A lifelong dream of operating her own business came true for H. Rochelle Stachel when she started HRV Conformance Verification Associates, Inc. in 2003.
The Robinson Township-based company provides materials and construction inspection, engineering and expediting services for public- and private-sector clients. Stachel, an industrial and computer engineer, has put her bachelor’s degree in accounting and information systems to good use by guiding the company into growth mode.
During the first year in business, the company realized revenue of $36,000, a number that skyrocketed to $5 million in 2009. Stachel, who serves as president/owner, said revenue has doubled every year since the company was founded. Her husband, Robert, is cofounder and vice president.
“I’m not surprised that she has succeeded because she is very dedicated and reliable,” said David Mills, a director in the Princeton, N.J. office of Deloitte Consulting, LLP. “I knew she would succeed, but I didn’t think it would be so quickly and in so many markets.
So it’s no surprise that Stachel is a winner of The Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2007 Diamond Award, given to the region’s top CEOs and company presidents.
HRV is doing work for more than 12 transportation departments across the United States, and has done international work in Korea, Norway, Japan, Germany and Trinidad.
A big claim to fame is that the company inspected the material for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, D.C. The span is one of the largest drawbridges in the country.
Prior to starting her own business, Stachel worked in fields that were once considered nontraditional for women.
“I’ve worked as an engineer, a computer specialist, an accountant, a business manager, a project manager and a consultant. I chose these fields because I wanted to get a well-rounded education,” she said. “I studied how the management of the companies I worked for made their business decisions. I wanted to have a company with old-fashioned values where it’s not just about the numbers.”
How SCORE Helped:
Stachel said Howard Martin, Dick Fitzgerald and Bill Mariotti at the Pittsburgh Chapter of SCORE provided expert advice and served as a continual resource.
“I was very impressed with the talent she brought to the business,” said Martin, who served as a SCORE Counselor in Pittsburgh and now lives in Philadelphia. “We helped her prioritize her time and resources.”
Stachel, currently president-elect of the local Society for Marketing Professional Services, said her only regret was she didn’t start sooner.
“I wish I would have had an epiphany 20 years earlier,” she said, “but all of the life experiences I acquired gave me the skills to run the company.