After graduating from San Diego State University, Deric Haddad tried to make a living as a screenwriter, but Cannes Man, a mockumentary he co-wrote, was the only feature he managed to get produced. At 29, trying to pay bills and decide what to do with his life, the Bakersville, Calif., native took a $10-an-hour job driving a truck for a Silicon Valley contractor. The company specialized in building cleanrooms for the likes of Intel and Hewlett-Packard to test and make circuitry in a dust-free place. Intrigued by the esoteric trade and buoyed by the steady paychecks, Haddad spent the next seven years working on a swath of design-build construction, maintenance, and manufacturing jobs. By 2004, Haddad says he had accumulated enough confidence in his skills to invest $25,000 with his wife, Heather Wylie, to launch cleanroom construction company Haddad-Wylie Industries. Aware of a new federal mandate that required certain types of hospital pharmacies to install cleanrooms, they focused on the life sciences industry and landed Duke University as their first customer. Haddad, 42, says the Pittsburgh-based company became profitable in 2006, now has 12 full-time employees, and has expanded into manufacturing its own systems as well as doing turnkey design-build jobs for other industries, including nanotech, aviation, and semiconductors. Most jobs are in the $500,000-to-$3 million range in the U.S. and abroad for clients that include the Cleveland Clinic, AstraZeneca, and W.L. Gore. The recession has forced the duo to impose temporary pay cuts and outsource some work. Still, Haddad says the company had around $5 million in revenue in 2008, will have $7 million this year, and $10 million to $20 million in 2010. He thinks Haddad-Wylie could go public within five years.
Samuel Leccima and Shani Leccima are the co-founders of Marriedmillions.com – The Essential Business Website For Married Couples. They are also the authors of “Married Millions: The Ultimate Business Guide For Married Couples.” Download a free copy of the book here. Feel free to leave a comment about this post.