Title IX: The Journey Continues

Linda Alvarado

Linda Alvarado

Linda G. Alvarado has changed the ‘male only’ image of construction
contractors across the United States and opened doors to increasing
numbers of women and minorities to enter construction and non-traditional
fields of endeavor. Alvarado is founder and sole owner of Alvarado Construction,
 a large commercial and industrial general contracting/site management,
and design/build firm in Denver, CO, President of Palo Alto, Inc. Restaurant
Company, and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.

Born in Albuquerque, NM, Alvarado grew up poor in a hardworking family
with six children. Her five siblings are all brothers. She credits her
parents as role models who provided strong family values and a highly
optimistic outlook, who imposed no gender stereotyping on her and who
were there for her when the banks turned down her request for financing.
Working her way through college, she found that she enjoyed outside work
as a day laborer, took computer scheduling and blueprint training and
worked after graduation as a construction site manager. Undaunted by
construction site harassment, she decided to form her own company in 1976.
There were no special programs to support women and minority business
start-ups. Banks turned her down. Her parents mortgaged their home and
lent her $2,500. On this foundation, Alvarado built one of the most successful
construction firms in the country, moving from flatwork, simple paving jobs
to bus-stop shelters, to duplexes, 7-11s, fast-food restaurants, and then
onto aquariums, parts of the Denver airport, the convention center, schools,
and other complex undertakings.

Alvarado founded Palo Alto Inc., a franchise-based company that built
and operates over 150 fast food restaurants in the southwest. In the 1990s,
Alvarado became part owner of a major league baseball franchise, the
Colorado Rockies…” the first time any woman, as an entrepreneur earning
her own money, was able to bring capital to a major league franchise,”
she has stated. Loving baseball and recognizing the outstanding
contributions to the game made by Hispanic ball players, Alvarado sees
her involvement in baseball as presenting a special opportunity to
invite inner-city children to Rockies games. “I want them to see themselves
maybe being owner of a major league team one day. Unless you try, you
never know how much you can achieve.”

In recognition of her outstanding entrepreneurship, Linda Alvarado,
at age 27, was invited to serve on the Board of Norwest Bank, and today
sits on major corporate Boards across the nation. She has been named
Revlon Business Woman of the Year(1996), designated one of the 100 Most
Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine, awarded
the 1996 U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year
distinction, honored by the prestigious Sara Lee Corporation Frontrunner
Award, awarded the 2001 Horatio Alger Award, inducted into the Colorado
Women’s Hall of Fame(2002), named to the White House Commission for
Hispanic Excellence in Education, named Woman of the Year by the
Mexican American Foundation, and received the National Women’s Economic
Alliance Director’s Choice Award. Ms. Alvarado’s recognition awards for
business and philanthropic activity is two pages long and still growing.

Courtesy National Women's Hall of Fame


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