Minority Business' Biggest Advocates

Meet the governor-appointed Advisory Council that advocates for minority businesses behind the scenes.

Jose Beteta

Owner, Leaptech Solutions & Executive Director, The Latino Chamber

Jose Beteta

Owner of Leaptech Solutions, an I.T Consulting company that works with the needs of small companies in all industries, Jose is a very energetic leader both in the Latino Chamber and his other endeavors. Besides Leaptech and the Chamber, Jose actively works to bring programs that enrich culture, education and values of community with wife, Tamil Maldonado with groups such as its co-creation Barrio E’ and its cultural center, Barrio E’ CENTRO.

Jose is working closely with his Board at the Latino Chamber to bring education, resources technology and visibility to the Latino community, working to bridge the gap that exists between Latino and non-Latino businesses and drawing membership by educating the general public about the stigmas that surround Latinos and their businesses.

He is also on the in the Boulder Chamber board, the City of Boulder Human Relation’s Commission, the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, One Action Arts + Immigration Project and now on Governor John Hickenlooper’s Minority Business Advisory Council for the State of Colorado.

His latest achievements include the reorganization of the Latino Chamber and its Colorado Latino Business Conference and the creation of the Colorado Latino Festival in June 2016.

Michelle Campbell

VP Operations, Campbell Litigation, P.C.

Michelle Campbell

Michelle Campbell is VP Operations at Campbell Litigation, P.C., an employment defense litigation law firm.

Michelle has served as organization development advisor for 25 years, and focuses on organization effectiveness and employment policy matters. She is a trained engineer and counselor with national experience in developing effective operation and employee systems that impact productive work environments. Her practice areas have included: corporate systems analysis, workplace investigations, diversity cultural audits, operations assessments, mediation, executive coaching, and project implementation. She has successfully developed numerous corporate operations plans that involved transforming an organization’s employee policy and developing new strategies for organization effectiveness.

Michelle has written, facilitated, and served as senior advisor in various corporate organization transformation projects, which has gained her expertise in diversity and inclusion. Her publications, workshops, and, keynote addresses include topics on organization effectiveness, and incorporate the best practices in serving and establishing policies on the basis of race, gender, sexual harassment, disability and age.

Michelle is a thoughtful advisor that brings structure, organization and a practical approach to an organization’s challenging situation, and she has an ability to identify critical gaps and bring a human dynamic and experience that reaches across a diverse client base. In January 2016 Michelle was awarded The Colorado MLK Business Leaders Award by The Governors’ Office, and in September 2016 Awarded The MBE/Diversity Advocate of the Year Award.

Dee Espinoza

Owner & CEO, Espinoza Consulting Services (ECS)

Dee Espinoza

Dee Ann Espinoza is the owner and CEO of Espinoza Consulting Services (ECS). ECS has been in operation for over six years providing environmental consulting services to federal, state, local, and tribal governments and a host of commercial clients. The company has been recognized by the Small Business Administration in the SBDC’s 2014 Annual Report as a growing business in the south-central Colorado region. ECS is also certified as a small, woman- and minority-owned disadvantaged business by the SBA (under the 8(a) Business Development, the Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business, and the HUBZone Programs). ECS currently employs 20 professionals and is headquartered in rural south-central Colorado in the San Luis Valley. Community-wise, Mrs. Espinoza is a Trustee for the Town of La Jara, Colorado. Through being a trustee, she participates in numerous volunteer events and is currently organizing the development of a 23-acre outdoor recreational park, to include a world-class bicycle motocross (BMX) track. The design grant has been funded through a grant by the Go Colorado Program (GOCO). Her goal is to increase economic development in her town, Conejos County, and in the overall San Luis Valley to provide well-paying and stable jobs in healthy, safe communities in beautiful rural Colorado.

Maria Gonzalez

President & CEO, Gonzalez Insurance Group

Maria Gonzalez

With a devoted commitment to make a difference at the community level, Maria Gonzalez has extensive experience in the business, government, and non-profit sectors.

Since 2007, Maria has owned and operated Gonzalez Insurance Group, a Colorado insurance business that focuses primarily on the transportation and construction industries.

