Just about halfway to our 25th anniversary – in 2003 – I was interviewed by Mary Cantando for her book, “Nine Lives,” a compendium of stories celebrating the wisdom and success of women business owners. She aptly titled my chapter “The Wolves at the Door” and yet, reflecting on the years elapsed since publication, I am relieved to be able to move beyond the predator analogy. Make no mistake, the intervening years were marked by the Great Recession, and a collapse within the construction industry. But today I proudly stand not just as a survivor, but as a thriving Woman Minority Owned Business (M/WBE) sought after for excellence in Construction Management in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and elsewhere. I am thrilled to be celebrating 25 years as an African-American female business leader in the construction industry. Mentors who inspired me, clients who believed in me, employees who stood by me are all deserving of my deep gratitude.
Over the years, I have sought to “pay it forward” through mentoring of other women and minorities in the construction business, and I am proud to watch the success of former housing project residents who have risen to run their own companies and hold executive positions in the industry. That is what success looks like, when smarts and an empowering attitude overcome hurdle after hurdle not only to survive “the wolves”, but to arrive with pride at a secure place with the respect of those who matter. Join me in congratulating not only Armand Corporation, but my more fledgling industry colleagues who are on the rise, wishing us all another 25 years (plus!) of success.