Colorado District Office for the United States Small Business Administration Salutes Local Small Business Winners
Denver- The Colorado District Office of the United States Small Business Administration is proud to announce the winners for the 2010 Colorado Small Business Week.
Small Business Person of the Year- Antonio Colón, CEO of Combat Training Solutions.
Antonio Colón founded Combat Training Solutions in 2005 and immediately began fulfilling a wartime acquisition by the U.S. Department of Defense for non-pyrotechnic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) simulators and training devices to help combat the growing use of IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. These were the first American-made simulators to enable direct contact training and enhance training realism for soldiers which resulted in significantly improved counter-IED reactionary skills.
Since then, the company has continued to deliver on its mission to design, manufacture and integrate the safest and most advanced battlefield effects available today. Colón was also instrumental in bringing these innovative designs to allied troops and peacekeepers around the world including those in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Spain and the United Kingdom. As a US Air Force veteran and long-time Colorado resident, he has made it his personal mission to aid the local military and law enforcement community through corporate service, hands on training and advocacy.
“Antonio Colón embodies what a small business entrepreneur is all about," said SBA District Director Greg Lopez. "Not only does he run a successful company in a competitive field during difficult times, but he advocates on behalf of War fighters, believing that proper training for our soldiers better prepares them for wartime and helps bring them back home safely to our communities."
Financial Services Champion Winner - Stephanie G.G. Gerringer, Preferred Lending Partners
Stephanie Gerringer is the Executive Director of Preferred Lending Partners, a Denver-based lending organization committed to local economic development. Since Stephanie joined Preferred Lending in 2000, she has repositioned preferred lending to achieve incredible levels of profitability and community service and aided in the development of new initiatives that include support for the Denver Enterprise Center.
In 2000, Stephanie and her team achieved NADCO’s ward for Greatest Increase in Percentage of 504 Loan Approvals for a Portfolio Over $25 million. In addition to assisting Preferred Lending Partners and supporting the SBA 504 loan program, Stephanie has helped Colorado small businesses create 3,000 new jobs.
“Stephanie has proven to be a strong and successful advocate for SBA loan programs” said Greg Lopez, Colorado District Director, “but most importantly, Stephanie has proven to be a catalyst to the economic development of Colorado and small business.”
Small Business Exporter of the Year - Teresa Lynch, Health Options, dba Animal Health Options
Health Options is a company that makes animal supplements for dogs, cats, and horses. Teresa Lynch began her business operations in 1990 from her home and since, has grown into an international company with sales in five countries in addition to the United States. Health Options has established long term distributor relationships in Japan, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands.
With the assistance of SBA and the Export-Import Bank,, they have been able to introduce their products into new markets including Taiwan and Vietnam.
“It is because of small companies like Health Options and their Creative Product ideas that have given the U.S. and our products a great reputation, I hope more companies can follow the example Health Options has set and continue to expand our economy internationally” said Greg Lopez
Women in Business Champion of the Year - Kelly Terrien, Summit Technical Solutions
Summit Technical Solutions, LLC (STS) is a company that offer professional technical services that assist other small businesses enhance their business practices. Kelly Terrien is the President and CEO of Summit Technical Solutions, LLC and has successfully grown her small business, established in 2001 with only one employee, to a company that employs over 350 employees.
In additional to being a successful business owner, she continues to remain active as an advocate for other women owned businesses. She currently chairs the “Successful Small Business Panel” for Pikes Peak Small Business Outreach. She is also a member in the Women in Defense organization. Lastly, she leads her own in house company effort called “Dress for Success”. This effort is to advance low-income women and encourage self-sufficiency through career development and employment retention.
Minority Small Business Champion of the Year - Jerome Gonzales, JG Management Systems, Inc.
JG Management Systems, Inc. (JGMS) is a company that specializes in technical management services. They utilize engineering methodologies to provide operational and technical support to their clients. Jerome founded JGMS in 2001 and started with one employee. Today, Jerome has grown his company to more than 57 fulltime employees and 28 consultants.
Jerome believes for a company to truly be successful, the company needs to also be a part of the community. “We want our company not only to do well, but also to do good!”
Each year, five percent of corporate profits are donated to charitable nonprofit organizations within the community. Jerome believes that servant leadership is important, and because of this, he provides paid time off to all of his employees so they too can contribute time to a charity of their choice. Additionally, JGMS provides 100% of employee and family medical, dental, and vision, as well as short and long-term disability insurance and a matching IRA program.
“I am extremely proud of all of our winners. They not only represent small business, but they also represent Colorado. With business leaders like our winners, Colorado can look forward to a flourishing community” Greg Lopez, Colorado District Director.
The celebration recognizing all of the winners is scheduled to be hold on Thursday, June 10th from 8:00am to 1:00pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel located on 2886 S. Circle Dr, in Colorado Springs, CO. For reservations or for further information, please visit http://www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp and enter code: BBB610.