By: Hunter Mylek
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in GR, 1 of 5 children, mother of 11 and grandmother of 13 and 2 great grandkids. My BA is from Ferris and MA from Cornerstone, have worked in Non-profit a good part of my life and also being an advocate in the city of Grand Rapids for people struggling to take care of their families. I am engaged with a number of organizations, Women United Chair, Board member for Covenant House Academy, UCOM, Steepletown, Circle Theater and Chair of the African American Arts and Music Festival. I am active in local Theater and am the Executive Director of the Girls Choral Academy.
What is DV Apple Logistics LLC, and have you always seen yourself becoming an entrepreneur?
DV Apple Logistics LL is a concrete company I started. And I don’t know, I think I got the entrepreneurial spirit from my Father and Mother, who both had small businesses to take care of their family. My mom did Upholstery and my Dad also was a journeyed plumber, My Uncle was the first Black Journeyed Plumber in Grand Rapids. I started my first business at about 30, and have just always done things to make sure I could provide for my family and make ends meet.
How did you enter the world of construction and can you discuss some of the challenges you’ve had to face?
It was at the behest of a friend who told me one day that I should have 5 streams of income. They challenged me and asked what I want to do for my family and my future, and I said to leave a lasting legacy, and they encouraged me to go in the direction of Construction. I always knew there was not much minority representation in this space, but learned how the game actually worked on the inside. It is not an equitable space at all for minority people and we have to fight for every crumb to rise above and be successful, not just making ends meet. Being the only woman in this space here in GR is very interesting, but I don’t play games and will continue to be honest, not sparing people from their fragility, but helping to show them see truth about the inequities.
Your company’s mission is to provide equitable opportunities for minority contractors in the construction industry. Can you tell us why this is important to you?
The obvious answer is because I am a black woman. The next is because the inequities exist, period! There has always been a life long effort for people of color to get access to the things they need for success. We need to name it, talk about it and hold people accountable to follow through on their part in it.
It’s amazing to hear that your company is 100% women ran. Do you feel that more women should embrace the construction field?
Yes, I am 100% owned and run! Women need to understand we can be in this space. There is nothing we can’t do when we put our minds to it. We can be successful in this space and need to make our make in history for a change.
What advice would you give to students wanting to start their own business or lead a path not normally followed?
Follow your dreams, and don’t let historic labels be the reason you don’t go for your dreams. Women have crossed over lines as CEOs of Fortune 500 businesses, sports, Film, Music, etc, we can exist in any space we desire and have a responsibility to help each other in that work. When one succeeds, we all succeed!
To learn more about DV Apple Logistics LLC Check out the website!