Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business honored four Phoenix-area leaders on Tuesday who exemplify the ideals for which Jerry Colangelo is best known: servant leadership, ethics and entrepreneurism. The inaugural Colangelo Servant Leadership Awards presented by Freeport McMoRan — named after one of Arizona’s biggest sports and business icons – were held at the GCU Hotel’s Canyon 49 Restaurant and honored the following recipients:
• Mike Ingram, who is the founder of El Dorado Holdings, Inc., one of the largest private land holdings in the greater Phoenix and Maricopa Country region. Ingram serves on numerous boards and is also actively involved with Pinnacle Forum, Focus on the Family, and Campus Crusade for Christ and its ministries within.
• David Kimmerle, the CEO of Sanderson Ford, who has turned their philosophy of “The Dealership that Service Built” to “The Dealership that Community Service Built.” Sanderson Ford helps raise $100,000 for Special Olympics Arizona every year through the Guardian Games, provides tickets to various sporting games for soldiers, and supports Fighter Country Partnership supporting the men, women, families and mission of Luke Air Force Base.
• Linda Little, the President of iHeart Media Phoenix. Since becoming President in 2015, she has created a community impact initiative called #iHeartPhxProject, which incentivizes her team to get involved in the community and support causes that are important to them. Little also sits on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, Workshops for Youth and Families and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.
• Sandra Watson, President & CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority, who has worked with nearly 1,000 companies that have committed to creating over 160,000 projected new jobs and making more than $15 billion in capital investments in Arizona. She is a board member of the Make-A-Wish Arizona chapter and is heavily involved in her children’s schools and supports a range of initiatives to better the schools.
As one of the three pillars of the Colangelo College of Business, servant leadership is taught both in and out of the classroom. “It’s important to have people recognized in the community who are making a difference,” Colangelo said. “We all need to help the next generation of people who are coming along, the future leaders. By recognizing outstanding servant leadership, it’s incumbent upon us to do things to recognize it.”
Colangelo is an Arizona icon whose Hall of Fame career in sports, business and real estate has spanned 50 years — from the day he arrived in 1968 with $300 in his pocket to a career that included ownership of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks; the Valley’s only major sports championship with the 2001 World Series; the creation/relocation on the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona Coyotes; reshaping the Valley skyline with two state-of-the-art sports facilities that transformed downtown Phoenix; and re-establishing the dominance of USA Basketball.