Prior to her private sector career, Maria served as the Community Liaison for Commerce City. She is also the founder of Adelante Community Development, a non-profit organization that supports small business development and growth in Adams County. In the community, Maria has served on multiple non-profit boards and collaborative coalitions focused on community empowerment, economic development, and social change.

Helga Grunerud

Owner, HelgaG Consulting LLC

Helga Grunerud

Helga started HelgaG Consulting LLC in late 2017 after retiring as Executive Director of HCC Colorado’s Diversity Leader (formerly Hispanic Contractors of Colorado) in December 2017. She currently has a consulting contract with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to help launch their new state-wide Mentor-Protégé Program.

During her 17 year tenure with HCC, that started in 2000, membership more than tripled, and included some of the largest contractors/ professional services companies in the U.S. plus some of the smallest in Colorado. The association focused on public construction and was a key advocate for the economic benefits that public projects provide for Small/ Minority/ Woman-Owned companies in the construction industry. To that end, she was involved with a variety of committees that interface with public entities to develop programs geared towards opportunities for diverse companies and diverse workforce development.

Small business education was a key HCC initiative since its inception. Helga was instrumental in securing grants from the TREX Project, which launched the HCC Contractor Academy education program. That evolved into a monthly series of workshops and offered a certificate program and scholarships for small businesses. In 2017 she partnered with the Community College of Denver’s Workforce Development Center and secured a contract with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to offer a WINPreneurs Program. This unique program combined classroom work, networking training and opportunities to interact with construction industry professionals at HCC dinner meetings. Putting learning into action!

Gustavo “Gus” Hernandez

President/CEO, DynAeroTech

Gustavo “Gus” Hernandez

Gus is President and CEO of DynAeroTech in Colorado Springs since January of 2015.

His company is a Minority-Owned Small Business, SDB, ESB, VOSB, SDVOSB, MBE-DBE-8(a) Pending. They provide engineering, science and technology solutions focused on providing SUAS – Drone Services; multi-mission areas. The company’s consulting division specializes in placement of highly skilled personnel on specialized customer tasks. They serve the defense-aerospace, federal and commercial sectors with key customer base: DoD, DoEd/Energy, USDA, NSF, NASA, MDA, DOI, DOC, EPA, DOT, DHS, DOI. They conduct engagement with Government, Military, National, Academia, State and Civic Leaders and participate in regional and national associations & organizations.

Gus is a PMP and has experience with extensive organizations and departments (Air Force, Army, Navy), MDA, NASA, DARPA, National Labs, IC and others with 28-plus years’ experience in program/project management, strategic/tactical requirements planning, systems acquisition, satellites, shuttle, launch vehicles, range operations, aerospace flight testing, unmanned aerial systems, (UAS) intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance (ISR), command & control systems, integrated systems engineering, information technology, corporate business development/capture management/proposal management and corporate site management.

Ben Jacobs

Co-Owner, Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery

Ben Jacobs

Tocabe is the only American Indian owned and operated restaurant in Metro Denver. The restaurant first opened its doors in December 2008, adding a second location in 2015 and food truck in 2016.

Ben and his business partner Matt Chandra work with many local and national Native organizations. Along with community outreach, Ben and Matt travel around to tribal communities learning about their traditional foods and what’s important to them on a cultural and community level.

Ben has lived in Denver since the age of three and grew up in the Park Hill neighborhood. He graduated from Denver East High School in 2001, then attended and graduated from the University of Denver in 2005 with a B.A. in History with a focus on American Indian studies.

Clarence Low

President/CEO, Asian Chamber of Commerce

Clarence Low

Clarence Low is the President/CEO of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Denver, Colorado. He oversees the management of daily operations, programs and strategic partnerships of the organization. His local AAPI business development and advocacy efforts has raised the Asian Chamber’s profile in the Denver Metropolitan region and has created fruitful relationships with national and international agencies. His passion for community partnerships has helped create the Asian Chamber’s Scholarship Fund, assisting 1st-generation Colorado students and spotlighting mental health challenges amongst the local AAPI community.

