Region VIII | Leadership

Region VIII

Betsy Markey
Regional Administrator
Betsy Markey

Betsy Markey is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Region VIII Administrator based in Denver.  In this role she oversees delivery of the agency's small business programs and services in Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Betsy Markey has over 30 years of experience as a Member of Congress, a senior federal government executive, the co-founder and CFO of a high tech company and a small retail store.

In 2011, Betsy was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security. She facilitated the direct line of communication between the department and state and local elected officials on all DHS mission areas, including cyber security, terrorism prevention, transportation security, immigration enforcement, border security, human trafficking and disaster assistance.

Betsy was elected to serve as a Member of Congress in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in 2008, and represented over 700,000 constituents in one of the country’s largest congressional districts in the 111th Congress. She served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Agriculture. Prior to being elected to Congress, she was the Regional Director in northern Colorado for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar.  She worked closely with local elected officials, businesses, agricultural groups and non-profit groups.

In the late-1980’s, Betsy and her husband launched a successful technology company, Syscom Services, which was one of the first companies to market email, and subsequently expanded into the area of web design and web-based information management systems. The firm has been ranked in the Inc. 500 listing of America’s fastest-growing private companies. In the mid-1990’s, Betsy purchased a coffee/ice cream shop in Fort Collins called Huckleberry‘s. After making extensive changes, she sold the business four years later for double the purchase price.

Betsy worked for the U.S. Department of State as the Director of Information Systems Security Policy and Training, where she traveled extensively to our overseas Embassies and consulates conducting computer security threat and vulnerability analyses. She entered the federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1983, where she held positions as budget and program analyst in the Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Customs Service.

She has also served as President of the Board of Directors for the Larimer County Food Bank, Chair of its Capital Campaign, member of the Local Legislative Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Northern Colorado Democratic Business Coalition and Chair of the Larimer County Democratic Party. She holds a bachelor degree in political science from the University of Florida and a master of public administration from American University. Betsy is married to her husband of 31 years, Jim Kelly. They have three grown children.

Region VIII is the most rural region in the country. It includes 27 tribal nations and covers more than 500,000 square miles of territory.   Betsy can be reached at