Mountaineer and author Luis Benitez to speak at UCCS on “High Stakes Leadership”

Eric Nissen, (719) 255-3755, [email protected] Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, (719) 351-6519, [email protected]
Luis Benitez
Luis Benitez

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo – Luis Benitez, one of the world’s foremost high altitude mountaineers and leadership management consultants will share lessons learned from summiting the world’s tallest peaks during an Oct. 9 event at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, part of the UCCS College of Business, and the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, a leadership development program at UCCS, are co-sponsors of Benitez’ visit.The event is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Oct. 9 in Dwire Hall 121 on the UCCS campus. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Please contact Elizabeth Moore, [email protected], for reservation information.

As a mountaineer, Benitez achieved his sixth summit of Mt. Everest in 2007. He also climbed with blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer to his historic 2001 Everest summit, chronicled in the feature film “Farther Than the Eye Can See” and also in Weihenmayer’s book “Touch the Top of the World.” In addition to reaching the top of Everest six times, he has also summited the famed Seven Summits 32 times.

In the past decade, Benitez emerged as one of the most experienced, respected and busiest professional guides and leadership consultants in the world. He manages expeditions and leadership seminars from the tallest, most remote peaks on the planet to the highest levels of Fortune 500 executives.

Benitez also conducts an annual Leadership and Change Management through Mountaineering seminar in Ecuador and Chile for the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School of Business.

“When I first heard Luis speak, I was completely blown away by his fearlessness, passion and integrity to do what’s right in very challenging circumstances,” Kristi Kremers, director, Chancellor’s Leadership Class program, said. “I knew immediately that I wanted my students to have the opportunity to hear his story, and how someone who isn’t that much older than they are had the courage to expose a situation that could have jeopardized his own climbing career.”

Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, associate professor, College of Business, and director of the College of Business Ethics initiative said:

“We look forward to generating discussion on the need for courage to speak up and act when observing unethical behavior in the workplace and beyond among faculty, students and the business community. Events like this provides students with examples and the results of those who have done so, and we are pleased to support an event like this through the Ethics Initiative.”

In addition to “Farther Than the Eye Can See” (2003), Benitez was featured in films such as “Visions of Everest” (2002) and “Shadow of the Condor” (2003). In 2006, Benitez reported from Mt. Everest for ABC-TV News and filmed a segment for an episode of National Geographic’s weekly TV series “Wild Chronicles,” which aired this year on PBS. He is also a mountaineering correspondent for “The ESPN Colorado Outdoor Show.”

In 1992, Benitez was hired by the prestigious leadership development organization Outward Bound. In 2005, he transitioned to Outward Bound Professional, developing and leading innovative domestic and international team building and leadership development programs such as the executive leadership expeditions for organizations such as Boeing, American Express, ING Financial, JP Morgan, Nestle Waters and Vail Resorts.

About the sponsors

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative exists to instill principle based ethics throughout the UCCS and Colorado Springs communities. The initiative has a robust grant program and is actively seeking partners to support principle based ethics in business and individual actions. For more information, contact Elisabeth Moore, coordinator, Ethics Initiative, [email protected] or 255-5168.

The Chancellor’s Leadership Class is a highly selective undergraduate honors program designed to develop effective leaders. Through coursework, community service, skill building, and mentoring, students have the opportunity to enhance their leadership abilities. To allow students to focus their full attention on the program, CLC provides a substantial scholarship renewable for up to four years. For more information, contact  Kremers, [email protected], or (719) 255-3215.

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,000 undergraduates and 350 MBA and distance MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration degree. More than 8,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 10,500 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit