Pam Shockley-Zalabak, chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and widely regarded as one of the community's more popular and influential leaders, was named the Business Citizen of the Year on Saturday at the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance's annual Business Gala.
Shockley-Zalabak has led the fast-growing school since 2001, when she took over after a former chancellor resigned. She accepted the job permanently the following year.
Since then, Shockley-Zalabak has led UCCS on a whirlwind period of growth that has transformed it from a small commuter-based school to a full-fledged university campus with dorms and parking garages, a community events center, a campus recreation center, a new science and engineering building, new faculty offices and various remodeling projects.
One of UCCS' more recent and high-profile projects was the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, which opened in February 2014 as a venue for on-site medical care, training and research catering to the region's aging population.
But as UCCS has grown, it has also become recognized as a critical economic development engine for the Pikes Peak region through its programs, partnerships and educational initiatives. For example, Shockley-Zalabak and her staff have worked with city, state, business and military leaders to help establish the National Cybersecurity Center at a UCCS-owned building south of the school on North Nevada Avenue.
"It's in recognition of Pam's leadership at the university and its role in reaching far beyond campus," Dirk Draper, the business alliance's president and CEO, said of Shockley-Zalabak's award. "Look at the area surrounding North Nevada and the expansion of the west campus of the university. Look at their role in the national cyber center. All those things have had a major impact of the fabric of our local economy."
Six others were nominated for Business Citizen of the Year Award: Sam Cameron of CameronButcher Commercial Real Estate; businesswoman and philanthropist Kathy Loo of High Valley Group Inc.; Kevin O'Neil of The O'Neil Group Co.; Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado; Judy Mackey, co-owner of the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort; and Bill Stahelin, general manager of Larry H. Miller Toyota in Colorado Springs.
Other awards presented at Saturday's gala included:
- New Business of the Year: Lee Spirits, a Colorado Springs craft gin distillery and tasting room.
- Community Investment of the Year: Blue Dot Place, a new downtown Springs apartment building.
- Company of the Year: Altia Inc., a Colorado Springs software firm.
- Military Affairs Award of Excellence: Hal Littrell, longtime banker, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame member, Springs community leader and philanthropist.
- Special Recognition: Mike Hausman, co-owner of Campbell Homes in Colorado Springs.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228
Facebook: Rich Laden