Last week I had the honor of moderating a panel at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for the Springs Youth Challenge. Participants included Robert Wonnett, the dean of students and director of Student Auxiliary Services at UCCS; Larry Schaeffer, director of field operations and integrated defense systems for Boeing – Colorado region; John Cassiani, executive vice president of marketing for the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp; Michelle Narron, corporate communications manager for Phil Long Dealerships; and Rebecca Dunn, assistant general manager for the soon-to-be Hilton Antlers Hotel.

The theme for the panel discussion was “Beyond 9 to 5, The Value of Community Involvement and Volunteering.”

By 8 a.m., the room was filled with area high school students who will be juniors this fall. I know that when I was a teenager, listening to a bunch of “suits” talk would have been the last way I would have wanted to spend a summer day. Thankfully, the teenagers who participate in Springs Youth Challenge have a much better sense of community than I did.

The mission of the organization is to prepare high school students for community leadership through interaction with business, civic and service organizations, and community and business leaders. Chairman of the board Steve Schuck and founding partners Colorado Springs Utilities Community Focused Fund, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Classic Companies, El Pomar and the Woodford Foundation have helped raise awareness about the organization and should be proud of this group of teenagers.

I was impressed by the young people in attendance. They asked good questions, such as “who are you inspired by?” and “what inspires you?” Margaret Foster, the executive director of Springs Youth Challenge, should be commended for putting together such a good program. And the teenagers who are participating also should receive their fair share of kudos.

Too often we hear negative things in the mainstream media about teenagers, so it was refreshing to spend time with a talented and articulate group of young people. As long as I’m at the helm of CSBJ, the kids and the group can bank on the paper’s continued support.

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Plan now for 2005 nonprofit and business events

On another note, the 2005 Book of Lists and the Nonprofit/Business Calendar are ready to be filled. It is our intention to make the 2005 Book of Lists an even more comprehensive local business reference source, so please send your 2005 events early to with “community calendar” in the subject line. The earlier the business and nonprofit communities plan their functions, the better we can disseminate the information and do our part to help make everyone more successful

The Nonprofit/Business Calendar is available online. If you have events planned, log onto and register by clicking on the medallion ad on the lower left of the page. There is no charge, and we will be including many of the events in the 2005 Book of Lists Community Calendar.

Here at the CSBJ, one of our goals is to supply data and information to allow our readers to make more money and do more business. To that end, a comprehensive community calendar should help to decrease event overlapping; thus, improving attendance and fund-raising for our great region.

CSBJ subscribers average net worth a million-plus

Minnesota Opinion Research sent me a sneak peek at some of the results from our recently conducted subscriber study. The average household net worth of a CSBJ subscriber is $1.1 million. That’s not a typo.

What the study shows is what we at CSBJ have always believed: Our subscribers are affluent decision makers.

The national average, according to the City Business Journal Network 2003 Readex Subscriber Study, was $1.64 million. I guess I brought our local numbers down a bit (just kidding, I didn’t fill out a questionnaire).

But to those of you who did, please accept my thanks. We will be using the information from the survey to help define our editorial mission and to help focus our message. Expect to read more about the CSBJ subscriber statistics after we receive the full report.

Publisher Lon Matejczyk can be reached at 634-3223, ext. 202 or