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2017 Etiquette Dinner

February marked our 4th annual Etiquette Dinner with the Career Coaching Program! We were thrilled to have instructor Liz Moore back as our facilitator. This year, we made several changes to make the experience even better. Not only did we include “wine” (sparkling cider), but we also introduced an alternating menu. Between soup, bone-in-chicken, and messy pasta, there were challenges to overcome in every course!

This is always such a wonderful event, and we want to thank all of our Career Coaches and students for attending.


Area Business Tour: Discover Goodwill

This month’s group event meant touring a very well-respected local non-profit in our community, Discover Goodwill. There is much more than what meets the eye at their corporate headquarters, and our group found it fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes tour.

Discover Goodwill offers more than their retail stores and donation centers. In fact, they have 26 unique programs that serve people with intellectual challenges, the elderly, and people who are economically disadvantaged. During our time at Discover Goodwill, we had the opportunity to explore two of those programs: Voyages and Possibilities.

Possibilities is a 14,000 square feet “Town Hall” complete with a credit union, marketplace, apartment, “spa,” gym, and courtyard. The program is built for people with intellectual disabilities. Throughout the day, participants have activities in various part of the Town Hall though which they learn new skills and get valuable social interaction. They even have an elected Mayor and hold City Council meetings during which they get to choose an activity of their own!

Voyages is an adult day center for elderly people, many of whom have a traumatic brain injury or other mental incapacitation. Here, they are cared for and also given the opportunity to have activities and social interaction.

Because our group was so large, we split up over two days – Thursday, January 26 and Friday, January 27. Our distinguished set of panelists included:

Thursday, January 26

  • Bonnie Martinez, VP Marketing & Communications (Welcome and Tour)
  • Lorrie Molli, VP Ops & Sales
  • Michele Gorr, CFO
  • Jeanne Conder, VP Foundation
  • Gary Smith, VP Human Resources & Organizational Development

Friday, January 27

  • Bonnie Martinez, VP Marketing & Communications (Welcome)
  • Karla Grazier, President/CEO
  • Lorrie Molli, VP Ops & Sales
  • Michele Gorr, CFO
  • Joe Cunningham, Director Contract Operations & Business Development
  • Gary Smith, VP Human Resources & Organizational Development

Here are a few pictures from our tour. Thank you to Cindy Cartwright for helping us coordinate these tours! We are greatly impressed and thankful for all that Discover Goodwill is going to benefit our community.



Area Business Tour: Ford Credit

Our most recent Area Business Tour took place at Ford Credit, which has been located here in Colorado Springs for 18+ years. This large corporate finance company services both individuals and business clients throughout the United States and around the globe.

During our tour and panel, we learned that 85% of car buyers finance their purchase, so Ford Motor created a division to provide loan services to these people. Employees of Ford Credit benefit from the ability to transfer to other branches worldwide and quick promotions, usually under 18 months for new hires.

This particular Ford Credit employs about 30 UCCS graduates and plans on hiring 50-60 new employees in 2017. We are thankful to our career coach, Todd Kolchinsky, for arranging our tour, breakfast, and panel. The panel included:

  • Mark Rickey – Business Center Director
  • John Anslow – Dealer Services Manager
  • David Sellmayer – Select Regional Manager
  • Tim Campbell – Center Operations Manager Dealer Credit
  • Todd Kolchinsky – Customer Service Manager

We are grateful to Ford Credit for opening their doors to us so we can see what’s it like to work in a large corporate environment.

Personality Profile Seminar

We had the pleasure of hearing about the scientific research behind personality testing and how it related to the workplace from our very own Dr. James Van Scotter and Dr. Jill Bradley-Geist. Prior to the event, students and Career Coaches were invited to complete two personality tests – the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and another based on the “Big 5” personality traits (openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). Read more about the meaning of each trait here.

As part of our luncheon, we also did a new exercise that had everyone get into groups of four in order to create their dream house. Groups were assembled based on the Keirsey results, meaning people of like mind were working together. We analyzed the houses and discussed how different personality types shape decision making.

Area Business Tour: Titan Robotics

On Friday, October 21, student and Career Coaches embarked on their first field trip of the program to Titan Robotics, which is a local tech manufacturing company specializing in building 3D printers from the ground up.

Clay Guillory, a mechanical engineer, started this company in his garage just three years ago at the age of 26. Today, the company resides in a 5,000 square foot industrial building and employs over 10 people.

Our group had the opportunity to tour their facility and learn more about how they engineer each 3D printer specifically for each client, what their current challenges are, and how they are preparing for the future.

Thank you to Titan Robotics for your hospitality and showing us around!


*Photo Credit: Norman Morse

Final Event – Dinner with Alumnus, Eli Bremer

We wrapped up our 2014/2015 program on Monday, April 27 with a fantastic evening with alumnus and Olympic athlete, Eli Bremer. The students and coaches shared with one another how they’ve grown and developed over the past several months – it was inspiring! Each student was presented with a certificate of completion signed by Dean Venkat Reddy, and each coach was given a small gift, a key chain that said “leading by example.” Eli rounded out the evening by sharing his personal story of triumphs and troubles within the sports and entrepreneurial worlds. He stressed how we should seek to be surrounded by intelligent people and to use your network to connect people in order to solve problems. He also admitted that entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart of risk-adverse, but it can be hugely rewarding with some hard work!

Cheers to the students who completed this most recent program, and we wish you every success as you go on to bigger and better things in your lives and careers!

If you are interested in finding out information about the 2015/2016 program including how to apply, please contact Director of Business Alumni Relations, Samantha Wood.

Etiquette Dinner

How do you know which water glass is yours? Which way do you pass the salt? How do you know what to order when your boss is paying? Instructor Liz Moore covered all of these things and A LOT more during our Etiquette Dinner on Monday, March 16. The gang enjoyed a five-course meal (appetizers, salad, intermezzo, entree, and dessert) as part of this learning experience on how to navigate a professional meal setting. This is always one of our favorite events, because everyone – no matter how seasoned they are – takes a way a new tidbit of information! Thank you to UCCS Catering for doing an amazing job and also to our Alumni Leadership Team who joined as guests. Salut!