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E2W Team 

Engage to Win's (E2W) team of persuasion mentors - all women - possesses unique talents and experience, deriving from their work as authors, talk radio hosts, public speakers, university professors, and leadership coaches, informing every E2W service. 

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Melanie Sturm,

Founder & PRINCIPal

Since 2011, Melanie Sturm has been a columnist at the Aspen Times and across the Rocky Mountains, tempting readers to “Think Again, you might change your mind."  Her commentary has also been published in the Denver Post, and nationally in the Washington Examiner and Daily Caller. 

In her effort to entice people out of their thought silos, Melanie exposes her audience to facts and perspectives they may not have considered, while taking occasional detours to write on the meaning of life. Taking on the most controversial issues, Melanie leads readers toward uniting conclusions, demonstrating how much common ground we actually share.  Though she hopes to change minds, her goal is to open them, for a free and civil society depends on an informed and thoughtful citizenry.

Having learned through her column how to communicate with people who think they disagree, Melanie launched Engage to Win (E2W) in 2013 to teach persuasive communications, collaborating at its debut with Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, whose mantra – “the winning side always fights for people, not things” – is at the core of E2W.

In addition to conducting persuasion workshops and private coaching, Melanie speaks publicly, sharing her lessons on how to uncover and fortify common ground and agreement, especially on the hot-button issues that are frequently used to divide people. Melanie has trained elected officials, candidates, and grassroots activists, non-profit leaders, and has been a featured presenter at major conferences, including The Policy Circle, Independent Women's Voice, Turning Point USA, Republican Governors Association, Foundation For Government Accountability, Americans For Prosperity, Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference, Colorado Alliance for Mineral and Royalty Owners, Heritage Foundation Resource Bank, American Legislative Executive Council, The Fund For American Studies, and the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

In addition to being a columnist and public speaker, Melanie has 25 years of finance experience, most recently in private equity. Previously, she specialized in project finance at International Finance Corporation, and Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley (London) and Drexel Burnham Lambert (New York). Melanie has an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and undergraduate degrees in international relations and economics from Tufts University. Melanie is a graduate of Leadership Program of the Rockies.

For an introduction to Melanie’s persuasive commentary, visit her column website – www.ThinkAgainUSA.com. To engage her to do a persuasion workshop or talk, email Lynette Lacerda at lynette@engage2win.org.

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Antonette Delauro Smith,

Co-Founder & Principal

Co-founder of E2W and Persuasion Coach, Antonette DeLauro Smith is an award winning marketing and communications executive whose unique skills in branding, messaging, reputation management and community engagement have benefited public and private sector organizations. Known for her energy and creativity, Antonette is a sought after coach and adviser for individuals and organizations seeking to connect effectively with their key audiences.

Prior to helping found Engage to Win, Antonette served in leadership roles with several Fortune 500 companies, including First Data, Western Union and CH2M HILL. In addition, she worked for the US Senate in Washington, DC, for the State of Colorado at the Division of Parks, and she has been involved with several candidate and issues campaigns.

Antonette holds her BA in political science from The Colorado College and an MBA from the University of Denver – Daniels College of Business. She is a graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber’s Leadership Denver program, the Leadership Program of the Rockies, and she holds her Six Sigma green belt certification.


Krista Kafer,

Co-Founder & Principal

Co-founder of E2W and Persuasion Coach, Krista Kafer is a weekly Denver Post columnist and television and radio commentator, with her own afternoon-drive radio program on 630 KHOW in Denver. She also teaches communication and political science courses at Regis University and University of Colorado - Denver. 

A Colorado native, Krista returned to Colorado in 2004 after nine years in the nation’s capital where she served as the senior expert on education policy at the influential Heritage Foundation. She was regularly cited in analysis in leading newspapers including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostUSA Today, and the Chicago Tribune, and magazines such as Business Week, Forbes, World Magazine, and The Economist.

She has been interviewed on numerous radio and television programs including CNN’s “Live from the Headlines,” FOX News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” “Studio B with Shepard Smith,” and “The Big Story with John Gibson,” Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” and “Joe Scarborough Country”, and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “The Tavis Smiley Show.” On several occasions, Ms. Kafer testified before Congress and state legislatures. She was also a frequent panelist and guest speaker at national and international conferences.

More of a libertarian and constitutionally incapable of outrage, Krista endeavors to do thoughtful commentary, teaching others to do the same in order to preserve our civil society. The art of persuasion, Krista believes, is like playing pool; a smooth, strategic shot beats awkward or forceful every time.

In her spare time, Krista enjoys international travel, spending time with family, and hiking with her dog Bacon. Krista is also a graduate of Leadership Program of the Rockies.


Bobbie Daniel

Bobbie Daniel, is a Colorado native, born in Meeker, Colorado to a 6th generation pioneer family. Married to Nicholas Daniel and the mother of four children, Bobbie and her family live in Fruita, Colorado where they love the outdoors and the tight-knit community.

Bobbie is a graduate of AmeriCorps NCCC Class VI, and The Leadership Program of the Rockies where she was honored with the Steve Wesley Wright Legacy Award. 

Bobbie started her own small business at the age of 23 as a salon owner. After a decade of service to and conversation with her clients, she realized that many people -- regardless of political stripes -- were feeling disenfranchised and that they were losing options and choices in their own life. This led her to sit at her kitchen table and write "real life" policy solutions in her book Solutions From A Nobody: Using Founding Principles to Solve Modern Day Problems.

In striving to empower individuals to be the architect of their own lives, Bobbie co-founded Community Mentor Project, an organization that connects mentors with teenagers in local public schools. In addition, Bobbie is the founding President of Moms Empower Moms -- an organization committed to civic education of moms -- and the founding President of Western Slope Liberty Toastmasters. She opened up for Donald Trump while on the campaign trail in 2016 in her hometown, speaking from her heart to voice the concerns of her own community, and "Small Town USA."

In an effort to reach the everyday person with a message of empowerment, she co-hosts, #realtalk via the FreedomVsForce Network, bringing valuable insight about civic knowledge, politic issues, ideas, in a manner that strives for organic relatability, not perfection. 

Bobbie is a strategist and adviser to numerous political campaigns and organizations.  


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