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Owner/CEO, Haloa Construction LLC


YWahine In Business Financial Accelerator participant

At Haloa Construction LLC, ohana, or family, lies at the core of their values, influencing not only the company’s ethos but also its role within the community. This philosophy is exemplified by owner and CEO Ramona Lariosa, whose journey to small business ownership took a distinctive path. After pursuing accounting and gaining industry experience, she transitioned into the role of a stay-at-home mother, dedicating herself to raising and homeschooling her children, managing her household, and engaging in volunteer work. Meanwhile, her husband accumulated over 25 years of experience in the construction industry and established his own business.

Ramona shared, “Our children grew up and became adults, and they were kind of brought into that dream with him. It was never a part of what I wanted to do, but I supported them. I was like, ‘Whatever you guys want to do, I’ll be here, and I’ll support you all,’ and life kind of changed for us a few years ago. We decided to start our own business, and we have our adult children working with us, so it’s like a family-run business. I guess they decided that mom knows best, so they asked me to get involved. I agreed, and it’s been quite a journey.” Haloa Construction, established in February 2022 and currently consisting of eight employees, is based in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and serves the State of Hawaii.

Ramona reflected on the challenges of adjusting, particularly transitioning from being a stay-at-home mother and homeschooling her children to now having her youngest, a six-year-old, enrolled in school while she assumes the role of running the business. But with time, she’s found her way. “I stepped into this role to help my family. It wasn’t necessarily what I wanted; I just wanted to be a support to the unit that I supported, which was my family,” she explained. “It’s evolved for me to really understand that I’m here; I’m able to make a bigger impact on other people and helping other families, so I look forward to the joy that comes in helping other people even as hard as it can be.”

Haloa Construction offers general contracting services, covering residential, commercial, and government projects. While they specialize in renovations, they also handle extensions and various small- and large-scale jobs. The company is dedicated to serving the community and emphasizes flexibility, undertaking projects of all sizes. Notably, they excel in installing a new and cost-efficient luxury vinyl tile shower surround. This innovative, waterproof solution provides clients with an affordable and easy-to-maintain alternative to traditional tile installations. Haloa Construction is also expanding its presence in the residential and government sectors while maintaining a strong commitment to community service.

When asked what sets the company apart from others in the industry, Ramona is quick to point to family: “You really, truly become part of our family when we work with you. It’s about being a part of our community and helping those you know. It’s very expensive to live in Hawaii, so being able to purchase a new home is very difficult for people. A lot of people want to renovate or expand what they have, and we try to offer that to them. But I think it’s how we relate to other people. We create that deeper relationship with our clients, and I think that’s why we’re doing really well with the commercial side because a lot of them call us back. It’s how we treat our clients and how we try to be personable with them and meet their needs and work with them so that they can get what they want. On our website it says, ‘Business is our ohana’ because when you work with us, you become part of our ohana.”

Ramona connected with the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center at the Hawaii Small Business Fair at Leeward Community College and later enrolled in the YWahine In Business Financial Accelerator. “I really need a lot of what [instructor] Mariko has been teaching us,” Ramona shared. “That could’ve been part of my whole mindset change—understanding where I was at and being able to be a part of such a thing and hearing what other people have to say and what Mariko had to say. The impact of seeing other women that went through the same things I am, and that the struggles they have are similar to the struggles I’ve had, and how they’ve overcome things that I was wondering how I would overcome. Just having that camaraderie and that network connection with others fit into that whole change of my mindset, so I’m glad I joined this particular group.”

The company is focused on learning Ramona’s husband’s invaluable skills and imparting his experience to the next generation. They pride themselves on undertaking a diverse range of projects, spanning from commercial to residential, and are embracing opportunities from all sectors. Ramona understands the significant learning curve experienced in the initial five years, particularly in navigating the complexities of government contracting. Ramona and her team understand the importance of dedication, hard work, and community involvement in achieving their goals, and have a shared vision to mentor and support others in the process.

To her fellow woman entrepreneurs and small business owners, Ramona offers the following advice: “Believe that you can do it. Understand that what you’re doing is what you’re meant to do so that you don’t second-guess yourself but enjoy it and find joy in the good things and the difficult things. Then, you’ll see things differently, whether you’ve chosen to be here or not. For me, it’s been the latter. It’s about seizing every opportunity and just doing it. But also, don’t forget to take time to pause because sometimes, especially for me, that could have been a lot of the burnout in the beginning. I used to think, ‘This is so hard,’ and I didn’t know how to pause and allow myself to take it in. If anything, do it, work hard at it, but find that time to pause and take in what you’re doing.”

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