Mr. Low believes in the multiplicative power of partnerships, particularly reaching across various Asian ethic groups to strengthen alliances. He recently participated in a delegation of U.S. AAPI business leaders hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, deepening diplomatic and cultural relationships. He has also worked with national business and advocacy organizations to give voice to the growing economic strength of the Asian community in the U.S.

In addition to his role at the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Low is a small business owner and respected community advocate whose leadership is making an impact on future generations of leaders and young professionals in the Rocky Mountains. For his efforts, Mr. Low has received recognition from community organizations. He has been recognized as an Asian American Hero of Colorado by the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, and awarded the 2015 Rosa Parks Diversity Community Award by the University of Colorado, Denver for his outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion in the community. Mr. Low lends his support to educational institutions, community organizations and various business groups. He served as Chair of the Denver Minority and Women’s Chamber Coalition, and currently is a commissioner on the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission.

Mr. Low earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in marine sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Barbara Myrick

Owner, B&M Construction

Barbara Myrick

Barbara Myrick is the principal of B&M Construction, a minority/veteran-owned company, specializing in; contracting services, general construction, electrical, furniture procurement, furniture installation and project management. Ms. Myrick has over twenty years of experience in all facets of construction management and has a proven track record for successful completion of multi-million dollar projects for both private and public sectors. She is well versed in design and blueprint review and analysis, preparation of construction documents, bidding, contract negotiations, material purchasing, site management, hiring and oversight of specialty trade contractors, quality control management and safety and compliance management.

Ms. Myrick effectively develops partnerships with architects, engineers, government officials, vendors and clients while formulating forward thinking solutions for win-win outcomes for all stakeholders.

Anthony Perez

President, Success is a Language

Anthony Perez

Anthony is an entrepreneur, veteran, community leader; President of Success is a Language Inc., Owner and COO for Infinity Mobile Detail Solutions LLC, Infinity F and B Staffing Solutions and Commercial Cleaning LLC.

As a speaker Anthony has authored several training programs that focus on increasing influence, employee engagement and improving company’s culture of success through the teaching of social and emotional leadership development.

Currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife Stephanie and their son Gabriel, who is a really cool little dude. Anthony is the co-founder and past president of the Colorado Springs Hispanic Business Council, Board Member for CAPS and FCC, supporting law enforcement and mental health initiatives and has been appointed by Mayor John Suthers to serve as a Commissioner on Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.

Alan Ramirez

Director of Lending, Colorado Enterprise Fund

Alan Ramirez

As Director of Lending, Alan works with our Director of Credit Quality to manage CEF loan production and supervises our lending team. He also consults with potential applicants about their business plans, performs credit analysis and loan underwriting, provides ongoing business advisory services to borrowers, and oversees loan activity in the Denver Metro area and other parts of the state. Prior to joining CEF in 2007, Alan worked as a loan consultant for Pulte Homes. He is fluent in Spanish.

Susana Salamun

Latino Services Officer, Alpine Bank

Susana Salamun

Susana Salamun is the Latino Services Officer for Alpine Bank. She acts as the strategic and administrative leader of Alpine Bank’s ongoing efforts to serve the Hispanic and Latino populations throughout Colorado. She also serves as board member of Aspen Community Foundation. Susana was born and raised in Mexico and has lived in the Western Slope of Colorado for the last seven years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, one of the most prestigious universities in Mexico. Susana has worked in the areas of electronic banking, compliance and information technology for Alpine Bank. She has also translated multiple banking resources into Spanish and recorded Alpine Bank radio ads in Spanish. She was invited as a guest speaker to talk to the Rifle High School students about cyber security and how to prevent technology breaches. While in Mexico, Susana worked as a computer science professor. Her skills include leadership, problem solving, interpersonal skills, self-learning, self-motivation, collaboration, coaching, communication, time management, and adaptability. Susana lives in New Castle with her husband. She pursues challenging opportunities that help her grow personally and professionally. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing piano. Susana believes in leading by example and being a positive influence. Her passion is people, caring for others and playing an active role her community.

