To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
Allen Kabiri came to the United States from his birthplace in Iran in 1976. He had all the doubts of a young man, wondering if he could make it in America with sheer determination and a willingness to succeed. Within six months Allen spoke and understood American English and was enrolled at the University of Tulsa.
In 1985, he earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering while working as a math tutor and a server in order to pay for his education. After college, Allen took a one-time job driving a truck for a roofing company. He learned all he could about the roofing industry and soon became the company’s Nashville supervisor, and eventually the co-manager of its Loudoun office.
Shortly after that time, Allen and his then business partner struck out on their own with $1,000, a Honda Civic and a healthy dose of fear. With their own hands they constructed roofs, subcontracting to keep the bills paid. They obtained space in, then purchased, the original Ashburn office building that Select Construction now occupies. They worked daily, without vacations, growing a thriving roofing business based in Loudoun County.
Allen took on employees dedicated to the same high standard, and began putting attractive, sturdy, roofs on homes throughout Loudoun. Winning business under his new brand, establishing clients, such as Toll Brothers Luxury Homes, which have remained clients since the beginning.
Select Construction Company today has 18 employees. All the while, Select Construction Company has literally become part of Loudoun’s landscape – with roofs dotting the landscape from East to West, North to South. The company is proud to have designed, built and continued to maintain roofs, and other features for single-family homes, office complexes and all commercial and residential edifices. The history of Select Construction Company is defined by meeting challenges.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would make me so incredibly proud to win a Small Business Award from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. In life, we all encounter hurdles. For me as a young man starting out in a new country, I feel as though the hurdles just kept coming and coming. Winning this award would be the realization of a lifelong dream for me. To know and realize that hard work does indeed pay off.
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
I would most definitely still be an entrepreneur of some kind. My personality is such that I know I could never work for someone else. I take too much pride in what I do and how I see the end result to leave the outcome to chance. If I wasn’t running ‘this’ business, I would most assuredly be running another business. That I know for sure.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
There are two books on my nightstand right now. One for professional purposes and one most for personal purposes. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – I always get so much from the author’s suggestions and they serve as good reminders to me professionally. The other book that perhaps feeds my soul and delights my almost 3-year-old son Artin is the Peppa Pig series. I cherish my role as a father to 3 amazing sons and this formative time when they are small is so very important.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
My favorite apps are my music and movie apps that I have on my phone and WTOP where I start every morning with the day’s top news stories.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
A perfect day for me would be a little shopping at the Mall, an afternoon movie and a quiet dinner with a great glass of red wine. It is rare that I have a day like this as our family is very active and busy. But if the occasion were to present itself, I would most assuredly not need to travel too far from home to enjoy a perfect day.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
It was after college when I was interviewed for a position. During that interview, I was presented with less than ideal conditions by nature of the geographic surroundings in which I was expected to work. I decided at the moment no matter what it took, I would sacrifice my integrity and one day I would own my own business. From that day on, I look back and reflect on how fortunate I am to be where I am today.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I had dreams to be a doctor when I was young but knew I couldn’t afford the schooling so I changed my major to Petroleum Engineering. It was during this time, that I was offered a job in the roofing industry and from there, my new dream was born.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
My wife Asyeh. Asyeh is my biggest cheerleader and also my biggest critic. She has been there for me every step of the way throughout our 22-year marriage and is my constant support. She also has a very keen business mind and offers incredible counsel. She is my rock. She is my heart forever.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
My favorite thing about running my business in Loudoun is the sentimental attachment I feel to this County. As my business has grown and blossomed in Loudoun County, I feel as though I have watched the County thrive and grow as well. Both the County and Select have indeed grown in tandem. It gives me incredible pride to see my Select Construction rooftops dotting the Loudoun County landscape over the years. There is no other place I would ever consider running my business. This is my home base for Select Construction and proud of how the County has grown as well.
Thanks, Allen Kabiri, of Select Construction, and congratulations on your nomination!
Click here to see all of the “Meet the Finalists” posts.
We will be continually posting them as the event approaches.
The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Here