary men and my biggest supporters in life; and I lost them both within six months apart to cancer. I was only 39 years old with two young children, and as you can imagine, it forever changed my life on so many levels.
You and Ren are very involved with child abuse and neglect organizations such as Kempe and Excelsior Youth Center. Why are these the right causes for you?
Ren and I are passionate about helping children who are victims of abuse and neglect. The Kempe Center's programs/treatments offer victims/children of abuse an opportunity for a healthy and productive life. It's such an incredible organization and my husband is the Chair of the Kempe Foundation and has done a wonderful job. And for me, I feel it's my responsibility as a woman and a mother, to help women in need, from all walks of life, have an opportunity to better their lives. It's been very gratifying to help raise awareness and funding for the Excelsior Youth Center. I've also been very involved in a tremendous organization, Food for the Poor, Inc., raising funds for the poorest of the poor orphanages in Nicaragua. Just this year, we raised the funds to build a new orphanage (to be completed in December). Additionally, we've renovated 2 orphanages and a school in remote areas of Nicaragua.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Exploring the world with my family.
What are your favorite leisure time activities? I love being active and enjoy Pilates, yoga, hiking, and I've recently taken up golf. I have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying it very much. Additionally, I love the theater, reading, visiting my kids and traveling the world with family and friends.
Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”? Watching both my children work diligently toward following their dreams and accomplishing extraordinary goals! My son Clayton is in his first year of medical school at Georgetown University. He's dreamed of becoming a doctor since third grade. And my daughter, Regan, is a sophomore and a business major at LMU in Los Angeles. They're both extraordinary human beings and tremendous contributors to our society.
That is all a mother could ask for. My work is done (for the most part)! Ha-ha…
While they are still around, what magazine do you absolutely love to read? I still love reading magazines and subscribe to many including: The Week, Town and Country, Time, Women's Health, and a few local publications as well.
You are always so beautifully dressed; Do you have a “fashion addiction?” I don't think I have a fashion addiction, but I certainly love and appreciate beautiful and well-made clothing.
Of course you look like you are very fit – but, when you have to have a (decadent) snack, what would it be? Anything chocolate!!!
Maureen, besides your family, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My 32 year career in the publishing industry. I'm an entrepreneur at heart and started (and sold) three publishing companies over the last 32 years. Additionally, I worked as Publisher of the Denver Business Journal for over 10 years. My career allowed me to live in wonderful cities such as Chicago, Dallas and of course brought me to Denver.
What would you still like to learn how to do? I have a million items on my list from ballroom dancing to playing bridge. I plan to continue my passion for learning and growing until my last breath.
Do you believe you are where you are supposed to be in life? Yes, no question.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
What one word describes you best? Passionate.
How would others to describe you? I hope they would say that I'm a loving and loyal mother, friend, sister, daughter and wife. Also, a woman of conviction, true to her word, strong leader, interesting, creative, fun, and faithful. Someone who makes others feel happy and special.
What was your first job – as a teen? I went to Catholic schools and wore the same uniform until I went to college. My first job was in retail at a store called Jeans Unlimited so I could afford weekend clothes. My best friends and I worked there and still laugh about our “first real job" experience. I think we were only 14 when we started working there?
I ask most of my married folks this – “What do you think is the secret to “wedded bliss.”? Always try to bring out the best in each other and keep life simple so you can focus on the important things.
Who has been your main mentor in your life? My father. He was a brilliant man, great father and a trusted adviser. I admired him for his unending love, strong work ethic and dedication to our family.
What are your favorite “words of wisdom?” "Courage is being scared to death~ and saddling up anyway".... John Wayne
Go for it! Live Passionately, take risks and never stop growing!
What are some of your other hobbies or interests? Golf, health, fitness, mindfulness, travel and design. I'm currently renovating a new home we've recently purchased. I'm loving the entire process from the architectural design to the art, interior and landscape design. I've managed the entire project along with a fabulous team of designers. I have learned so much, and it's been my favorite project this year.
If you could go anywhere or do anything you wanted to right now, what would it be? I would spend two months in Washington DC with my son Clayton, two months in Southern California with my daughter Regan - and eight months in Italy.
What are some gifts your parents gave you that money can’t buy? My parents were tremendous role models. They taught me that love of family, strong faith, tremendous work ethic, humor and giving back are the keys to happiness.
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently so far? Absolutely nothing. Well, maybe I wish I would have pursued my music and Broadway career.... Never too late?
What’s in the future for Maureen Reagan Cannon… Where do you see yourself 5 years from now, 10 years from now? I'm very focused on this very moment in my life, and I try not to think too far in the future. But, I plan to continue to take risks, learn, grow and continue to plant new seeds in my life!! Most importantly, I hope to always make a positive difference in the world.
What would you like your legacy to be… How do you want to be remembered? As someone who inspired others and made a positive difference in the lives of others.