AJ Shaikh

Vice President | SBA Business Development Officer, Community Banks of Colorado

AJ Shaikh

AJ Shaikh started his commercial lending career in 2005. He most recently joined Centerstone SBA Lending, serving Colorado and the surrounding states. AJ’s focus within the business community is to help with debt restructure, working capital, commercial real estate and business financing.

AJ moved to Colorado in 2005, embracing the Colorado lifestyle.  He enjoys everything outdoors. When he is not hiking or cycling, he enjoys cooking and spending time with family & friends. As an active member in the community, AJ serves on the Board of two local non-profit organizations. He has also been involved with Junior Achievement and Big Brothers Big Sisters Colorado.

AJ proudly joined the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce in 2016, and he brings his dedication to serving the business community with him. He is passionate about equality, and he hopes to share the mission and vision of the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and be a positive influence in the LGBTQ business community and at large.

Alejandra “Ale” Spray

Marketing Director, AMI Mechanical, Inc.

Alejandra “Ale” Spray

With more than 20 years of construction and engineering experience, Ale is a marketing professional dedicated to the industry and community. Ale currently serves as the Marketing Director for AMI Mechanical, Inc in Denver, Colorado. As marketing director, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s marketing and procurement strategies, objectives and goals. However, Ale’s expertise extends beyond the A/E/C industry, as she is also responsible for AMI Mechanical’s community engagement, wellness program and outreach efforts.

Ale is a board member and President-Elect of HCC (Hispanic Contractors of Colorado), an organization she is been actively involved with for 14 years. Her dedication and support for small and minority businesses has led to her appointment to the State of Colorado’s Minority Business Advisory Council where she continues her work promoting active engagement and solution-based dialogue with the business community.

She enjoys the opportunity to volunteer with her kids’ school and at her church. She currently lives in Erie but was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Elizabeth Suarez

Speaker, Coach, Author

Elizabeth Suarez

A highly sought-after speaker and coach, Elizabeth Suárez is dedicated to helping professionals unleash their potential by transforming them into skilled negotiators and decision makers. After climbing the ranks of corporate America, she authored the bestseller book The Art of Getting Everything and launched Negotiation Unleashed – a coaching and training platform for professionals.

Elizabeth holds an MBA from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University. She completed the Executive Management Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She received her mediation training from the Colorado Council of Mediators and the Colorado Bar Association.

Steven L. Trujillo, MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer, Latino Chamber

Steven L. Trujillo, MBA

A native of Pueblo, Steven is a 2007 graduate of Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School. He holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in general studies from Pueblo Community College, a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University-Pueblo with a minor in Leadership Studies, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, also from Colorado State University-Pueblo.

As President & Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations, public relations and community representation. He was a member of the Presidents Leadership Program at CSU-Pueblo and served on the Scholars Board for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, advocating and representing students from CSU-Pueblo since 2010. In 2009 Steven received the 2009 Colorado State University-Pueblo Campus Leader of the Year Award, presented by the Boettcher Foundation; and was the 2009 Nominee Colorado Student Leader, presented by the Boettcher Foundation. He currently serves on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, the President’s Leadership Program Advisory Board, Pueblo Community College CETD Advisory Board. He is a member of the Chavez-Huerta Board of Directors; a member of the El Pueblo Interdevelopment Corporation (EPIC) Board of Directors; Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center Board of Trustees; Pueblo Economic Development Board of Directors.

Under his leadership, the Latino Chamber continues to grow and advance, while staying focused on the small business community of southern Colorado.

Steven enjoys volunteering his time with groups that work toward the enhancement of the Pueblo Community, and spending time with his family and friends in the beautiful Colorado outdoors.

Susan Welk de Valdez

Owner & Editor, La Voz del Pueblo

Susan Welk de Valdez

Susan Welk de Valdez is the owner and editor of La Voz del Pueblo Spanish newspaper, and lives in Delta County, Colorado, with her husband, Martin Valdez Gonzalez. She is currently a board director with the Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce, and with CASA 7th Judicial District. Throughout her career, she has served and volunteered with numerous organizations in the United States and in Cozumel, Mexico, where she and her family lived for a number of years.

If you are interested in participating in MBAC, please send us an email at info@mbocolorado.com.

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