Contractor Spotlight: Quintin Johns, Premier Choice Painting
In honor and support of #BlackBusinessMonth we would like to spotlight MBE contractor that assisted with our projects over the years. After beginning in 2007 Quintin Johns, Pittsburgh native and Owner of Premier Choice Painting, LLC, took his business to new heights after being selected as the painter of one of KBK Enterprises largest communities “Garfield Commons” with 225 townhome and single-family style units in 2016. Although, opportunities of this scale can be hard to come by for a small minority-owned business, Quintin Johns contacted Mr. Key directly to learn more about the project and to inquire about potential opportunities. This was KBK Enterprises debut development in the city of Pittsburgh and the first time the KBK Foundation stepped in to engage Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE). John’s contract on this development made his company a part of history at the time because Garfield Commons was recognized for having the largest number of MWBE contractors in the City of Pittsburgh’s history at 49% ($27 million in residential construction contracts). After being exceptionally satisfied with their work at Garfield Commons, Premiere Choice Painting was hired to work on few additional KBK Enterprises developments including Addison Terrace Phases I & II, The Teenie Harris Center and future KBK Enterprises projects. Since working with KBK Enterprises, Premiere Choice Painting has been selected to paint the Macy’s Downtown location, hotels, gyms, and other large commercial and residential properties. “After working with KBK Enterprises, I have seen a greater purpose with my business after witnessing the demand for minority owned construction companies,” said Quintin. Currently, he is working on launching a construction company and plans to model it after KBK Enterprises construction group, Alliance.
Premiere Painting Contracts are estimated to been over $200k for KBK Enterprises Developments.
Contractor Spotlight: R. Kohlman Development
Robert Kohlman Development (RKD) is a minority-owned company that won the electrical contract for Skyline Terrace in Pittsburgh, PA. Co-owners Robert Kohlman and Anthony Boswell are focused on hiring local residents for this project. “It’s because of where we’re from,” Boswell explained. “We want to see people who look like us having the opportunity. They want the same opportunities that we had.” Robert Kohlman, grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and has worked in the electrical field for decades. After building his business with New Orleans native, Boswell, the two have focused the mission of their company to serve a community need.
While Anthony Boswell isn’t from Pittsburgh, he has encountered business practices across the country and noticed that minority companies had not been getting their “fair share” of contracts. “Pittsburgh is a different dynamic, but overall, we see the same amount of income disparity all over the United States especially when it comes to African Americans.” Boswell said. “Providing opportunities for them is very important. The people are a little different than southerners but as far as the work goes, everybody’s hungry. They want to eat, that’s a common denominator in all communities.”
RKD has achieved the highest number of Section 3 contracts on site. Construction is hard work but, both Boswell and Kohlman agree that what the residents here in Pittsburgh need is a chance. “We had some opportunities given to us that helped make a difference in our lives so we like to try to transform and make a difference in some of their lives.”
C.A.R.E. S. Program
Since 2011 The KBK Foundation has given contributions totaling $15,000 to The Children/Adult Recreational and Educational Services, better known as C.A.R.E.S. The contributions are designated specifically for summer programs for Pittsburgh youth ages 5 to 14 sponsored through the Wesley AME Zion Church. Since its inception, C.A.R.E.S. has provided educational services and cultural activities to children, youth, and young adults year-round. Youth from Garfield Commons were able to attend the camp sessions held during the summer months (June 24th through August 8th). The summer day camp helps enhance youth’s life skills, build resiliency and strengthen leadership skills though hands on learning and organized activities.
The Challenge Program
The KBK Foundation partnered with The Challenge Program to help motivate high school students both in and out of the classroom. The KBK Foundation gave a $250 reward to twelve Peabody High School students in sophomore, junior and senior classes in four areas: Academic Excellence, Academic Improvement, Attendance and Community Service. The KBK Foundation has contributed $40,000 in scholarships to this program. The KBK Foundation has not only been involved with Peabody High School for four years but donated funds so that all 8 high schools in the Pittsburgh School district could participate in The Challenge Program.
The KBK Foundation has entered into a 3 year partnership with the Garfield Gators Football Team. The program led by Bob Jones, for youth ages 5-14, provides neighborhood children a place where academics, discipline and personal accountability are encouraged. Sponsorship from The KBK Foundation assist with scholarships being offered to youth to participate in the football program and cover items such as equipment and travel.
Larimer Green Team – Taste The Future of Larimer
The Larimer Green Team hosts a yearly fundraising event, Taste The Future of Larimer, to raise awareness of positive things happening in the community. Community members come to sample dishes from local caterers, listen to speakers and enjoy live music at Taste the Future of Larimer. The Larimer Green Team was founded in 2008 and has been behind many projects and workshops in the neighborhood. Perhaps the most visible of these has been the Community Garden located at the Village Green on Larimer Avenue. The KBK Foundation continues to be a proud sponsor of this event.
North Aiken Senior Center
The Commons at North Aiken is a 76-unit, supportive care facility available to persons age 62 and older. The facility is located in Garfield in close proximity to East Liberty, Shadyside and the East End. North Aiken offers 62 newly constructed one-bedroom apartments and 14 two-bedroom cottages designed to serve a more physically independent senior citizen population. The facility offers a number of apartment units that are fully accessible for persons with disabilities, while the remaining units are fully adaptable. The KBK Foundation adopted the North Aiken Senior Center for two years by sponsoring their supportive services. This included trips to Heinz Hall events, boat rides, ice cream socials, movie nights and much more.