Denita Conway: How did this “C” student turn into a SUCCESSFUL CEO?
A C-student turned award-winning minority business leader, Denita Conway shares how she started and how having a mature mindset helps her build her business and succeed in the marketplace.
Denita R. Conway graduated with a business degree from the Fox School of Business and Management in Temple University.
Then, she worked in the male-dominated industry of government contracting by working as an owner’s representative and move manager at the Pentagon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and the Defense Media Activity of the US Department of Defense, respectively.
She also founded a logistics management and project controls consulting firm in 2007 named PROVEN Management which has been providing services to 29 government agencies in 48 cities.
Due to all of these, Conway is considered as an award-winning strategic planning and risk mitigation executive and one of the Capital region’s leading African-American businesswomen. Some of her recent awards include the 2020 Washington Business Journal Minority Leadership Award and the 2020 Enterprising Women’s Award.
BUILDING A COMPANY OF HER OWN
Denita Conway didn’t expect herself to become an entrepreneur as she was a mischievous young girl and a C-student in college.
“So as ironic, I have a business and I’m really good at accounting for the business, but I could not pass the County Institute. It was the hardest class. I think I took those classes three times a piece, I’m exaggerating, but I promise you, I took them more than once.”
But when she noticed how her past company was not training their employees fairly, she left her company and got a contract as a consultant, overseeing the company that she worked for.
“One says that failure is in procrastination. So when I got the opportunity, I jumped right on it. It was a dream country because I never really believed that I can do it.”
Her company just started with her doing consulting jobs and learning about the industry, communicating with a bunch of government agencies, and putting the name of her company out there.
“Just learning, learning, soaking it all in. Okay. And then you decided, okay, I’m ready to take the leap.”
Then, after three years of doing all of these, she got a call from the Defense Media Activity, and that’s where her company continued growing.
What she hoped now for PROVEN Management is for her kids, who are currently in college, to join the company.
STRUGGLES AS A BUSINESS OWNER
In managing and getting huge wins for her company, Denita Conway also lost friends and families.
“I lost a lot of friends, family members over it, people because I made it. I was just going to help him out. And it wasn’t a bad thing. It’s just that I realized I couldn’t do everything. So it was very emotional for me through that time.”
Apart from that, she also struggles in making decisions as she doesn’t want to disappoint people.
“I remember what I wanted to accomplish versus what someone’s putting in front of me. That’s a tough— It’s a tough decision because, you know, I would rather have a company with some substance and have a company without, I always say, tell my team, we’re going to go a mile deep, right? Instead of a mile wide.”
BE A GOOD LEADER
As the head of PROVEN, Conway is not always on the site but she also aims to give her team a human dynamic because she wants them to feel that she’s a part of them and she wants them to know that they’re not the only ones who are sacrificing.
“Before I started PROVEN, I was actually a contractor on site and I didn’t like the fact that I was working nights and weekends or late hours and I can never find leadership. So, one of the things that I wanted to do and why I started PROVEN was simply give them the human dynamic. It’s just the right thing to do. So, it’s not something I have to do. It’s not something that they mandate. It’s that I believe that if we all treat each other fairly and we balance the act, then, we’ll have happier employees or employees that are long longevity.”
If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Denita R. Conway as she shares how she started and how having a mature mindset helps her build her business and succeed in the marketplace, then be sure to click the links below:
How did this “C” student turn into a SUCCESSFUL CEO?
067: Denita R Conway – Award-winning Strategic Planning & Risk Mitigation Executive