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Wonder Woman

From construction to motherhood, Lynette Rauh packs it all into a busy life

The only hint of Lynette Rauh’s full life is a constantly buzzing personal digital assistant. She sits at her desk in her office at Rauh-Co Construction Corporation, Inc. in New Port Richey looking at her listener directly. She calmly details a life that is filled with being president of her own construction company, over seeing building projects, dealing with mostly male site workers and being a wife and “very involved” mom of four children, ages ranging from 19 months to 20 years old.

"I see a rapid change in commercial building since the housing crash," said Lynette Rauh, Rauh-Co president. "Builders have joined, making the market more competitive, which led our company to initiate changes in our approaches to estimating and managing projects. We had to be selective in these changes in such a way as not to allow interference with our image, clients, and commitment to excellence. I see the commercial market growing stronger, especially in the public sector. I also see green design and certification having a huge impact on the industry."

And in her spare time, the 40-year old Rauh is working on a bachelor’s degree in interior design.

Oh, yes, and when she gets that, she wants to revive her interest in music by playing the saxophone and clarinet, instruments she played in younger years.

But don’t even hint that her life is too full. For the women who as a seventh grader growing up in Polk county’s Haines City became fascinated by how buildings on a block could fit together in a harmonious whole, life is a matter of getting all the pieces to work together.

Rauh’s interest in feng shui the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects in a home to achieve inner harmony, appears to have spilled over into her office. Its calm aura and lack of clutter are no accident, she says. “ I like things behind the scene so you walk in and feel peaceful and ready to begin the day.”

Still, Rauh-Co’s growth stretches the limits for even the meticulous Rauh. What started in 1996 as a mom-and-pop operation with her husband Paul, who is vice president of the company, has expanded to an 18-person operation that specializes in commercial construction. The economy might be down, Rauh said, but not in their company. This year has been even better than the last one. To make space for the new employees needed to keep up with growth of their business, she and Paul have been forced to move their personal offices to the back of their building on Bridge Street in New Port Richey, making for far less room then they needed.

To remedy that, the couple has bought a two-story building on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Missouri Avenue in New Port Richey, the former location of the Downtown Lounge.

They expect to move their company to the building’s top floor by the middle of February. They plan to rent the main floor to a family friendly operation such a coffee shop or a smoothie business that will draw a constant stream of customers. “We want to bring people downtown and use that beautiful park,” Rauh said, referring to Sims Park.

As project manager, Rauh has overseen the gutting of the building and is now working on the design phase. It is a job she often takes on.

In that role, she deals with everyone for the architect to sub-contractors who are involved in the project. Most are male, but that has never been a problem when the men see she knows her stuff, she says.

She enjoys taking charge, she explains, but does so in her own way. “I believe I articulate my expectations. I earn their respect, but I don’t come across as a know-it-all.”

She also seems to have kept her own style, instead of assuming the tougher male model. With long blonde hair and conservative business suit, her appearance appears to give a nod both to the business world and her own femininity.

But the spark to succeed cannot be hidden. Rauh recalls apprenticing with men in the contracting and construction business to get her building contractors license in 1996. Many men didn’t think she could pass the test, she recalls in that soft but firm voice, and then adds with the hint of a triumphant smile, “I aced it.”

Individually, the firms that comprise Rauh-Co have built superb reputations by constructing landmark projects across the country. Contact us today and get your project off to a great start.