July 27-31, 2020

Small Business Week & Food Truck Cook-Off

2020 Small Business Week for the Pikes Peak Region was July 27-31, 2020. Each day included workshops and events designed to educate, celebrate, and champion small businesses in the Pikes Peak Region. From the new Food Truck License to Eat (a year long event!), a small business awards ceremony, to multiple educational events for small businesses, you did not want to miss the 8-year anniversary of the biggest small business celebration in town! (SBW Pikes Peak Region corresponds every year with the SBA’s National Small Business Week.)

El Paso County Commissioners recognize July 26-31, 2020 as Small Business Week!

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the community, the popular Food Truck Cook-Off became A License to Eat, a guide to the vibrant food truck community of the Pikes Peak Region. We are sold out of the guide this year! Purchasers are able to support 24 participating food trucks operating in the  area along with special offers until April 2021! 

The Food Truck Cook-Off event will be back at Broadmoor World Arena next May, 2021.

Presented By
Sponsored By

Marketing drives your message, fuels your sales and communicates your purpose. With new challenges, and an ever-changing business environment, it is more important than ever that businesses get their marketing message right. These are turbulent times for businesses and the marketing messages seem to be changing weekly.

We are facing unprecedented challenges in our community and many businesses are having to change how they deliver products or services to customers. Whether your service offerings are changing, providing alternative delivery options, changing your hours or availability, or simply messaging how you support your community, you need to make that message clear across all your digital channels. Consumers are looking to digital messaging more than ever before and you need to make smart investments with clear messaging so that it makes it easier for customers to do business with you. You must also alter their expectations, so they’re less likely to be upset if you cannot deliver the experience they’ve had in the past.

Join us as we have a discussion from leaders in the marketing world as they hit the reset button on your marketing trends and expectations for 2020 and beyond.


Dani Barger
Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
Dani Barger is the vice president of marketing & communications at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, where she oversees the communications strategies, tactics, and content to raise Colorado Springs’ business profile. Previously she worked at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. for more than four years in various digital marketing and communications roles. Prior to that she spent 10 years marketing a contract manufacturer headquartered in Iowa. Dani has a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Mount Mercy College.
Kristina Clark-Quinones
Digital Sales Manager, KRDO Network
Kristina Clark-Quinones, a graduate of UCCS with a M.A. in Communication, is the Digital Sales Manager at the KRDO Network. A self-professed “Digital Geek” with over 10 years of marketing and media experience, Kristina specializes in designing custom and effective digital strategies for businesses, organizations and agencies of varying sizes and industries. With the help of an expert team of Television and Radio Media Consultants, she overseas and optimizes hundreds of digital campaigns. Kristina is currently a candidate for the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Digital Media Sales Certification. She has been an active member of the Colorado Springs community for over 12 years and lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Cesar, and their two daughters. When she isn’t working, Kristina enjoys taking road trips with her family, creating new and lasting memories. She also loves exploring the beauty of colorful Colorado’s natural wonders as well as the great arts and gastro scenes of our state. To contact Kristina, you may email her at Kristina.clark@krdo.com or call her at (719)205-6454.
Lauren Hug
Founder, HugSpeak
An accomplished speaker, author, and strategist, Lauren Hug has helped people reach and motivate markets and audiences for 20 years. In 2012 she founded HugSpeak, a community engagement firm that develops participatory multi-channel, multi-way communication strategies, empowering vibrant communities in both digital and physical spaces. Lauren activates horizontal, person-to-person interactions to inspire authentic dialogue, thought, and behavior change. Her academic credentials include an LL.M. with merit from the University of London, a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, and a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Texas. She is the author of Digital Kindness: Being Human in a Hyper-Connected World, The Professional Woman’s Guide to Getting Promoted and The Manager’s Guide to Presentations.
Dr. Key
Associate Professor of Digital Strategy and Marketing, University of Colorado Springs
Thomas “Martin” Key is Associate Professor of Digital Strategy and Marketing at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Dr. Key was originally trained as a cultural anthropologist before founding his own business in 2003. After nearly a decade, he went back to university and earned a PhD in Business Administration with emphases in marketing and strategy. His research primarily deals with digital and strategic marketing issues at the executive level and the study of marketing’s role in the firm. He is a Daniels Ethics Initiative Fellow and Cybersecurity Fellow and frequently works with new startups as well as established firms to help them create plans to grow and create value for their customers.
Shannon Tucker
Vice President of Media Relations, SSPR
Shannon Tucker is Vice President of Media Relations at SSPR, a national PR agency headquartered in Colorado Springs. Her PR commentary is regularly featured in the news, including Forbes and PR Daily.

