In conventionally male-dominated fields such as construction and engineering, you will not often encounter a 100% minority- and female-owned company.
Ascension Construction Solutions – founded by civil engineer, Jeanna Hondel, PE, CCM, LEED AP, MBA – is the exception by design. Her team reflects company ownership, in terms of not being uniform to the industry. “Diversity breeds innovation,” she says. “Bring people from different backgrounds together and you get more innovative ideas and more inventive ways to solve problems.”
Hondel started in the industry as a as a project engineer and assistant project manager. After 13 years of experience and growing confidence, Jeanna was ready to create a company all her own, which led her to search for business resources such as the ECDI Women’s Business Center (WBC). “Having a workspace away from home was key. It was only me in the beginning, so I didn’t have anyone to just bounce ideas off of. WBC staff were big proponents who could review proposals or look at plans with me.”
Though she did not immediately need funding, she took the advice of an ECDI staffer, and was approved for a mobility loan through our Minority Contractor Resource Center (then called Capital for Construction), so she was ready to move when her first contract opportunity came up, with the City of Columbus.
Today, several years and many contracts later, you will find Ascension Construction Solutions leading the renovation of ECDI’s headquarters and business resource center campus.