Rosana Ramponi is a straight-shooter, and it serves her well.

As president and CEO of PRONTOCOM Spanish Services, she helps 6,000-7,000 documented and undocumented residents in Colorado Springs and Pueblo each year with income tax preparation, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, notary public services, translation and interpretation, small business consulting, financial classes, GED classes, residential real estate and assistance navigating the complexities of local courts.

She doesn’t have time to mince words or tiptoe around facts.

“I’m very straightforward when it comes to my leadership style — I reward good work but if I don’t have anything good to say, I’m not going to sugar-coat it,” Ramponi said. “What you see is what you get, with me. I would never make it to a politician. It’s not that politicians are bad people, but they’re very diplomatic … they’ll find the right words to tell you to go to hell in a very soft way. But I can’t.”

PRONTOCOM’S mission is to help close communication gaps with Hispanic/Latino clients who do not speak English. The company has been assisting attorneys, doctors, corporations, government agencies, schools, title companies and their Hispanic clientele since 1992 in a range of cases — divorce, child support, domestic violence, workers compensation, home visits, training, conferences and real estate matters.

Ramponi’s drive to help people in practical ways is at the heart of everything she does.

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“You couldn’t do my job if you really don’t have a passion to help people,” she said.

Ramponi’s life story is one of highly successful problem-solving and endless motivation. She came to the United States from Argentina in 1989 speaking no English, and with only a seventh-grade education. Living in Louisiana, she prepared for her GED alone by studying in local libraries.

Ramponi moved to Colorado in 1993 and earned her bachelor’s in business (information systems) at UCCS, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1995.

Ramponi worked in the corporate world for 14 years before becoming a Colorado Licensed Real Estate Broker. In 2009, she became the new owner of PRONTOCOM.

Nominator Dan Beilfuss said when Ramponi purchased PRONTOCOM, she interviewed clients in depth to understand what services they were lacking, then grew the business “exponentially” by developing services to help clients face their greatest challenges.

Through those efforts, he said, Rosana obtained contracts with the IRS to become a Certified Acceptance Agent and passed IRS Audit with no issues; she was also a key contributor to pass Senate Bill 13-251, which authorized the driver’s license undocumented residents receive to drive legally in Colorado.

“Rosana is constantly finding new ways to provide services to the non-English immigrants by educating herself and her staff on the latest challenges the Hispanic community faces,” Beilfuss said. “She is an active member of the community and a main supporter of school, social and immigrant education. Rosana believes that with hard work, a positive attitude and a well thought out plan, anyone can achieve goals and be wealthy.”

Ramponi is a board member of the Hispanic Business Council, the Damas Latinas of Colorado, former chair and board members of the Esperanza Education Foundation, member of the City of Colorado Springs Human Resources Committee and president of the Intel Latino Network.

“Reaching out to the local community is something I get to enjoy because I live here; I benefit,” she said. “I come from a very low education background — including my parents — so I go give a scholarship so people can go to school. I volunteer in the schools because I’m a strong believer in education.”

Ramponi is a financial supporter of numerous organizations providing scholarships to underserved residents of El Paso county including the Esperanza Education Foundation, El Cinco de Mayo Inc., Boxing Apprentice, Atlas Prep School and Centro de la Familia.

“I can’t complain: ‘This person is ignorant, they don’t know how to write their name’,” she said. “If I’m not doing anything toward helping that person learn how to write their name, then I shouldn’t be complaining!”

— Helen Robinson