Have you noticed how many accomplished women we have in Denver these days? Consider Michelle Balch-Lyng, with over 15 years of experience in strategic communications, as one of them. Lyng also takes pride in her role as the wife of Ben Lyng and mother to 4-year old Andrew. With her organizational skills and ability to focus, she juggles all of her roles with aplomb.
Ms. Lyng, Founder/CEO of Novitas Commucations, headquartered at 1732 Wazee Street in LoDo, was recently awarded three different awards for her business achievements, community participation, and reinvention of existing programs. Finding Michelle highly inspirational, The Denver Business Journal Bizwomen’s program has brought Lyng, and other women of her caliber, into the national spotlight. These strong, smart women are changing their companies, their cities, which impacts our world. The woman receiving these awards are shamelessly referred to as “Rule breakers, Risk Takers & News makers!” The three awards Michelle can rightfully brag about:
1. “The Denver Business Journal’s Women to Watch and Bizwomen Headliners in Media, Marketing, and Communication” awarded to her on January 14, 2019. A total of 80 women were chosen as “Women to Watch” in different categories nationally.
2. Chosen one of Colorado Biz Magazine’s “Top 5 Most Influencial Young Professionals in Colorado” on January 17, 2019.
3. A winner of the “National Reed Award 2019” for working against oil and gas ballot initiative 112, and for the best Spanish Language Ad 2019 for a ballot initiative.
Balch Lyng says: “Our company, Novitas Communications, is a small firm with big results, one that often considers clients as friends. That kind of care pays off.” Under Lyng’s leadership, Novitas has consistently enjoyed revenue growth of 30 percent to 40 percent for each of its 10 years. The firm serves as the first line of communications defense for Colorado’s oil and gas industry, and it has worked tirelessly to help a client bring power back to Puerto Rico following the 2017 hurricane. In a unique Colorado connection, Gallup recognized Novitas’ work on the “Spot the Pot” effort, for having “changed the national narrative on the contentious issue of marijuana edibles".
“Our clients’ triumphs and setbacks are our triumphs and setbacks,” Lyng says, “and we understand our clients’ pain points acutely.”
Known for her strong culture of achievement and mentoring and motivating women, Michelle encourages women from all walks of life to have high expectations and develop strong leadership skills.
Often advising Fortune 100 companies, some of her clients have included the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, Washington Post and numerous media outlets. The Denver Post called her one of Colorado’s
“Up and Coming Most Influential Women,” and she is known in her industry as a “strategic communications expert.”
Active in both the private sector and the political world, Michelle has managed political campaigns, helped produce segments for “Women in Banking and Financial Services” for television news programs, and authored numerous publications.
Lyng has served on the boards of The Lincoln Club of Colorado, The First Tee of Colorado, and as the Philanthropy Chair of the Denver Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association. Ms. Lyng was also a member of the University Club of Denver.
Always wanting to do her part to help others, Michelle said when asked about community involvement: “I understand the importance of giving back to the community, and Novitas Communications’ very own nonprofit, reGENERATION, focuses on helping millennials find greater opportunity. As philanthropy chair for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association, we have helped raise more than $1 million for Craig Hospital, our Colorado-based nationally recognized spinal cord injury treatment center, through the charity’s annual “Book and Author Event”. The “First Tee of Colorado”, uses the sport of golf to instill values such as discipline, courtesy and respect in children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
We know you will find Michelle Balch-Lyng as exceptional and inspiring as we do and for sure be hearing more about her accomplishments in the future.
What do you do to relax after a jam-packed day? Hanging out with my 4-year-old son, Andrew, who genuinely is the funniest and kindest person I know.
What is your “Guilty Pleasure” Renovating. Finding missed opportunities and revitalizing properties is a passion.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement: Building a business that allows our team to learn and grow. I’m also proud of our "Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award of Excellence."
What advice do you have for achieving personal growth? Have an open heart and willingness to look honestly at successes and failures.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what else would you consider doing as a career? It would be fun to work in private equity. I’d also love to make documentary films because real life often is more interesting than anything a writer could invent.
Who is a person you most admire and would like to meet? Elon Musk. He is an incredible visionary, and I’m blown away by his passion for his vision. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when he convinced investors that a rocket to Mars was essential.
What advice do you have for young people just getting into the workforce? Don’t be afraid to think big and make bold moves. Don't ever let anyone tell you your idea or dream is too big.
How do we inspire others to give back to some of the wonderful causes out there? In my work, specifically, I’ve always found that it’s important to talk about the humanity of issues. It’s so important to show – my favorite is through video – the people who are impacted either negatively or positively by public policy decisions and causes. It’s easy to fight for people, but it’s much harder, as it should be, to fight for abstract ideas. Even in the mundane, there are winners and losers and telling these stories can only inspire action.
How does it feel to be recognized so highly among your peers? As I get older, I find that I admire more and more people. When I was young, I thought it would be the opposite. So, these honors mean so much to me because there are so many who deserve them. It’s certainly humbling and a reminder of how far we have come as a company. That said, since most of these are professional accolades, I would also say that this is what I have been training to do for the last 20 years of my professional career. Excellence, fueled by passion, is a daily habit and we improve inch by inch. These awards are, in large part, a credit to the personal and professional teams I have around me. We’ve achieved a lot, but I also feel like we have so much more work to do. In some ways, we are just getting warmed up.
What do you wish you had more time to do? Everything. Time is my only non-renewable resource. I want to take oil painting classes with my son. I am always in awe of the beauty he sees around him. I would love another few hours in my day just to spend with him, not doing homework, not driving to something, just being – before he thinks he’s too cool to hang out with me.
Do you and your family have any fun plans for the summer? We spend an inordinate amount of time at the Castle Pines Village pool in the summer, so we’ll likely be there in the inflatable pirate ship (my son’s, not mine). We usually take one beach vacation per year, but we are skipping it this year due to our plans later this summer. We probably will go to Aspen for the Fourth of July.
We have some very exciting plans for mid-August.
What do you want people to know about you? None of what my company or my family has achieved would have been possible without the team I have around me. From my husband, who is more than an equal partner around our house and a phenomenal sounding board for tough issues (even when I don’t like the advice, he’s usually right), to my mom who picks my son up from school a few days per week so I can work later or attend work functions, to my office family who is working hard for our clients every single day, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are cheering you on in deed or spirit. I have that and it’s made all the difference in my world.