Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Katrina Gonzalez:
Founded in 2016, Waypoint Contracting, Inc., a woman-owned small business providing construction management and general contracting services throughout the state of Florida, has seen significant growth under the guidance and leadership of Katrina Gonzalez, President and Co-Founder. Inspired by her father’s success in the construction industry and backed by experienced leadership, Gonzalez is aggressive in her approach and confident in her abilities to take Waypoint to the next level.
“Waypoint’s roots date back as far as the early 1970s when my grandfather first started his construction business,” Gonzalez said. “In the late ‘80s, my father established his own construction company and through his success inspired me to start my own. In 2016, the family business merged its talent and experience to form the state-of-the-art company, now known as Waypoint Contracting, Inc. I am proud to be a third-generation owner, leading a new generation that my family’s legacy in construction began. My Co-Founder, Jorge Lopez, and I, along with my father, Eddy Gonzalez, serving as Director of Operations, are committed to delivering best-in-class construction services with unmatched quality and complete transparency.”
Maintaining a Competitive Advantage
For Gonzalez, and the team at Waypoint, a significant emphasis is placed on transparency and keeping clients in the loop at all times.
“It’s a popular thing to say nowadays, but we really do aim to be as transparent as possible,” she said. “We also aim to have the best possible relationships with our customers. That means giving them exactly what they want and being as open as possible. We want their expectations to become a reality. If we happen to discover a problem, we don’t beat around the bush. We deal with it head-on.”
According to Gonzalez, Waypoint’s competitive edge compared to other companies in their market is their youthful zest and willingness to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results. Gonzalez describes her team as dedicated, hard-working and accurate. Core competencies include, pre-construction, design/build, construction management, general contracting, task order contracting, secure facilities work, disaster recovery, self-perform capabilities, new construction and renovations & upgrades.
As a woman in construction, Gonzalez faces many challenges not experienced by her male counterparts. “It’s harder to prove yourself,” she said. “Women in construction have to fight harder for validation. However, that’s what makes it so rewarding when a customer selects us.”
From social media to establishing mutually beneficial relationships, Waypoint Contracting utilizes many different avenues to reach their target market. Gonzalez participates in many networking events and is a member of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national U.S. trade association representing the non-union construction industry. According to Gonzalez, any chance they have to get out there and get noticed, they take it.
Waypoint’s workforce consists of four contract laborers and 12 full-time employees. Company culture is defined by diversity and openness.
“We’re a very diverse company,” Gonzalez said. “We have many different races and ethnicities. Since our inception, we’ve been open to understanding each other’s beliefs, opinions and respecting cultural differences. We’re also very supportive of one another, sort of like a family. We pick each other up when someone is down. Overall, we’re a very united team. Our differences bring us together.”
When it comes to community involvement and philanthropic activities, Gonzalez personally contributes in several unique ways. She’s a proud member of the MAS Foundation, a non-profit serving Miami-Dade’s homeless population. She also volunteers with seniors and donates Christmas presents to needy families on a yearly basis. Other employees participate in giving back through various programs put on by the United Way.
For Gonzalez, operating in the state of Florida is beneficial for several reasons. “There’s a lot of work here,” she said. “Even though we didn’t win, we just bid on our first $10 million job. To be at the level where we can go after those Multi-million-dollar jobs is great. Florida is also a great place to live and work because of our weather, and a good place to pull talent. Many of our employees graduated from Florida International University’s School of Construction Management. That’s also where we conduct job fairs as well.”
What it Means to be a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree
“It’s very humbling,” Gonzalez said. “We were up against other companies that have been around for a lot longer than us. We’re small and young, but we’ve succeeded when people didn’t think we could. Being honored is a real eye opener for Jorge and me.”
Gonzalez continued, “In terms of why we were selected, I think it comes down to the fact that we met all the necessary criteria on top of what we’ve achieved in a short time. In just three years, we’ve accomplished what typically takes others five; and we still have so much more room to grow. We should be recognized for that.”
Gonzalez is confident in her abilities and those of her employees, but she’s also quick to give thanks for those that laid a solid foundation. “I have to especially thank my dad for taking me under his wing and being my mentor as well as my mom and my sisters for being my support system. Also, everyone at Waypoint deserves a round of applause for being who they are and for working hard to make us who we are.”
Looking ahead, Gonzalez would like to continue growing and become even more recognized in the community. She wants to always be in a position to be selected as a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree. She also wants to position the company to be experienced and nimble enough to jump into any market should a new opportunity arise.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“Stick with it,” she said. “There will be days where you feel like you can’t do it anymore, but don’t give up. You’ll experience plenty of rewards that make it all worth it.”
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