Shamika and Jason Minisee – Presidential Concrete LLC

Laci Ollison | September 15th, 2020
Shamika and Jason Minisee (Photos by Joseph Merrill)

Shamika and Jason Minisee (Photos by Joseph Merrill)

When you hear the term “power couple,” you may immediately begin to think of celebrity couples like Barack and Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Jay-Z, or Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. But in Huntsville, there’s one couple who is breaking barriers and establishing their own definition of the term power couple.

Jason and Shamika Minisee are the owners of Presidential Concrete; a residential and commercial concrete business located in Huntsville, Alabama. Their business mainly provides flatwork services which includes driveways, parking lots, curbs, gutters, and slabs. However, they will soon become a full-service concrete business offering coffee tables, concrete countertops, and more.
The dynamic duo have been in business together since 2005. However, they both have a foundation in entrepreneurship and ties to the concrete business that extend much further than that.

“I learned the skill trade of concrete finishing from my father,” said Jason. “Before I moved to Huntsville, I used to run their concrete business. I only had a little bit of business skills, but I had a lot of experience with this skill trade.”

And that’s where his wife Shamika steps in. The St. Louis native holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University as well as a master’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Acquisition and Contract Management from Florida Institute of Technology.

“My wife always wanted to be a business owner and entrepreneur, and that’s what she studied in college.” Jason said. “When we started our business, we were just married, and our daughter wasn’t even two years old.” At the time, Shamika was working on her master’s degree and working a job that paid $11.63. Jason was working an unfulfilling job making $10 an hour.
“I came home and told my wife that I quit my job and I wanted to start my own concrete business and she was game.”

Although Shamika supported her husband’s dream of starting a business, she still found herself somewhat nervous. “I like structure. So, him quitting his job on Friday and filing LLC paperwork on Monday scared me,” said Shamika. “But I understood his vision. The company he was working for wasn’t paying him his worth. I agreed because I knew the best way for him to be paid what he was worth was for him to pay himself.”

And now, the couple has built a successful business with clients to include Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Progressive Union Missionary Baptist Church, Alabama A&M University, and Oakwood University just to name a few.

“It’s taken a while to reap the fruits of our labor because we didn’t start out with loans,” Shamika said. “We didn’t build from loans or angel investors; we built this business ourselves.”

The couple said that at the time of starting their business, they would use Shamika’s refund checks from school to reinvest in the business. “We didn’t know about outside funding,” said Shamika. “I remember having our first business account and my husband asked for a line of credit, but we were denied. We didn’t look into it any further and we were so laser focused on building that we didn’t take time to Google or do more research into outside funding.”

But they didn’t let the lack of outside funding stop them from pursuing their dream of building a successful business. “The biggest thing I heard was ‘90% of businesses fail in the first year,’” Jason said. “I was determined to make it through that first year without failing.”

And because of their determination, they can now show their children what it looks like when perseverance and hard work are combined. Their three children actively participate in the family business; visiting contract sites and making suggestions on designs.

“It feels good to have them watching us,” Shamika said. “They take in everything we do and even make suggestions on how to market our business. My husband even took my son out to one of the job sites and it was so cute to see him with a construction hat on.”

Although they value their clients, it is more important for Shamika and Jason to be role models that their children can look up to. “It’s not just about the clients for me,” said Shamika. “It’s about my kids seeing their father never give up.”

The couple also value personal family time as well, making it a habit to not miss important moments in the lives of their children. “I try to make sure to take them out one at a time or altogether to spend quality time with them,” the mom of three said. “They’re not little for long and I don’t want them to look back and think that our business consumed us.”

Outside of being parents and business owners though, Jason and Shamika are both involved in their community through professional and philanthropic avenues. Shamika is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and she sits on the board of directors for North Alabama Free Dental Clinic, Sickle Cell Leadership Consortium, and Girls on the Run. The couple are both members of Huntsville Madison County Builders Association.

Jason has been gifted with a knack for management. His gift has led him to gain contracts and lead efforts from Alabama all the way to Michigan. He has acted as the project manager on projects like pole barns, grain bins, and storage facilities. During a small employment stint as a Superintendent he led the efforts on Friendship Commons, a multi-use retail and residential complex and plaza.

With their busy lives as business owners, parents, and local community figures, the two both agree that they would be no where without their faith. “You have to have guidance in The Lord,” said Shamika. “For me it’s scary that Jason is so confident, but I know where his help comes from. You have to constantly pray over your business. The Lord didn’t give us a spirit of fear.”

For others who would like to start their own business, Jason encourages them to not be nervous. “Just have supreme confidence in yourself and in your business,” he said. “No one is going to be as confident as you.”

Shamika also tells aspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap and “just do it.” “Create a roadmap,” she said. “Don’t do it like us. We jumped headfirst not feet first. Don’t take forever but make it make sense. Don’t stop at no. Guestimate how much startup capital you will need. And if the bank says no, search for other avenues.”

Shamika reminds people often that she came from humble beginnings. “If I can do it, they can too. Don’t be like me, be better than me.”

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