Leadership for the Future

 Colorado Christian University held its third annual Values-Aligned Leadership Summit (VALS) on March 30 at the Hyatt Regency in the Denver Tech Center. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate students at CCU were joined by nearly 90 senior-level business executives and CCU faculty and staff to discuss the role of values and ethics in today's business world and the theme for this year's conference: "The Inter-Generational Transfer of Leadership."

Keynote speakers included Eric Pillmore, senior vice president of Corporate Governance for Tyco International and Francis X. Maguire, former senior executive of American Airlines, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Federal Express. Additional speakers included Dr. Sid Buzzell, CCU professor of Bible Exposition and Leadership and general editor of The Leadership Bible, and Dr. Larry Donnithorne, CCU president and author of "The West Point Way of Leadership."

Paul Lewan of Lewan and Associates and Eric Pillmore of Tyco received 2005 Values-Aligned Leader Awards. "This group has become an annual accountability group for me and I look forward to my interaction with the students and executives each year," Pillmore said.

Current CCU senior and conference participant, Sarah Larsen, found the conference to be a valuable experience. "VALS gives me hope that there are still business executives out there who care enough about values and ethics that they would take a day to come and invest in the future leaders of America and share their experiences with them," she said. "Everyone benefits at VALS; students learn from the past and executives catch a glimpse of the future."

Kim Christian, one of the student organizers for VALS 2005 appreciates the efforts of everyone involved. "The only way that a conference of this caliber and magnitude can be successful is through the support of business professionals and students alike who are committed to excellence within the ethics arena regarding current business practices," she said.

Sponsors who helped make this year's conference possible include: Tyco, Cap Logistics, Colorado Business Roundtable, Guild Associates, LLC, GetBacon.com, Nichez, Lewan and Associates, Thom Scheffel and Associates, Allstate Insurance Company, and Primerica.

Dr. Chuck King, dean of CCU's School of Business and Leadership, believes the conference impacts both students and business leaders. "This unique leadership conference was inspired by a group of business people who were searching for an educational response to what seems to be an unraveling of the ethical fabric of business in America," he said. "This group became committed to helping construct a decision-making model that would give business enterprises a 'methodology for insuring values-alignment' within their organizations as well as a 'process for choosing the best ethical decision from the alternatives.' The Values-Aligned Leadership Summit has become an annual event that is growing in its impact and prestige."

For more information, visit the CCU VALS Web site.