Partnership Builds Success in the Construction Industry

Partnership Builds Success in the Construction Industry

When other banks showed no interest in helping, Rachelle Reigard's partner at Pinnacle went the extra mile to learn what she needed and earn her trust.

Rachelle knows how to run a business. She had already started and sold a successful healthcare company and recognized the potential for profit in doing site work for her city’s booming construction scene. There was just one problem: she couldn’t get any attention from banks.

“As soon as they found out we were a site contractor, most of them said, ‘We can’t help you.’”

She needed a partner who had confidence in her and her team. She needed someone who would work alongside them as they built and grew their company, Grade A Construction. She asked her accounting firm for bank recommendations, and Deb Hennessee at Pinnacle was on the list.

Deb immediately responded when Rachelle reached out. She and a credit advisor went to visit Grade A to see it for themselves.

“It was an investment in us from the very beginning,” Rachelle said. “They came to us instead of insisting we meet at her office. They sat down and listened to our story and where we wanted to go. I told her that we were newcomers to our local construction market, but that we had a proven track record, and we knew how to make businesses work. We just needed a partner.

“Deb believed in us from day one.”

One thing Deb believed in was the smart strategy of pursuing DBE contracts, or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Government projects are often required to give a designated percentage of their contracts to businesses owned by women or minorities. Being a female-owned business, Grade A Construction was perfectly positioned to take advantage of major capital investments happening in its city and state.

“It’s a great way to get our foot in the door with contractors and establish credibility in the industry,” Rachelle said. “It’s also a good contingency plan if work in the private sector starts to slow down. It’s not an easy status to get, but it’s worth the effort.”

With an attractive business plan and a surplus of available work, Rachelle opened a line of credit at Pinnacle and got to work growing her company. Thanks to the hard work of Rachelle and her team, Grade A built a reputation for getting the job done safely, on time and with an experienced workforce. In the construction industry, that’s a golden ticket.

Local government work started turning into statewide. Airport contracts came. Then jobs in private housing developments and healthcare facilities. The demand was growing, and Grade A was there to meet it.

The company grew rapidly – doubling its employees – as did its relationship with Pinnacle. They moved over operating accounts and used “sweep” products to help pay down their debt. That allowed Rachelle to invest more cash in the company, even expanding into concrete and asphalt paving.

“We learned together,” she said. “Deb and her team are the first people who asked questions instead of cutting us off.”

As partners, Rachelle and Deb were able to fill a hole that needed filling. Grade A Construction is a contractor that can handle big jobs while keeping the feel of a small company. It’s a niche that they learned to meet together, and it’s only just begun.

“We’re trying to grow smart but also quickly. That scares a lot of bankers. The fact that Deb is willing to talk with us about it and coach us along the way is vital to the success of Grade A Construction.”