Free Virtual Broadcast from the New United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum with Panel and Tour

The Olympic rings remain one of the world’s most widely recognized symbols and as Olympic City USA completes its goal of building the soon-to-be iconic United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum, many local businesses are excited! The Museum, along with the power of the Olympic and Paralympic brands, will attract more business, tourists and young talent and will enhance a sports-ecosystem that will help our economy rebuild. Come take a look behind the scenes of the new museum and learn about the economic impact that this one-of-a-kind building and universal brand will have on our local economy.

There will not be another chance to catch this, so join us for this exciting and exclusive event as we go inside the third most anticipated building in the world!

Hosted by

Sponsored by

Michelle Dusserre Farrell
Colorado Chapter President, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Alumni Association
Michelle Dusserre Farrell brings more than 35 years of involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, starting as a 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the sport of gymnastics. Dusserre Farrell was a gymnastics coach at the club and college level for 12 years, a member of the Athletes Advisory Council for both USA Gymnastics and the USOPC and is a 2006 inductee into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She has worked in organizational sport performance for both the USOPC domestically and for various international sport organizations. She has worked a combined total of seven Olympic and Paralympic Games, three of which were for NBC sports television in the research division. She is currently the Colorado Chapter President of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Alumni Association and oversees athlete engagement for the U.S. Olympic City Task Force.

Dusserre Farrell holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from Arizona State University, a Masters of Basic Science (with an emphasis in exercise science) from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and she is a registered dietitian.
Christopher Liedel
Christopher Liedel joined the USOPM team as chief executive officer in May 2018. Liedel previously served for nearly six years as president of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-producing arm of the Smithsonian Institution. Before that, he was with National Geographic for 16 years, becoming the executive vice president and chief financial officer. At Smithsonian Enterprises, he had oversight of the key commercial activities of the Smithsonian, including Smithsonian Media, retail, e-commerce, educational and consumer-branded products, and food services. During his tenure, the organization saw significant growth in revenue and earnings performance.

His board affiliations have included the Nobel Prize Education Fund; the National Philanthropic Trust, which he chaired from 2005 to 2008; EdWeek Magazine; and the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the PGA of America, and previously served on the executive committee of the United States Golf Association, where he was chair of the museum committee.

Liedel earned his bachelor’s degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and his master’s degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He is a Wharton Fellow from the University of Pennsylvania.
Douglas P. Price, IOM
President & CEO, Visit Colorado Springs
Doug is the leader of Visit Colorado Springs (VCOS), the official travel and tourism Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, encompassing El Paso, Teller and Fremont counties. Doug and his team are responsible for promoting the city and region to leisure travelers as well as meeting and event planners through advertising, online marketing, PR, social media, direct sales and trade shows.

He has more than 35 years of leadership experience in sales and professional development. Doug is a recognized public speaker and the author of three books -- License to Sell, a book on "high touch" selling in a "high tech" environment; License to Serve, a how-to guide for creating exceptional customer service, and Change It!, a book on helping people change themselves and others.

Since its inception, Doug has served as co-chair of the team that developed and implemented the new brand “Olympic City USA” for the City of Colorado Springs. He is an original member of the City for Champions project and a graduate of Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Leadership Pikes Peak, US Air War College National Security Forum and US Chamber Institute of Organization Management (IOM). Doug currently serves on Boards of Directors of the Colorado Tourism Office, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, Colorado Springs Sports Corp, Regional Leadership Forum, Downtown Partnership, Pikes Peak Lodging Association, Tourism Industry Association of Colorado and Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. He earned his BS degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.

