Chief Operating Officer (iJustOrder) & CEO (J Star Construction)
iJustOrder & J Star Construction
Hazelwood Central High School
Harris-Stowe State University, BBA, (emphasis entrepreneurship)
Webster University (MBA – In process)
RBC Young Professionals
In short, what do you do?
I own a construction company based in St. Louis, MO. This construction company specializes in dump trucks (hauling materials to and from job sites). I also work for a startup tech company called iJustOrder as the Chief Operating Officer. iJustOrder is a software application company where you can attend a live event and order concession stand food from your phone and have it delivered directly to your seat.
You’ve undertaken some large-scale contract projects. What’s your project management style?
My project management style varies based on the project. If I’m working on a smaller scope project, my management style is more deadline-driven. Working on a detailed project with a large scope such as BJC, my management style shifts because their focus is more quality and budget driven.
You started your own construction company, J. Star Construction. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
Learning how significant employees are. There have been times where I didn’t have any employees or I had several employees, but they would never show up for work. There have been times where I had to sub out a lot of my work just to get the job done. Biggest lesson I learned was hiring unfit employees can leave a bad representation of your company.
What advice can you share with women and women of color who are considering a career in construction?
Research. Make sure this is the industry you want to be in because construction comes with an expensive price tag. After researching, just do it! Construction is a male dominated industry, so you will not be welcomed with open arms. You will have to fight your way there; networking is a creative way to get there. Lastly, never take no for an answer. If someone else is already doing it, you can do it too!
Have you had any mentors or participated in any programs that were especially helpful in your industry?
My mentor in this industry was my grandfather, Willie Jefferson. He has been in the industry for 60+ years (age: 82 now). Since I was in grade school, I’ve been riding in semi-trucks, dump trucks and tractor trailers. He showed me the basics and from there I took my college knowledge and grew his construction company.
What are your favorite St. Louis destinations for weekend fun?
MX Movies downtown St. Louis, they deliver food to your seat and I love watching new movies!