Upon her first visit to Telluride in 1997, Benitez pinned it as her forever home. Equipped with a degree in biological science, tumor immunology from California State University-Fullerton, she managed clinical studies for medical device firms, and then worked her way to Colorado. She landed back in Telluride in 2010, where she has been an integral part of the small mountain community’s elected leadership for seven years.
Benitez has a history of local public service dating back to 2015. Benitez serves on the town council and has been elected mayor three times. In this role, she spearheads complex municipal initiatives that weave together housing, parks, transit, and commercial interests to the mutual benefit of the overall community. A consummate consensus-builder, she is motivated by solving challenges and contributing in meaningful ways to help businesses, citizens, customers, visitors, and the community.
Benitez brings this diplomacy and problem solving to ASAP, where she acts as a central resource for staff, helping to expand their knowledge base, build relationships, and find solutions to client issues. In keeping with ASAP culture, she encourages career growth, even if that means employees expand beyond ASAP.
“Both Laila and ASAP are teambuilders,” explained Betts. As trusted advisors, ASAP goes above and beyond to find solutions to new problems, which it then rolls out to help more businesses. In addition, ASAP is committed to helping build communities, not just bottom lines. This shows in its support of local volunteerism.
Benitez turned to ASAP in 2016, after citizens voted to pass funding the first regional transit authority on the recommendation of local jurisdictions. As mayor, Benitez worked closely with ASAP to manage the authority’s backend challenges.
“I discovered that ASAP was more than an accounting firm. It’s a problem-solving partner, committed to finding solutions to complex challenges and to successfully managing them,” commented Benitez. That trait is demonstrated in ASAP’s grasp of vacation rental accounting, where it understood this economic trend early. Most recently, ASAP took a leadership role in helping firms comprehend and overcome pandemic-related business issues.
“Laila is a true servant leader. She will help ASAP continue to build respectful and trusted relationships with clients that grow businesses over time,” said ASAP CEO Diana Murray. ASAP itself has a system in place to manage its growth and to thrive. The company continues to scale, expanding beyond mountain towns and into the Front Range.