Colorado Secretary of State: Working to provide even better service

Business and Licensing staffers Katy Wallace, Colin Whetsel and Amberdawn Scott.

Each year, employees across all divisions at the Colorado Secretary of State go through training to improves processes and provide even better services.

It’s called “LEAN training,” and the Business and Licensing Division just finished up three rounds. The teams focused on different areas within the Business and Licensing division: the notary application rejection rate, bingo-raffle electronic filing adoption rate, and the commercial registered agent or CRA filing process.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

“We have come a long way in teaching our staff to use lean tools and ‘speak’ a common language of process improvement,” said Mike Hardin, the director of Business and Licensing.

Each team presented an “as-is” process map that also identified issues and opportunities for improvements. They then developed a “to-be” process map that shows a future improved process and generated a gap analysis to document the changes that need to be made. These three steps are the core of the LEAN methodology used to train the staff.

It’s all part of the Colorado Secretary of State’s reputation for giving Colorado businesses the tools to thrive.

Under Secretary Wayne Williams, filing rates for new businesses are at record highs and business fees are some of the lowest in the nation.  Williams this year partnered with Gov. John Hickenlooper and created MyBizColorado, a new business start-up tool that supports small business owners across the state.

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Nov. 6 went “extraordinarily well” — from an election official’s standpoint

Look, it’s election staffers at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and man did they do a great job this year! From left to right, deputy elections director Hilary Rudy, elections director Judd Choate and Kris Reynolds with campaign finance. (SOS photo)

The two top election staffers in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office praised colleagues Wednesday for their behind-the-scenes work that led to the successful general election on Tuesday.

“We ran a really fantastic election yesterday,” elections director Judd Choate said to those assembled outside his office.

Among the Colorado Secretary of State staffers listening to a speech about how well Tuesday’s election went were, in the foreground, Joel Albin and Jeff Mustin, behind him, with ballot access, and Steve Ward on the phone talking to voters calling in with questions. (SOS photo)

In fact, the bipartisan attorneys who hang out in the Secretary of State’s office on election day handling reports from their folks in the field conceded the day was a bit boring.

That was  just fine with Choate and his deputy director, Hilary Rudy.

“We had a great election, a secure election,” Choate said.

“One of the things about working in elections is you get notoriety or publicity when things go badly. That’s when people pay attention to elections. They don’t really think about the people behind the curtain,” he said. “I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and I think all of the citizens of Colorado appreciate all of your work.”

Read moreNov. 6 went “extraordinarily well” — from an election official’s standpoint

Secretary Williams and SOS staff attend small business round tables

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams recently attended a meeting arranged by the Small Business Administration. He is with Dan Nordberg, the Regional VIII director of the Small Business Administration, and Frances Padilla, director of the Colorado U.S. SBA district office, Becky Fuller, and Raul Acosta.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Mike Hardin, the director of business and licensing for the SOS, last week attended Colorado Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, respectively.

The SBA’s office of advocacy organized round tables across the country to hear from local small businesses from various industries, including transportation, real estate, manufacturing and more. The round tables aim to “discover burdensome regulations that might be hindering the business environment,” SBA Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg said.

The SBA advocacy office will take the information to Congress to try to amend statutory regulations or try to address the regulations within the preview of agencies.

“It’s important to get input from small businesses,” Secretary Williams said. “This program provided an excellent opportunity to receive that input and showcased our office’s commitment to helping folks realize their American dream.”

Read moreSecretary Williams and SOS staff attend small business round tables

Denver Hispanic chamber visits Secretary of State

Mike Ferrufino, the CEO and president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver, visited with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office last week. Left to right: SoS staffers Abbas Montoya and Alberta Bennett, Ferrufino and SoS Business and Licensing Director Mike Hardin. (SOS photo)

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver took a field trip to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and learned about online filing, notaries and other services.

Among those in attendance: an employee with the Colorado Supreme Court, a woman who runs a cleaning business, a bank employee, an insurance company staffer and someone who works at a money-wiring business.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver members listen and watch presentations from the Colorado Secretary of State. (SOS photo)

Last week’s visit was hosted by the Business & Licensing Division. Approximately 15 chamber members attended, as well as Mike Ferrufino, the CEO and president of the Hispanic chamber, and Jesus Carrillo, director of membership services.

“One of our primary objectives in division is to be a valuable resource for our customers,” director Mike Hardin said.

He provided an on-screen overview of the SOS agency and its main functions. Staffer Abbas Montoya offered information on the notary program and notary training, while staffer Alberta Bennett walked through some of the basic functions of online filing.

A year ago, Hardin and Bennett visited the Hispanic chamber. At the time, chamber members asked about bringing members to the Secretary of State’s office.

Under the “B” — Rep. Cole Wist’s first bill signing

Gov. John Hickenlooper uses bingo daubers when signing a bingo bill from Rep. Cole Wist, right, as Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and staffers watch. From left to right, Lynn Waring, Mike Hardin, Lisa Marty, Williams and Wist. From left to right,
Gov. John Hickenlooper uses bingo daubers when signing a bingo bill from Rep. Cole Wist, right, as Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and staffers watch. From left to right, Lynn Waring, Mike Hardin, Lisa Marty, Williams and Wist.

In what likely is a first in Colorado history, Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed a bill into law using a fountain pen and two Uncle Sam-themed bingo daubers.

The daubers were the courtesy of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, whose office oversees bingo operations.

Two Republicans, Rep. Cole Wist of Centennial, and Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango, sponsored House Bill 1189.

The measure, which passed with unanimous support in both the House and the Senate, repeals certain restrictions on bingo-raffle licensure and authorizes the secretary of state’s expanded discretion on the rules and regulations governing bingo-raffles and bingo-raffle licensure.

Read moreUnder the “B” — Rep. Cole Wist’s first bill signing