Just when you think that you've read the last look-back on 2012 or preview of 2013, we have one more annual ritual to share.
Regular readers will remember this one: It's my annual list of people to watch in the Pikes Peak region for the year ahead. We went from 11 in 2011 to 12 in 2012, so why not continue to grow with 13 in '13?
The goal here is to provide a list with at least some surprises. In other words, this isn't about Mayor Steve Bach, always worth watching as long as he's in office, or others such as the always-prominent Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
With that in mind, let's proceed with our People to Watch in 2013:
Chris Jenkins, president, Nor'wood Development Group: Amid potentially positive indicators for the local economy, Jenkins could lead the way toward meeting a rising local need — more downtown housing.
Mike Scialdone, CEO, Memorial Hospital: After leading Memorial through the storm of CEO Larry McEvoy's departure and the ramp-up to the University of Colorado Health lease, Scialdone earned the permanent CEO role. With UCH's support, he and Memorial should be producing many positive headlines in the year to come.
Perry Sanders, owner, the Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel: Sanders' undertaking has become an early success, fueling speculation that the attorney has more ambitious ideas that could have an impact on downtown. Stay tuned.
Sen. John Morse, Colorado Senate president: With Democratic majorities ruling both ends of the Legislature, the Colorado Springs senator has the opportunity to guide many important bills toward reality during the next two years.
Gary Flakes, candidate for City Council: Running in southeastern District 4, he has to overcome public perception of his conviction for being an accessory to the 1997 murders of local teens Andy Westbay and Scott Hawrysiak. Now 32, paroled after serving more than 12 years, Flakes has become active in helping at-risk African-American kids, as he once was. Given the case's notoriety, it's a remarkable story now that Flakes is seeking office.
Mike Bristol, owner, Bristol Brewing Co.: After several years of planning, Bristol's expansion into the old Ivywild School will happen soon, perhaps generating more development in that area south of downtown.
Terry Maketa, El Paso County sheriff: If anybody can unite local Republicans, either by opposing U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn or pursuing a state-level office, Maketa could do it. He's term-limited in 2014, but if he's going to develop any kind of higher-level campaign, he has to start soon.
Marcy Morrison, interim CEO, iManitou: She never stops making a difference at the state or local levels, and now she's directing a reshaping of Manitou Springs' merged chamber, tourism and economic development operations. Knowing her, it should make for an interesting time.
Dave Neumann, CEO, Neumann Systems Group: He's at the center of the controversy over governance of Colorado Springs Utilities, with Bach and other city leaders wanting out of CSU's contract for the NeuStream coal-scrubbing technology at Martin Drake Power Plant. How this story plays out, and how Neumann responds, will make news throughout 2013.
Jan Martin, City Council president pro-tem: She has two more years on Council, and she's the favorite to become the next Council president in April, making her in effect the most powerful woman in the city — unless Council chemistry changes radically in the municipal election.
Philip Anschutz, owner, the Broadmoor and Gazette: The city's newest resident tycoon, who stays at the Broadmoor enough to be called a local, reportedly is considering several more commitments.
Amanda Mountain, regional director, Rocky Mountain PBS: After a Gill Foundation grant that includes the former Gay and Lesbian Fund building, Mountain is putting together educational and community partnerships to inspire TV content-sharing by students and citizen journalists.
Mike Callicrate, owner, Ranch Foods Direct: He's the driving force behind creating a downtown Colorado Springs public market (east of Sierra Madre Street and south of Vermijo Avenue), with enticing renderings and a task force hoping to make progress toward reality in 2013.
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