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Constructing a successful life

If you have been on the Norfolk Campus lately, you've probably noticed the renovation under way on the Martin Building. But what you may not know is that the company handling the renovation, Noah Enterprises, is owned and managed by TCC alumna Carol Curtis.

"It feels like I've come full circle," says Curtis. "I got my start at TCC, and now I have the opportunity to take what I've learned to enhance the college."

Curtis began her journey at Virginia Tech, but quickly returned to Hampton Roads to study accounting at the Virginia Beach Campus. During that time, she was working for a general contractor as a submittal assistant. "I loved watching building projects come together," Curtis recalls.

After completing most of the credits needed for an accounting degree, Curtis changed course and began studying Civil Engineering Technology (CET). "One of my colleagues encouraged me to give CET a try, and after one class, I was hooked."

Today, Curtis holds an associate degree in CET from TCC, as well as a Class A general contractors license. She employs 40 people, and her company billed more than $15 million last year.

"My time at TCC prepared me so well for my career," Curtis says. "The small class sizes and the individual attention were invaluable."

Curtis opened Noah Enterprises in 2004. "I took a leap of faith. As a single mom, I was also caring for my terminally ill father, and I simply needed more flexibility in my schedule," Curtis says. "Amazingly, when I put my family first, things fell into place."

Today Noah Enterprises is a full-service contracting company handling government and commercial projects. "I'm a big believer in letting our work speak for itself. We have a great team, and our goal is to deliver excellence."

The company recently completed a new building for the Seabees, the U.S. Navy's construction battalion, at Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek. "I took my son to the ribbon cutting because I wanted him to see the building that we constructed to support vital operations for our sailors," Curtis says. "We give our best, and we honor what our service men and women do every day."

Part of the building project for the Seabees included moving the "Fighting Seabee" from the old location, to a prized spot in front of the new structure.

Curtis is an active volunteer with the TCC Women's Center, serving on leadership panels and as a mentor. Her company also welcomes students to job shadow for a day, to get the feel for construction management and civil engineering. "I believe in investing in young people and doing all that I can to give back," Curtis adds.

Curtis was recently named one of the influential women of Virginia by Lawyer's Weekly. Curtis was also awarded the Association of Builders and Contractors Member of the Year award in 2010. “I look for God's leadership and guidance every day,” Curtis adds. “I'm truly blessed to be doing what I love, with people I respect.”

For information about the TCC Alumni Association, call (757) 822-1770 or log on to www.tidewateralumni.org