Free Virtual Broadcast from 3 E’s Comedy Club

Employers and employees are experiencing increasingly stressful environments due to the recent pandemic. As they strive to keep up with increasing business demands of working longer hours, worrying about income, balancing work with family and poor lifestyle choices, this can increase the risk of chronic conditions. Stress can have a negative effect on your employees’ lives and make it harder to be productive, lead to more sick days, and can increase workers’ compensation costs. The good news is that business owners are uniquely positioned to influence their employees and lead the charge of being healthier.

Join us for how health can be a business strategy and how you can avoid burnout. You don’t want to miss this session! Join us for a sneak peak of the brand new 3E’s Comedy Club. Join us for comedians who will keep us healthy by teaching us why Laughter is the Best Medicine, and hear from Tom Carter, Vice President of Kaiser Permanente’s Workforce Health Consulting Group and Kaiser Permanente On-the-Job®.

Tom Carter
Vice President, Kaiser Permanente’s Workforce Health Consulting Group and Kaiser Permanente On-the-Job®
Tom's background includes career positions with several healthcare organizations. He began his healthcare career in 1982 with Blue Cross of Northern California, and after seven years, accepted a position with US Behavioral Health as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, where he focused on working with large commercial carriers and Fortune 500 companies. In 1992, Tom became the Vice President with Lifeguard, a non-profit Regional health plan in San Jose, where he lead Sales, Marketing and Product Management. In 2004, he joined Kaiser Permanente to lead Sales and Advisor Relations statewide.
Rion Evans
This nationwide sensation of comedy was recently featured at "Just For Laughs" a comedy festival in Montreal and Kevin Hart's "LOL Network". He's also featured on BET's "One Mic Stand" and selected as one of the first few comedians for the breakout new show "Off The Chain", Bounce TV's number one show. Rion Evans' comedic talents are described as natural and unique leaving no audience unlaughed.
Virtual Location Host
Sponsored by

U.S. Bank panelists, Brian Lipp, Business Banking Manager; Joanna Abrot, Business Banking Relationship Manager; Sarah Gonzales, Performance Consultant; and Joe Hemmel, SBA Business Development Officer, will give a 15-minute presentation on these COVID-19 relief programs available to small businesses then open up the platform to answer your questions about them.

Joanna Abrot
Business Banking Relationship Manager
Joanna is the Business Banking Relationship Manager for Colorado Springs. She manages loan and portfolio credit quality, sources prospects and develops new customer relationships.

Joanna has over 12 years of experience in the banking industry with 4 of those years working for U.S. Bank. Born in the Philippines and grew up as a pastor’s daughter in Southern California, Joanna always understood the value of hard work, dedication, and honesty. Her ability to make her clients feel at ease, as well as her capacity to think outside the box has earned her a stellar reputation among her clientele. She also has a background in hospitality management, accounting, and advertising. Joanna has enjoyed being a resident of Colorado Springs for the past 5 years and volunteers in the community every chance she gets.
Sarah E. Gonzales
Performance Consultant, AVP
Sarah Gonzales is a leadership enthusiast and Officer for U.S. Bank in Colorado Springs, with a primary focus on operational management, coaching, team leadership, and division sales results. As a Performance Consultant, Sarah’s role is to provide business line management with the design, delivery, and evaluation of training and performance improvement programs. Where transformation is more vital than ever, her passion is with the professional and personal development of people within her community.

Sarah has a total of 15 years of experience collaborating with our Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, and Retail Banking departments here in the Mountain Division. Sarah has served on many boards over the years. She currently serves locally on the Downtown Colorado Springs B.I.D (Business improvement District) board and Pioneer Museum board as their Fundraising Chair. Sarah is the President of U.S. Bank’s Development Network where she supports employee community initiatives here in Colorado Springs. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Tech and is a graduate from the 2019 Best Class Ever, Leadership Pikes Peak Signature program.

When she isn’t volunteering, she spends her time fishing with her son and cooking up new recipes.
Joe Hemmel
Vice President, Business Development Officer, US Bank SBA Division
I have been with US Bank for 9 years, 2 years in Colorado Springs as the SBA Business Development Officer for the SBA Division. Prior to moving to Colorado Springs, I was a Relationship Manager with the Emerging Business Group in the Kansas City Metro area.

