Constructing character.

Author:Jaime, Kristian
Position:LATINO READERS
 
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THIS IS THE STORY OF A WOMAN OF UNIQUE CHARACTER AND DETERMINATION. A WOMAN WHO IS RECOGNIZED NOT ONLY FOR HER ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT, BUT ALSO FOR HAVING MORE THAN 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE SPECIALIZING IN CONSTRUCTION AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION, TRANSIT. INDUSTRIAL, CIVIL, EDUCATION AND HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. BUT FOREMOST, SHE IS RECOGNIZED FOR BEING A REAL LADY!

The arid and gritty scenery of small-town Texas is not usually where you spot a future construction mogul. Yet, it could be where you find the fundamental values that shape one.

Arcilia Acosta, President and CEO of CARCON Industries and STL Engineers, could speak to us about a world far removed from office parks and boardrooms. She could also tell you how one arguably begot the other.

"The biggest thing about our family I remember was that we were very close. I spent a lot of time growing up around a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins. We were always celebrating something as a family," said Acosta.

Acosta, who is child number five of 10, learned early that few things were not a team effort. Lessons learned helping her mother, a catechism director in her local church for over 20 years, meant altruism early.

That zeal was so pervasive that it became a family calling of sorts. Years later, the Texas Tech Alumna recalls that, as her first taste of effective management.

"My parents were big community volunteers and that's really where I learned leadership skills just watching them," continued Acosta.

Her introduction to the world of construction was even closer to home with her father making that his career all his life. Much of the infrastructure in the border region of her upbringing is/was rooted in the emerging industrial plants across West Texas.

Despite the blue-collar nature of her father's profession, the lynchpin of the family was rooted in the simple notion that achievement meant hard work and active participation.

"We were all part of student government in high school," Acosta explained. "We all got scholarships for the first two years of college. I was always happy and always helping. I grew up in a very traditional Hispanic family and I grew up with those values."

As with many other successful individuals in business, mentoring started almost immediately with Acosta and her sister soon making the local clergy their role models. Weekends counting the Sunday monetary donations to the church made the sisters de facto bankers in training.

Yet that experience...

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