Name and Company: Donna Venerable-Davis, D&L Cleanup
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Years in the industry: 11 years
What made you want to join the construction industry?
Well, that wasn’t my goal. When I retired from the corporate world, I realized it was the “perfect” time to start a new business with my daughter, Leslie Rashid. As luck you have it, we started in the height of the recession (2009). We had the bright idea of cleaning all the foreclosed properties that were now needing to be cleaned to put on the market for resale. That didn’t work out as we envisioned. The economy began to recover and there were a lot of building being built so we began cleaning construction trailers to start. That move placed us in the center of the construction world. There was plenty of work and our fledging business began to blossom. We realized that EVERY SINGLE building needed to be cleaned before it could get an occupancy permit and turned over to the owner. Eleven years later and we are still going strong.
What does being a woman in construction mean to you?
While being a woman in construction has had its challenges, it has also been very rewarding. It has built my confidence that I can walk onto a construction site knowing that I will be taken seriously because, I know my business.
How can you help educate young women that may be considering entering the industry or that don’t know about opportunities in the industry?
I tell them to look at the big picture. There are many opportunities. The field is wide open. Be it cleaning, architecture, attorney, accounting, project managers, business development, supplier, etc. I think a lot of young women may think it’s just wearing a hard hat and getting dirty.