Rachael Keish, CEO of Keish Environmental an advocate for small woman-owned businesses was recently interviewed by Jena Mena, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SVTA), about being a small woman-owned business in Silicon Valley.

Keish Environmental, a stormwater and environmental mitigation company, opened its doors in 2014. Rachael Keish, the company’s CEO, struck out on her own after leaving a larger firm. She said she immediately sought out DBE certification as she realized the tremendous benefits.

Ms. Keish stated that much of her firm’s work is at VTA. In her early career, her first assignments were working on 1996 Measure B projects through 2006 where she became familiar with VTA. As she transitioned to running her own business she said she “loved working with VTA.” She said that in any professional services industry “teamwork is very important and people need to want to work with your firm. Be the most qualified and people will want you.”

When asked what her greatest obstacles were to starting her own business and certifying, Ms. Keish stated that certifying was not difficult. But, the first three months as a new business owner were rough as cashflow was tight due to the fact that it takes a while to get paid.

Ms. Keish shared that her greatest victory was winning VTA’s stormwater engineering contract as its prime contractor. Ms. Keish said she is normally the sub and “you never know what’s going to happen, so you must be nimble and ready to diversify.”

Among her many other duties, Ms. Keish is currently the WTS - Women’s Leadership Program Chair , San Francisco Chapter .  For more information about Ms. Keish, Keish Environmental, or WTS contact rachael@keishenv.com