Small businesses are critical to our industry and in the delivery of our projects nationwide. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Clark is spotlighting Marco Romero of iBuilders Corp., one of our project partners who, through their work and leadership, is helping shape the built landscape and the success of our industry.
Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Zacatecas, Mexico. My family and I immigrated to La Villita in Chicago when I was seven years old.
In high school, I took several drafting and architecture classes. I won a design competition as a high school student and attended a summer program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which ultimately convinced me that I wanted to be an architect.
A job at Home Depot that I got as a teenager to help my family make ends meet prompted me to think about construction as a future career.
While working at Home Depot, a customer asked me if I’d like to become a carpenter apprentice which I accepted. At this time, I was simultaneously taking classes to earn a degree in construction management.
After spending a few years as an apprentice, and dealing with an inconsistent work schedule, I decided to start my own firm called iBuilders Corporation.
What is your role at iBuilders? What are your responsibilities?
As the owner and president of iBuilders, I oversee the day-to-day operations. We offer carpentry and taping services on residential, multi-family housing, senior living facilities, commercial, retail, and private projects in Chicagoland.
What is the key to being a successful small business leader?
Be a sponge, be willing to learn, and don’t be afraid to accept that you don’t know what you don’t know.
Who has been your biggest influence in life?
The biggest influence in my life is my two kids. They make me strive to provide for a better future.
What is your proudest personal or professional accomplishment?
I always envisioned myself owning my own business and now I have been given that opportunity. Growing the company from one focused primarily on small, residential jobs to now having the capacity to take on large commercial projects is something I am very proud of.
Networking and learning from large contractors through programs like Clark's Strategic Partnership Program have played a huge role in propelling my business forward.
In your experience, what are the unique ways the Hispanic community contributes to the fabric of our communities?
I believe Hispanics have had a positive influence in America. The Hispanic community contributes to our national story of achievement with so many of us being small business owners, veterans, and professionals in other important fields. For those of us who immigrated to the U.S., we are showcasing what the “American Dream” truly looks like.