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In 1978, after years as a spec remodeler in California, Adrian Lugo founded Lugo Construction in Fife, Wash., and promptly lost most of his life's savings on his first four projects. After qualifying for an Affirmative Action program as a minority contractor, Lugo entered into a joint venture with an established minority firm, where he learned construction systems, risk management, and how to "bid on the street." When his partner retired, Lugo continued to take on larger commercial projects. Despite the size and volume of his company today — 35 employees and about $15 million of commercial, industrial, and institutional work per year — the lessons he learned while building his company