| Mar 29, 2008
Subject: Local businesswoman builds construction
Category: Building and Construction and Maintenance Services
Local businesswoman builds construction
company, tears down stereotypes
By JILL BLACKFORD, Special to the Daily Transcript
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Kindergarten teacher. Public
administrator to at-risk populations.
President and CEO of award-winning
construction firm. Three seemingly
disparate job titles. Yet Aldrica Lattimore
has had them all.
Lattimore's current role is as president
and CEO of Accurate Engineering
Integrated Construction Services,
which her younger brother, Rod
Thompson, now director of operations,
started in 1992. Lattimore started
helping out then as well -- when she was
on holiday or summer vacation from her
jobs in education and public
administration in New York. Eventually, that work turned into full-time.
"I came out originally in the summers and during vacations to give (Rod) a hand with
the business," Lattimore said. "I was a typical contractor wearing 12 hats."
Lattimore found that not only the job responsibilities, but also the perspectives in the
construction field, were new challenges for her compared to what she had faced with
at-risk parents and students.
"The industry wasn't so receptive to me, being an African-American woman and
being a woman in general," she said. "Some were very welcoming, but not a whole
lot. It's changed now, but that was 10 years ago."
Despite the differences between her former professions and her current role as head
of the $10 million Accurate Engineering, Lattimore still draws on the skills she honed
in tough neighborhoods in New York during client meetings or in the boardroom.
"I am 5 feet 2 and all of a hundred pounds," she says. "And I often find myself going
into situations that you would think I would run away from. But any time any one
says no -- such as this child can't learn -- then that becomes my project. It's no
different with this company. I have worked hard and have overcome obstacles and
doubts out there."
Lattimore also credits her background in the classroom with helping her to be
receptive and resourceful. Perhaps, she mused, her experience in a completely
different arena actually facilitated the company's growth. She has no formal
education in construction or engineering.
"Many CEOs in construction today only have on-the-job-training and life experience,"
she said. "And that's what I have. Can I go out and put on a tool belt? No, I cannot
do that. But when I go out do I know what I am looking at? Yes, ma'am. Do they
know that I care about the success of our projects? Yes, ma'am."
This somewhat unconventional candidate took over Accurate Engineering ICS in
2000, when it was more than $100,000 in the red. At the time, Lattimore's attorney
told her she'd be taking over a lot of debt and advised against it. She stood firm in
believing that she could turn the company around. The following year Accurate
Engineering did $1 million in sales, a reported 100 percent growth
Related Link: http://www.accurateengineeringics.com
|Accurate Engineering Integrated Construction Services Inc.
|4204 Sorrento Valley Blvd Ste. L
| San Diego, California 92121, USA