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Quad Innovation Alliance builds on the legacy its executive director has forged

The Quad Innovation Alliance has faced tough challenges before. That's its thing.

What to do with Venetucci Farm? How to improve the quality of life for local seniors? How to build trust between the police department and the community?

But this one may be the toughest: How to build on four years of momentum as an innovation incubator without Jake Eichengreen. Eichengreen, who will leave in June to attend the UVA Darden School of Business as a Stamps Fellow, has been the Quad's only executive director. Under his leadership, an unlikely partnership that brought together every major local higher ed institution has remained strong.

"I'm not worried," said Lance Bolton, president of Pikes Peak Community College and one of the architects of the Quad. "Even though Jake has provided such a creative spark to the Quad, he's also built a brilliant team, a solid structure and a vast network of community connections that will keep it thriving and innovating for years to come."

“The Quad Innovation Alliance was built on collaborative brainstorming and finding innovative solutions,” said Colorado College Acting Co-President Mike Edmonds. “What Jake has accomplished so far is remarkable, and I know the Quad program will continue to build on that.”

“Bringing CC, UCCS, PPCC, and AFA students and recent graduates together to address local issues benefits our students, our institutions and the Colorado Springs community,” said CC Acting Co-President Robert G. Moore. “Jake has brought tremendous energy and extraordinary vision to the program, and we are all better for it. 

Their optimism is shared with their counterparts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy, who've all recommitted themselves to providing instructors, funding, office space and students for the Quad.

“We have proven the value of this program not just to the community, but also to our cadets,” said Col. Chris McClernon, Associate Dean of Research at USAFA. “The collaborations our cadets have with civilian students solving community problems prepares them for the working environment they will have in the Air and Space Forces.”

To further power the Quad's momentum as it searches for a new executive director, a new infusion of funds will help. It recently secured a $450,000 grant from the Lane Foundation to launch a new initiative on public education.

Megan Barry, the senior program coordinator, will take over as interim director while the Quad's board looks for a permanent replacement for Eichengreen.

"I feel like I'm leaving the Quad in great hands," Eichengreen said. "Not only does Megan have the insights and drive to build on our foundation, the Quad itself has become a sustainable organization. Our new partnership with the Lane Foundation certainly underscores that. What we've achieved has been fairly miraculous. By focusing the mission on tackling our community's toughest challenges, the community has taken a sense of ownership in the Quad, and that's what excites me about the future."

“The private sector, public sector and nonprofit community partners have all embraced the Quad model,” said UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy. “This strong alignment is a validation of the impact we can make when we work together. We appreciate all that Jake has done to build the Quad into what it is today, and we are excited to see the impact the Quad can continue to make in our community for years to come.”

Media Contacts

PPCC: Warren Epstein
Executive Director, Marketing and Communication
Warren.epstein@ppcc.edu, 719-393-5792
 

CC: Leslie Weddell, Director of News & Media Relations
(719) 389-6038, lweddell@coloradocollege.edu

UCCS: Mark Belcher, Interim Director of Communications & Media Relations
(719) 255-4916, mbelcher@uccs.edu 

USAFA: Lt Col Mike Andrews, USAFA Public Affairs
719-333-7731