Colorado Small Business Week winners announced

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Colorado District Office  - April 2018

u s small business administration
National Small Business Week 2018

SBA announces Colorado Small Business Week winners

Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced today this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on April 29-30 where they will be honored with their individual award along with special recognition of the three runners-up and the naming of the 2018 National Small Business Person of the Year. 

“It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 52 winners from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 30 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine of our economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 29 – May 5. 

This year, the Boulder Small Business Development Center was named the national SBDC Center of Excellence winner by Administrator McMahon. The Colorado Small Business Week award winners include:

Small Business Person of the Year

Margot Langstaff & Elisa Hamill

Managing Partners – Majority owners

LifeHealth, LLC

5951 South Middlefield Road, Suite 102

Littleton, CO  80123


LifeHealth is a single source provider of top caliber talent for a full range of clinical support services.   With 300 customers worldwide, the business employs 350 employees and has revenues exceeding $7 million.  Life Health believes in contributing to the community by donating to charitable organizations including Street’s Hope, Children’s Future, Goodwill, ARC, and Colorado Public Radio.  The company also donates medical supplies to local clinics that serve the homeless and medically underserved. LifeHealth has utilized various SBA programs and services including counseling through Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, Colorado Small Business Development Centers, and Women’s Business Center.  Margot Langstaff is a graduate of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders and 8(a) programs. 

 About Margot Langstaff

The Army was a major force in Margot Langstaff’s life. The Army not only provided her a foundation and a college education, but it became her family.  She served as a medic, eventually running the largest outpatient clinic in the North East at Ft. Devens, Mass. After completing her service, she went on to finish her nursing degree from the University of Connecticut and established an operating room/out-patient clinic in Haiti. She then switched her focus from clinical nursing to business and attended Harvard Business School. For the last 25 years she has focused her time on building her business career. She spent the last 15 years nurturing and growing LifeHealth with an amazing business partner, Elisa Hamill.

“The Army provided me the foundation to go forward and succeed. I am forever grateful to all the Vietnam medics that taught me how to be the best medic possible,” states Langstaff. “I still consider the Army my family.  The Army built my confidence, provided skill sets, promoted my leadership skills, and gave me hope for the future.”

About Elisa Hamill

As managing partner and co-founder of LifeHealth, Elisa Hamill utilizes her expertise to manage operations at the organization. She ensures the quality and integrity of LifeHealth’s commercial and government programs. Her career includes executive positions for national and regional companies throughout the health care industry.  Elisa’s 35-plus-year record of extraordinary service in health and wellness is punctuated by recognition for service and innovation, including a national award for creating a new insurance program for small employers. Elisa is co-founder of the CMEH Foundation, which provides primary care for patients in rural Cambodia and as well as financial support for Cambodian students studying in the medical field. She holds a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, an M.S. in Environmental Medicine from New York University, and an M.S.N. from Pace University.

Frances Padilla, SBA Colorado District Director quote:

“I congratulate both Margot Langstaff and Elisa Hamill, the Boulder Small Business Development Center, and the other awardees for being named Colorado’s Small Business Week winners,” said Frances Padilla, SBA’s Colorado District Director. “Colorado has a rich history of entrepreneurship and innovation, and having one of the national winners based here in Boulder is a reason for all of us to celebrate. During National Small Business Week, communities statewide will celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and their positive impact on helping Colorado communities thrive and grow.”

Small Business Development Center’s Excellence and Innovation Award

Boulder SBDC won the State of Colorado, Region VIII, and national awards.

Boulder Small Business Development Center

Sharon King, Director

1001 Arapahoe Ave

Boulder, Colorado  80302


Launched in 1994, the Boulder SBDC has been hosted by the Boulder Chamber since its inception.    In 2015, with increased funding from the City of Boulder, the Center’s headquarters moved to the downtown Boulder Public Library. In 2007, its satellite office was opened at the Longmont Chamber, with support of the City of Longmont.  The Boulder SBDC’s mission is to match its market area impact with the goals of its various stakeholders.  The market area includes close proximity to a research university; 30 plus Federal Labs; a vibrant independent business community; over 14 percent below poverty population; and a 20 percent Latino population.  Its stakeholder goals include a strong economic impact from its programs, economic sustainability, and a multicultural focus. The Center has a three-prong focus for programs and services:   Advanced/Technology, Core/Main Street, Underserved/Bilingual.  The Center has consistently exceeded economic impact measures each year.  With a small core staff of just 2.5 FTEs the Center served 624 clients with 2,632 hours and produced 80 workshops and programs with 1.194 attendees in 2017.  This is accomplished with Boulder SBDC’s specialized and high-caliber contract consulting and presenting team -- approximately 50 experts that step in as-needed to contribute their time and expertise in supporting small businesses and the Center. 

Daniel Nordberg, SBA Region VIII Administrator quote:

The Boulder Small Business Development Center is not only one of the best SBDCs in the Rocky Mountain West, but has now been recognized as the best center in the nation,” said Daniel Nordberg, SBA’s Region VIII Administrator. “Sharon King, and her entire team, have dedicated themselves to assisting Boulder County’s entrepreneurs create good jobs and opportunities in both urban and rural communities. Congratulations on a job well done and for winning these prestigious regional and national awards.”

 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award


The 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award goes to a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the 8(a) Program in 2016 or before.

Maria Velez


Ayuda Companies

410 Acoma Street, Suite A

Denver, CO  80204


Ayuda Companies was founded in 2002 as Velez Management Corporation by Maria Velez on the premise that nothing would be handed to you in life, and not task is worth doing unless you are willing to do it right.  She started the consulting company as a single mom with a cell phone, computer and under $1,000 in savings.  In May 2006, the firm was accepted into the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program.  In 2007, Sonya Yngeberg joined Maria Velez as a partner and second employee.  At that time, the company name was changed to Ayuda Companies.  The company has since grown from two employees to 46 full time staff members and has successfully completed over $150 million in contracts for government and commercial clients in environmental consulting, environmental remediation, and construction & construction management.

Colorado Lender Awards


7(a) Large Lender of the Year: Wells Fargo National Association, Denver, CO

7(a) Small Lender of the Year: CoBiz Bank, Denver, CO

Large 504 Certified Development Company of the Year: Colorado Lending Source, Denver, CO

Small 504 Certified Development Company of the Year: Pikes Peak Regional Development Corporation, Colorado Springs, CO.

Colorado Community Lender of the Year: Community Enterprise Development Services, Aurora, CO.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award – Construction Category

This award recognizes large prime contractors that have excelled in their utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.

Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is the national winner in this category.

Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Greeley, Colo.

Brad Lewis, CCA


For more information about National Small Business week visit Workshops, events and celebrations of Colorado’s entrepreneurs and small business owners will occur throughout the state during National Small Business Week (April 29-May 5, 2018). Starting in April, a calendar of events for the week and participating organizations will be shared at Remember to follow us @sbarockymtn and @sba_colorado.