Colorado Business Leaders and CCU Students Pursue Higher Standard of Leadership

Colorado Christian University held its fourth annual Values-Aligned Leadership Summit (VALS) on April 20 at the Belmar Event Center in Lakewood, Colorado. With more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from CCU as well as over 200 business executives and CCU faculty and staff in attendance, the theme for the day's discussion was "Supporting Tomorrow's Leaders Today." This aptly describes the purpose of VALS, which is to provide students with the opportunity to dialogue with business executives about the role of ethics and values in today's business world.

Congressman Bob Beauprez (U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado) opened the day by commenting that the "Values-Aligned Leadership Summit is a most appropriate cause...the Summit is the right thing to do to remind ourselves of our roots and foundations."

The keynote speakers for the day were Mr. Dudley "Bo" Mitchell, president and co-founder of the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation and chaplain for the Denver Nuggets, and Mr. Dan Issel, the former head coach and general manager for the Denver Nuggets and member of the NBA Hall of Fame. Mr. Mitchell exhorted students and executives alike to strive to be men and women of character, competency, vision, and commitment. Dan Issel asserted, "Whatever you do, you should want to do the very best you can do." In addition, Dr. Larry Donnithorne, CCU president and author of "The West Point Way of Leadership," and Dr. Sid Buzzell, CCU professor and general editor of "The Leadership Bible," offered insight to attendees on leadership and personal integrity.

Hal Krause, CCU trustee and president of Denver-based Crestcom International, Ltd., earned the 2006 Values-Aligned Leader Award. In receiving the award, he commented that "a great leader causes people to believe in themselves" and wished the conference participants greatness. Dr. Chuck King, dean of the School of Business at CCU, received the VALS Appreciation Award in recognition of his visionary commitment in the formation of the VALS conference. Dr. King explained his goals by stating, "This has been a vision from the beginning of a coalition of business people and students. That's what this is about." Earlier in the day, King challenged the executives present to be good role models for business students.

Among the more than 30 sponsors for the event were gold-level sponsors General Air Service and Supply, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, R&R Millwork Inc., Lee Architects/Interior Design, Millennium Bank, and Young Life.

The statement of purpose for VALS includes this premise: "It is time to reclaim the values that leaders throughout the ages have possessed with regard to stewardship, ethics, and values-aligned decision making. It is time to elevate and demand leadership accountability, and for new role models to emerge. It is time for us to help define that pathway." Students and executives alike left the fourth annual VALS challenged by speakers and by one another to pursue that higher standard of leadership. VALS 2006 proved an event that continues the legacy of changing the paradigm for the next generation of leaders. VALS 2007 is scheduled for April 19, 2007.

For more information, please visit the VALS Web site.