When Maria Velez began Ayuda Companies in 2002 she knew the focus of the business needed to center around her core values of commitment, courage, creativity, consistency, challenges, compassion, and community. In the beginning the business had one employee and $33,000 in revenue. Today, Ayuda Companies has grown to 40 employees and $16 million in revenues.
Maria Velez learned very early in life about the importance of hard work and treating people fairly. She learned these principles from her grandfather who taught himself English and worked his way up to becoming the head chef at Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Restaurant in New York City. Maria Velez comes from an Ecuadorian family of entrepreneurs including her dad who started an IT company, and her aunt who ran a successful snack stand in Cuenca, Ecuador. She was taught that nothing would be handed to you in life, and no task is worth doing unless you are willing to go above and beyond and do it right.
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