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 Construction leader nails spot as next 'Top 100' speaker 



April 7, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab


Construction leader nails spot as next 'Top 100' speaker


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Zaura Deklewa, owner and president of Bridgeville-based Allegheny Construction Group, is the next featured speaker in the Slippery Rock University School of Business "Pittsburgh Business Times Top 100 Speaker Series." She'll speak at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in SRU's Advanced Technology and Science Hall.

           The series showcases the advantages of opening or operating a business in western Pennsylvania.

           Allegheny Construction Group was named a Pittsburgh 100 company for three consecutive years by the Pittsburgh Business Times based on its continuing growth. The company has reported a 250 percent growth rate since 2004.

           Under Deklewa's leadership, the firm worked at a consistence pace as a general contractor for four years before landing its first major project at the University of Pittsburgh. After that contract, the company bid for and was awarded 19 other construction jobs at the university ranging from $500,000 to nearly $1 million.

           "The growth of your business comes from your repeat customers. That is a very important part of my strategy - not only to create a customer, but also to keep and maintain a relationship," Deklewa said.

           She estimates 80 to 85 percent of the firm's current work is in repeat customers.

           Her SRU lecture will include detailing pitfalls and problems of owning a business, including setting and maintaining a focus.

           Allegheny Construction started by building metal buildings, then quickly expanded to general contracting with an emphasis on institutional, health care and commercial clients.

           The construction company employs 125 workers. In addition to building, it provides concrete demolition and rough and finish carpentry work. The private construction business in Pittsburgh is fierce, Deklewa said. "Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster," she said.

           In addition to work for the University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Construction has done work for  West Penn Allegheny Health System, Allegheny General Hospital, Excela Health in Westmoreland County, Frick Hospital, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and U.S. Airways.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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