This year, CSBJ is sponsoring a student in the Chancellors Leadership Class at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Last week, I had lunch with Amy Kirlin the director of the program and our student, Brittney Biscone.

Brittney is a sharp young woman. She is a freshman marketing major and also gives guitar lessons. She has developed a technique that allows children to learn easily — just having to know the alphabet through “G” and count to 10. Maybe even I could learn how to play guitar from Brittney. Is it too late for me to start a new career as a rock star? I digress.

As we were talking about the CLC — whose program principles are integrity, respect, excellence, service, passion, wisdom, courage and transcendence — it occurred to me, “how many businesses are supporting the CLC?” This is the best leadership class in the state for college students and as I have written about before, other schools are emulating the program.

Here are the companies that have stepped up and sponsored a scholar. I commend them for doing the right thing.

  • Agilent Technologies (Two scholars)
  • Brenda Smith of BKD LLP (One scholar)
  • Colorado Leadership Alliance & Denver Metro Chamber Foundation (One scholar)
  • CorVirtus (One scholar)
  • El Pomar Foundation (Six scholars)
  • FirstBank of Colorado Springs (One scholar)
  • FirstBank Holding Co. (Three scholars)
  • Inasmuch Foundation (One scholar)
  • Kaiser Permanente (One scholar)
  • Kane Family Foundation (Three scholars)
  • UCCS Alumni & Friends (One scholar)
  • The Equity Group (One scholar)

The Edmondson Foundation, which gives $10,000 in scholarships each year, and the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, gave CLC a $10,000 matching grant this year.

Adopting a scholar requires a $4,000 gift — $3,500 goes directly to the student and $500 provides leadership development training.

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According to the latest Sales and Marketing Management Magazine’s Survey of Buying Power that I have on my shelf (2004), we have 34,857 business establishments in our designated market area. So how about the other 34,844 businesses? Where are they?

Only about half the 35 or so scholars have sponsors. Come on folks do the right thing and call Kirlin and sponsor a student. She can be reached at 262-3065.

We will be engaging our CLC scholar here at the CSBJ. After all, we are a sales and marketing organization that just happens to put out an award-winning newspaper and Brittney is a marketing major.

On Saturday night, CSBJ received six best newspaper awards from the Colorado Press Association.

  • Best Business Story — First place (Rob Larimer)
  • Best Series — Third place (John Hazlehurst)
  • Best Humorous Column — Second place (John Hazlehurst)
  • Best Headline Writing — Second place (Rob Larimer)
  • Best Use of Color — Second place (Rowdy Tompkins)
  • Best Small Space Ad — First place (Rowdy Tompkins)

And in the Society of Professional Journalists 2006 contest, John Hazlehurst has won multiple awards, which have not been announced yet.

Never say these things

Like most of you, I have older files that need a good “going-through” from years gone by. I still have some files from when I worked at The Tribune, a Freedom Communications property in Fort Pierce, Fla.

I came across a document recently that I am going to breathe some life into.

Sometime in the mid-1990s John R. Graham of Graham Communications in Quincy, Mass., put a short piece together that I think is still pertinent today. Even with all the business books du jour, this short piece stands solid in our business dealings.

If you ever want to be considered a “star” performer consider this, a list of “nevers.”

Never say:

  • “They didn’t get back to me” or “They are getting back to me.” Both are equally disastrous. Expecting someone to get back to you stops the action. Take the initiative.
  • “I thought someone else was taking care of that.” Excuses indicate a roadblock to action. Always ask questions to keep things moving.
  • “No one ever told me.” Let a supervisor hear you talk this way often and you will have made a very clear statement about the way you work. You operate in a tunnel, oblivious to everything that is going on around you.
  • “I didn’t have time.” And don’t bother with “I was too busy,” either. If you find yourself saying things like this you are writing your employment obituary.
  • “I didn’t think to ask about that.” An inability to see down the road might indicate that you lack the ability to understand and grasp relationships. The message in business today is clear. The only measure for success is performance. Whatever the roadblocks, it is your job to remove them. If not, you’ll be perceived as one of them.

I think I am going to take these sayings to heart.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at or 329-5202.