Gay Chulajata – Certification Analyst

Gay Chulajata has worked for the City of Denver since January 2018 as a Certification Officer for the Division of Small Business Opportunity in Denver’s Economic Development & Opportunity Department (DEDO). She came to the United States from Thailand in 1995 to complete her Master of Business degree at University of Colorado – Denver, which led her to work for Standard and Poor’s in their Global Institutional Investment Operation Department for 10 years before joining the City.

In her role as a Small Business Certification Officer she helps business owners navigate the process of becoming a certified small/minority/women owned business (among other types), which allows them the opportunity to join a competitive pool of other business owners and bid on City-related contracts that involve construction or professional services.

Gay has a special place in her heart for this work as she is a woman, a minority, and a small business owner herself! Her goal is to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for her customers, and to set them up for success when the time comes to bid on a contract. She recently went through the Peak Academy Black Belt training and gained valuable knowledge and skills about process improvement, however, she has been practicing many of the tools and techniques even before she was formally trained.

Before Gay came to Black Belt, she identified a few areas for improvement that would make certification easier for her customers and her teammates. One of the innovations was about making it easier to process Personal Net Worth forms, which contain information that decides if a firm is eligible for a small business certification. The process is difficult for customers to complete, and even more difficult for staff to intake and finalize. Gay’s innovation, with the help of her team and their software vendor, cut the internal staff process time down from 1 hour to 2 minutes!

Another innovation of hers involves the “Facts and Findings” page in their application database which requires staff to input answers to 50+ questions related to an individual application. Most of the questions are duplicative and can be found in other areas of the database, which Gay identified early on in her time with the team. She is working with the vendor to cut down the list of questions drastically, and remove the duplication of information which will allow the team to save time and focus their efforts on other aspects of the application process.

Gay has had an innovative spirit ever since she joined her team last year; she even helped her team win an award at our recent Peak Academy Awards Ceremony. She has said the Peak process improvement platform makes her feel like “I can do it, I have an outlet for innovation and support for things that may not have happened otherwise. It makes it fun, and I can serve our customers better!” She has said that her personal motto is “creativity and innovation keep the world turning.” Her ideas keep coming, and she has even more innovations in progress that will “help my customers feel like it’s easy to work with my team and the City.” 

Thank you, Gay, for innovating!

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