Renee Brown, CEO, & Charlie Brown, President C.W. Brown Inc.
Full-service general contracting and construction management firm serving commercial clients in the tri-state area. Woman-owned and employee-owned, founded in 1984.
Professional Path: Started in a basement, but grew through “vision and entrepreneurial spirit” to open a new headquarters in Armonk (pending LEED Platinum Certification) with 35 office employees and 40 field carpenters.
Why Westchester: “Westchester is home.” (The Browns grew up, met, settled down and started a family here.) “As a business owner, Westchester is the perfect place to put down roots. The workforce is talented, the communities and school districts are wonderful and there is always something to do, whether it be dining out, shopping or enjoying the arts.”
Most Valuable Resources: “Without good people, you can’t succeed” – Each employee has the opportunity to grow, train and continue their education in a multi-generational workforce. Other important resources are organizations focused on bringing together like-minded business leaders to interact and support each other.
Lessons Learned: “There is always opportunity.” A downturn can be used to “re-tool and innovate.” The new headquarters has been established as a knowledge center to train industry professionals.
Secret to Success: “You don’t know what you don’t know. Surround yourself with good people who are experts in their field.” An outside consultant, or “coach,” can help hold the company accountable. “Having a strategic business consultant can ensure that you don’t lose focus on the end goal.”
Rewarding Moment: Being approached to sit on a board for the first time, participating in mentoring programs through Westchester Community College and Columbia University, and nurturing a robust internship program. “Being able to help others reach their personal and business potential is the ultimate reward.”
What’s Next: “Looking forward to being featured as the ‘Large Business’ success story!”