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Building dreams.

Jacques E. Thermilus knows what it's like to build from the bottom up. Once a laborer who shoveled dirt and mixed cement for Gerrits Construction Co., Thermilus now is the founder and president of Urban Constructors Inc., a Miami-based company that designs constructs and renovates government, commercial and residential buildings.

Although Thermilus, 33, runs a successful business that reported $2.8 million in sales in 1990, he can remember the days when he was just another struggling entrepreneur who was in over his head. In fact, Urban Constructors is Thermilus' second attempt at entrepreneurship. He launched his first company in 1984 after leaving Gerrits. Three years later, mounds of debt and $100,000 worth of outstanding accounts receivables forced Thermilus to call it quits. "We relied more on verbal agreements than on signed contracts, therefore people were under no obligation to pay," he recalls. "Back then, I was very naive."

Not anymore. A year later, the determined Thermilus tried again. He borrowed $50,000 from the mortgage on his home and secured a $100,000 line of credit to get Urban Constructors off the ground. His first contract: A $10,000 job to perform renovations for a local mental health institution. Thermilus' company wound up doing $1 million worth of work.

Urban Constructors, which employs seven full-time employees and over 30 field workers, has come a long way since then. This year, the company signed on with Gerrits Construction to do $16 million worth of work at Miami International Airport and won an $18 million project with the Dade County School Board.

Building from the bottom up may take time, but for Jacques E. Thermilus, it was worth it.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Urban Constructors Inc.
Author:Lewis, Nicole
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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