Albuquerque's two Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), both affiliated with Central New Mexico Community College, have named their outstanding clients of the year. The clients, honored in a special ceremony at the State Capitol, are Tina Cordova and Russ Steward of Queston Construction, named by the Albuquerque SBDC.
TINA CORDOVA AND RUSS STEWARD OF QUESTON CONSTRUCTION
In April 1990, Tina Cordova and Russ Steward went to the Central New Mexico College Small Business Development Center in Albuquerque seeking assistance in writing a business plan and partnership agreement for a construction and roofing company. Soon, with the help of the SBDC staff, Queston Construction, Inc. was founded, and thus began a business relationship with the SBDC that has continued to grow for almost 20 years.
The Albuquerque SBDC helped Ms. Cordova and Mr. Steward develop methods for keeping track of their business, market it, and make contracts with customers, all without having to hire costly experts. Ms. Cordova recalls when she just needed a place where I could use a computer for creating marketing materials and setting up our accounting systems. The SBDC turned out to be that place, and she also found a competent, helpful staff to assist her.
Queston Construction has grown steadily, and now employs 25 people. Ms. Cordova and Mr. Steward are now able to afford the experts they could not pay in the beginning. Their company has won numerous awards and honors and has been featured in newspapers and magazines. Tina Cordova was named the U.S. Small Business Administration Small Business Person of the Year for New Mexico in 2000. The Center for Entrepreneurship named her Entrepreneur of the Year in the construction category for 1998 after the Albuquerque SBDC nominated her for that honor. In 2007, Queston Construction received the U.S. Department of Commerce award for Regional Minority Construction Firm of the Year.
Ms. Cordova believes strongly in the importance of the SBDC to her business success: I am a big proponent of the SBDC because the services they provide are vital to small businesses that are just starting out. When people ask me about how I started, I always mention the SBDC because the help I received was invaluable. They have expert staff who are ready, willing and able to assist businesses in all stages of development.
Ms. Cordova would recommend the SBDC to other businesses seeking assistance in planning and marketing, tax planning, accounting and financing. Ms. Cordova also states, I have great relationships that formed through my association with the SBDC. I am very fortunate to have received the assistance, but more importantly, the relationships that have developed mean the world to me.