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2014 Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year
Keith DuRousseau’s lifelong passion has been to design and build legacy structures. After spending several years building his skills in the civil construction industry, he became increasingly interested in vertical construction and real estate development. Keith bartered those skills in exchange for the opportunity to train and work for experienced general contractors in the local area. Learning from seasoned general contractors would prove to be a key factor in his success as Keith learned that both years of experience in the industry and a solid past performance history are essential to success.
While working and building his portfolio, Keith decided to become a part-time real estate agent to learn the art of real estate deals. After meeting several contacts and working on multiple real estate transactions, Keith knew he wanted to continue the pursuit of his dream to become a builder. Like most dreams, this one required sacrifices…not just for Keith, but also his family. He and his wife sold their home, rented a 12’ x 12’ room in his brother’s home, and began saving money to start a company.
Keith founded Keiland Construction, LLC in early 2007 with only 2 employees. With extremely limited resources, Keith began designing and building small homes, using his real estate expertise to market and sell what he built, using the proceeds to establish working capital for his bonding line. The company’s primary focus was on residential and multi-family housing developments until the residential real estate crash of 2008. The sudden shift in focus from residential real estate to commercial and industrial projects was challenging, and Keith started to research what was needed to begin pursuing projects outside of the private sector.
Keith applied for and received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) certification in October 2009. Keiland Construction’s 8(a) business development program certification opened the door the incredible opportunities in government contracting. The company’s continued success is credited to the assistance Keith has received from SBA’s Louisiana District Office, the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center at University of Louisiana Lafayette, the LSBDC at McNeese University, and the Southwest Louisiana SCORE chapter.
Seven years from the company’s beginning, Keiland Construction has 24 employees and expects substantial growth in the near future. The company is financially strong with the ability to complete multimillion dollar projects and is currently achieving an average annual growth of 450%. Hard work and quality workmanship has given the company an excellent safety rating and a solid bonding capacity of $30 million aggregate, and Keiland Construction has contracts with several federal, state, and local government agencies as well as projects in the private sector.
“Our company’s continued success is because of the outstanding assistance I have received from the SBA’s Louisiana District Office, the Louisiana PTAC, our local LSBDC, and our SCORE chapter,” says Keith. Honored to be selected as Louisiana’s 2014 Small Business Person of the Year, Keith looks forward to the continued growth of Keiland Construction and the entire Louisiana small business community.