LGBT Businesses Building the Future: Exelon to Award Construction Contract to Certified LGBTBE® Heels and Hardhats

| By Sarah Jester

Exelon has awarded Heels and Hardhats, a Certified LGBTBE® in the construction industry, a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.  This follows a series of major contract wins and honors, including their recognition as NGLCC’s 2018 LGBT Business of the Year.

“I am more than happy to share this news in our family and partners,” said Heels and Hardhats co-founder Jackie Richter. “This is a huge opportunity with Exelon.” 

NGLCC has been a vital part of Richter’s success in recent years. With the help of both her NGLCC LGBTBEs certification and her woman-owned/disadvantaged business certification, the company has since become the largest LGBT-owned utility contractor in the U.S., and Richter this year founded a second company, Endurance, serving electrical utilities.

Heels & Hardhats began when Richter transitioned and started to struggle to find work in the construction community. She struck out on her own with the support of her wife Cyndi, then a nurse, to found Heels & Hardhats Contracting. Through connections and mentorship opportunities with industry partners, the two-person company grew to the successful business Heels & Hardhats Contracting has become today.

Richter’s perseverance to grow her own business has allowed her to become a mentor in the LGBT business community herself. She is a frequent speaker and often trains emerging contractors and suppliers. Richter is also an active participant in the NGLCC Construction Industry Council and attended the council’s very first meeting.

Keisha Parker, Director of Exelon Diverse Business Empowerment, spoke about the partnership that Exelon and Heels and Hardhats established through ComEd’s first diverse supplier development program, Enterprise All In (EAI).

“EAI equips select diversity certified suppliers who have demonstrated organizational agility with the tools and knowledge to attain their next level of business growth through ongoing and meaningful one-on-one mentorship, educational workshops on business skills enhancement, safety policies, the Exelon/ComEd bidding process, and hands on support of resources unique to this initiative,” explained Parker.

Through EAI, Heels and Hardhats witnessed massive growth and eventually came to secure the contract with Exelon.

“EAI has helped H&H realize year-over-year growth, expand into different areas of the business (wire watching, flagging, veg) and moved from Tier 2 to Tier 1 supplier,” Parker said.

“I can not say enough how huge this relationship has been and grown,” said Richter.

NGLCC is proud of the significant achievements that Heels and Hardhats has accomplished as a Certified LGBTBE®.

“According to NGLCC’s groundbreaking America’s LGBT Economy report, America’s estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners, many of them NGLCC certified, add over $1.7 trillion to the GDP and create tens of thousands of new jobs,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson “We are proud to count Heels and Hardhats among those who prove every day that LGBT businesses are the future of the American economy.”

Visit our website to learn more about how you can certify your business.