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Business Owner Profile: Victoria Malaszecki

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Victoria Malaszecki

Victoria G. Malaszecki, MBA, is President and CEO of Envision Consultants, Ltd., an end-to-end project and construction management firm in New Jersey with offices in New York and Baltimore, MD. We sat down with Victoria to find out how she got started, where she found support, and how she’s overcome obstacles.

Who or what inspired you to start your own business? 

My mother taught me to shoot for the stars and become whatever I wanted to be.  Unfortunately, she passed away when I was 15 years old, but her inspiration, drive, and passion for women becoming leaders and professionals in the workplace is my foundation.  I did what girls were told to do—go to college, get an undergraduate degree, pursue a career, get your graduate degree, be the best you can be, and get the corner office.  But with the birth of my first son, it all changed.  My boss didn’t expect me to come back to work.  I saw the men in my division—with no one reporting to them, with no graduate degree—begin to get promoted and make more money than me.  I was no longer getting the challenging assignments.  It seemed that I hit the “glass ceiling” and was being discriminated against for becoming a mother.  So when the opportunity arose to have my own company, I jumped in.  While I never saw myself owning a small business, I had the education and management experience to take the risk. 

What were your fears about your business venture, if any, and how did you overcome them? 

There is always a fear of losing everything you worked so hard to achieve.  I have overcome this fear gradually as the firm has grown, obtaining a greater understanding of how to reduce personal risk and how to set up the proper legal documentation.  I actually signed the mortgage papers for our headquarters building in New Jersey two days prior to the recession in 2008.  This was a significant fear, but we have a strong professional team and as a company have been able to grow within this economic climate.  The growth has been, in part, attributed to the ARRA funding and the set-aside goals for Small Minority Disadvantaged Businesses. 

Did you have any mentors or groups you were affiliated with on your journey to becoming a business owner? 

No. Unfortunately being a mother of two and running a company at the same time, I didn’t take advantage of any networking or support groups in the beginning of my journey like I do now with WTS.  However, I do have colleagues and peers, both men and women, that I do business with that assist me with talking things through.  One thing that I have done consistently throughout the years is to learn and fully understand all aspects of operating a business in the A/E/C field.  This has provided me with unique insights and advantages to truly understand every single facet of business in this industry.     

What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business in the transportation industry? 

Be willing to take a risk and know that you will be the first one not to get paid.  Be smart and conservative with growth.  Understand your personal values, morals and ethics – hold these steady as you lead your team, create business relationships and embark on the road to success. Talk to other women businesses owners—don’t feel like you have to do it alone. I don’t see women in general doing this or feeling comfortable with reaching out to ask someone else what they’ve done.  I’ve learned a lot over the years. My philosophy is to be open and help others, and there’s great opportunity for this at WTS.

 

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