Mary-Alexander-header-1

Mary Alexander

New Orleans, LA

INDUSTRY: CONSTRUCTION
BUSINESS: PEREZ, APC
YEAR FOUNDED: 1940
PROGRAM: 2014 EMERGING LEADERS NEW ORLEANS
“What’s different between now and where we were in ‘05 is we actually have facilities in other locations where we can transfer our people . . . We are more sustainable than we were ten years ago--we work overseas, we have other clients in other regions of the US.”
BUSINESS OVERVIEW
Founded in 1940, Perez is the second oldest architectural firm in New Orleans, and over the past 10 years has expanded its service offerings to include design-build, construction and real estate development. After a strong rebound after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Perez currently employs nearly 50 people and has 13 branch offices, including its project office in Kabul, Afghanistan. Five years ago, Perez was awarded a continuing government contract for design-build projects in Afghanistan--the largest of its kind awarded by that agency to a woman-owned business.

GROWING THE BUSINESS
Mary Alexander was brought on five years ago to create and implement a concentrated plan to grow and expand Perez. Throughout the firm’s history growth had been largely connected to external factors beyond the firm’s control. In Mary's words, “for example, we experienced significant growth after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and have built upon those experiences to develop a more sustainable growth model that includes integration of services and expansion into global markets.”

Since taking the Emerging Leaders program in particular, Mary is making a concentrated effort to build a steady portfolio of clients. As a part of the program, she created a strategic growth action plan that outlined a clear path to continued growth for Perez. The firm is in process of implementation, and as Mary explains, “our priority is our clients. We have to continue to provide great service to them, and at the same time, stay laser focused on our growth plan--we’re kind of building the plane while flying it.”

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