U.S. Veterans Construction & Management Corp.
Small Business Administration Winner
Buffalo business owner Lenny L. Johnson built a two-man residential plumbing business with $7,500 and a dream. Today U.S. Veterans Construction & Management Corp. (formerlyL&D Johnson Plumbing and Heating Inc.) is a multimillion-dollar construction management enterprise and that dream landed Johnson in the White House.
Johnson and his partner started their business in 1999. By 2008, it employed 28, had revenues of $4.6 million and was solely owned by Johnson.
In 2009, Lenny Johnson, a triple graduate of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership - Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, Core program and Strategic Entrepreneurship program - was named Region II Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He attended a White House reception during the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference in Washington, D.C.
Johnson credits the UB business programs with getting him to refocus on his business plans.
"I took this dream I had and I didn't just dream it, I lived it," he says. "When my partner and I started, we didn't know business. I was a plumber."
UB’s Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program is a yearlong series of courses and mentoring opportunities that help minority and women entrepreneurs move their companies to the next stage of development.
Core participants examine their entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses while exploring new methods for business growth with assistance from fellow classmates, School of Management faculty and business experts.