In this month’s issue, we salute some of the many outstanding women of NOCO, including a young, Fort Collins pastry chef, a pioneer in animal pain management, a retailer on the forefront of the CBD movement and the new president of Colorado State University.

NOCO Style was fortunate to get an exclusive interview with Joyce McConnell, CSU’s 15th president and the first woman in the school’s history to hold the title. She brings wisdom, wit, class and experience from her 24-year career at West Virginia University, and we invite you to get to know her starting on page 24. From the millennial crowd, talented young pastry chef Gabi Gudino shares the secret to her success on page 42 (hint: work hard), and more outstanding women present their own stories beginning on page 56.

Animal lover that I am, the article on page 14 really strikes a chord. Human encounters with wildlife are becoming increasingly common, and almost always the animals suffer for it. Writer Dan England gives some valuable tips about what we all must do to protect the wild creatures whose shrinking space we share.

Did you know that NOCO is fast becoming a mecca for independent film? The Horsetooth International Film Festival kicks off its three-day run on Sept. 6 with a black-tie gala at the Museum of Discovery, followed by two days of events at the Rialto and the Lyric. Don’t miss this showcase of talent and diversity, and while you’re there, send your pictures to social@nocostyle.com and we’ll share them on our social media platforms.

Fall brings a colorful display of glistening golds to our landscape, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to take a drive on our scenic byways. Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer profiles some of the best routes for leaf-peeping, starting on page 50.

As we wrap up the dog days of summer, we say goodbye and thank you to our editorial intern, Megan Allbrooks. Megan helped with editing, wrote and posted press releases, coordinated our About Town section, attended networking events, and even earned her first print byline in our August issue. Megan was a breath of fresh air, and we wish her all the best as she starts her sophomore year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

And though we are sad to see Megan go, we are happy to welcome Jordan Secher to the NOCO Style team. Jordan interned with us last winter and, after graduating from the University of Wyoming, has joined us as our full-time marketing communications coordinator. She’s already hard at work on our events calendar, social media posts, newsletters and all things digital. Jordan grew up in NOCO, and if you haven’t already met her, please reach out to her at jordan@nocostyle.com or look for her at many of the fun events happening in NOCO this fall.