Leslie Hope, President

Hydra Engineering & Construction, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
Wakulla County

Impact

Jobs

38
182% Job Growth 2013-2017

Revenue

70%
Revenue Growth 2013-2017

About

Hydra is an engineering and construction firm headquartered in Crawfordville, Florida with branch offices located in Albany, Georgia, El Paso, Texas and Merritt Island, Florida. Hydra is in the US Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program and is also an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business, certified by the USDOT as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and by the State of Florida as a Minority Business Enterprise. Hydra has extensive experience in our field with projects completed in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Colorado for both government and private clients. The company’s core team has worked together for over 20 years and are skilled in the execution and completion of projects on‐time and on‐budget. Hydra has in‐house professional engineers, general contractors and construction crews to self perform the majority of our work.

Entrepreneur Sees Opportunity to Achieve Dream During Recession

Leslie Hope, founder of Hydra Engineering & Construction, LLC, wanted to launch her own engineering firm since she graduated college. When the Great Recession hit, she saw her company that she was a partner in downsizing and decided it was time to strike out on her own.

“When I got my first job out of college, I set a goal own my own engineering company,” she said. “I graduated college in 1993 and ended up at an engineering firm in Colorado. I became a partner by 1998 and returned to Florida to open a branch office for them in 2007. However, we could see the writing on the wall that the company wasn’t doing well and was laying off many employees. In 2008, I went out on my own to start Hydra Engineering. The niche I found is that I marketed the company as a woman and minority-owned small business that provides superior results.”

Hydra is a design build company providing services primarily to the Federal Government.

“We do projects from start to finish including permitting, engineering, environmental services and construction, all the way through to final close out,” Hope explained. “We have engineers and general contractors in house. It reduces our overhead and it also makes it more seamless between engineering and construction. It also allows us to provide value engineering from the beginning. We don’t wait until the construction drawings are done to do the value engineering like most do. We start from the beginning.”

Hope appreciates the effect on the community and employees that has resulted from being recognized as a GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch.

“It means a lot even for the entire community that a small business in Wakulla County is getting state wide recognition,” she said. “We’re a very small county and many Hydra employees live within the county. It’s so uncommon for a business here to get statewide recognition that it’s a point of pride for all the employees, who can say they are part of this and made this happen.”

Hope’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to read Good to Great by Jim Collins.

“Make sure you have at least a year’s worth of living expenses in the bank so you can focus on your business and not on paying yourself that first year,” she said. “Use the resources of the SBDC. They helped greatly with my business plan, certification for state and federal 8a programs. I didn’t have to hire outside agencies because they helped with the whole process.”

Hydra Engineering & Construction, LLC
36 Jasper Thomas Road
Crawfordville, FL 32327
(850) 926-2593

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