The Dallas-Fort Worth Small Business Administration recently honored AVI-SPL Senior CAD Technician Francine Hawkins-Alegeh with the 2014 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year award.
Here at AVI-SPL, Francine has been part of our CAD design team since 2008. She and another Senior CAD Technician manage and create all CAD projects for the Texas region, and also regularly support our other offices. In addition to working with us full-time, Francine owns two Dallas businesses: Alegeh Autocad Design and F.D. Hawkins Painting and Remodeling, which focuses primarily on helping low-income families and senior citizens with their home needs.
Francine kicks off her weekdays by making three pots of coffee for the Dallas team around 6am and jumps right in to meetings with engineers and project managers in between design projects. After work, Francine divides her time between community events, public speaking, professional organizations and, don’t forget about the two businesses that she owns and manages.
She regularly attends National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) meetings (she’s the President of the Dallas chapter), and is a public speaker. She recently spoke with women at Fluor Engineering and Construction in Houston about her experiences in the industry. Francine mentors local high school students, meets with them 3-4 times each month, and plans field trips for them to NAWIC members’ companies.
Francine works on projects for her drafting company in the evenings, and her painting and remodeling business on the weekends. She freely admits that balancing so much can be hard, but that she finds it to be very rewarding. “I work hard and play hard,” said Francine. “My husband and I spend a lot of time on the lake and travelling during our free time, but I just love working in the community and with children, and going to big fancy parties. [laughs] I also love working with NAWIC. The organization has changed me as an individual. I am the president this year which means I get very little sleep between all of the phone calls and emails. My mind is always wandering with new ideas.”
Francine makes a difference in her community and also here at AVI-SPL. “Francine is always willing to help others at work and in her community,” said Dawna Payne, AVI-SPL regional vice president. “She loves mentoring and coaching the youth in her community as well. We are glad to have her on our team at AVI-SPL.”
Please join us in congratulating Francine on this honor, and in thanking her for her hard work! You rock, Francine!
Read more about Francine in these articles: