College of Business announces winner of inaugural Southern Colorado Ethical Leadership Award

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program (DFEI) in the College of Business, in collaboration with schools in the Southern Colorado Ethics Consortium, have awarded the first Southern Colorado Ethical Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding organizations.

The Southern Colorado Ethical Leadership Award honors an organization within El Paso County and the greater southern Colorado region who demonstrated the “Best of the Best” in ethical leadership, as well as embodies the ethical principles of integrity as exhibited by Bill Daniels.

This year’s winner is Digital Hart Media, represented by Nicki Hart.

While many of the nominees had very honorable missions, Digital Hart stood out as a company because it is for-profit business that also strives to be ethical and help the community, rather than a community organization that was structured into a business.

Being a for-profit enterprise, Digital Hart received a high score in the category of Viability, but Integrity, Trust, Accountability, Fairness, Respect and Rule of Law also were evident to judges in the organization’s focus on doing things right – they make sure their customers respect intellectual property rights, and they don’t oversell. They will tell a customer if there is a more efficient way to achieve their desired result, rather than trying to upsell extra services that don’t add significant value. 

Digital Hart also has a community impact beyond their normal course of business, as they offer a 25% discount on services relating to foster care and adoption, whether for an agency or for a family looking to adopt.

Other nominees included:

  • Academy of Children’s Theatre of Colorado Springs, CO, represented by Lynn Hamilton and Vanessa Rankin
  • Halfway Home of Pueblo, CO, represented by William Wright
  • The Community Treehouse of Bayfield, CO, represented by Nicole Johnson

“We are beyond pleased to have celebrated and recognize the unique ethical standards and practices each of our nominees demonstrate in southern Colorado,” said Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, Professor and Director of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS.

About the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business is a resource for principle-based ethics education, serving students, educators and business community. The UCCS College of Business is one of eight original participating schools in the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program that now includes twelve participating schools. The DFEI supports the Southern Colorado Ethics Consortium (SCEC) for nine higher education institutions in the southern half of the state. In 2016, the DFEI Collegiate Program at UCCS launched an ethics champion pilot program to expand best practices in ethics education. Each participating school has educators serving as Ethics Champions on their campus to expand principle-based ethics education and resources throughout southern Colorado. The program has since expanded to include a large variety of events and programs for educators, students and business members throughout southern Colorado. Find more information online.

About the College of Business

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA and distance 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