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Legacy of Strength: A Tribute to Women on International Women’s Day

March 11, 2024

*From the desk of CEO Liz Geisleman*

On this International Women’s Day, I find myself in a reflective mood, eager to share a bit of personal history.

My upbringing was shaped by the influence of strong women, starting with my single mother, who herself was raised by a single mother. Their resilience was born of necessity, but the remarkable outcomes of their strength and perseverance continue to inspire me.

In 1988, when I was just 15, my mother took a bold leap by purchasing Rocky Mountain Reagents. Having been laid off from her job as a medical technologist and consulting on FDA compliance, she stumbled upon this small 585-square-foot company in Washington Park. The owner, Walt, in his 80s, offered her the company for $20,000, equivalent to its annual sales at the time. Despite tight finances, she seized the opportunity. Over the next decade, I witnessed her relentless dedication, consistently increasing the company’s revenue by 20-50% each year through sheer grit and hard work.

In 1998, I joined Rocky Mountain Reagents, wearing many hats as one of only three employees. From delivery driver to hazmat shipper, from bench chemist to marketing manager, I saw firsthand my mother’s unwavering commitment to her vision for the company. By 2008, we had outgrown our space and completed construction on a new facility in Golden, expanding to a substantial 46,000 square feet. My mother’s strength and foresight turned what once seemed impossible into reality.

Throughout it all, my mother has been my hero, advocate, boss, and sometimes even my obstacle. Working alongside her for over 25 years, I witnessed the sacrifices she made, knowing I had to earn my place through hard work and dedication. Now, with my daughters also part of the team, I aim to carry forward the legacy of a single mother and her determined daughter.

To all the women with similar stories of resilience and determination, I salute you. As Eleanor Roosevelt aptly said, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”

Happy International Women’s Day to all.