Economist Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum, was named business leader of the year by the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

Bailey works to inform communities from a social and economic perspective and distributes a monthly economic dashboard with regional and national indicators.

In 2017, she and her team launched the Workforce Asset Map, a tool that offers resources for students, job seekers and employers in the Pikes Peak Region. Bailey speaks internationally and serves on many boards and councils, and was recognized by the Colorado Springs Business Journal as a Woman of Influence in 2016.

Bailey was presented with the honor at SCWCC’s annual Accolades Awards celebration, held at The Antlers hotel.

Accepting the award, Bailey thanked the community for being “so embracing” of her and her work, and for constantly elevating Colorado Springs.  

“I have to say I’m not a huge Willie Nelson fan,” she said, “but I often think back to something he said … and that was, ‘The day I started counting my blessings was the day that everything changed.’ … One of the major secrets to life is gratitude, and I really believe that — because if you’re grateful for everything, you’re happy, you’re positive, you want to share. You guys even share my economics, which is amazing.”

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Other nominees for business leader of the year were: Amy Gillentine Sweet, publisher and executive director of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group; Toni-Green Cheatwood, group vice president at Centura Health; Lori Jarvis-Steinwert, executive director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness; Heather Knotts-Graves, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services; Noreen Landis-Tyson, president and CEO at Community Partnership for Child Development; Dawn Lissy, president and founder at Empirical Family of Companies; Lindsey Litton, CEO and cofounder of MilHousing Network; Shawnee Starr, CEO and president at TechWise Global; Linda Weise, founding CEO at Colorado Springs Conservatory; and Jennifer Yugo, chief scientist and managing director at Corvirtus.

The SCWCC also recognized Erin Miller, director of business development at the Center for Technology, Research and Commercialization, as young professional of the year.

Miller has led C-TRAC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on optimizing the flow of innovation in the marketplace and generating revenue to support economic development, for the past two years. She previously served as managing director and director of business development.

Barbara Myrick, president and owner of B&M Construction, was honored with the Minority Owned Business of the Year award. Myrick founded B&M in 1993 “with $500 in savings,” she said, and the company now specializes in contracting services, general construction, electrical, furniture procurement and project management.

“To each and every woman who sits here and doubts herself, don’t doubt yourself,” she said. “Put it in your mind and go out there and do it.”

The SCWCC recognized Terry Zarsky, business services librarian at Pikes Peak Library District, as member of the year. At the event, Zarsky was credited with “helping people in the community with forming and growing businesses through research consultation, teaching and speaking engagement” over the past 31 years. She serves on the boards of AventaCares and Thrive and on the United Way Women United committee.