10 Jan Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1983 Scholar Lori Marchando
Boettcher Scholar Year: 1983
College/Degree: Colorado State University – B.S. in chemical engineering
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I have my own business providing project management and custom database software for agricultural businesses in Colorado, including the country’s largest satellite cattle auction firm and several irrigation companies. In 2007, I combined my children’s participation in competitive gymnastics and my knack for event planning to become first the coordinator, and now the director, of the Rocky Mountain Open Men’s Junior Olympic Gymnastics Meet, held every year at the Air Force Academy. My work is different every day, which keeps life interesting.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
After graduating from CSU, I moved to Los Angeles to realize my dream of working for the space program. As a design engineer with AlliedSignal Aerospace, I worked as part of the team developing the carbon dioxide removal system currently flying on the International Space Station. Being a Boettcher Scholar gave me the courage to make this first big move, but I always hoped to return to Colorado. In 1994, my husband and I moved back, started our family, and raised two amazing children, Paul and Sydney. I’m excited for the opportunity to give back to the Boettcher community through the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work.
Most of my volunteer activities have been associated with my children’s interests. I was a Girl Scout troop leader for 13 years, treasurer and volunteer coordinator for the Highlands Ranch High School Band Boosters for three years, a member of the School Accountability Committees at both Highlands Ranch and Rock Canyon high schools for seven years, and the event organizer for the Rock Canyon/Regis Jesuit High School “Catch for the Cure” breast cancer awareness softball game and fundraiser from 2014-2016. Now that I’m an empty nester I’m looking for new opportunities to get involved in the greater Colorado community!
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
The best advice I received at my first engineering job was not to worry if you don’t have all the answers but to ask questions and learn something from each person you interact with. I would offer this same advice to all new graduates. Never feel like you must know all the answers, but always stay curious and open to new experiences. Getting a degree is hard work and takes a lot of dedication, but it is not the end of your education. In fact, it’s really the start!
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
I would enjoy having dinner with the astronauts from the Mercury program. My dream of working for the space program started when I saw the movie The Right Stuff. Talking with John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, or Alan Shepard about their training and experiences in space would be fascinating. I would want to know more about how they and their families dealt with the excitement and the dangers of early space travel, what motivated them to join the program, and what they want their legacy to be.