Linda Alvarado was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1951 to a family with six children She is the founder and CEO of Denver-based Alvarado Construction. Working her way through college she earned money as a laborer for a landscape firm, later taking courses in estimating and computerized scheduling and began as a contract administrator on a construction project. Undaunted by construction site harassment she experienced, in 1976 she started her own company. There were no programs to include women or minority-owned businesses and banks viewed this “woman contractor” as a high risk. Her parents mortgaged their small home and lent her $2,500 to start one of the most successful construction firms in the country; starting with concrete sidewalks to bus-stop shelters, schools, stadiums, convention centers, aquariums, hotels, and high-rise buildings. At the age of 27 Alvarado was invited to join the board of United Bank and today serves on the board of five public companies. In 1992 Alvarado made history as the first Latino owner of a Major League Baseball team, the Colorado Rockies. This also marked the first time a woman was in a bid for ownership of a major league franchise. Alvarado and her husband, Robert, founded Palo Alto Inc. which operates 150 franchise restaurants. She sets high standards as a successful business owner and her accomplishments have created opportunities for women. Alvarado has given numerous speeches at business conferences and at schools, motivating youth to excel and achieve their dreams.
"Affirmative Action was not a guarantee for success, but it was a window that could be opened for that opportunity."