As a SBA Business Develop Officer for US Bank it is my responsibility to establish relationships with Business Brokers, Commercial Real Estate Brokers, CPA’s and Attorney’s to develop SBA business for US Bank.

I have 25 years of experience in Commercial Banking. Throughout my banking career I have worked with customers to purchase commercial real estate, business acquisitions through the SBA, provided working capital lines of credit, equipment financing and fixed asset financing.
Brian Lipp
Business Banking Manager
My current position/role with U.S. Bank is serving as the Business Banking Manager for front range Colorado. My responsibilities in this position are to direct all business banking activities in the front range. This includes all production, prospecting and management of current commercial relationships within our geographic area along with the oversight of the markets 15 lenders. Prior to this role I spent the last 11 years of my career at U.S. Bank serving as the District Manager of Southern Colorado and Northern Montana. As District Manager for Southern Colorado I managed a total of thirteen branches, had 16 direct reports and 120 employees rolling up to me. This role required me to manage all retail and small business banking deliveries. In each of these district manager positions I led my groups to top performing results for all of U.S. Bank when it comes to credit production, credit growth, employee engagement score improvements, customer experience score improvements, production per FTE and won numerous internal campaigns for overall financial performance. During my tenure I have hired, recruited and developed an extremely high number of employees that have moved on to significant roles within the company and even more that have moved to prominent roles outside of our organization.

I enjoy being active in the communities I serve and attend all worthwhile functions to develop relationships and new business opportunities. When it comes to board engagement I am currently sitting on the BBB of Southern Colorado as board chair and am also serving on the Executive Committee for the organization. In addition to this I am an active member of the North Colorado Springs Rotary club.

Minority business owners are critical to the success of American businesses. 72,132 businesses in Colorado are owned by self-employed minorities contributing much-needed diversity to the business landscape.

This panel will discuss:

How you as a consumer can:

  • Support these businesses in your local community
  • Contribute through supplier diversity initiatives

How you as a minority-owned business can:

  • Learn about the opportunities to grow your business through certifications
  • Find the opportunities utilizing the Minority Business Office of Colorado

Be a part of the conversation! There are a host of ways for you to get involved, support minority-owned businesses, and grow your minority-owned business.

Rosy Aburto McDonough
Director, Minority Business Office of Colorado
Rosy Aburto McDonough has been a business consultant and mentor throughout her professional career. McDonough has extensive experience as an independent consultant for the Colorado SBDC office in the Disaster Recovery, Connect2DOT, and general financial consulting programs state-wide. She is also an affiliate faculty at Regis University Dual Language Program, where she teaches strategic management, business sustainability, and accounting. She is the former Associate Director of the Denver Metro SBDC and lead finance consultant and trainer in the areas of strategic management and operations, financial analysis and funding sources, personal and business credit, and business development. She facilitated Leading Edge Programs, financial literacy, QuickBooks, and principles of accounting courses for various SBDC’s throughout the state.

Rosy achieved her bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science (Applied Mathematics) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her graduating dissertation was Risk Management. Rosy completed an MBA with emphasis in Finance and International Business at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has entrepreneurial spirit and as a result has owned several businesses throughout her life. Her latest initiative, a credit reporting agency serving the mortgage lending and property management industries nation-wide in the U.S., and various Latin American markets. Her banking experience includes community development, specialty/minority markets, corporate relations, credit analysis, lending, and business banking.

Rosy was born and raised in Mexico providing her with a deep sense of biculturalism. She spends most of her free time with her three girls and husband. Her home is a tri-lingual and culturally diverse household with special interest in learning languages and diverse Chinese and Latin cultures and traditions.
Natasha Hutson
Business Banking Specialist, U.S. Bank
Natasha Hutson is a Business Banking Specialist for U.S. Bank in Colorado Springs, focusing on relationship development serving local business owners with financial lending needs under $250k. As a Community Banking Business Banker, Natasha focuses on discovering and cultivating credit opportunities for business owners in our city while deepening existing customer relationships. She delivers outstanding financial advice while ensuring clients strive to achieve their business revenue and investment goals through meaningful product and service recommendations. Promoting a One U.S. Bank approach, she partners with Treasury Management, Payment Solutions and Equipment Finance teams supporting clients through their full business development and sustainability cycles.

