Anne Wilson of Bigane Paving Co
Anne Wilson of Bigane Paving Co is this quarter's WRB Spotlight.
Anne Wilson is an inspiration to many women in the road builder community. Bigane Paving is a 4th generation family owned business and Anne has been president since 1985, when a female leader in the construction industry was practically unheard of. Anne is an innovative leader who diversified her company by acquiring Reliable Ogden LLC and Ogden Avenue Materials to the Bigane portfolio, among other things.
Q&A with Anne
What gives you a sense of accomplishment and/or drives you to succeed?
I am fourth generation family at Bigane Paving Co. It is something my father wanted, for our family business to continue. I took over Bigane after his sudden death, more years ago than I care to admit. It has been a thrill to grow Bigane beyond “Better Built Parking Lots” to HMA Production, and paving over 1500 miles of City and County streets. Today, additionally it is about providing a stable work environment for all of the men and women who are part of the extended Bigane family.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I jumped all over the place, but basically it was anything that involved Math and Science. I found engineering as an upperclassman in high school. A weekend recruiting trip from the school of engineering at University of Dayton sealed my fate. Ultimately, I went to Purdue and found the new Construction Engineering and Management Division. Any program that included three paid summer internships was perfect for me.
What was your most memorable vacation? Why?
My family, Mom and Dad and my four sisters, went to Arizona the August before my senior year at Purdue. Doesn’t everyone plan a trip to the dessert in August? Both sets of my grandparents had retired to Scottsdale in the same apartment complex, but spent summers in Chicago. We stayed in their apartments. It was the last vacation we all took together. Lots of bad 70’s clothes, but also lots of laughs and great pictures. Everything about it was perfect.
If a genie granted you 3 wishes what would they be? Why?
I wish my Dad had lived to see what Bigane Paving Co. has become. He and my Mom were always supportive of my sisters no matter what direction we chose to go. I only got to work with him for a very short 2.5 years before he passed.
I wish I didn’t have to constantly explain why we’re called Bigane Paving Co. and no its not because my name is Anne, nor am I that Big!
I wish everyone in the construction industry would get paid for work completed or services or materials provided, without having to constantly jump through so many hoops.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Don’t underestimate her, you will always lose. In this industry, people still underestimate what women can accomplish (which I can use to my advantage). I’ve found this to be one of the things that challenges me the most.
If you would like to nominate a woman in the industry, click here.