American Striping Company
Location: Centennial, CO
Industry: Road Construction
*Second Year Honoree*
Harvey, Founder and CEO of American Striping Company (ASC), a multi million-dollar road construction company, said she never in her wildest dreams did she think she would go from hospital administration to starting a striping company.
Now, two trucks and three employees later, she has proven that dreams can come true- even the ones you do not imagine yourself a part of. She says perhaps it is because we live in special times.
“Being an employer is no longer about just offering someone a job,” Harvey said. “It’s about taking care of the employee as a whole being. What I mean by this is providing an environment that strives for work-life balance, individual development & growth opportunities, financial literacy, and truly helping one reach their dreams. By focusing on this, your team will be happier, more efficient and more committed to the mission than ever before.”
She added that her measure of success, of course, is completion of quality work, happy customers and exceptional customer service and then answering the question, “are we helping our team reach their goals?”
“No matter what positions we play, the cheese has been moved,” Harvey said. “The pandemic has changed virtually everything. As leaders, even though we are still being faced with unknowns and uncertainties, we are called upon to respond. We must harness our skills and take novel, although sometimes untried approaches, as novel as the virus itself.”
Harvey emphasized the importance of establishing esprit-de-corps by, “looking at our workforce and asking them to be as nimble and flexible as we are in trying to find a way through this.”
“Everyone is well aware of the world around them; jobs have been lost, and we have focused on keeping our employees by diversifying our services, expanding cross-training so staff may have more worked hours, and explored new products to bring onboard,” she said. “The greatest leadership lesson I have learned this year is that I know less than I thought about this expanding business we’ve created. As we grow exponentially it is no longer a one-woman shop. Staffing, finance, scheduling, bidding, dealing with contractors all have risen meteorically.”
The lesson here is explained by Harvey. “Surround yourself with people smarter than you. People who are smarter than you simply means they know more about their area of the company than you. “
She added that fortune has been on her side over the last few years.
“Our team has been able to deliver steady growth and high efficiencies, and it is now up to the owners and the leadership to step in to pay back their good work.”
She explained that COVID presented this opportunity for ASC.
“While asking 56 men to wear masks everyday was quite a feat, we were able to properly train and protect our team and were able to never lose a day of work,” Harvey said. “While financially it was an unexpected strain, sending staff in separate vehicles to jobs, getting their own hotel rooms, paying for additional PPE, it was the right thing to do and we are still standing strong, maybe even stronger today.”
She said that the challenge for all is to succeed but, obviously the future of the pandemic is still wobbly.
“Will this vaccine protect? Will there be new strains or variants which will present new challenges? The first fear is the fear itself of being paralyzed by this onslaught,” she said. “It is high time to dig our heels in and face this broad side with vision, courage and know-how. As the challenges change, we change. The goal is not merely to survive, but to become stronger.”
And according to Harvey, tough times never last, but tough people do.
“When everyone thinks you are on a road, don’t be afraid to take an exit,” she said. “It takes grit and hard work, but you can make your luck. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, actually do just the opposite, embrace it!”
Without a doubt, Harvey will continue down the road - leading like a Titan of industry for many miles ahead.
"It takes grit and hard work, but you can make your luck. Don't be afraid of the unknown, actually do just the opposite, embrace it!"