[youtube width=”620″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5bGypa_bKU[/youtube]

Alicia McConnell is quite a female force in the regional — and national — sporting industry.

“Alicia is without a doubt, one of the most authentic, compassionate and inspiring people we have had the privilege of working with,” said Cheryl McCullough, senior sales manager for sports and special events at the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. McCullough nominated McConnell for the 2013 Women of Influence.

“She truly inspires and motivates everyone she meets and encourages all of us to be the very best we can be.”

As the director of training sites and community partnerships for the U.S. Olympic Committee since 1998, McConnell has overseen 16 Olympic and Paralympic training sites and 10 community development programs.

McConnell moved to Colorado Springs in 1998 to become the USOC’s manager of athletic development and has since developed her role into what it is now. She also supports community organizations including the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, El Pomar Youth Sports Park, Pikes Peak Community Foundation and Business Alliance Center for Regional Advancement, as well serving on the local organizing committee for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

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“Alicia is the personification of what it means to be a fierce community supporter, dynamic working professional, and highly supportive leader and mentor to her team and athletes training at the Olympic Training Center,” McCullough said.

Before McConnell joined the USOC, she spent nearly 15 years in coaching and athletics. After receiving a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, she played professional squash, a game she grew fond of during her childhood in New York. She also worked for the YMCA, the New York Department of Parks and Recreation, and as head squash professional for Brooklyn’s Heights Casino before ending up in the Pikes Peak Region.

For her community service in Colorado Springs, McConnell was awarded the designation of Woman of Distinction in 2007 by the Girl Scouts of America. She was also a member of the 2005 class of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute and has been inducted into three halls of fame: the University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 1996, U.S. Squash’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Intercollegiate Squash Hall of Fame in 2001.

“She embodies everything that past Women of Influence recipients have been known for and is an incredible businesswoman who strives to do her best, seeks no recognition in return and quietly but effectively changes and improves the community we live in,” McCullough said.

— Cameron Moix