Here at The Virginia Black Lifestyle Magazine, LLC, nothing brings us more pride and joy, than using our platform to amplify Black Narratives, and to celebrate Black Businesses! That stated, please meet Mr. Devon Henry, Owner of Team Henry.
How did you learn about entrepreneurship? Who planted the seed within you?
I would say that I have always had an entrepreneurship itch but never knew how or when I could scratch that itch. That itch became more of a spirit within me as I watched my mother work her way up through the ranks at McDonald’s, starting at the age of 17 to becoming an actual Owner Operator. Her drive and willingness to take the road less traveled despite the odds, proved to me that entrepreneurship was possible for Black folks.
What steps did you take to establish Team Henry Enterprises?
Out of college, I worked for General Electric, in their Infrastructure Division, I learned a great deal about construction and the ability to turn a set of drawings into reality. I reached out to the Small Business Administration and learned about the tools they offered to help create your own business. Fifteen years ago, there wasn’t as much content on social media and YouTube, so you had to go seek out businesses that you wanted to emulate and understand how that translated into a business plan. Once I understood the point of entry into the business, I created a business plan, found a business that had potential and then acquired that business assets.
Tell us about three projects your company has completed, that you are most proud of?
Three projects would be, 1. University of Virginia’s Memorial to Enslaved Labor. 2. Responding to the Hurricane Irene as a Emergency responder with FEMA was extremely fulfilling. 3. Removing the confederate statues in the City of Richmond.
How has Team Henry Enterprises grown/evolved since it was established?
Fifteen years ago, we were working on projects valued at $50,000 with four team members only in Virginia. Over the years, we have worked on projects valued at over half a billion dollars, with over 200 team members while working in over 30 states and overseas.
Can you share three ways you've given back to the community?
There are several organizations in which we have donated over $100,000 dollars, a few of my favorite are the Girls for Change organization, the Team Henry Family Endowed scholarship at Norfolk State University, Elijah House Academy and Peter Paul Development Center. The majority of our efforts have involved youth mentorship and education. In addition to the monetary donations, I have chaired boards that are mission driven to assist Small, Women and Minority owned business.
If you could give advice to anyone interested in starting a company in your field, what would it be?
Simple…Understand the business (most important), find a mentor, create a business plan, obtain funding and then work the plan but never be afraid to pivot. Being able pivot and adjust your plan is what creates longevity.
What's on the horizon for Team Henry Enterprises?
We are always looking to understand the happenings of our market as well as our community. Both of these sectors can heavily be tied to what the government is doing and this applies to local, state and federal government. We have been invited to participate in several opportunities with respect to two hot button topics: cannabis and gaming, of both, we are very interested in how these industries will transform and how Blacks can leverage the opportunities.
Share one fun fact about yourself?
I am a St. Patty’s Day baby!
If you could go back in time, and speak to your former self, what would you tell yourself?
In business you will make several major decisions daily. Unfortunately, all of them are not going to be the right decision. Early in my business, I was very hesitant in making decisions, especially as we starting growing as a business. In some cases I waited too long and the deal passed me by or I was just simply afraid to make the decision in fear of losing what we have accomplished. Today, I would tell myself at that point, you know your business, you have studied the industry, you know your competitors, stop hemming and hawing, it takes money to make money, so be a leader and call the damn play.