June 2023 - Colorado Springs Leadership Institute - CSLI

June 2023 Newsletter




Please help us nominate individuals for CSLI’s Class of 2024! We are looking for leaders who are inspiring and are making significant impact in our community to apply for our CSLI Class of 2024.

Deadline to nominate is June 30, 2023! If you wish to nominate an inspiring leader in our community who has yet to join our organization, please click here to access our nomination form.

Scholarships are available to non-profits and individuals not associated with an organization.

Dates for next years class are scheduled for April 1-5th, 2024.

Class of 2022


It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of two of our beloved alumni, Stephannie Fortune ’09 and Lou Mellini ’99.

Stephannie Finley FortuneA brilliant force who was well known for connecting thousands of people, she was a treasure in CSLI (serving as Board Chair from 2016-2017), in Colorado Springs, and in the State of Colorado. Click here to read Pikes Peak United Way’s thorough tribute to her remarkable accomplishments and many contributions to Colorado Springs and beyond. Please keep her husband Kent Fortune ’16, family, and loved ones in your prayers and thoughts. To honor Stephannie, PPUW has created the Stephannie Finley Fortune Joy Scholarship Fund, supporting talented and driven individuals pursuing higher education and who embody Stephannie’s dedication to leadership and civic engagement. 

Lou Mellini. longtime fixture in Colorado Springs’ broadcast, business and service communities, his impact extended to multiple civic improvement projects, service on several prominent boards, and the mentoring of young people coming up in the business world. Click here to read the Gazette’s coverage of his many accomplishments and contributions to our community and visit Kilo 94.3’s website for a memorial slideshow. Please keep his wife Laura Muir Mellini ’99, family, and loved ones in your prayers and thoughts.


Over 80 alumni and 25 new leaders attended our New Leader Meet & Greet last month. It was our largest turnout in years!

Thank you to everyone who submitted names of new leaders to invite, all the alumni who were able to attend, and to those who helped craft the event (Stu Davis ’18, Chip Frazier ’21, Jim Harris ’13,Lauren Hug ’18, Kyle Hybl ’03, Mina Liebert ’16,Morgan Mote ’21, and Jane Young ’11).


We are grateful to our event partner El Pomar Foundation for hosting us at the beloved Penrose House. Several of our guests mentioned that they had never been to this venue! Thanks also for the generosity and support of our event sponsors CJ Moore, More Than Your Money, and Phil Long Dealerships! And special appreciation to Picnic Basket Catering for their amazing spread of delicious treats!


  • Jamie Brown ’17 on graduating from the CiviCO 2022-2023 Colorado Governor’s Fellowship program. The program prepares private and nonprofit sector leaders for opportunities to deepen their understanding of Colorado stat government and statewide public policy issues. 
  • Gina Sacripanti ’20 on receiving the first-ever Audi Colorado Springs Silver Rings award. The honor recognizes individuals who selflessly go above and beyond to better the community while upholding Audi’s corporate values and standards – appreciation, openness, responsibility and integrity.
  • Janet Suthers ’05 on being honored with the inaugural Olympic City USA Community Service Award. “From the continued development of City for Champions and place-making infrastructure to welcoming several world-class sporting events and providing opportunities for youth to play regardless of their background, Janet’s vision has become a reality as Colorado Springs continues to solidify itself as ‘Olympic City USA’,” said Doug Price ’13, Visit COS President & CEO, in presenting the award. The Visit Colorado Springs and the Olympic City USA Task Force will now present the award annually at the Visit COS Tourism Awards Celebration to community members who make a significant positive impact in the city through service that goes above and beyond.



  • Mary Lou Makepeace ’97: Role of New Women Elected to Legislature – Part 1, Elevating Pikes Peak Women (June 7, 2023). Mary Lou sits down with Regina English, Colorado House of Representatives, representing District 17 and Stephanie Vigil, Colorado House of Representatives from the 16th District, to talk about their first year in the legislature.


  • Today’s teachers, tomorrow’s chefs, Side Dish with Schniper (June 15, 2023), delves into the remarkable (and delicious!) successes of Shovel Ready, a Culinary Capstone workforcecollaboration between the Community Cultural Collective (Linda Weise ’07) and the Pikes Peak Workforce Center (Traci Marques ’21) housed at The Well.


  • Bob McLauglin ’15: COS CEO Leadership Lessons, July 12, 4:30pm-6:00pm, Almagre (tickets required).
  • Sara Vaas ’21 is hosting Dizzy Charlie’s Pop-Up Jazz nights for the next several weeks. Visit Dizzy Charlie’s Facebook page for dates and locations.

What are you, your CSLI classmates, or other alumni up to? Please let us know, so we can share! Email us at cslileaders@gmail.com with items to include in this section of the newsletter.


Membership dues are a key part of empowering CSLI and our alumni to create meaningful impact in our community. If you aren’t sure whether you’ve renewed your CSLI membership for 2023, please send us an e-mail at cslileaders@gmail.com and we’ll help you figure it out.

Thank you for your continued support of CSLI and its mission to develop authentic, bold, innovative leaders and connect them to each other. 

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