17 Mar 2011
- Written by Carlee McCullough
Green has built a solid track record with TopCat Masonry Contractors, Inc., the company that she founded with her husband. Here she shares how the construction industry became a passion.
Carlee McCullough: First, tell us a little bit about your background. Who is Briggette Green?
Briggette Green: I have a B.S. in Organizational Management. I worked in the banking industry for over 17 years as (a) vice president and branch manager. I have been married to my husband, Robert, for 25 years and I am the mother of three beautiful children, Romanethia, Nyemma, and Robert II. I am an active member of Cummings Street Baptist Church and enjoy shopping, entertaining and traveling.
C.M.: How did you get into construction and how long have you been in the field?
C.M.: What is it like to be a female in a male dominated industry of masonry?
B.G.: It is very interesting, however, being a female in the industry avails opportunities that would probably not be available. There are times when I am attending meetings in the industry as the only female and I get funny stares, until I begin to talk and my male counterparts realize I am vastly knowledgeable of the industry.
C.M.: Are there any support organizations for females in construction?
B.G.: Yes, organizations such as National Association of Women in Construction and National Association of Women Business Owners and the Mid-South Minority Business Council. Women- owned businesses can get certified as a woman-owned business, which gives them an opportunity to be exposed to majority owned companies looking to possibly partner or joint venture with small and women owned businesses.
C.M.: When you were starting out, who served as mentors for you?
B.G.: In the words of the African proverb, “No one tests the depths of the river with both feet” is a quote I strongly believe in. There was no one in the industry that mentored me, however, the industry was not new to my husband and therefore, it was not difficult to understand as I had a direct line to the intricate works of the trade.
C.M.: What has contributed to the success of TopCat?
B.G.: I believe success is a loosely used term. The stability of TopCat is directly related to the quality of workmanship and the ability to understand the industry from the inside out. Being a company to contend with requires a lot of hard work, dedication, commitment and one must think outside the box with creative and innovative ways of doing business.
C.M.: Do you notice any new trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?
B.G.: Based on facts outlined in the Mid South Minority Business Council’s notes on Commercial Construction Industry Facts, it specifies the construction industry is highly fragmented with many small companies working on a limited geography and serving as subcontractors on larger projects.
C.M.: How does TopCat Masonry give back to the community?
B.G.: TopCat gives back to the community through corporate donations as well as physical labor. Some of the organizations we contribute to are: Neighborhood Christian Centers annual Christmas basket packing day, St. Jude Hospital, Shriner’s, National Heart Association and providing door prizes to the Robert R. Church annual events with the Mid- South Minority Business Council.
C.M.: If you had one piece of advice to give to someone just starting out, what would it be?
B.G.: In the great words of the unknown, “Don’t die before you’re dead.” The construction industry is a wonderful field to be in. It requires a lot of commitment and endurance, however it is very rewarding.
C.M.: Any closing remarks?
B.G.: Thanks to Carlee McCullough and the Tri State Defender for the opportunity to be featured. Someone once said, “It is better to attempt great things and fail, than to attempt small things and win.”