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Future promise

Minority-Owned Businesses



The Penebaker Enterprises LLC is living up to its hype.

Named last year to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Future 50 list of companies projected to do well, The Penebaker Enterprises, a Milwaukee-based roofing and sheet metal contractor, continued to flourish, achieving a nearly 9 percent increase in work from 2008 to 2009.

“I can’t say there’s any one thing that has helped us succeed where others haven’t,” said Khary Penebaker, owner. “We’ve been fortunate.”

Since the company was founded in 2002, it has seen growth every year, he said. In that time, Penebaker said he learned valuable lessons that helped his company weather the current downturn.

“Too many companies are trying to win jobs at below cost just to keep their people busy,” he said. “I’ve learned that is not the right way to do things. You make one mistake and you’re underwater.”

The company benefits from its certification as a minority-owned business, Penebaker said.

“It helps, because when people are looking for legitimate minority-owned businesses, we have a proven track record,” he said.

So far, 2010 is shaping up to be another growth year, he said, even if it’s relatively minor.

“It looks like we’ll be about the same as last year,” Penebaker said. “We bid every day.”

Industry Stats from April’s A-List

15 – average age of submitting firms

44 – age of oldest submitting firm

3 – age of youngest submitting firm

18.5 – percentage of submitting firms with more than 25 employees

59 – percentage of submitting firms with fewer than 10 employees

37 – percentage of submitting firms reporting 2009 work totaling $1 million or higher

On the Rise

The following firms reported higher amounts of work put in place in Wisconsin from 2008 to 2009:

The Penebaker Enterprises LLC,
8.8 percent increase

JACO Systems,
52.4 percent increase

“A Lists” are the categorized compilations of Wisconsin’s biggest and brightest construction industry companies, which can be viewed or purchased here as individual lists or as a package of all thirteen lists.

Click here to see the lists.

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