PRSA Colorado’s ‘Business Person of the Year’ Threatens to Break KMGH/Channel 7 Reporter’s Finger

How’s this for irony: A week after accepting PRSA Colorado’s “Business Person of the Year” award at the organization’s annual awards gala, Pinnacol Assurance CEO Ken Ross (allegedly) had to be restrained from attacking KMGH/Channel 7 investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski and threatened to break the reporter’s finger.

The confrontation (allegedly) took place at the famed Pebble Beach resort in California, where Pinnacol was hosting a controversial junket for board members and its top sales brokers.

From KMGH/Channel 7:

Following a golf round on May 13, Kovaleski asked Johnson about whether it was appropriate for him to be on the trip.

“What do you think the governor is going to think about you taking this kind of golf with you and your wife,” Kovaleski was asking (Pinnacol board chairman Gary) Johnson when Ross interrupted and prevented the board member from answering.

Ross, on the 18th hole, seemed very agitated.

“You point your finger at me again, and I’m going to break it,” Ross said while pointing his finger at Kovaleski. He turned to the camera and demanded that it be turned off.

“This has nothing to do with Pinnacol,” Ross said.

“It doesn’t?” Kovaleski asked. “Then why did your employees let us know you were here? Why are your employees outraged? You are spending a lot of money on a trip and you have board members who are appointed by the governor.”

CALL7 Investigators were tipped of to the trip by a source who had information from inside Pinnacol.

Ross, who was being restrained by colleagues, surged at Kovaleski.

“Please, don’t push me,” Kovaleski said.

6 thoughts on “PRSA Colorado’s ‘Business Person of the Year’ Threatens to Break KMGH/Channel 7 Reporter’s Finger

  1. Ken Ross was among a long list of nominees for the PRSA Colorado Business Person of the Year award. Critical examination of each candidate made it clear that his efforts as a corporate leader in 2009 put him far above the others. How Ross behaved since receiving the award is unrelated to the accomplishments that earned him the award and, of course, PRSA Colorado has no control over the behavior of individual winners. His actions toward KMGH’s Tony Kovelski during a recent television interview are terribly unfortunate, and PRSA Colorado does not condone them. Frankly, this is not how any individuals, no less business leaders, should conduct themselves. At the same time, we remain aware of the good work Ross has done for his community, and we look forward to his return to thoughtful leadership.

    Elisabeth Monaghan, APR
    President, PRSA Colorado

  2. Well said, Elisabeth. Of course, the “alleged” behavior with the media would have no doubt eliminated Mr. Ross from the nomination process. What an unfortunate chain of events for all concerned. I personally hate to see PRSA’s name tarnished like this.

  3. If that’s how the “Business Person of the Year” behaves I can only imagine the rest of the candidates on that list. I hope I never get nominated for such an award, that would be the end of my career. 🙂

  4. Yeah, yeah, yeah…but let’s get to the heart of the matter…what did he shoot? Pebble Beach is a hard course!

  5. Given the subject matter, Ross’ behavior in this case was indefensible. Then again, given what an a-hole and hack Kovaleski is, Ken may just have wanted to seize the moment to do what most people who watch Kovaleski’s “work” wish they could.

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