Planning to be a history major, Bonita L. Lahey came to college in Colorado and immediately noticed the rocks. Thus, she decided to study an older history called deep time in geology. While pursuing academia, she worked as a petrologist, which is a branch of geology that studies rocks and the conditions under which they form. Ms. Lahey’s original education was as a geologist, but at the time she received a degree, geology was not a particular field that was interested in hiring women. Therefore, she went to work for several engineering companies. Now that she is retired, she has gone back to geology.
Ms. Lahey began her professional career as an executive at U.S. West (Qwest) in Denver in 1977, remaining in this role for 18 years. She then served as vice president of Sempra Energy in Los Angeles from 1995 to 1997, assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1998 to 1999, the chief operating officer and chief marketing officer of CH2MHill Communications Group in Englewood, CO, from 2000 to 2002, and president of B.L. Lahey Consulting, Inc., in Denver from 2002 to 2012. Currently, Ms. Lahey is a research associate in geology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 2000, and a tour guide at Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, CO, since 2012.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Lahey pursued a formal education at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, earning a Bachelor of Science. She then attended the Colorado School of Mines, where she received a Master of Science in geology, and completed postgraduate coursework at the University of Colorado. Ms. Lahey went on to attain a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1977.
Active in her local community, Ms. Lahey was vice chair of the Mile-High chapter of the American Red Cross in Denver from 2001 to 2010, and chair of the networks committee of the Women’s Vision Foundation in Denver from 2001 to 2012. Since 2015, she has also been the president of her local neighborhood association, which is a group of residents or property owners who advocate for or organize activities within a neighborhood. Additionally, Ms. Lahey has contributed myriad articles to scientific journals.
In light of her accomplishments, Ms. Lahey was awarded the Service Award by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and was named Person of the Year by the Inter Neighborhood Cooperation in Denver in 2012. She has had many other highlights, notably being able to reinvent herself. One of the biggest things that she was involved in was the Equal Access Act in 1984 related to AT&T, which gave consumers access to more choices and lower prices.