- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

Frank Hardesty, president of Brothers Concrete Construction in Vienna, Va., said he was “shocked” to win Shenandoah University’s first Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year award earlier this month.

“They’ve had a lot of very successful people graduate from there,” said Mr. Hardesty, who earned a four-year business degree from Shenandoah College in 1983.

He worked construction jobs during his summer breaks from college, and he naturally gravitated back toward the industry after he graduated.

“I ended up getting an opportunity to help concrete contractors in a new start-up called Brothers Concrete in 1985,” he said, and prosperity followed. “The late ‘80s brought a real estate boom unlike anything we had ever seen.”

Five years later, recession hit his company hard. “We had to cut the company in half,” Mr. Hardesty said. “That was one of the toughest things I’ve been through.”

After the business climate began to improve, Mr. Hardesty started a land company that has prospered as well.

Having functioned as a real estate professional, worked with a land development company and overseen a construction company’s operations, marketing, financing and human resources, Mr. Hardesty has devoted his life to a variety of projects.

“I like the diversity” that the world of business has to offer, he said. “Sometimes I’ll phase out of companies that no longer need me and jump into others that do. I try to bring my skill set to the table to try to get them up and running and be successful.”

When Shenandoah University completed construction of its new business school, Mr. Hardesty was invited to the dedication.

“I was shocked” to receive the award earlier this month, he said.

Mr. Hardesty, who recently spoke to business classes at the school, said he credits the Washington area’s strong economy for much of his success.

“I really think it’s hard to see the future, but D.C. has been a big part of our success because there is a lot of federal spending and job growth. Based on that, we will continue to grow.”

Mr. Hardesty described himself as capable, prepared and excited to do big things at companies in the District.

“When you’ve done something for 20 years you just start to get good at it,” he said. “Now’s the time to make something happen. … We basically took a handful of companies from nothing to well over $100 million a year in revenue and I think we can do a lot better than that.”

Mr. Hardesty, 46, lives in Fairfax County with his wife, Sharon, and a daughter.

Harrison Keely

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