By Elaine Omann
Kat Gresham, DBE, MBE, WBE Certified Vendor, is the owner of the company K&A Transporter L.L.C., which specializes in moving the earth for many major construction projects. She is currently involved in Southside local projects and recently was at the IKEA site to present a proposal. She lives in the Southside area and likes to support her community. She tries to embrace every opportunity to encourage other women to follow their dreams.
- How did you get started with moving dirt? What is the scope of this company and job?
I have always had a passion for earth development construction. An
opportunity was presented to me to start my own company in the field. I
felt like the timing was right in Jacksonville to start up a female-owned small business in this field.
We do material delivery and hauling for general contractors in the construction industry. The jobs we are currently working on include hauling and delivering construction materials for both the Interstate 295/State Road 9B expansion project and the Amazon project.
- How did you determine your idea for the company and how did you get started?
The business was something I was interested in for a long time. As with most small businesses, I sought out financing for my equipment and capital to be able to get the business started. I did all the start up on my own.
3. As owner, what practical experiences were required to build
relationships with customers or company employees?
As an owner in this field, I feel it’s important to have great communication skills, be a go-getter, a self-starter, have a personal motivation to seek out jobs and have great interpersonal skills. I previously held positions with construction companies as a foreman. That experience provided me with the basic knowledge of how jobs are run and how to meet the hauling and delivery needs of general contractors on sites.
4. Do you mentor students or interns? Do you actively encourage women to become more involved this type of work?
I am currently seeking the opportunity to mentor students. I have a point
of contact at the local college to begin mentoring in the future. I encourage women to get into this type of work and I have already had the pleasure of leading another woman into the field. She has already started up a business of her own. I continue to help lead her each day and we work together on projects frequently.
- What do you wear to work? What is the funniest story from on the job?
When in the field, I wear jeans, work boots, long sleeved shirt and when
required, I also wear a safety vest, hard hat and safety glasses (known as PPE or personal protective equipment).
One funny story was on a job site, another truck was stuck in the mud. I was helping shovel out the mud to free the truck when I slipped and fell right in the mud.
Photo courtesy Kat Gresham