Today, Shannon Riley is the president and CEO of one of the fastest-growing companies in Birmingham.
Her business, One Stop Environmental LLC, has grown exponentially since Riley founded the environmental clean up company in 1999, including a 182 percent increase inrevenue between 2005 and 2006.
That’s now. But if you told Riley several years ago that she would be a CEO, she probably wouldn’t have believed you.
“I had always envisioned being a stay-at-home mom,” Riley said. “The last thing I ever thought I would do is run a company.”
Even though being a small business owner was never in her long-term plans, it has worked out pretty well for Riley – who, as a mother of four heavily involved in her children’s youth sports, has still been able to do the mom thing.
She founded One Stop Environmental eight years ago after working as a field chemist for a similar company. After that business closed, she decided to start her company and modeled the business after her previous employer.
The company first concentrated on environmental clean-up, but it wasn’t long before Riley began to cut her own path.
One Stop first branched out into heavy maintenance clean up for large industrial companies – doing hydroblasting and hauling environmental waste.
Then, the company went after major federal contracts, which often entailed much of the same work it was doing for industrial clients, just on a much larger scale and with longer contracts.
That move allowed One Stop’s revenue to take off in the past few years. The company was significantly involved in the environmental clean-up effort after Hurricane Katrina.
The young company now has about 35 employees and its revenue in 2006 topped $4.8 million.
Still, Riley likes to look beyond the statistics and look at the big picture.
That’s why one of her main goals for 2007 had little to do with numbers.
She wanted to form a mentor-protege relationship with another company in her field, and that’s exactly what One Stop did. Riley said her business has formed a relationship with another woman-owned environmental clean-up firm that is about six times the size of One Stop.
Riley said the relationship with that company, which is based in Idaho, will eventually begin to pay major dividends as the companies are able to work together to land projects.
In addition to that goal, Riley said her goal is to expand One Stop’s presence by opening multiple offices in the Southeast and then pushing west.