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Business Is Booming For This Top Woman/Minority-Owned Construction Firm

Five years ago, Cheryl McKissack Daniel, president and chief executive of construction management firm McKissack & McKissack, recognized the company's business was limited and sought to expand. "My thought was to become the biggest minority- and women-owned construction firm in New York City," stated Cheryl.

Cheryl is on her way -- today her company is the second-largest construction management firm on Crain's list of top minority-owned businesses. McKissack & McKissack is also the oldest women/minority-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States. In an interview last year with the New York Times, Cheryl was proud to say that the company's revenue and client list has grown every year by 17-20 percent. Their staff of 155 is currently working on 50 projects, including the World Trade Center transportation hub.

A family business grows

The company was founded in 1905 by Cheryl's grandfather, Moses III, and his brother, Calvin, who were the first licensed black architects in the U.S. The company later passed to Cheryl's father, and today both Cheryl and her twin sister Deryl are in the business. Cheryl didn't plan to be in the construction business, but after working in her father's office, she switched her major in college to civil engineering, and the rest is history.

Cheryl's sister works at the McKissack & McKissack D.C. site and was the one responsible for building the Martin Luther King Memorial. Their success is truly amazing because they are in a very competitive male-dominated industry. How is business? Ask Cheryl: "Business is great. It’s taken 100 years to become an overnight success."

To read the complete interview, go to