Crains Detroit Business
August 5, 1996
SURVIVOR: Being quality-oriented has helped W. Bernard White build a successful construction company.
Small Projects Jump Start firm
W. Bernard White had it all figured out: After sinking $20,000 into his start-up construction company in 1989, he'd jump-start with a $2 million bank-renovation contract.
"It didn't happen that way," said White, 40, president of White Construction Co., Inc. in Detroit. After months of planning, the job was postponed. Worse, just as White was planning his company, construction projects in Detroit slowed to a near standstill. Undaunted, White set up shop smack-dab in the middle of the standstill, next to a loading dock in Detroit's New Center area. "My colleagues and I always wanted to start our own business, and I was just crazy enough to try it," said White, sitting in his 1120 W. Baltimore office, decorated with African masks and sculptures. "I didn't want to wake up one morning at 60 years old and wish I started my own business." After staking his claim in Detroit he endured endless questions from colleagues about working in a competitive climate.