It's been a long day of traveling. You've checked into your hotel room, stopped by the registration desk for your conference badge and are now heading to the first workshop of the event … and your feet are already killing you.
Unless, of course, you are Betsy Bohlen.
Even if you have not met Betsy, senior vice president of Pueblo Bank & Trust, you have likely seen her at various industry conferences.
She'll be the one be-bopping around in a business suit and brightly colored, completely coordinated tennis shoes. That's right. Tennis shoes.
"It is hard to talk about your business and maintain a good conversation when your feet are hurting in terrible shoes," Betsy said when asked about her penchant for fancy, if unconventional, footwear.
It started years ago when she worked for 1st Interstate Bank in downtown Denver, where heels could easily get caught in sidewalk crevices.
Or walked out of, which Betsy once did as she got into a light rail train car — leaving one shoe sitting on the platform.
The perils were great enough that Betsy began to opt for tennis shoes anytime she left the office.
Eventually, her preference practical footwear extended to travel. On a business trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Betsy and her coworkers were photographed by a local newspaper while traversing some of the cobblestone streets.
Two of the three women were sporting high heels, but Betsy's feet were far sportier — and wound up featured on the front page.
"About four or five years ago, I decided it was my mission to change the world," Betsy said. "People need to start wearing more comfortable shoes, especially at conferences!"
Betsy listed the benefits of wearing more forgiving footwear, including:
- opportunities to be unique — Betsy's tennis shoes always match her outfit. In fact, she brings upwards of 10 pairs with her to any given event. And people always remember the shoes;
- better business — it's hard to stand on concrete floors for 10 to 12 hours in wingtips, heels or other "conventional" business footwear. If you are thinking about your aching feet, you are not thinking about your business;
- safety — business shoes tend to be slick on the bottom, pointy-toed and squeaky-stiff, all of which can lead to accidents; and
- comfort — your feet aren't killing you after a hard day's work.
Betsy and the Pueblo Bank & Trust team will be continuing the good work — in both ATM bank sponsorship and the promotion of reasonable footwear — next week at the 2017 ATMIA U.S. Conference in Orlando, Florida.
"We have some big plans for this year's event," said Betsy. "It's going to be fun!"