As we prepare to welcome in the new year, I thought I would provide a brief look back at the history of Colorado Springs Forward as well as provide an update on our latest project being led by Dr. Pamela Shockley-Zalabak.
It is hard to believe, but CSF formed almost five years ago, in February 2013. At the time, the city had recently elected to move to a strong mayor form of government and, not surprisingly, there were some growing pains. We approached both the mayor and a couple of city councilors about assisting with a charter review project. While this project never got off the ground, it did thrust the organization into the political process and we have stayed engaged ever since. In some areas we have been successful, in others less so.
While I expect CSF to continue to engage in local and regional politics, it was never our intent to be a purely political organization. There was a void at the time and we filled it. But we aspired to assist in other ways, whether that meant leading or coming alongside other organizations to effect meaningful change for the Pikes Peak region. With Amy Lathen’s resignation as our Executive Director this past June, our board felt it was an appropriate time to reassess our strategic approach. To our good fortune, Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak had recently retired from her remarkable tenure at UCCS and was available to assist us in charting the course for the organization in 2018 and beyond.
Since September, Pam has conducted over 75 interviews with local civic leaders to identify their top priorities for our community, both personally and for their organizations. Next, in early December she and her team conducted eight separate round table groups around similar topics, with the hope of identifying two to three opportunities to begin working on in 2018. The focus of these projects will be consistent with our CSF mission: to continue to establish Colorado Springs as the most respected and inviting city in which to live, work and play.
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of Colorado Springs Forward. I want to encourage you to either get involved or remain involved in our community. There are countless opportunities available and I hope you will find one or two that pique your interest in where you can make a difference. Please be sure to also encourage your colleagues and friends to join our mailing list by going to coloradospringsforward.org and clicking on Join Us to receive updates on our progress.
Here’s to a wonderful and exciting 2018!
– Phil Lane
Chairman of the Board