Location: Silver Spring, MD
Industry: Manufacturing and construction
COO and Owner
Natalia Luis’ parents founded M. Luis Construction Company, Inc. with a wheelbarrow and a pickup truck. “They started with so little, but through persistence, they created a successful company that has survived in a volatile industry where so many have had to close their doors,” Luis says.
Fun Fact: Luis and her sister summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014 to raise money and awareness for Children’s National Medical Center’s Fetal Medicine Institute.
In 2010, Luis and her sister, co-owner Cidalia Luis-Akbar, purchased an asphalt plant in Rockville, leading to exponential business growth and an alternative source of supply. In February, the firm opened a second asphalt plant in Glen Burnie, opening the door for future business growth.
The lack of women in the construction industry posed a challenge for Luis and her sister. “In the beginning, it was very difficult for us to even get to the table and have our voices heard. Our first inclination was to close the doors and the windows and remain unseen,” she says. “Over time, we got used to being the outliers and actually became comfortable becoming our industry’s change agents. When we made it to the table, we had solutions and alternatives.”