Doss Technical Services founder Geneva Doss Smith: ‘I am grateful for the many opportunities that sustain our business’
During Women’s History Month, RTD is highlighting some of the incredible businesses owned by women that have worked with the agency and made significant contributions to the economic vitality of the Denver metro region. Today, we hear from Geneva Doss Smith, the founder of Doss Technical Services.
Tell me about your business. How did it begin, and how has it evolved?
Doss Technical Services officially started in April 1994; the idea was to created databases for the small business community because of my experience as a data analyst for the U.S. Attorney’s office. During the mid-’90s, I found that my clients’ and target market’s need for databases were slim; many of my clients had purchased computers and needed application training and administrative support. Over the years, we offered a variety of services: desktop publishing, mailings, spreadsheet development, staffing, computer training and various types of word-processing. Our business service center offered the use of our computers, copiers and fax machines to the general public. All services were offered for our survival, and we enjoy helping the business community.
Currently, we offer bookkeeping, accounting and payroll services to our small business clients. By having the opportunity to work with RTD in the construction arena, project administration became our focus.
How did you come to do work with RTD? What has that relationship meant to you and your business?
I presented at one of the African American Construction Council (which became the Black Construction Group of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce)’s monthly membership meetings, and during the Q&A period an audience participant asked if I was willing to go out to the T-REX (Transportation Expansion) project, as he was having a problem of getting paid. After two trips to the T-REX office, I was asked to submit a proposal, and that was the beginning of our RTD relationship. Our proposal offered management and computer application training to the small and disadvantaged business community. We assisted in the prompt payment process by working with the subcontractors on compliance reporting. We submitted subsequent yearly proposals and were awarded successfully for three consecutive years.
RTD management created more opportunities and advancements for women-owned businesses. RTD propelled Doss Technical Services into the construction arena. From the T-REX project (a $1.67 billion light rail and highway expansion with the Colorado Department of Transportation, to upgrade transportation in the Denver metro region’s southeast corridor) to FasTracks (for which we worked on five of the FasTracks lines), we managed document control, monitored invoices and certified payroll, conducted certified payroll and compliance training, and performed DBE/SBE liaison services. The work we produce, our relationship with RTD management and staff, and the knowledge we gained from that relationship allows us to enhance sustainability and grow our business. We are fortunate and thankful for the relationship we cultivated with RTD.
What does it mean that your business is led by a woman?
As business owners, we seem to wear many hats and operate in various functions, along with attending to the crisis at hand (putting out fires). Sometimes as women we believe we must make sure we have that formal education to be taken seriously and to support our focus; thinking if we have the right credential, acceptance is feasible. I felt I had to be careful; not too aggressive, but sharp; professional, but not too stern; and not too talkative, not a know it all. I decided to just let our work speak for itself.
The sacrifices made, the schedules juggled, the appointments missed, the late arrivals, the situations explained has all been worth it. It has been worth the privilege to have independence, control, flexibility, risk, innovation and value, and I am grateful for the many opportunities that sustain our business. As a woman-owned business, I am honored to lead a business that continues to offer supportive services to other businesses and the community.