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Jul 08

VA Paving, Inc.

Posted to Business Spotlight on July 8, 2019 at 1:06 PM by Samia Singleton

VA Paving, Inc. Debra Mallard, Al Mallard and Terri Hart

Founded in 1982, VA Paving, Inc. is a family-owned, women-owned business led by sisters Debra Mallard and Terri Hart, and brother Al Mallard, located at 800 Cidco Rd. in Cocoa, FL.

“We are second generation, but we have been involved in the company from the very beginning,” says Debra. “Our parents started the company. We have been a women-owned business since 1982, because Mom owned a majority of the stock.”

Wanting to capitalize on his background in construction, their father convinced their mother to start a construction company. This company evolved into the VA Paving, Inc. we know today with more than 60 employees.

VA Paving, Inc. started out undertaking site work as subcontractor for projects, such as the Kennedy Space Center. In the beginning, the company would purchase asphalt to use in projects. In 1990, the company went from sourcing asphalt to making it when the company purchased its own asphalt plant. VA Paving, Inc. experienced exponential growth – the company went from building roads and parking lots to runways.

Owners went without for many years to grow the company. There were many times they were not sure they were going to make it. During 2007 recession when many contractors were out of work, VA Paving, Inc. relied on its government contracts to stay afloat.

The siblings credit prayer for success. “The money made doing site work supported development of asphalt plant,” says Al. “Now the asphalt plant is so successful, it supports the site work.”

All three siblings agree that one of the company’s most challenging and largest projects was building Space Commerce Way, a multi-phase road in Merritt Island that provides an alternate hurricane evacuation route.

Recently the company built an access road on the backside of Space Commerce Way to Kennedy Space Center. “The key to the project was they wanted us to get started in June and be 100 percent complete by December so they could be open for the Christmas tourist season,” says Al. “We made it on time and within budget through the rain and hurricanes, through whatever happened.”

VA Paving, Inc. intends to remain a family business for generations to come by grooming the next generation of family to take over the company and continue the legacy. “The opportunity was always there for our children to learn about the business if they wanted to,“ says Terri. “Some of them have gone to do other things, but migrated back to be a part of something that their grandmother and grandfather started.”

VA Paving Inc. was awarded the NASA “Small Woman-Owned Business of the Year” and has won the award four times over the span of 35 years. Last year the company grossed over $20 million in sales in 2018.

For more information about VA Paving, Inc. visit

Jan 23

February - Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc.

Posted to Business Spotlight on January 23, 2017 at 11:36 AM by Samia Singleton

February 1, 2017 – Founded in 1996 as a manufacturer of aluminum, stainless steel and wrought iron products for the transportation, construction and residential industry, Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc. characterizes a company that understands its industry, knows its market and the importance of diversification to long term success.
Originally from South Africa, President and Founder Donald Benson relocated to Cocoa by chance. During a sailing trip around the world, he stopped at Port Canaveral to view a shuttle launch. While docked at Port Canaveral, his boat broke down. Then, he decided to stay in the area.
“We came here with the intent to watch the shuttle take off. Then one thing led to another and we’ve been here ever since,” says Benson, a process engineer by trade.
In 1985, Benson purchased Anchor Burglar Bars and IronCraft Inc., companies specializing in residential security bars and gates. Realizing the demand for residential security bars was decreasing, Benson diversified into manufacturing railing for condominiums. In 1996, he formed Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc.
“At that time, there was good business for security bars, but…there is not such a demand as there was before,” says Benson.
In its early stages, Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc. manufactured products for condominiums and high-end residence, specializing in spiral staircases, railings, gates and ornamental ironwork. “We did the railing on the entire 10-story condominium at 21 Riverside Avenue,” says Benson. Due to the recession, condominium and high-end residential development slowed down and Benson knew it was time to diversify the company again.
In 2006 Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc. shifted gears from manufacturing residential products to manufacturing handrails for bridges and roadways for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The success of Amazon Metal Fabricator, Inc. led Benson form another company specializing in noise and vibration reducing foam-filled railing named Foam Filled in 2009. “We found when we were doing condominium railings, under some conditions the wind causes loud humming noises on railings. So, we developed a process and built our own machine customized to inject foam into the railings to reduce the noise,” says Benson.

Benson’s business savvy has led Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc. to become a leading manufacturer of metal products. The employer of six would like to eventually expand its companies into overseas markets.

For more information on Amazon Metal Fabricators, Inc. or Foam Filled, visit, or