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Susan Wright

Marlboro Group International LLC (MGI)

“Through all of the highs and lows, be humble and hard-working. Keep looking ahead, never stop learning and never, ever be afraid to fail! Instead, use those failures to achieve greater successes.”

About Marlboro Group International LLC (MGI)

The capacity of our WBENC-Certified general contracting / construction management firm and endurance as a group make Marlboro Group International (MGI) different than other leading firms of our caliber. With 30+ years of experience, MGI continues evolving as company defined by its deep organization and commitment to quality. We continue to engage innovative solutions to maintain MGI’s prominence in building as we execute our plan for expansion. Our core competencies include:

  • A full range of construction services, from pre-planning to closeout

  • Skilled estimating, project management & VE efforts

  • Careful qualification, selection & collaboration with trades

  • Thoughtful execution of architect/designer visions

  • Job specific site safety plans & supervision

  • Knowledge of current building technology requirements

Headquartered: New York, NY

Founded: 1987       

Became Owner: 2009

Company Website: 

When and how was your business started?

My career in real estate finance, development, marketing and sales commenced over 30 years ago whilst I held various Executive Management positions for various prestigious firms in New York. I brought my cumulative years in the industry to join MGI’s development division in 2005 which allowed me to combine my knowledge of building, business, finance and technology with all facets of construction projects. In the wake of the economic downturn in 2009, I took control of MGI and assumed the helm as its President.

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?

WBENC has given me the opportunity to meet high level, like-minded women across multiple industries.  Additionally, I have met numerous Heads of Diversity who have helped to guide me through the “ins and outs” of the qualification process. 

What is your business philosophy and how has it impacted your success as a business?

MGI’s business philosophy is that we are PROFICIENT, PROFESSIONAL AND INVESTED in each and every project we undertake. Collaboration and teamwork are key components to our success.  PROFICIENT: We believe that it is important to strive for excellence in all that we do; from top management to junior staff. PROFESSIONAL: Each MGI team associate is expected to treat clients and team members with respect at all times. No excuses. INVESTED: We impart a philosophy to think towards a common goal and commit to a project as if it was our own. 

What are some of the biggest challenges and barriers you’ve faced as a woman business owner? How have you overcome them?

As a female in the General Contracting/Construction Management business, all too often I have been mistaken for a different role. My advice: keep calm (not always easy ), and “win” with your brain instead of brawn. Typically, the next time they will remember who you are!

What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?

Through all of the highs and lows, be humble and hard-working. Keep looking ahead, never stop learning and never, ever be afraid to fail! Instead, use those failures to achieve greater successes.

What advice would you share with a newly certified WBE looking to make the most out of her certification?

If your business allows for it, be targeted and then, follow through. Perseverance is key.

Have you partnered with other WBENC-Certified WBEs on contracts or utilized other WBEs as suppliers? If so, what has been the benefit? Why do you feel it is important to work with other WBEs in the WBENC network?

Yes…in fact, as a GC I have been fortunate in that regard. I feel the benefit is that we all want to support one another because we understand the importance of each other’s successes.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

I believe the best advice I have received and followed is to find a mentor wherever you are and learn from them. It should be someone you respect personally and professionally, regardless of gender. I have been very fortunate to have learned from very smart men (namely my brother and my father) and their expertise and guidance, particularly in the construction industry, have served me well.  

What do you do to prepare for the National Conference & Business Fair?

Prior to attending the National Conference & Business Fair, I try to get an overview of who is attending and map out who I would like to meet with. I bring a binder with empty laminate sheets to slip business cards into, and post-its to make notes for follow up.

What tips do you have for WBEs to get the most out of their time at the National Conference & Business Fair?

Prepare ahead and wear comfortable shoes! Meet and enjoy the other WBEs attending.