UCCS Economic Forum to present on region’s future, pandemic impact Oct. 1

2020 UCCS Economic Forum promotional graphic

Colorado Springs and much of the world is facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. The stay-at-home orders have led to business closures, staggering unemployment numbers and a virus-induced recession. As people across the U.S. begin returning to work, the question remains: what does the future hold for the U.S. economy?

The 24th Annual UCCS Economic Forum event will address this question through the theme “Our Resilient Future” from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 1. New this year, the Forum will combine with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center to offer a free virtual event to the Colorado Springs community.  

Headshot of Aikta Marcoulier
Aikta Marcoulier

The first presenter, Aikta Marcoulier, executive director of the Pikes Peak SBDC, will provide data updates on and best practices for local small business. Marcoulier joined the SBDC team as the director of the Pikes Peak Center in May 2012. Prior to the SBDC, she was the director of partnership marketing with the Professional Bull Riders. Aikta is involved in the El Pomar Emerging Leaders Program. She is an active board member of the Pikes Peak Workforce Development Board, Pikes Peak Community College Business Advisory Board, Better Business Bureau Board of Directors, BRCA Girl and the Colorado Business Development Foundation. She serves on numerous committees for the Colorado Springs Business Journal, is a mentor for Leadership Pikes Peak, serves as co-chair for the Census 2020 Business Committee and is on the Technology and Funding Committees for the Colorado SBDC Network. 

Headshot of Tatiana Bailey
Tatiana Bailey

The second presenter will be Tatiana Bailey, Ph.D., director of the UCCS Economic Forum. Bailey will present on the local, state and national economies in the context of COVID-19. Bailey is a leading expert on economics, policy and urban economic development. She also has expertise in public health and the health care industry. She has directed the Forum since June 2014. Previously, she worked on various economic development and health-related grants and contracts in Michigan and taught economics courses. In addition to directing the Forum, Bailey has published in academic journals, frequently writes articles for local papers and appears regularly on local news segments dedicated to the local and state economies. She holds the position of attendant rank assistant professor in the College of Business. 

There will be a short break for a local mixology tutorial with Lee Spirits before the keynote speaker. 

Headshot of Dave Nelsen
Dave Nelsen

Dave Nelsen, a nationally renowned futurist, will deliver the third presentation and the keynote address on how COVID-19 will shape the “new normal” in future years. Nelsen is an award-winning CEO who has founded and run several companies. He has raised more than $70 million in federal, angel investor and venture capital funding. Most importantly, as a CEO himself, Nelsen conducted extensive research on the ways businesses can pivot to have a resilient future, and he has successfully applied these tactics to his own businesses.  

“The College of Business is pleased to bring a trio of leading economic and business experts together to provide important perspectives on the future of our economy,” said Karen Markel, dean of the College of Business. “We look forward to a timely discussion about the economic impact of COVID-19 and how we can work together as a community moving forward.”

UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy and Markel will also provide brief remarks. Samuel Thomas Elliott, a UCCS graduate and Sales Executive at CIENCE, will preside as master of ceremonies. 

Registration is open for the UCCS Economic Forum and State of Small Business. To reserve a ticket for this free event, go to economicforum.eventbrite.com.  


The UCCS Economic Forum is the leading source of unbiased and rigorous information for the Pikes Peak region. Data is continuously updated and actively utilized in the community to inform and drive economic development and business decisions. For more information, visit uccseconomicoforum.com.

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit uccs.edu/business.  

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center is dedicated to helping existing and new businesses grow and prosper in the Pikes Peak Region by providing free and confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs. The SBDC has a team of business experts ready to help you create and retain jobs, secure loans, increase sales, win government contracts, obtain certifications and more. The SBDC combines information and resources from federal, state and local governments with those of the education system and private sector to meet the specialized and complex needs of the small business community. Consulting experts work in partnership to provide entrepreneurs with crucial information that can mean the difference between success and failure. For more information, visit pikespeaksbdc.org/