Leaving a long time, well paying position is never easy at the best of times.
But leaving a secure, senior position for the complete unknown of being an entrepreneur—that’s downright terrifying.
So when Jill Treadway decided it was time to transition from her role in Department of Transportation into starting her own engineering firm, it wasn’t a decision she took lightly.
The opportunity arose when in 2005 when the Department made changes to how they were managing their programs. Jill recognized that this was a great opportunity to utilize her experience and fill the void the changes would create, starting up JT Engineering, Inc. in the fall of 2005.
In making the decision to start her own practice, Jill thoroughly analyzed the risk for both herself and her family prior to moving forward with the company. She expressed that without the support and understanding of her husband, children, and friends that she would have never made the jump forward to entrepreneurship.
Jill was all too aware that success was going to take a lot of hard work and long hours to get a company established—but she was ready for the challenge. She thrived on having her back to the wall—letting her family down wasn’t an option. That pressure, combined with her family’s limitless support, are the two main pillars of strength that Jill most credits to getting her practice off the ground.
The early days were nerve rattling; from writing her first large check for equipment needs, to hiring her first employee and being responsible for their livelihood as well as their families, to signing the first contract commitment, and then obtaining her first office lease. Despite her early successes, Jill worried that her formal education in engineering, and online education in business, was not enough to produce the structure, organization, and goal planning she would need to truly expand the business to its full potential.
Amidst this uncertainty, Jill received a letter of invitation to join the Green Bay Protégé-Mentorship Program. Though initially skeptical of the program’s benefits, Jill agreed to come down to the meet and greet networking event. There, she was introduced to and instantly connected with Dan Verbanac, President of Integyrs Energy Services Inc.
Dan generously offered up his staff to help us create company metrics to allow us to monitor and track our company processes and progress. As anxious as she was to push forward as quickly as possible, taking the time to learn from Dan’s knowledge, conversations and support was critical.
With Dan’s help, Jill and her team were able to create company metrics and goal setting programs. As a result of the program, the company continues to grow and continues on schedule to meet its planning goals. With a better defined organization, metrics, and goals in place, their management team has a clearer picture of the future and better defined roles and responsibilities.
The changes have benefited Jill’s personal life as well as her business. The focus on time management and goal setting have allowed her to delegate more effectively, finally allowing her much needed time for friends and family. Just as importantly for her, it has allowed her the opportunity to give back to the community. JT Engineering’s focus on providing cost savings solutions already benefit Wisconsin tax payers, but Jill is also personally and directly involved in charitable projects as well. Particularly, Jill ensured that each dollar donated by her employees to non profit organizations would be matched by the company. She and her staff have been active supporters of Habitat for Humanity, the local Boy Scouts, and many other organizations.
JT Engineering has seen incredible success since enrolling in the Protégé-Mentorship program, including winning design awards though WisDOT and national organizations, being a part of large construction projects that dramatically improve the lives of everyone that travels on them, and helping clients with complex design and program management needs. According to Jill, however, her biggest source of pride has been the people at JT. Jill is resolute in the confidence that she has the privilege of employing some of the best and most knowledgeable people in the industry.
We salute Jill on her hard work, and the contributions to Wisconsin she has produced through her work, her job creation, and her engagement in the community. We wish her all the best for the years to come!