As telephones steadily ring and the copy machine continuously rolls, Francine Cameron, President and CEO and Kevin Cameron Project Manager of Cameron Professional Services Group, LLC admit that they are busy and that their three and a half year old business is growing. The business is growing to the point that they are looking to hire seven full-time staff in 2014.
A Minority and Women Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Francine describes her business as providing roaring services inclusive of accounting, auditing and Quick Books, economic and housing development, insurances and investments. “We offer our clients a broad array of quality professional services,” she describes. Providing services for profit and non-profit businesses, they provide comprehensive project management services on development projects, strategic planning, business plans, and business assessments. They also assist businesses, families and individuals with insurance needs including life, accident, health and business insurance. They also see to investment needs in the Financial Advisory sector.
Starting her career as a public accountant, Cameron said throughout the years she has been involved in corporate banking, economic, housing development and the financial service industry, which has prepared and groomed her for the business she now conducts. “Cameron Professional Services was created on the basis of what I did for others that I could do for myself,” explained Cameron.
Before going into business, which was the suggestion of her husband, Cameron explained that she worked at an insurance firm with the responsibility of managing a rotating staff. “I did not like the situation and often complained about it. My husband said why don’t you quit, and after much thought I finally did. After applying for positions that I was overqualified for, and with the support of Kevin and two children, I stepped out on faith and here we are today in a suite of offices on the second floor of 1901 Centre Avenue.”
Housed in the same suite of offices, Kevin, a certified Minority and Veteran Owned Small Business, operates Cameron Professional Management. He considers CPM a solutions-oriented professional services company, utilizing the platform of project management to create optimal results. He describes his services as Project Management Consulting and Training, Vendor Risk Management Consulting and Non-Profit Consulting. Francine serves as Teaming Partner, but their businesses work hand in hand with each other.
One of their current major projects is the $160 million Addison Terrace Reconstruction Project. Working with KBK Enterprises and the Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh they are responsible for recruiting MBE/WBE Section 3 businesses for the project. Francine explained that they are looking for all types of services, from construction to back office and that Kevin is responsible for the community relations component. “This is a huge project and all types of jobs and services are needed. It is important that entrepreneurs contact us to fill out an MBE/WBE Pre-Screening Application,” she said.
In 2012 they served as the local Project Manager for the Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh & Cale America’s State-of-the-Art Meter Technology Installation Contract.
A strong advocate of education, the North Side native graduated from Oliver High School, has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Duquesne University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc., an adjunct professor for DeVry University and Point Park University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. She also holds additional licenses in both financial services and real estate.
Francine also participated in the Urban Innovation 21 Hill District Small Business Grant Competition. “It was a blessing to be able to go through that Program.” The recipient of a $5,000 grant, she says the continuous support she receives from them is priceless. “They continue to be a great resource and I still toss ideas around with the staff. I have presented to their participants and have obtained clients that I hope to be a catalyst for them to grow their business.”
Excited about the direction that CPSG is going, Cameron says that in five years her goal is to own an office building to house both her and Kevin’s businesses, to be fully staffed in all lines of their business, and to be a national firm operating across the United States with partners internationally.
With 2014 upon us, Cameron says now is a good time to dream and think big. “Don’t limit yourself go beyond your comfort level.” To people thinking about starting a business or in the startup phase of entrepreneurship, she suggests asking for help. “There are a lot of organizations like Urban Innovation 21, and people like myself and Kevin, that can provide expert advice and services.” She also suggests that small business owners stay focused on their business by researching, networking and following up.
Well versed in their fields and aware and grateful to everyone who has mentored and assisted them throughout their careers, both Francine and Kevin strive to mentor and to help others. “It’s about linkages and building partnerships. When in business everyone has to help the other because no one can do it all,” she said.
Right now they suggest that certified MBE/WBE’s contact their office by calling 412-251-0607 or 412-251- 5924 to inquire about the MBE/WBE Pre-Screening Application.
(Anyone interested in participating in the process that is not a certified business CPSG can assist them in applying for certification.)
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