Riverstone blazes trail as a woman-owned family business
Innovators, pioneers, trailblazers—entrepreneurs who set the pace and potential for what is possible in business are known by many names. Amanda Wheeler, Owner of Riverstone, a family-owned general contracting and construction management company in Richmond, Virginia, is setting herself apart as a leader thriving in the culture of construction.
“I’ve been around construction my entire life,” Amanda says. “My family comes from Appalachian heritage and a solid work ethic was instilled early. I never get tired of putting in the work that’s required to see projects to completion.”
Redefining What’s Possible
Amanda watched her mother, Barbara overcome barriers as an early pioneer in the industry. Amanda says she redefined what was possible and inspired belief and confidence in her. And, like her mother, Amanda grew up around construction, beginning in the office of her mother’s construction company and eventually entering the family business, taking on more roles and responsibilities, and forming a real understanding of the process of what construction is and what it could be.
“My mother blazed the trail for me,” Amanda says. “Being in a family business, I learned a lot by proxy. I began to immerse myself, and understood the terminology and needs of the client quickly. When that core knowledge, work ethic and heart are combined, you really have what it takes to meet expectations at a greater capacity.”
David Wheeler, Amanda’s brother, established Riverstone in 2001. Three years ago, Amanda took ownership of the company. David has since returned as Director of Operations with the intent to increase team capacity and foster long-term client relationships.
In 2016, Amanda became CEO of Riverstone and is proud of her family’s history, positioning Riverstone as one of Richmond’s top commercial contractors.
“We’re entering our third year under my leadership,” Amanda says. “We’re a heart-driven business with a focus more on relationships than the bottom dollar. We have large clients, but we take on a lot of small, specialized projects too. We’ve found that this gives us an opportunity to grow relationships as well as our portfolio.”
Amanda has built a reputation of being a driven and dynamic leader who takes a personal interest in client goals and holds true to the belief that collaborative efforts are critical to a seamless project. Her progression in the industry gives her a “ground-up” perception, knowing what it takes to deliver a successful project from design to completion.
It’s the skill of relationship building that makes this company stand out and makes its “revitalized” brand a unique part of the leadership’s business philosophy. That speaks volumes to the company’s clients. The staff builds relationships on trust.
“Our approach is different,” Amanda says. “I’m very hands on. Instead of giving lump-sum proposals, we work with clients to understand the ‘why’ behind what we do. We’re often told by clients that we’re extra responsive and that we care. It acquires us a lot of repeat business. Transparency and availability are important to us.”
Answering a Need
By taking the time with both corporate clients and the boutique customer, the Riverstone team has been able to build its brand. It offers on-site supervision during the entire course of a project, as well as constant face-to-face interaction.
“We love to come alongside clients providing solutions to get to their desired vision,” Amanda says. “There is definitely a need for our type of hands-on approach. In many cases, we’re building their home away from home, creating spaces where a person will spend 10-12 hours a day. We want them to walk into the spaces we’ve created and feel proud.”
Riverstone has expanded from Richmond to take on projects throughout the state of Virginia. The Riverstone team does it all, from new construction to renovations and expansions in industries ranging from medical to corporate to industrial and more. The company’s portfolio is impressive, and the team’s spectrum of expertise complements its vast diversity of work. A few of Riverstone’s notable projects include: Atlanta Dental, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, F45 Training centers, James River Carriers and Hartfiel Automation.
Being a family owned and operated business, and a woman-owned business, is one of Amanda’s greatest joys—and she’s built a team of seasoned professionals who understand how to manage clients’ needs and bring a fresh vision to projects. In the process, Amanda has become a mentor for other entrepreneurs in the area. With her guidance, her team’s collaborative and proactive efforts have created exactly the kind of company people want to see in the world. This is Riverstone. This is Riverstone Revitalized.