How a Women Owned Small Business Defies the Odds – The Direct Steel Story
Direct Steel: A Women Owned Small Business that Defies the Odds
Direct Steel has it’s roots in the early 2000’s, when founder Rosemary Swierk, now winner of many Women Owned Small Business and Influencer awards and recognitions, began buying and rehabbing buildings and learned the nuances of the commercial construction industry and managing construction projects.
“I kept buying buildings and remodeling them. I would rent them or sell them. The projects got larger. Eventually, I was building shopping centers. The work was very rewarding. In 2004 I was asked to general contract for other developers and clients. That was the beginning of Direct Steel.” Rosemary Swierk, Medium.com
The path for her new company was not easy, having to strategically compete during the construction recession of the late 2000’s that stagnated area commercial construction developments, Rosemary leveraged her skill in navigating the strict requirements of government projects and requirements of government funded projects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
“I learned that getting federal-government work is kind of like getting your first job. You can get the work as long as you have the experience, but you can’t get the experience until you get the work. Winning your first prime contract or subcontract is difficult.”
The Great Recession drove a lot of construction companies out of business, but Direct Steel beat the odds by pursuing and winning contracts with the federal government. Today, Direct Steel is a successful commercial contractor, construction manager, and owner’s representation company. We have completed several government projects, including Air Force, Army Corps of Engineers, Navy, and Veteran’s Administration projects. Beyond this Direct Steel regularly works in the construction of commercial retail, medical, office, restaurant, and recreation facilities.
Women Owned Business Awards: Direct Steel and Rosemary as Influencers in the Industry
Direct Steel is honored to be a part of a small group of companies to receive a WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) certification. This illustrious honor is only available to companies wherein 51 percent of the business is owned, operated, and managed by women. As a WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business), Rosemary has had the honor of attending a multitude of conferences and serving on various panels over the past several years, and has been the recipient of many recognitions and women owned business awards. Rosemary’s work in the field has been featured in magazines among the likes of Chicago Women Magazine, Enterprising Women Magazine, and Women Impacting Public Policy. In addition to these features, Rosemary was also recognized with the Women of Influence Award in March of 2017.
Direct Steel’s Customer-First Approach and Successes. Going Beyond Commercial Construction Management
Direct Steel’s success and impact goes beyond delivering several successful government construction projects. Rosemary and her team pride themselves by going above and beyond expectations. Direct Steel’s focus on delivering on client expectations and being proactive to solve potential development problems ensures projects get completed on-time and within budget. Construction management processes and communication, including Budget Analysis, preliminary scheduling, and maintaining oversight through final construction regularly meet and exceed client’s expectations.