Mary Wyatt has chosen to live her life with grace and gratitude after surviving personal tragedy. She is CEO and owner of Wyatt General Contractor, LLC (WGC). However, Mary did not grow up dreaming of working in the construction business.
WGC was founded in 2012 by Mary’s late husband, John Wyatt, who had learned the construction business from his father, Gary. With his father by his side, John grew WGC steadily from 2012 until August 2015. On August 27, 2015, John told Mary he was going to the Shelby County Airport to practice some maneuvers in his single-engine airplane. Devastatingly, John never returned home that evening.
At the age of 38, John died in an airplane accident just south of the Shelby County Airport runway leaving behind Mary and their two daughters. Before the fatal plane crash, John often used the construction company to help those affected by natural disasters. Wyatt was determined to continue John’s legacy by turning her focus to building the family business.
“I went from being a stay at home mom to owning a commercial construction company in the blink of an eye. We were four months into a $13 million hotel in Five Points and just two weeks after John’s death I broke ground on a church he had negotiated earlier in the summer. I was committed to seeing these projects through to completion and knew our team had all the expertise needed to make it happen,” Wyatt shared with Yellowhammer News.
Wyatt’s story perfectly illustrates the promise of hope in the face of tragedy and grief. She diligently made it her mission to learn the construction business from the ground up. Her efforts paid off as WGC won new projects to keep the company open, including the UAB policy headquarters.
Mary said, “That was just incredible. Leading up to that job, I was going to do everything I could and let the Lord do the rest. I knew then we were going to make it.”
The stability and success that WGC has experienced over the last several years is truly a testimony to John’s legacy and Mary’s leadership. As a woman-owned general contractor, she looks to grow the company’s footprint while broadening community involvement. Mary was named a Future Leader in Construction for Associated Builders & Contractors of Alabama (ABC of AL) and one of the BBJ’s Fast Track 30, which also named WGC the 10th fastest growing company in Birmingham.
Jay Reed, president of ABC of AL, said regarding Mary, “It is exciting to watch Mary Wyatt make her mark in the industry. She is becoming a key player in construction and earning it the old fashion way-work ethic, compassion for others and excelling at customer service. In our industry your word is your bond and Mary understands that and operates in that manner. While Mary could easily have chosen simpler paths, she didn’t. She decided to go with her heart and mind and the results are before us today, success. I’ve enjoyed watching her find her place and earn her seat at the ‘leaders table’ of commercial contractors. That’s not easily done in construction, in Alabama and as a female. What an amazing story she has.”
Mary is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction, Associated Builders and Contractors Young Professionals, Women Business Leaders (WBL) and the Lovelady Auxiliary.
“The first time I ever shared my story was in front of the Loveladies. Looking out and seeing a room filled with women who were doing the hard work required to be their very best despite incredible obstacles was inspiring and uplifting!” Wyatt shared with Yellowhammer News.
Wyatt often reflects on her faith as the primary force driving her success. Colleagues across town recognize the way Wyatt lives out her faith on a daily basis as well.
Amy Patillo, executive director of WBL, said, “Mary is an extraordinary woman of faith. Several years ago, the Lord entrusted her with intense grief and a unique leadership role. Rather than shrinking back, Mary relied on her faith to give her supernatural wisdom and resolve. Through her leadership, Mary has preserved her husband’s legacy both personally and professionally.”
When reflecting on the legacy she wishes to leave, Wyatt shared with Yellowhammer News, “I recognize that I have been handed a tremendous opportunity through very unfortunate circumstances. It has been my prayer since my husband died three years ago, that this pain and heartache would not be wasted. Making the most of my life, as a mother, friend, and business owner has been my greatest desire. Not allowing tragedy to define me in negative terms, but rather changing me for the better.”
Yellowhammer News is proud to name Mary Wyatt a 2019 Woman of Impact.
The 2nd Annual Women of Impact Awards will celebrate the honorees on April 29, 2019, in Birmingham. Event details can be found here.