Natasha has more than 19 years’ experience in financial services, with an emphasis in retail and business banking. Her passion lies in community investment where she has been involved with many organizations. She has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for two years; an officer of U.S. Bank’s Development Network; and a member of U.S. Bank’s Proud to Serve board. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Technology, with a minor in Finance from DeVry University. Her greatest achievement are her husband and three children.
James Proby
The Men's Xchange
James Proby is a Colorado Springs native with a passion for this community. He has held leadership roles and several capacities with different organizations throughout El Paso County and is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. James has severed on several boards and commissions in the Pikes Peak Region. His latest Venture is a social enterprise called The Men's Xchange. The Men's Xchange is a men's professional clothing boutique that specializes in dressing men in business and dress apparel for $40 or less. For about every 9 men that shop at The Men's Xchange, The Men's Xchange can dress one man in our community at no cost.
Marcia Romero
Vice President | Community Affairs Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, U.S. Bank
Marcia Romero is the Community Affairs Manager at U.S. Bank based in Denver overseeing a multi-million-dollar community investment and social impact portfolio supporting the Colorado and Utah markets. Her professional experience spans more than 20 years with an extensive background in corporate social responsibility, financial services, marketing and communications in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She is actively engaged in many of U.S. Bank’s Business Resource Groups and serves as a mentor through the bank’s MentorConnect program.

Her professional growth is fueled by a personal commitment to serving the community as both mentor and leader. A Colorado native, Marcia passionately volunteers for many organizations and serves on the boards of Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF), Latinas First Foundation, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver and Fiesta Colorado Dance Company. She is an alumna of the prestigious Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver and the Colorado Hispanic Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Program. She has an impressive performing arts background as a trained dancer that has taken her from the stages in the Southwest U.S. to Sydney, Australia.

Marcia is staunch advocate for education as a first-generation college graduate with a degree from the University of Denver in International Business and a minor in Spanish. Her greatest pride and joy are her identical twin sons.

Sponsored By

On Friday, July 31 hundreds joined us for the VIRTUAL Small Business Week Celebration and Awards Banquet, where the winners in the following five categories were announced. Winners and finalists for each category are listed below!

  • Small Business Person of the Year
  • Small Business Champion of the Year
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year
  • Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year
  • Best Food Truck of the Year – People’s Choice


Young Entrepreneur of the Year​

Honors an entrepreneur 35 years of age or younger with at least a one-year track record demonstrating innovativeness, commitment to the community and potential for long-term business success

Family-Owned Business of the Year

Honors a family-owned and operated business with multiple generationsrepresented with at least a ten-year track record demonstrating commitment to the community and other
family-owned businesses, prioritizing family and having potential for long-term business success

Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year​

Honors a U.S. Armed Forces veteran who has owned and operated a business with at least a two-year track record demonstrating commitment to the community and other veteran-owned businesses, incorporating their experience as a veteran into their business model and having potential for long-term business success

Sponsored By:
Small Business Champion of the Year

Honors an individual who has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities, dedicating time and effort to advocating for, promoting and serving small businesses

Sponsored By:
Small Business Person of the Year​

Honors a business owner/operator (or team) with at least a three-year track record who meets multiple criteria defining a successful entrepreneur – criteria includes demonstrating exceptional increase in sales, net profit and net worth; sustained growth in number of employees; staying power; innovativeness in product or service; overcoming adversity; and community contributions.

Sponsored By:
Best Food Truck of the Year (People's Choice)

Based on popular vote from attendees at the annual Food Truck Cook-Off (winner to be announced during the awards banquet)

Sponsored By:

Watch Past Events

Digital Messaging &
Marketing During a Pandemic

Olympic City USA -
Eye on the Prize

Avoiding Burnout
in Turbulent Times

Office Hours with a Banker

Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses

Small Business Awards Celebration


Presenting Sponsor

Corporate Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Food Truck Cook-Off Presenting Sponsor and Beverage Sponsor

Award Sponsors

Media Sponsors

Hosted By

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