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photo by Keith Borgmeyer
Connie Leipard, owner of Quality Drywall Construction and 2016-2017 president of the National Association of Women in Construction, talked with COMO Living about her inspirations, achievements, and passions.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I grew up in a large, blue-collar family with a background in agriculture and construction and graduated from Hickman High School. My husband, Mike, and I founded Quality Drywall in 1978. I’m now 57, have lived in Columbia since 1970, and been married for 40 years.
HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
A combination of God’s blessing, hard work, and a willingness to take risks.
HOW WOULD YOUR BEST FRIEND DESCRIBE YOU?
Loyal, intelligent, patient.
WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
The beauty of the earth and the people who love me.
WHAT MOMENTS HAVE DEFINED YOU?
Professionally, being elected as the 2016-2017 president of the National Association of Women in Construction, an association of 130 chapters, 4,000-plus members across America, and five international affiliates. Personally, I am defined by my faith, my husband, and my adult children. Building a life together with an independent, incredibly gifted, intelligent, and socially responsible family is a blessing!
ON A TYPICAL WEEKNIGHT, WE COULD FIND YOU DOING WHAT?
Spending time with my husband, reading news and business journals. I’m such a dork.
WHO OR WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
My greatest inspiration comes from love: my husband, my children, my extended family and friends, and my faith in God. Love conquers every fear.
WHAT IS A PROJECT YOU RECENTLY COMPLETED THAT YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYED?
The Kia of Columbia remodel project. It was an honor serving on the construction team for my friends and neighbors Dan and Chris Kellar.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A STRONG WOMAN?
Being resilient, resourceful, and having the courage to ‘look in the mirror’ with a willing heart to change what needs to be better about yourself.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
I recently traveled to Los Angeles to represent NAWIC in an upcoming episode of “Interviews with Kathy Ireland” that will be airing on Fox Business and Bloomberg International.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Being named the Columbia Daily Tribune’s 2016 Business Woman of the Year. Wow! What an honor to be recognized in this community with so many outstanding business women.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNG WOMEN?
Choose advisors wisely. Also, surround yourself with other women in the industry that support and encourage your growth.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB?
The completion of a tough project and working with people who appreciate each other.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GOAL FOR THE FUTURE?
My business goals include mentoring the next generation of construction industry professionals, which will include my own adult children. Personally, I want to travel with Mike and our friends Bill and Elizabeth Watkins.