China Califf Named a 2021 Outstanding Woman in Business by Denver Business Journal
DENVER –China Califf, director of Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has been named a 2021 Outstanding Woman in Business by the Denver Business Journal. Califf joined fellow innovative leaders who were recognized with this year’s award.
“I am honored to be recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Business,” remarked Califf. “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to continue my work of helping small businesses start, grow and prosper. This past year has challenged us at the SBDC to create innovative solutions to better serve our clients, and this award not only recognizes myself, but the efforts of my team.”
This year marks the 23rd time the Denver Business Journal has announced Outstanding Women in Business, recognizing women who lead in their industries and have navigated challenges and changes over the past year. Califf, who joined the SBDC during the COVID-19 pandemic, hit the ground running in her new position when she was appointed SBDC director in September 2020, leveraging past experience with Colorado Lending Source in her new role. Since September, Califf has focused on growing existing partnerships and assisting Colorado small businesses in accessing relief programs over the course of the pandemic.
“China has worked tirelessly at the Small Business Development Center and the Chamber – and for her entire career for that matter – to help Colorado businesses grow and thrive,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “This award not only showcases her dedication over the years, but also recognizes China’s deep understanding of the strengths and changing needs of our small business community.”
Since Califf joined the SBDC in 2020, the team has overseen 37 business startups, created and/or retained over 1,100 jobs, and helped to infuse nearly $19 million in the small business community. Additionally, the programming she manages has impacted over 3,000 small business attendees, plus over 3,000 one-on-one free consulting sessions for small business owners with a satisfaction rating of 97%.
“China is a leader who empowers employees through mindful and engaging leadership tactics, creating a space where people feel trusted, heard, and motivated,” added Lauren Kloock, marketing lead at Colorado Lending Source and Califf’s former colleague. “She leads with integrity, ambition, excellent communication and intuition with an energy that is contagious.”
The Denver Metro SBDC is a part of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce family of organizations. The Chamber is committed to putting Coloradans to work in great jobs and supporting entrepreneurs is a critical component of that work. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Denver Metro SBDC provided over 100 programs and 300 hours of training, serving 3,500 individuals and nearly 700 small businesses.
About the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center: The Denver Metro SBDC serves dedicated entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their path to success. Utilizing the powerful partnerships of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Denver Metro SBDC has been a cornerstone of the business community for over 30 years. For more information, visit denversbdc.org.
About the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce: For 153 years, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce has been a leading voice for Colorado’s business community. With a membership that spans the state and includes 3,000 businesses and their 400,000 employees, the Chamber is an effective advocate for small and large businesses. The Chamber’s family of organizations includes the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, the Colorado Competitive Council, B:CIVIC, Prosper Colorado and the Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative. For more information, go to denverchamber.org.
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