Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday mieography

Meet Linda Alvarado.

She was born in 1951, as Linda Martinez, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the only daughter her parents had amongst a sea of 5 sons.
Her father worked for the US Atomic Energy Commission, and built the 3 bedroom adobe house his family lived in by himself. Unfortunately, he did not put any running water or indoor plumbing in it. Her mother used to carry water in from a nearby ditch to do their laundry. She also took in ironing to make ends meet. She credits her strong work ethic to watching her mother.
Her mother actually absolved her from housework, so she could study. She did well in school, and was also the captain of the girls softball team. Her parents not only expected A's in school, but they expected their children to come hom and tell them what they had learned.
She went to college at Pomona College, in Claremont, California, on a scholarship. Her major was Economics. She needed a part time job, and applied for a job as a landscaper on campus. She had to battle the administration for approval, and won. She began a pattern of of a long line of jobs where she was the sole woman on the crew.
After she graduated, she began a job with a development company, and became intrigued with the construction business. She went back to school, to learn about bid estimating, and blueprint reading. Once again, she was battling gender roles. She used to go to the bathrooms on job sites, and find drawings done of herself in various stages of undress. She was frequently "assigned" to the office, to do the filing. This served a purpose, though. She saw the profit that the company's owner was pulling in, and struck out on her own.
She drew up a business plan for a construction management firm, only to get turned down by every bank she applied to. Her parents took out a mortgage on their own home, and gave her the start up money. She launched the Martinez Alvarado Construction Management Corporation, in Palo Alto, California, in 1974, with a parter (whom she eventually bought out). They started with smaller projects, and progressed into larger ones. She started only putting her initials onto bids, and with just that, some places didn't realize she was a woman. Her company grew, and she and her husband relocated to Denver, Colorado, where her company continued (continues) to prosper.
In the early 1990's, she obtained another first. She got involved in the project to bring a major league baseball team to Denver. She became a co owner of the Colorado Rockies. She was the first Hispanic woman to join the roster of Major Leage Baseball team owners, and the first woman to own a team on her own. She did not inherit it from her husband, or family.
She continues on to this day with her business, and baseball career. She has had three children, and reports she still does not do housework, her husband does! She gives tours of her workplace, and the Rockies home field to school children, and, always takes them to her office, where, pointing at her leather chair she tells them "the job you want to aim for is mine". Indeed.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking the reason she went into constructions was because her dad didn't put plumbing into the house. which made me wonder how plumbing IS put in an adobe house.

Interesting as usual. I hear it is INCREDIBLY hard for women to be owners in pro-baseball.


Anonymous said...

BTW - I like this segment the more you do it.


sybil law said...

She's awesome.

Daryl said...

Totally a home run ... I love learning about all these women!


Bubblewench said...

that is really cool.

holly said...

that totally ROCKS!!! oh i love this woman!

and i used to live near claremont, and i used to root for the rockies when i lived in laramie. so in a way, i'm kind of her friend.

sort of.

probably that invisible friend...