• Meet Kjell Mitchell, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

    POSTED August 21, 2017

Beginning in late January up until the first stretch of December, Kjell Mitchell can be found pedaling one of his many bikes to his job as president and CEO of Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. The daily, 15-mile bike ride in mountainous Glenwood Springs may sound strenuous for many, but not for a man driven by equal parts enthusiasm and dedication during his 40-year career at the world’s largest hot springs pool accompanied by a lodge and spa. 

“Finding your passion delivers a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. There is no other path if one sticks with it,” says Mitchell, who can’t imagine a career outside of Glenwood Hot Springs. In his four decades with the company, Mitchell has held positions in nearly all facets of the operation, including toting luggage as a bellhop and overseeing major renovation projects as general manager. He also was part of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association board of directors for 16 years, the organization that named him Hotelier of the Year in 2010. 

Of all his endeavors, Mitchell says one of his most memorable experiences was traveling to Beppu, Japan, for 10 days to represent the United States in the International Cultural Exchange on Hot Springs.

Although he’s capable of doing it all, Mitchell admits it has been a challenge learning to allow others to share the workload. “Being hands-on allows a leader to learn the nuts and bolts,” he says. “It allows a deeper appreciation of the efforts put forth by staff members to do their jobs … and it transformed me from doing it myself to accomplishing things through others.”

Depending on counterparts is crucial for a president and CEO whose days are filled with everything from corporate oversight and asset management to planning the future of Glenwood Hot Springs. “We look forward to continued stewardship of the healing waters of the hot springs, making people feel better, and leading our 129-year-old business into a better place,” he says.  

Perhaps it’s the healing waters at Glenwood Hot Springs or maybe the daily bike ride, but it looks like the voyage for Kjell Mitchell is far from over as he has no foreseeable plans to retire. “The journey is a good ride filled with lots of highs while the lows are accepted for what they are, an occasional hiccup in the journey.” 

For Andrea Mokros, Minneapolis-based public relations executive and independent event consultant, the last decade has been a whirlwind. From serving as special assistant to President Obama and director of strategic planning for then-first lady Michelle Obama, to welcoming newcomers to the Bold North as the vice president of communications and events for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, Mokros shares the key takeaways that inspire her work today. 


Tony Michaels is no stranger to navigating choppy waters. The CEO and executive director of The Parade Company, which puts on traditions like America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Ford Fireworks, took the helm of the Detroit nonprofit during tough times, at the height of the financial crisis. “2008, 2009, are you kidding me?” says Michaels.


Originally from Ontario, Heather Odendaal got her start in event planning early, serving as her high school’s head of social events. She ended up on the West Coast, courtesy of her studies at the University of British Columbia, and launched her career in Whistler, working for the resort in marketing and events. Today, she’s CEO of Bluebird Strategy, a boutique event planning firm, and CEO and founder of WNORTH, a global community of women who have their sights set on the C-suite.