grew up in mechanical field, wins SBA national women's award
...Jean Marie Thiel
recalls accompanying her
father at age 4 on an emergency, early-morning job to repair a boiler at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.By her
answered some phone calls for her
father's steamfitting business. As a young adult, Thiel worked first as an office clerk, then business manager and finally construction manager at the firm.
at age 29 decided to start her
own mechanical contracting business, it was neither a surprise nor a culture shock. Her
firm's status as a woman-owned and American Indian-owned mechanical contractor has provided entrée to government contracts and rapid growth. Thiel, the majority owner of Belonger Corp. of West Bend, was named by the U.S. Small Business Administration in March as one of the top five women in small business in 2005.
Judging was based on staying power, growth in employees, increase in sales, financial reports, innovativeness in products and service, response to adversity and contributions to aid community-oriented projects.
Belonger recorded sales of about $80,000 in 2000, its first year in business.As of last year, sales had grown to $9.7 million with employment peaking at 27 during a heavy work period.Thiel
predicts revenue of $11 million to $14 million in 2005.
While receiving the award is an honor that may lead to more and bigger contracts, Thiel
uncomfortable that the spotlight is only on her