Builders Exchange of Michigan: How did you earn your first dollar?
Linda DenHartigh: Working for my father who was a commercial/residential painting contractor. I started working for him when I was eight years old.
BX: What drew you to the construction industry?
LD: My father. I grew up around remodeling and new construction environments, which influenced my decision and contributed to the draw of the construction industry.
BX: What does a typical day look like on the job for you?
LD: My typical day starts with exercise – either at the YMCA or going out for a run. The balance of the day keeps me busy with a mixture of accounting, HR, estimating, and project management functions. Meetings balance out the rest of my typical daily activities.
BX: What’s an exciting project that you’ve completed recently?
LD: Epic recently took a farm field in Zeeland and turned it into an expansive parking lot for Herman Miller. This project was challenging due to the soil and weather we encountered.
BX: What makes Epic Excavating special?
LD: I have been a licensed builder since 1995. Epic Excavating can perform all trades covered under that license. Epic Excavating treats its employees with respect and appreciation. We also pride ourselves on attention to detail and completion of work in the best interest of the owner.
BX: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
LD: Treat your employees well and listen to their ideas. The employees will be dedicated and loyal if they respect you as a business owner.
BX: If you could master one new skill right now, what would it be?
LD: Fine-tuning my organizational skills. My current duties prevent me from being as highly organized as I would like to be.
BX: What were your goals when you began your position at Epic Excavating? How have you achieved them?
LD: To create a well-respected company that represents the local construction industry well. I have achieved this by establishing contact with the local general contractors and prime contractors and the retention of highly qualified employees.
“I would encourage women to pursue their dreams and not give up when challenges arise.”
BX: What challenges have you overcome and what experiences have you had to get to where you are today?
LD: For me, the biggest challenges have been to stand my ground when it feels like I am being taken advantage of.
BX: What advice would you give to other women who would like to go into the same career field you’ve chosen?
LD: My father always told me to pursue my interests and often used the phrase ‘Go for it’. I would encourage women to pursue their dreams and not to give up when challenges arise. The challenges will present themselves since the construction field is heavily male-dominated.
BX: What can other members of the construction community do to encourage women to participate in the construction industry?
LD: Business owners and general contractors could be open-minded to allowing women-owned companies to participate in their projects. They could advertise for female participation whenever possible.
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