Scott Jones (student), Tashi Malik (Global Sports Mentoring Program), Nungshi Malik (Global Sports Mentoring Program), Allison Wozniak (student), Alex Kukuris (student), Davis DePonte (student), Brian Lee (student)

Scott Jones (student), Tashi Malik (Global Sports Mentoring Program), Nungshi Malik (Global Sports Mentoring Program), Allison Wozniak (student), Alex Kukuris (student), Davis DePonte (student), Brian Lee (student)

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative of the University of Colorado Denver Business School recently completed its first Shadow Days program this year.  The Shadow Days program introduces and exposes students to ethical practices within business. Students have the opportunity to meet with a company’s Ethics Officer, a Compliance Officer or similarly-situated employee.

The first Shadow Days visit was to the Compliance Office of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Athletic Department, where students met with Jill Keegan, the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance. Sarah Volkert, one of the students participating in this Shadow Day experiences, notes:

“We talked about how deeply ethics permeates her work and how difficult it can be to promote a clean, responsible image in a time when college sports do not have the best reputation.  These interviews and Shadow Days are invaluable to students’ learning experiences, especially in sports where expanding your network, and understanding as much as possible about the industry, are the keys to success.  There is only so much a book can teach about the realities of working in the sports business.  Real learning occurs in practice.”  

Five students then visited the National Hockey League headquarters in New York City. During that time, they met with Susan Cohig, Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing, Jessica Berman, Vice-President and Deputy General Counsel, and Patrick Burke, Director of Player Safety and founder of the “You Can Play” project. Allison Wozniak was one of the students who traveled to the NHL, and states:

“Visiting the NHL headquarters and meeting with the people we did brought back my love for sports and the reason I fell into sports in the first place. There are few opportunities where you face so many challenges in such a short period of time and are forced to deal with those challenges head on. By acting with integrity and accountability, you enable people to trust you in situations which they may feel vulnerable. The NHL is taking considerable strides toward providing fair opportunity to athletes and empowering all kinds of different people to overcome the obstacles they face.”

Ira Selkowitz (faculty), Drew Kennedy (student), Ross Stebbins (student), Sydney Davis (AEG), Sarah Morgan (student)
Ira Selkowitz (faculty), Drew Kennedy (student), Ross Stebbins (student), Sydney Davis (AEG), Sarah Morgan (student)

Three students were selected to travel to Los Angeles for a visit with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG is a multi-faceted company engaged in concert and event presentation, facility ownership and operation, including the Staples Center, and sports team ownership, including the Lakers, Kings and Galaxy teams in Los Angeles.  Students met with representatives of the AEG Facilities, AEG Live and AEG Sports divisions to discuss ethics in the fields of sports team management, event booking, sustainability program, legal affairs, supply chain management, and human resources. Sarah Morgan appreciates how attentive and welcoming the AEG staff was:

“The staff at AEG was incredibly welcoming and informative. Besides an inside look at AEG, we were given much career advice and had some very interesting conversations on how each entity put their ethical foot forward in their work. I learned a lot that I did not know about ethics in the sports and entertainment business.”

The final Shadow Days visit was to ICON Venue Group located in Greenwood Village, Colorado with the opportunity to observe discussions and negotiations related to two different ICON projects.  Ann Meilahn describes her experience as follows:

My Shadow Days experience gave me a rare opportunity to shadow negotiations between an Owner’s Representative in the event facilities development and construction industry and a potential Project Executive partner in Italy.  I had the chance to hear both parties discuss contract implications on each side in a balanced and ethical manner.  It helped me understand how imperative it is to gracefully maintain a position while acknowledging and allowing for the needs of the other side.  No student should go into the business world without having had exposure to real life scenarios which successfully balance ethical considerations for both parties.”

Earlier this year, the University of Colorado Denver Business School received a $1.25 donation ($250,000 per year for five years) from the Daniels Fund to join the consortium of 10 business schools and one law school that make up the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative.  To learn more about the Daniels Fund and its Ethics Initiative, please visit our website.

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