Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherie Koester.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cherie. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Briefly is difficult.
I was a statistic. I was a native girl in a small town in Wisconsin who then became a teenage mother at the age of 16. I made it a life goal to get out of the small town I grew up in not because I didn’t love it. I do love it; we go home to visit often. I wanted a bigger life for my children; I wanted them to have opportunities that I did not. I got through High School, then two associates degrees, then my B.S. then my Masters. It took me 12 years of working full time and school, but we got it! I got the later two degrees in Arizona when I took the gamble to move here halfway through my B.S. I was hired by Maricopa County as a regulator. I inspected construction sites and wrote costly violations to national homebuilders. After six years of this experience, I felt as though there was a large disconnect between the regulatory and construction industry. I started consulting on my own. I figured that I would be able to offset my regulatory income with just a few clients. That quickly changed when word got out that Earthworks consults with such a high level of customer service. We stay well informed with each states regulatory rules, trends, and keep strong relationships with each. Additionally, we look for value engineering practices to continue to save our clients money, not only with a reduction in violations but also smarter ways to keep their sites violation free. We are now operating in 12 states with our 13th state opening in September. I went from consulting on 15 sites by myself to now just under 700 permits with 33 employees. Our five year anniversary is September 1st of this year.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Keeping up with our growth is always difficult. Finding enough time in the week and each day for me to do all of the things I want to do is also a challenge. I wish I didn’t have to sleep or eat so that I could continue to go 100% all day long. I have to continually remind myself to stop, rest, take a break, don’t be so hard on all of your employees. I do not expect perfection, but I demand excellence.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Earthworks began by consulting with national homebuilders on their construction sites to avoid costly Rule 310 (dust) violations. We quickly (in under a month) opened up our consulting into Stormwater Pollution Prevention (SWPP). We also consult on these same construction sites for safety.
Earthworks hold strong relationships not only with our clients, the construction site superintendents, other trades, but also the regulatory agencies.
Earthworks has created our own software retention called ERX. This is where we hold all of our weekly inspections, permits, records, and our new service drone footage of your construction site.
We are a 100% minority woman-owned company. We have branded ourselves as a top of the line in service, technology, relationships, communication, and ethics.
Do you feel luck has played a role in your life?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in grit and thick skin.