Grand Canyon University honored four committed leaders who embody the ideal for which Jerry Colangelo is best known – servant leadership – during the fourth annual Colangelo Servant Leadership Awards on Wednesday morning.

LEARN MORE: This is why Scottsdale ranks as No. 8 hardest-working U.S. city

The Colangelo Servant Leadership Awards, presented by Freeport-McMoRan, are named after one of Arizona’s most notable business and sports icons who is also the namesake of GCU’s Colangelo College of Business (CCOB). The award ceremony was held at GCU and honored the following recipients:

  • Bill McKee, Scholar in Residence at Valley Presbyterian Church and Executive in Residence at GCU: McKeehashad a robust career in the military and the finance sector. He is a huge supporter of GCU and supported the building out of the Bloomberg Terminals in the CCOB Charles Schwab Finance Center as well as hosted multi-session lunch and learns to connect with students and educate them on the bible, economics and human flourishing. A Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (Class of 1968), McKee served in the military as an advanced jet instructor pilot in T-38s. After he was honorably discharged in 1973, McKee held many positions in finance including VP and Manager of The Arizona Bank and President and CEO of FBS Venture Capital Company. McKee then started his own company, McKee & Company in 1987, later becoming W.B. McKee Securities Inc., an NASD Broker/Dealer providing capital to Arizona-based companies. In 2000, he sold the business to the employees. He stayed active in private capital investing as the managing partner of B&B Investment Group Projects until 2006. He earned a Master’s in Theology in 2015.
  • Brandy Labinjo, Leader of Executive Operations Support at APS: As leader of Executive Operations Support at APS, Labinjo is responsible for coordinating all executive administrative functions and providing multifaceted administrative support to the office of the CEO. Labinjo began her career at APS in 2016 and has served in various positions including Sr. Financial Analyst and Leader of Transportation Operations before being promoted to her current roll. She leads and participates in projects/programs associated with executive management and provides input and coaching to the executive assistants to evaluate and manage their performance. Labinjo also serves as Professional Chair for APS’s African American Employee Group, is a member of the CCOB Advisory Board and a faculty member at GCU. Prior to working in the utility industry, Labinjo worked in education and held roles in finance, student advising and as a faculty member teaching accounting and business law.
  • Mike Greenawalt, CEO of Rosendin Electric: From an apprentice electrician to CEO, Greenawalt has over 40 years of construction industry experience. He joined Rosendin in 2002 and served as Division Manager in the Arizona office and Vice President of Operations before being appointed CEO in 2020. Greenawalt was instrumental in establishing The Rosendin Foundation, which from 2020 to 2023 distributed $1.8 million to 220 unique organizations nationwide. He established teams to enhance Rosendin’s Zero Tolerance for racism, discrimination and bullying as well as set up a hotline to report discrimination, expanded training of Rosendin’s Respect for People program to include diversity and unconscious bias and launched an Emerging Leaders program. Greenawalt was instrumental in forming GCU’s Pre-Apprentice for Electricians pathway to address the issue of workforce shortages.
  • Karrin Taylor Robson, Founder and President of Arizona Strategies: Taylor Robson is a long-time Arizona business leader and land-use expert. She is Founder and President of Arizona Strategies, a premier land use strategy firm headquartered in Phoenix. Taylor Robson has also served on the boards of numerous government, community and economic development organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix, the Arizona Mexico Commission and the Joe Foss Institute. She has mentored GCU students and had students work on projects with her. In June 2017, she was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents. She currently serves as a member of the Civic Leaders Group for the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. Taylor Robson was also recently a candidate for Governor of Arizona.

“Mr. Colangelo is the definition of service before self. When we pick recipients for The Colangelo Servant Leadership Awards, we are looking for those business leaders in our community who really represent that type of leadership,” said Dean of GCU’s Colangelo College of Business John Kaites. “Ms. Taylor Robson, Ms. Labinjo, Mr. McKee and Mr. Greenwalt all go above and beyond when it comes to combining business and service, so we are thrilled to honor them with this year’s award.” 

As one of the three pillars of the Colangelo College of Business, servant leadership is taught both in and out of the classroom. “Servant leadership should be a core principle of every successful business or organization and these four individuals exemplify that,” Jerry Colangelo said. “They are truly making a difference in our communities and setting an example for future leaders in Arizona.”

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; re-establishing global dominance of USA Basketball; and serving as principal partner with JDM Partners, which has a 60-year history of real estate acquisitions, development and management.

The 2023 Colangelo Servant Leadership recipients were Don Cardon, Tommy Espinoza, Dawn Grove and Steve Zabilski.