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Excellence Takes Intention

Being intentionally excellent doesn't mean you wake up every day, look in the mirror, and affirm your work is already done. What it means is looking outside yourself for chances to manifest your mission and vision, and not compromising on manifesting them. 

 Earlier in July, I received a shout-out during a roundtable discussion  between Joseph Lee with the City of Indianapolis, and Adrian Russell, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Shiel Sexton. They were discussing the impact and effect of supplier diversity programs and other efforts to increase equity in opportunity created by public and private spending.

Wow, to be recognized for being intentional about diversity warmed my heart. It made me think, not just about my own intentions and work, but the efforts of all my community partners, colleagues, clients, supporters and Cook Medical, who are the most intentional about diversity. This month I want to dedicate our newsletter to them, and the new diverse professionals I have seen find opportunities in construction in the last few weeks and months.

Since the start of our work on the 38th and Sheridan project, we have achieved:

  • 100% Minority Participation - meaning 100% of the executed subcontracts were awarded to 100% minority owned companies. 97% owned by people of color, and 3% women and veteran owned businesses.
  • Currently, 60% of the workforce on the project are people of color.
  • Our 100% diverse subcontractors are hiring Hoosiers for this project. To date, they have hired over 12 diverse Hoosiers with the majority being African American.

We have worked with the Cook Group, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, and Ashley Gurvitz of INEC to achieve this success. People are thriving. We want to scale that impact.

Opportunities Still Abound In Central Indiana

Are you or someone you know looking for an incredible career you can grow for a lifetime? Last week we received over 80 inquiries about construction job opportunities thanks to the coverage by WRTV in the Hiring Hoosiers segment.

Here are some of the partner subcontractors on the 38th and Sheridan project who are ready to amplify talent. 
Contact Us to Explore Opportunities

What is it Like to Work Construction?

Many interested parties might hesitate because of cultural and social biases against work in the skilled trades. I was so excited that Gary Dozier, the Carpenter Foreman on the 38th and Sheridan project agreed to share his story with WRTV. It is by sharing our stories of success that we model the pathway for others. 

One of the things I love most about the construction industry is the chance to control your own career path. If you want to learn more specialized skilled trades, the opportunities are there. If you want to emerge as a leader in the workplace, the opportunities are there. For me, I never expected to own my own business, but here I am! 

If you are curious about the mindset, processes, and habits that enable unlimited success in the skilled trades, I invite you to register for my free course preview: Construction Management Masterclass. This introduction will equip you with insights and strategies about how to show up with intentional excellence on the work site each day, whatever your role. And if you enroll for the full course, you'll walk away with dozens of worksheets and templates to guide your excellence. 
Check Out the Free Course Preview
I also want to share a short video documenting the 2021 impact of the Donald White/ Mandla A. Ndwanya Memorial Fund. To everyone who has supported this fund, I say thank you. We are blessed when we can serve as blessings to others. 

Learn more about the fund and contribute at
I am so grateful for the opportunities that continue to manifest in Indiana. How can I get you involved? Let's talk about how to align our efforts, excellence, and intentions to continue advancing equity and creating a better tomorrow.


Akilah Darden
The Darden Group LLC would love your feedback on experiences with our business. Please leave a review for us on Google!
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