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Profile: Northglenn Mayor Kathie Novak

If Kathie Novak had needed help for her campaign for mayor of Northglenn several years ago, she wouldn###t have had to look far: She has some 75 family members within a 15 minute drive of her home in the city just north of Denver. Today the part-time mayor, educator, and mother of five has achieved a happy balance between parenting and making a contribution outside the home through intellectual and stimulating work. Novak speaks to the Colorado Women###s Chamber of Commerce North luncheon on September 14 at the Omni-Interlocken. Go to www.cwcc.org for more information and to register.

Novak was always a high-achiever. Senior class president at Northglenn High School, she earned a BS in organization management and communication followed by a MS in management from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Novak began her career as a group insurance underwriter with Great West Life Insurance, but after having her first child, she faced the tough prospect of returning to her busy job full-time. She was fortunate enough to work part-time although she always intended to return to her "overachieving" ways. "What I found, however, was that I could do it all, but not all at the same time. I realized that I wanted to be able to balance and integrate my personal and professional lives," she says.

She became associate director of the Presidential Leadership Class at CU Boulder on a part-time basis, while teaching in the Master###s Program in Business Administration at the University of Colorado at Denver. Today, in addition to being mayor and teaching, she is also director of the Rocky Mountain Program at the Center for the Improvement of Public Management at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver. She###s served as major for two and a half years, prior to which she was a member of the Northglenn city council for 10 years.

What###s made all this possible, and with five kids? "I have a tremendous amount of flexibility with these jobs, and it###s easy when you have great kids," she says. Her children are aged 18, 15, 12, 8 and 6 years old. Her husband is a senior staff engineer at Qwest.

In terms of women###s involvement in politics, Novak is a believer. "It is important that women get involved at all ages and stages of life. If you look at elected officials throughout the U.S., women make up only 20%, and these are not good numbers. It###s possible to do better, and we need to," she says.