Beka Adair is the associate director at the Quad Innovation Partnership, as well as its director of project operations. She was previously a program manager at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

A 2016 graduate of Colorado College, Adair spent her last year in college as president of the Prison Project at Colorado College, a student-led initiative to humanize the prison system through community outreach, campus events and panel discussions.

“When I took it over it was a reading group,” she said, “but we’re 40 minutes away from very large prisons. So I worked on getting students involved — to meet and interact with those who are very different from them. In this country, it’s very difficult for people who are or have been in prison — one mistake, and your life is destroyed. ”

Immediately after graduation, she joined the Chamber & EDC as an intern. Three months later, she was hired as an economic development analyst.

“Her ambition and professionalism led her to engage with business and civic leaders of all levels in ways that left everyone confident in her ability to manage projects,” said her nominator, Hannah Parsons. “Beka has an amazing gift in working with people.”

During her time at the Chamber & EDC, Adair managed the talent recruitment website project. Relying on local voices and experiences, Adair presented Colorado Springs through the eyes of credible young professionals. It was a way of overcoming widely circulated stereotypes and false assumptions about the community.

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A new challenge beckoned, and Adair joined the Quad Innovation Partnership as Associate Director. The Quad Innovation Partnership is a joint initiative between Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, UCCS and the Air Force Academy that helps graduating innovators build careers that matter in the Colorado Springs area.

“Beka wanted to work with business and community leaders to engage student groups in solving big challenges,” Parsons said. “She’s hungry for challenge and constantly pursues coaching and growth.”

Adair has also served as a board member for the Cottonwood Center for the Arts and for the Colorado Springs Rising Professionals.

So what’s next, for this young woman in a hurry?

“I lived in Kyrgyzstan for several years, so I hope to end up back there someday,” she said. “I want to travel, get my Russian back and learn more about the world. Maybe I’ll come back or go somewhere else — we’ll see.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I have no clue. I just have a few ideas — I have glimpses. Go to grad school, or something else. Colorado Springs has been an incredible place to start my career.”

Editor’s note:

This article has been corrected. Beka Adair is associate director of the Quad Innovation Partnership and its director of project operations. In addition, Adair spent nine years in Central Asia but was not born there. Kyrgyzstan was also misspelled.