Andrea Sloan is “always up for a challenge and going down the path less followed.” That’s evident in how she went from serving in the United States Army Reserves to owning GroundBreakers, LLC, one of Indiana’s leaders in hydrovac excavation services.
Next week, Andrea will own 100 percent of the company, making it an official woman and veteran-owned business.
After six years of service for the Army Reserves, Andrea went on to work for the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs, where she served the Next Level Veterans initiative, connecting veterans to employers in a wide variety of industries. (This was her introduction to the construction field.)
During a meeting with the Indiana Construction Roundtable, Andrea met the owner of GroundBreakers, who was looking to sell a portion of the business and transition out of it. Before this point, Andrea had never heard of hydrovac excavation, but the business intrigued her.
For more than 10 years, GroundBreakers has been providing the safest means of uncovering underground utilities — hydrovac excavation, the use of high-powered water and vacuum systems. The company serves a variety of industries including utility providers, industrial site owners and construction services.
“As more and more things go underground, there will always be a need for our services,” Andrea said.
Andrea stepped into the role of president in the fall of 2018 before purchasing 51 percent of the company in the summer of 2019, earning it national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council (GLWBC), a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
In the winter of 2019, Andrea won the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Emerging Entrepreneur Award. She met fellow NAWBO member and Sponsel partner Lisa Purichia, who went on to guide her through the purchase of GroundBreakers and bring the Sponsel firm onboard as its financial controller.
“As a fellow female business owner, Lisa has been a great mentor,” Andrea said.
In addition to Lisa, Andrea credits her military background for carrying her through the difficult process of taking over a business.
“It takes grit and endurance to be a business owner,” she said. “In the military and in business, when times get tough, the tough get going.”