An Interview With Vice President Leslie Henderson Schultz
Leslie Henderson Schultz

Growing up, were you always interested in joining your family business at Henderson, Inc.?

Yes, I was intrigued, but actually I started out going to school for Exercise Physiology. Then as I spent summers at Henderson, Inc. doing internships, I realized I had a real interest in the business and I changed my major to business. I always knew there would be an opportunity IF I was interested, however, my parents NEVER pushed it on me. They allowed me to ultimately figure out that the construction industry is where I belonged.

What are you passionate about in the construction industry?

Being a part of a team that ultimately brings clients’ visions and dreams to reality.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your tenure in the business?

Your people are your biggest asset. You can’t do it on your own; you need to surround yourself with talented players and you will be amazed at the contagious success.

What have you learned about the business specifically from your parents and grandparents?

From my grandparents I learned the value of hard work, an education, and the importance of a talented team. From my parents, where do I start?!? They’ve taught me a lot but I think the most important thing is the way they raised me. They instilled in me strong values and ethics, and the value of HARD WORK!

In your opinion, what are some challenges of being a woman in the construction industry?

Honestly, I don’t even think about it. I think others (men) think about it more than I do, like when I’m in a meeting of 10+ men and no other women, but it really doesn’t cross my mind. I would say my BIGGEST challenge is balancing all of my responsibilities, being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, leader, co-worker, peer, etc. I always tell myself in 20 years I don’t want to regret ANYTHING and everyday that’s how I try to live my life.

Your three girls are young, but can you see any of them joining Henderson one day?

Oh wow, absolutely, if that’s what they want. I hope to be able to offer them the opportunity one day as it was offered to me. They are so young, right now their career aspirations are to be princesses. Ha ha! Right now I’m just focused on being a good role model for my girls, showing them that they can do anything they want to if they put their minds to it, and to dream big!

Do you have any advice to anyone just starting out in the business?

Always do the right thing, keep your standards high for yourself and surround yourself with successful people.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I always try and lead by example.

What do you feel sets Henderson apart from other general contractors?

So many people preach relationships, however this is truly the core of who we are. The people we choose to do business with and our partnership style reflect who we are as a company.

What is your vision for the future of Henderson?

My vision is to continue the legacy that my grandfather and father created. Henderson has always been a well-respected contractor and I only hope to be a part of continuing that legacy.

Is there a gadget you can’t live without?

Is my nannie a gadget! Ha ha! I can’t live without her!

Outside of Henderson, what do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family; the support of my husband and family is immeasurable. I’m also passionate about health and wellness. I enjoy working out, running, and shopping for healthy food! How do you deal with stress? I’ve learned, and I’m still learning, to take it all in stride. Control what you can control and give 110% all the time. For me, staying organized to allow prioritization is a MUST! I could have a million things to do but if you lose focus on what’s important and where to spend your time, you can quickly unravel. Staying balanced is important too. Never stop working out! I need the energy and endorphins that come with exercise!

Henderson Relationships

"Henderson minimizes the impact of problems…They don't let ego control relationships. The bottom line is they're fun to do business with."

–Joseph Stettinius – New Town Associates