Paving the Way
Family company living the dream at Mondragon Paving
With a dream and about $120,000, Mondragon Paving President/Owner Isidro Mondragon launched his asphalt paving company. That was 2016. He started with his two sons and in less than six weeks, he was up to a team of six. Fast-forward four years and he has a fleet valued at $2.5 million, a half-million-dollar work yard and projects lined up with no slowdown in sight.
Isidro is known within the industry for his integrity and workmanship. He developed that reputation after working for more than 20 years for a major Tampa-based site development construction company. He knew it was time to step out from working as a field superintendent and start his own firm.
“A lot of people heard I had decided to start my own company, and they were coming by the house to ask for a job,” Isidro recalls. “We started with me and my two sons, Martin and Emmanuel. Three weeks later, I had three more people working for me.”
A Solid Foundation
Since its beginnings with a small single paving crew in 2016 to a full-service asphalt company, the family-owned-and-operated firm has grown to a team of 22 now. The Tampa-based company specializes in commercial, industrial, multifamily and private projects.
Isidro says his team works on all kinds of pavement needs whether they are full-scale paving projects or minor asphalt repairs, sealcoating and striping. He says the company has a wide scope of services, including site work, concrete, roads, water main projects, asphalt paving, asphalt sealcoating, sign installation, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, concrete repair, concrete sidewalks, flatwork installation, concrete curb installation, demolition, grading, as well as milling and resurfacing.
“Paving is really our bread and butter, along with grading. Those are two things that we do all the time,” he says. “We do a lot of big projects that range from $150,000 to $300,000 contracts. Many of our recent projects have been on new subdivisions.”
Mondragon Paving works with a number of high-profile construction companies and developers including K and B Sitework LLC; Complete Development, Inc.; K.E. Martin Development of Pasco, Inc.; JMJ Construction Services; Foshee Construction Co., Inc.; Raymow Construction Inc.; Ranmar Development, Inc. and SiteCrafters of Florida, Inc., to name just a few.
“We’ve also done a lot of work paving commercial properties for First Industrial Realty Trust and Benderson Development. In addition to all of the subdivision work, we’ve been doing a lot of paving for Orange County in Orlando. We spend a lot of time working between Tampa and Orlando and also in Sarasota,” he adds.
Work to be Proud Of
Isidro says his team gives each project the same effort. “We have to treat big or small jobs the same; our quality has got to be there, and we make sure we are taking care of the customer and doing the project right,” he explains.
Early on in Mondragon Paving’s existence, the company poured 12,000 tons of asphalt at a regional FedEx distribution center. The firm also did a similarly sized project this year for an Amazon distribution center in Deltona. Another big project was the parking lot of the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, home of the Orlando City Soccer Club, he says.
A recent job he’s particularly proud of is the Beach Club Apartments, where Mondragon performed all the milling, paving, sealing and striping. The project included night work, signage and ensuring ADA compliance.
One Big Family
“A lot of our big jobs can take three to four weeks to complete, so it is very important to me to take good care of my employees,” Isidro says. “I treat my employees the same way I want to be treated. I’ll buy them lunch on long days and provide water and drinks. If they work late, I’ll buy them dinner. When we go out of town to work, they still receive their per diem even if I buy them lunch or dinner.”
“We’ve been blessed to have a good team,” he adds. “Everyone in the construction industry knew me from my previous job, and we’ve been lucky that they wanted to come work for me. Little by little, they asked to come work with us, and we’ve been able to pick who we want.”
Many of those employees have been with him from the start or within a year of the company launching, he says.
“We are driven by our company values: integrity, honesty, accountability and delivering superior performance. It is our commitment to exceed our clients’ expectations in every way,” Isidro says.
Each year, he strives to increase the company’s revenues over the previous year. This year, his goal is to finish 2020 by growing the team to 35 employees. “I talk to the team and share my goals with them and ask them for their help. It’s going to be better for everyone because when we make more money, they’ll make more money, too,” he says.
Creating a Legacy
Isidro says he started Mondragon Paving not only to fulfill a dream for himself, but also to create a legacy for his children and family. Not only do both of his sons work with him, but so does his brother, Froylan Mondragon. Isidro’s son-in-law, Richard Garcia, and nephew, Josue Mondragon, are also on the payroll.
“Integrity and loyalty are the two biggest characteristics of our company, and my family lives them along with me,” he says. “If you take care of customers, they are going to be loyal to you, too, I’m a very loyal person to my customers and team.”
And, it is paying off, Isidro says. “We are busier than ever.”