Growing up in Atlanta, 2018 Rising Star Annie Snead spent her college years interning and working at networks including CNN and WSB-TV.

“By attending college close to my hometown, it gave me the perfect opportunity to learn from some of the top journalists in the country,” she said. “It was fast-paced, exciting and a wonderful experience.”

After leaving her position at KOAA as an anchor reporter for three years, Snead, 29, shifted her focus to helping others in her community.

Today, Snead is director of marketing and public relations for Pikes Peak United Way, an organization that focuses on youth success and family stability. “I think it’s important for us to look around and find ways to lift others up,” she said. “I hope I can return the favor someday, and continue to learn and grow at Pikes Peak United Way.”

In addition to working for Pikes Peak United Way, Snead spends time volunteering in the community at events like the Annual Read Across America Day, UCHealth Catwalk for Cancer and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Colleen Stiles, UCCS co-director of strategic alliances in the College of Business, said she nominated Snead because of her community leadership and the impact she makes in the lives of others.

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“Snead has built strong, credible, authentic relationships with leaders throughout southern Colorado,” she said. “Annie is a humble and compassionate leader, always the first to put others ahead of her. She gives credit away to others, recognizes companies and other entities for their work and will not advertise herself.”

Snead said she was humbled by the award.

“I have a difficult time accepting any kind of recognition,” she said. “I try to stick to a simple work philosophy: Work hard, be kind and good things will follow. This is one of those good things. I’m grateful that someone thought to recognize me for my professional accomplishments and I feel incredibly blessed to be among such a strong group of emerging leaders.”

Snead said she hopes to continue to encourage others to help in their community.

“When you realize just how great the need is in our community, it can be overwhelming, but I want to encourage others that you don’t have to take everything on,” she said. “Just do what you can with the circumstances and resources you have available at the time. That’s what I plan to keep on doing.”

— Halle Thornton

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I hope to be fulfilled and to be using the gifts that God has given me to serve others. My true heart’s desire is to be a mom, and to pass on just enough crazy to give my kids a good sense of humor.