Woods Group Architects
SBA’s 2013 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year is Woods Group Architects, Inc. of Little Rock, owned by Ron Bené Woods.
Ron Woods always had an intense desire to be creative and be of service to others. He loved to draw and work with arts and crafts, and his goal coming out of high school was to be an architect. Those plans were slightly derailed after he received a scholarship to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., in a dual-degree program with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in mechanical engineering. After two years at Morehouse, Ron’s mechanical drafting professor, who was also an architect, noted Ron’s talent and convinced him to switch majors. Ron gave up the engineering scholarship. With the support of his parents, financial and otherwise, he transferred full time to Georgia Tech into a field of study he really loved. Upon graduation he was immediately offered an internship with Cromwell Firm in Little Rock, the largest architecture firm in Arkansas at the time.
Ron founded Woods Group Architects in the fall of 1992 as Architecture Innovations Group after winning a contract for a 30,000 square foot multi-purpose complex for Philander Smith College, Arkansas’ oldest Historically Black College and University. Today, Woods Group Architects is one of the largest minority-owned architectural firms in Arkansas and a graduate of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. The 8(a) Program helps socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. Woods Group Architects entered the 8(a) Business Development Program in 1996, and received several contracts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during its tenure.
The firm currently has six employees, and revenues in excess of $800,000. Its projects include high-profile public facilities, educational facilities from K-12 to colleges and universities, commercial retail developments, religious facilities, and custom residential designs. The company collaborated on the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and the new terminal expansion for the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.