The Daniele Company is a premier construction management company located in downtown Durham, NC, specializing in Pre-construction Planning; New Construction and Major Renovation; Project Management and Contract Administration; Electrical Distribution; as well as Diversity Coordination.
Our belief is that the business of construction is not simply about building structures, but ultimately about changing the shape of communities, enhancing the quality of people's lives, and catalyzing the growth of neighborhoods and cities.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Visit with President Obama at CREE, Leading LED Light Manufacturer, Durham, NC – June 13, 2011

What I will remember most about this event is:

Not the programmatic words that I have heard the President speak before or the reaffirming comments on the work we had completed that morning but the experience of being part of a moment in history with an audience of dignitaries, politicians, educators, thought leaders of all spectrums and CREE workers to see and hear from our President, the President of these United States of America. He was personal, authentic, and transparent in person as in the media, with a comfortable, accessible style, yet embodied all of the character of the office of President. As my good friend Cynthia Marshall, President AT&T of North Carolina, said to me, “He’s my (emphasis on my) President, I am simply sharing him with everyone else.” My sentiments exactly. And to reflect while sitting there, that I was given the chance to have a voice to be heard and help make a difference in accomplishing his Jobs Council agenda.

Although there was not an opportunity to speak directly to the President, I was left with a personal moment of connection when his caravan was leaving and as I was aggressively seeking to get that last picture of him in the Presidential car as it passed, he waived good-bye to me. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the moment.

The final assessment of the day was that I expanded my knowledge, imparted my insights, connected with some new networks of opportunity and was honored to be in the presence of President Barack Obama.

That’s what life in America was for me today!

President Obama’s Jobs Council Visit - June 13, 2011

What a privilege and honor for opportunity to have a voice in sharing ideas, insights and recommendations as an entrepreneur and CEO of an emerging construction manager/general contractor in Durham, NC. Members of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met at the NCCU Law School for a roundtable discussion with various local industry, non-profit and governmental leaders on innovative ideas for job growth and workforce development. The discussion was facilitated by Melody Barnes, Advisor to the President on Domestic Policy and Don Graves, Executive Director of the Jobs Council. The supporting members in attendance included: Roger Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF; Joseph Hansen, International President of UFCW; Monica Lozano, CEO of ImpreMedia; Darlene Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries; and Penny Pritzker, Chair and CEO of Pritzker Realty Group. The leading question for discussion focused on what works well in North Carolina and what is needed.

Here are my comments and recommendations at the roundtable discussion, which by the way was actually a hollow square setup:

From an entrepreneurial perspective with boots on the ground, our company is representative of the small business that becomes the link to economic development at the foundational level of impact. The decisions we make are critical because they affect not only our employees but their respective families. While the educational resources here are rich, we have to be able to offer a compensation package to attract and retain the talented, skilled employee. In addition, a platform for success positions us to drive the success of other companies and expand our footprint as well.

There are various initiatives that would be beneficial recommendations to consider:

Legislative Platform:
Everything in NC is legislated, including for example the delivery method for construction. So it is important that the language is clearly defined and specific around goals, intent, initiative and expected outcome and not left vague to interpretation.
Small business is too global as a categorical definition. It consolidates all categories and expands an extraordinarily competitive arena for the most disenfranchised groups, i.e. African American and Hispanic for example. The small business designation dilutes the opportunities for success for historically underutilized businesses. It is important to distinguish goals for ethnic categories, women, veteran-owned, etc. in order to provide for equity in competing for opportunities.

Financial Resources:
Allow for financial flexibility, e.g. offerings that are merit-based. While profitability is important, cash flow in this economy is the sustainable life line.
Provide tax incentives to small businesses not just to the large companies to allow for reinvestment in talent, technology and growth.
Support the resource alliances such as the NC Institute for Economic Minority Development that provide training, technical and marketing programs.

Relationship Capital:
There has to be a matrix for serial opportunities through partnering and strategic alliances that help promote and target companies for continual work.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Women @ Work

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to some young ladies at Southern High school in Durham, NC. It was for a program called Women @ Work which gives young women the opportunity to meet and engage with professional women in the construction industry. They also complete hands-on projects such as building a tool box and a park bench. Although many of the young women may not pursue construction, it is important to give them the opportunity to explore different fields and observe successful professional women and garner some of their wisdom. One young lady wrote me an email saying:

" Today you spoke to my school's Women at Work Construction Club. I must say that I truly enjoyed your presentation. I appreciated your inspiring words and know that I will carry them with me for years to come."

I was honored and humbled that only a few moments out of my day meant so much to someone. I believe that my business is not only about building structures but about changing lives. The Daniele Company is committed to enriching the surrounding community and providing knowledge and resources to the next generation of leaders. At the end of my talk, I provided the group with the book, "Life's Greatest Lessons" by Hal Urban. I have found this book to be a useful tool for teens in understanding how the world works and how to be the best player in it. I look forward to more events like this and will keep you posted about them. Thank you, Lisa Pinero, for inviting me to speak for this program.