Colorado Christian University

News: Stafford Named Values-Aligned Executive

Dr. Wess Stafford Named 2020 Values-Aligned Executive

Colorado Christian University presented Dr. Wess Stafford, president emeritus of Compassion International, with the Values-Aligned Executive award during the 2020 Values-Aligned Leadership Summit (VALS).

Stafford was honored during the 17th annual leadership conference. This year's summit was held at the Hyatt Regency in the Denver Tech Center and was attended by over 500 members of the business community, current Colorado Christian University business students, and alumni. VALS was inspired by a group of business executives who were searching for an educational response to an unraveling of the ethical fabric of business in America.

"Dr. Stafford epitomizes what CCU desires for our School of Business and Leadership students," said Eric Hogue, vice president of advancement at CCU. "His commitment to the gospel through ethical and moral business practices is the perfect example to be placed before our students and the whole of the Denver Metro business community -- in the end, this is why so many donors readily love to financially support VALS each year."

As the son of missionaries to the Ivory Coast, Stafford grew up as one of the village children cared for by a wise and loving African "extended family." But his young heart was often broken as he watched his African friends die from the cruel ravages of poverty. Stafford joined the staff of Compassion International in 1977 and worked with the ministry, both overseas and at headquarters. He served as president for 20 years.

Stafford received his Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University in 1986 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Colorado Christian University in 2005.

The Values-Aligned Leadership Summit has become an annual working forum to provide a decision-making model that gives 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. Each year executives from around the country participate in this event to interact with and impact the next generation of business leaders -- students in CCU's business and leadership programs who need and want these executives' perspectives on what true principled leadership should look like in the enterprises they will soon be joining.

"For 17 years, the VALS conference has been on the cutting edge of addressing emerging issues in business and ethics/values," remarked Dr. Kyle Usrey, vice president of academic affairs in the College of Undergraduate Studies.

"The 2020 VALS theme is 'Disruption is Necessary.' Disruption is the word of the day in business and global culture. Christian business people have a unique worldview of how to view disruption as an opportunity, not as merely chaos and failure -- but we must be realistic and sober-minded about the future."

Other guest speakers at the summit included Tami Bandimere of Bandimere Speedway; Jim Johnson, president and CEO of GE Johnson Construction; and Beth Bowlen Wallace, daughter of long-time Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

Colorado Christian University offers numerous bachelors and master's degree programs in accounting, business administration, economics, computer information systems, and organizational management through its College of Undergraduate Studies and College of Adult and Graduate Studies.