Carrie McKee to become new leader of Westside-based Junior Achievement
She will replace David Loose, who has held the post since 2008 and will stay on as a volunteer in a nearly completed “capital campaign” (fundraising effort) to help the Westside-based nonprofit greatly expand its offerings in the former Goodwill building complex on the north side of Colorado Avenue's west 2300 block.
Part of an international organization, JA of SoCo offers programs for students from kindergarten to 12th grade to introduce them to the business world.
McKee has been with the United Way since 2007 and has also been in management positions with Southern Colorado Springs Young Life and the United States Olympic Committee.
Before that, as a basketball player at the University of North Carolina, she was Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1992, served as a team captain for three years and played on the national championship team of 1994.
“Carrie's background is an excellent fit for the leadership of JA,” said Scott Shollenbarger, the JA of SoCo board chair.
In a prepared statement, McKee said, “I believe that the greatness of our community - and our country - depends on this next generation's business acumen. Not only does JA believe in the boundless potential of our youth, it also equips them with the tools and mindset necessary to succeed in life and compete in the global economy. I whole-heartedly agree with the work of JA and feel honored to lead these efforts in Southern Colorado because its programs will impact our future."
To enhance such programs, sets can be built to represent business-styled “towns” and allow hands-on activities within them. Money raised in the capital campaign will cover the costs of providing these amenities in a large area of unused space in the 2300-block complex.
The multiyear campaign had set out to raise $3.9 million - a goal that is likely to be reached this spring, Loose said. “We are at $2.2 million and have close to $1 million in pending requests and proposals,” he elaborated. “We're hoping to get to about $3 million by the end of the year and then wrap things up in a public phase of fundraising this spring.”
Loose has been with JA since 1981 (initially in Fort Wayne, Indiana) and joined JA of SoCo in 2004. In what he described as the “second chapter of my work life,” he will become a home real-estate appraiser, Loose said.
Westside Pioneer/press release