Katie Svihlik-Burpo

Founder and CEO
GoldStar Learning Options, Inc

Location: Denver, CO
Founded: 2011
Industry: Comprehensive Therapy, Education and Behavioral Health and support Services

*Second Year Honoree*

You lead from behind in times of success but lead from the front in times of crisis.

And sometimes, you must do both.

In an ever-changing world, Katie Svihlik-Burpo knows the importance of being adaptable - and learning as you go.

Svihlik-Burpo, CEO, GoldStar Learning Options, Inc., said that her personal and professional leadership growth has been monumental in the last year. The lessons, coaching, and mentors she has connected with have provided valuable information throughout the year to apply to her industry.

“It is challenging to only select one lesson as I have two that have changed the trajectory of the entire company,” she said. “The first is to let go of what you cannot control. It is imperative to, not only trust, but empower those around you to make mistakes and let go of the control as well.” She added, “The next lesson is discovering and actually prioritizing working on the business to make it stronger and more sustainable. An example I lived by, and a challenge I gave to my team this year, is to be decisive, show action forward and lead in the times of change and struggles to show the confidence in you and show the strength of GoldStar.”

Svihlik-Burpo’s role has shifted many times through the year. She became a support for the management team and was able to redesign the company’s entire service model - about a dozen times.

“With each change we faced, I had to inspire the team to focus on how important and valued what we are continuing to accomplish is to the people we serve, and at the same time, not to put so much heavy weight on the elements we cannot control and what we cannot do for others,” she said. “I helped them learn new roles and strategies to see we are stronger as a team and with everyone looking to me for guidance and action, I discovered and engaged my team to know, I am only one person.”

She said she instilled the importance that, “our reach together is exponentially further when we can lead and guide management teams to in turn, empower teams of their own. Each and every day, our goal had to be giving hope to our employees that together, we will not only survive, but thrive through this.”

Svihlik-Burpo managed this balance with leadership characteristics of a true Titan. “On one side we had clients with budgets cut in half, but the support needed by them was not going down, on the other hand we had clients who were processing hundreds of thousands of unemployment checks and the systems were not ready or even designed for such a surge in unemployment,” she said. “We supported both types of clients on the spectrum and continued to become even more trusted partners to our client base.”

Svihlik-Burpo said that this approach again has been fruitful, and the company has been seeing positive results in the beginning of 2021 with clients asking us for more help which will result in continued growth.

“It is with this information I have been able to identify the priorities to focus,” she said. “I have implemented the beginning of moving our internal processes and operational tasks to the appropriate people as well as identified where my leadership team will best thrive.”

She explained that this perspective and leadership has catapulted the drive for success in each of them and reignited their purpose and passion in what they are doing, and that much of her momentum and growth in the past year is due to her interactions with other Titans.

“Each Titan meeting and event held this year has given me a new idea to implement and reinforce. With all the peaks and valleys so many have encountered this year, I am grateful I learned so much, and met so many, to inspire my own growth and progress!”

Svihlik-Burpo shared her words of success: “By taking initiative, beginning momentum, and empowering your team to face those challenges, your team continues to lead, and they are equipped to embrace the change on the horizon.”

Svihlik-Burpo is the example of an adaptable Titan of industry.

Presented by:
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Alliance
Community Banks of Colorado
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"Let go of what you cannot control. It is imperative to, not only trust, but empower those around you to make mistakes and let go of the control as well."