Four of the five recipients of the Mayor’s Young Leaders Award share UCCS connections as Mayor John Suthers recognized outstanding achievement for young professionals age 40 and younger. The Oct. 30 ceremony recognized young leaders in five categories in the city.
“The quality of work presented by this year’s Mayor’s Young Leader Award finalists was exceptional,” said Mayor Suthers in a release. “I am consistently pleased with the young professionals who are serving Colorado Springs across all industries and am grateful for their contributions to our city. The 2018 winners are fantastic representatives of Olympic City USA, and I look forward to following their future success.”
The recipients included two UCCS employees, one alumna and one university partner.
Creative Industry: Aisha Ahmad-Post, director, Ent Center for the Arts
In the first 18 weeks of the opening of the Ent Center for the Arts, Ahmad-Post oversaw more than 125 events with more than 110,000 people attending. The UCCS Artist Series, which she assembles, surpassed the industry standard with a 60 percent sellout rate in the first three months with nearly 7,000 patrons. She also created an advisory board to connect the community with UCCS.
Sports & Wellness: Ian Ratz, assistant director, Sport Management Student Services, College of Business
Ratz has overseen an enrollment growth of 75 percent in the sport management program and more than 350 student internships with 115 sport organizations. His sport science class consistently earns some of the highest student evaluation results in the college and he works with students to prepare them to secure jobs in the competitive sports industry.
Technology: Erin Miller, founder and managing director, Center for Technology Research and Commercialization
Miller, an alumna with an undergraduate degree in political science and a graduate degree in communication, created southern Colorado’s first technology transfer and transition-focused non-profit. C-TRAC brings together public, private and academic ingenuity that helps the military become more technologically capable. She was the recipient of the Young Professional Award in August from the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Community & Economic Impact: Jeff Finn, vice president, Nor’wood Development Group
Finn, a member of UCCS Regional Connect, led the effort from Nor’wood Development Group for the creation of UCCS Downtown. The presence opened in September 2018 and has become the new home of the Mini-MBA program, the Teacher Leader Seminar Series and multiple community events and meetings. He is part of more than $250 million in projects in downtown Colorado Springs.