Cari Shaffer to receive Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award
Published: Monday, April 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 00:04
The UCCS College of Business Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award has had a history of successful businessmen as its recipients.
Now, Cari Shaffer, founder of the local business ADD STAFF Inc., joins that list as the first woman – and rightfully so.
Shaffer has been a local business icon for the past 25 years, employing numerous individuals and serving on committees around the city to make it a better place to live.
When news broke that she was going to be the recipient of the award, Shaffer said she was surprised and overwhelmed.
“This is a wonderful, great honor and I am really humbled by it,” Shaffer said. “I know and have the utmost respect for the previous three recipients and was overwhelmed that I was chosen to follow in their footsteps with this award.”
Shaffer has been working for ADD STAFF, a temp agency, as the founder and owner since 1984, but is also well-known for her involvement in the Colorado Springs community at large.
She is a founding president for Colorado Springs Human Resources Association, and founding chairman of the Education Foundation of the Better Business Bureau, Women’s Business Council of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and of the Pikes Peak Coalition of Chambers.
Shaffer is also a life member of the Little People of America, and has a scholarship for upperclassmen dwarfs at UCCS that she created five years ago.
“When I was the president of the University Club at UCCS, I did some minor scholarships, but realized they didn’t help that much,” she explained.
“So, I created the Cari Shaffer Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to an upperclassmen dwarf at UCCS for $2,000 to $2,500 dollars, which I think is a good amount that helps them out quite a bit.”
Besides having her own scholarship fund and being involved in the community, Shaffer also does quite a bit of volunteer work. “Over the years, I have done a lot in giving back to the community,” she said. “I think it is important to try and make things user-friendly in business, and doing volunteer work helps with that. The more you know and do in the community, the better citizen you are, too.”
Being a small business entrepreneur, Shaffer has learned a lot about the business world and how it can be. “I’ve learned that you never, ever should compromise your values, even on the little things,” she said. “Trust is paramount to success in this business and critically important to know as an entrepreneur.”
Shaffer will receive the award at a campus luncheon on May 11 in Berger Hall, where College of Business professor Al Davis will be the keynote speaker. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. and is a fundraising event for the College of Business to make student, alumni and community connections stronger.
Being the first woman to receive the award, Shaffer hopes that her work in the community, scholarship fund and business world can be a strong example for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
“Business, to me, is always under construction so there is always room for improvement,” she elaborated. “So many of us know what to do, but in the end, we just don’t do it. Your outcome as entrepreneur can be rewarding, but it really depends on the type of input you have in your business.”