Heidi Gray is not only a UVU student and mother of four, but also a multimillion-dollar business owner. She is our hero for the week. Here is what she had to say:
Q: How long have you been attending UVU?
A: Since 1995.
Q: What is your major?
A: Business management.
Q: When do you plan to graduate?
A: As soon as I can. My goal is to finish within the next three years. I know that seems like a long time, but I only have time for one or two classes a semester right now.
Q: What has kept you in school for so long?
A: Owning my own business for the past nine years. I own a trucking company along with an excavation company.
Q: How did you get into the trucking industry?
A: Well, first, my mom had owned her own business for years, and I learned a lot by working as her assistant. That prepared me to get my own started. My husband was a driver and mechanic, and I felt like it would be financially better for our family if I ran a truck with him driving rather than working for someone else at a low wage with no benefits. I love the challenge of working through the problems of owning a small business. I have doubled the size of my company in the past five years. My company’s gross revenues average well over $5 million a year.
Q: That’s a lot of money. Do you consider your business to be your greatest achievement?
A: No. But I am proud of it. My four kids are my greatest accomplishment. Working and being a mom can be tiresome and difficult, but very rewarding.
Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your family?
A: I have four kids, ages eight to two. And then there is my husband Jared.
Q: What other goals have you set for your life?
A: Besides finally getting my bachelor degree? My other goals include getting a master’s degree, probably in secondary education. I would love to retire and teach high school math. I need the business skills for my business (and I enjoy business classes a lot) but I like the idea of that secondary ed. degree as a back up plan. You never know. I would like to save up $1 million in assets and have $500,000 in the bank for cash. I would like to raise my kids and see them succeed in life. I want own a timeshare in Hawaii. I don’t know what kind of goals you are looking for, but those are mine.
Q: Outside of work and school, what are your hobbies?
A: I love to cook for others, read a great book, go walking; I don’t have a lot of time for anything else.
Q: If there is one thing you could tell UVU students, faculty and staff what would it be?
A: Don’t give up on your educational aspirations. You are never too old to learn. I think a lot of people get married and feel like work and family takes over their life and they just can’t ever finish school. Just take baby steps.