ALAMOSA – Alamosa native and Adams State alumnus Chris Lopez has been named director of Public Relations and Marketing at Adams State University. Formerly president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley, he assumed his new post November 20.
“We are so fortunate at Adams State to have a community leader like Chris Lopez join our leadership team. Chris believes in the mission and vision of Adams State University and will help us to move forward in a positive manner,” said Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure. “Adams State can no longer be the best-kept secret. Chris will help us tell our story with current and potential students, alumni, community members, and policy makers.”
Lopez said his first objective will be to make a strong case for Adams State through an integrated marketing and public relations strategy. “To start, I plan to do a lot of brainstorming and collaboration across campus, so all stakeholders can help formulate the strategy.”
The appointment brings Lopez full circle to Adams State, where he earned a degree in journalism in 1984 and worked as sports information director while a student. He went on to a successful career in journalism and communications and returned to the Valley to retire two years ago. When asked to head the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley, he gladly took the position because of his commitment to youth. With his wife, MaryAnne Talbott, he also operates Zepol Media Partners, a full-service media and marketing/communications firm.
“I plan to still be involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs as a volunteer and supporter. It must remain strong and relevant. It serves the Valley, and we must make sure it has the support it needs,” Lopez said. One accomplishment in his tenure there was creation of the Teen Tech Academy at Alamosa High School. He said participation increased from 14 students to 75 in the last year.
“I wanted to find ways to help in the community. Adams State is another way for me to do work in the community that is of value to those of us living here,” Lopez said. He considers Adams State to be one of four cornerstones of the Valley, along with the mountains, the railroad and agriculture. “The healthier each one of those is, the better it is for everyone.”
Prior to his return to the Valley, Lopez was associate vice president at The University of Texas El Paso and received The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Excellence Award for internal communications. He was previously executive editor with the El Paso Times in El Paso, Texas, and Contra Costa Newspapers in Walnut Creek, California. During his tenure, both newspapers won best-in-state awards. He also served as communications director for the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee. Lopez’s early career was spent at The Pueblo Chieftain and The Denver Post. During his time at the Post, the newsroom received a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Columbine High School massacre.