TOPEKA – Ron Harris and his company, Harris & Sons, are being honored this week at the Minority Enterprise Development Luncheon, where Harris will be presented with the award for best Minority Owned Construction Firm.
Harris worked inside for UPS but grew tired of the mundane tasks. Ever since he was a child, he had been the type to work with his hands. So, in 1996, in order to put this affinity to use, Harris established Harris & Sons Enterprises. The company officially incorporated in 2004. Now, he says there’s something new to do every day.
“No job is the same,” Harris said. “It kind of reminds me of golf, like how no shot is the same.”
Today, Harris, a Topeka native, does much of the concrete and water main work for the city. Business has been very good, and the entire team has been busy. The company is even looking into some federal contracts in the near future.
Harris says that this success has been made more difficult because he is a black business owner.
“I think it’s harder for a minority to fit in,” Harris said. “I think I had to prove myself.”
Harris attributes much of his success to connections and lessons taught to him by his Stepfather. He still uses both his resources and his teachings today.
Despite the adversities and the lessons hard-learned, Harris & Sons, which sits not far from where Harris grew up, has become a thriving construction business. The same business which will, this Thursday, be given the award for Minority Owned Construction Firm of the Year at the Minority Enterprise Development Luncheon.
“I’m honored,” Harris said. “I’m speechless.”
The award is part of the overall effort of the Office of Minority and Women Business Development to provide assistance in business development, identifying resources for financing and establishing contacts in the public and private sectors. The office is responsible for certifying minority and women-owned businesses as small disadvantaged businesses for procurement and subcontracting opportunities.
The Minority Enterprise Development Luncheon is the main event of Minority Enterprise Development Week. The luncheon takes place this Thursday at the Capital Plaza Hotel, with doors opening at 11:30am.