College of Business announces new head of Economic Forum, registration for annual event

Bill Craighead

The UCCS Economic Forum is excited to introduce its new director, Bill Craighead, ahead of its 27th Annual Economic Forum event.  

Craighead is a Colorado native who worked for a financial trade publisher in New York City after graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia and has spent the past 18 years as a college faculty member at various institutions, including Colorado College and the U.S. Air Force Academy. His academic research focuses on topics related to macroeconomics.  

“We’re so excited to have Dr. Craighead on board,” said Thomas Aicher, dean of the College of Business. “Bill brings a wealth of macroeconomic experience to the director position as both an experienced researcher and experienced faculty member and teacher. As a Colorado native and long-time Colorado Springs resident, Bill will provide relevant, pertinent, and applicable insights on the local and regional economic indicators. There are so many exciting things on the horizon for the Economic Forum, and having Bill at the helm positions the Economic Forum well for its next chapter.”  

Craighead will join the university’s team of economic experts at the 27th Annual UCCS Economic Forum in September. The event is free and open to the public.

For over 26 years, the leading source of economic data and insights in the Pikes Peak Region has been this longstanding community event. Hundreds of attendees gather annually at the event, which will be headlined this year by national speaker Eve Lieberman, executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

The Economic Forum will take place on September 7 from 12-5 p.m. at the Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater. The event begins at 1 p.m., with doors opening at 12 p.m.

Joe Craig, outgoing Director of the UCCS Economic Forum, and Craighead will present on the local, state and national economies.  

New this year, two breakout sessions will feature topics on “Housing Affordability: What’s on the Horizon?” and “Building a Strong Foundation: Strategies for CHIPS Act.” Each breakout session will feature a facilitator from the UCCS College of Business and regional experts on each topic.  

“Housing Affordability: What’s on the Horizon?” speakers include:

  • Dr. Dustin Bluhm (Facilitator), Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Operations; Associate Professor of Management, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  • Jim Harris (Panelist), Sr. Vice President Corporate & Commercial Banking, U.S. Bank
  • Jack Tiebout (Panelist), Senior Program Manager, Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT)
  • Pastor Ben Anderson, Executive Director, Solid Rock Community Development Corporation
  • Lee Patke, Executive Director, Greccio Housing

“Building a Strong Foundation: Strategies for CHIPS Act” speakers include:  

  • Dr. Matthew Metzger (Facilitator), Management Department Chair; Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  • Lindsay Pack (Panelist), Chief Executive Officer, InnovaFlex Foundry
  • Daniel Salvetti (Panelist), Semiconductor Industry Manager Global Business Development, Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT)
  • Robert Newbold (Panelist), Director of Client Services, Manufacturing Edge
  • Dr. Marla Dowell, Director of CHIPS R&D Metrology Program, NIST

“This flagship event is always a highlight of our year in the College of Business,” said Aicher. “Interim Director Dr. Joe Craig, his team, and new director Dr. Bill Craighead have worked so hard to prepare for this exciting new installment of the Economic Forum. We look forward to hosting our community and our partners as we look back at the previous year and look forward to the upcoming year!”

Following the presentations there will be an in-person happy hour networking event hosted in the Ent Center for the Arts foyer. Attendees will receive a drink ticket at check-in, which can be redeemed by showing the ticket at the bar during the networking hour.  

Registration is open for the UCCS Economic Forum. To register, please visit the 27th Annual Economic Forum Registration Page.

About the Economic Forum

With a vision for business partnership and local economic insights, the first UCCS Economic Forum, formerly named the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, took place at The Broadmoor Hotel 26 years ago on September 10, 1997. The Forum now holds dozens of presentations per year, produces monthly economic reports and acts as an economic development resource for the community at large.  

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 the UCCS Economic Forum Website.  

About the College of Business

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