A WOMAN – A COMPANY – A MAN’S INDUSTRY
There is no separating Edith De La Cruz from Antigua Construction. For the last twelve years, since its founding, Edith’s singular focus is to make Antigua a success. Construction, general contracting to be specific is a ruthlessly competitive industry, made more difficult if one is a minority firm. Compounded that many times over if you are a diminutive Latina woman attempting to break into a traditionally all male industry. Yet, that is what Edith De La Cruz is doing.
Originally from Guatemala, Edith grew up on Chicago’s northside. Through her own singular determination, she put herself through college to attain a degree in psychology and went into teaching ESL. She did so while raising three children. The recognition that a teacher’s salary was insufficient to support her family, it was then that Edith’s fate would lead her in a new direction.
It began when she realized a talent in “flipping” residential properties; an eye for estimating value and costs; managing schedules; and getting workers to perform. What began as a secondary source of income, soon became her central focus. She was good at it. It was then that she realized that this was her real calling.
She soon left the teaching profession to be a general contractor. Yet she carried with her to her new endeavor the same determination and commitment she had as a teacher. “When you are a teacher you make an uncompromising commitment to a child and their future. With Antigua I make a similar commitment to my customer”, she firmly states. “It is my personal commitment to bring integrity to every one of Antigua’s projects. I am generally on the job site early each morning. I am personally involved in understanding my customer’s expectations; budget and timeline. Then I deliver”.
From the start, Edith’s entry into the construction industry had not been easy. As in the start of her career, through her singular determination, she has taken industry related courses, learned construction practices and government regulations. She has tirelessly worked in industry circles and is well regarded. And, she has faced head-on the skepticism of being a minority Hispanic woman in a male dominated industry through her professionalism, integrity and her commitment to succeed.
It is through that commitment that Ms. De La Cruz has carried Antigua as it has expanded from residential projects to commercial to working with large public sector clients. Whatever challenges may lay ahead, Edith De La Cruz is confident of the future. This is because she knows that through her singular determination, Antigua Construction will move forward.