Cara Neth: Woman of Distinction

Cara Neth, second from left, with Women of Distinction award presenters (from left) Danielle Jordan, Palmer Flowers; Grace Taylor, University of Colorado Health; Jeff Nuttall, publisher, BizWest; and Yvonne Myers, Columbine Health Systems. Photo by Chad Collins, BizWest.

Presidents of Colorado State University rely on her acumen and ability. University employees seek her judgment and advice. Students glow in her advocacy and counsel.

And now, Northern Colorado recognizes the enormous contributions Cara Neth has made, and continues to make, to not only the university but the greater Fort Collins community as well.

Neth has been honored as a Woman of Distinction, one of a dozen women (and one man) chosen by BizWest Media for their contributions to the vitality of Northern Colorado. The Class of 2016 was presented at a breakfast April 13 at the Embassy Suites Loveland, to a crowd of about 500 of the region’s most influential women and men.

Neth serves as Director of Presidential and Administrative Communication in the Office of the President at CSU, and although she is perhaps one of the most sought-out people on campus on a daily basis, she rarely takes credit for her calm, kind, consistent leadership.

“We all count on Cara every day to not only fully understand what we are trying to do as a university and why, but also to help bring poetry to it,” according to CSU President and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank. “Her intelligence and pragmatism are matched only by her writing skill. We are lucky to have Cara Neth at CSU.”

No shrewd career moves

In her remarks at the Women of Distinction event, Neth said she never planned the career path she’s traveled. Instead of shrewd career moves, she said she’s made her career calculations based on what’s really important: “Will I have fun? Will I do good? Can I learn? At Colorado State, I’ve been fortunate to answer ‘yes’ to all those questions on almost a daily basis.”

A true educator outside the classroom, Neth is a longtime Fort Collins community member who cares deeply about her city and the people who live here, advocating for those in need, and for those who need a voice. A graduate of Fort Collins High School and CSU, she served as editor-in-chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, and began her professional career at the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Throughout her career, Neth has been a champion of inclusion and equality – issues she continues to support on campus and off.

For Neth, it’s all about impact and culture and, true to character, in her remarks she credited her colleagues and family for her career success: “I can’t think of one single thing I’ve done on my own.”

And she connected her outlook on life back to the campus and students who have been the focus of her work life for more than two decades: “If you’ve been feeling depressed about the state of our world, spend some time with a college student. They are bright, passionate and hopeful. And you will see our future is in good hands and the kids are alright.”

The Women of Distinction Class of 2016 were selected from more than 80 nominees who live and work in Larimer and Weld counties. Previous honorees with deep ties to Colorado State include Kathy Phifer, Brownie McGraw, Mims Harris, Sue Schell and Paula Edwards.