In the construction industry, it’s not often you see a woman as the president of a company, but Leacia has established herself as legitimate force in the industry. As president of Brazos Builders, Inc., she has worked hard to overcome barriers and drive forward the success of her company, with her strong skills in marketing, project management, and business development.
In 2006, Leacia was doing marketing for a civil contractor, while her father was working as a contractor for other companies in the construction industry. Leacia saw her father being downsized for his work since he didn’t have his own company, even though he had many years of experience and expertise. After a series of conversations, the two of them decided it was time to make it on their own.
“As a little girl, I never thought this is what I would do when I grew up,” says Leacia, “but as we discussed it, it seemed like a natural step for both of us.”
In January 2007, Leacia and Wayne established Brazos Builders, Inc., a commercial general contracting company. Leacia is 51% owner of the company, with her father owning the other 49%. In April 2011, after waiting for nearly a year, the business became certified in the SBA’s 8(a) program. With this certification, they are now able to participate in a nine year business development program specifically for minority owned businesses, including businesses owned by women. The program gives them access to resources through the SBA, and the opportunity to compete against only other 8(a) businesses.
As one of the few women in the construction industry, Leacia was often mistaken for a secretary or another representative from her company when she first started her business. With the strong support of her father and her excellent business acumen, however, she built a strong reputation for the company and overcame many of the barriers posed by her gender.
In the fall of 2012, Leacia learned of Mi Casa Resource Center’s 6-week “boot camp” for existing businesses through her business development specialist at the SBA. Despite having to commute from Colorado Springs to Denver, Leacia enrolled in the program, with the hopes of clarifying her business’ focus and addressing issues presented by the economic downturn. The program put a lot of additional work on her plate, but Leacia is grateful for the support she received.
“I found it particularly valuable to meet business owners at all stages of their businesses and realize that I’m not alone,” says Leacia. “The boot camp was a great sounding board for all of us.”