20 Under 40: Sarah Fox forges a place for women in construction
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sarah Fox admits that being young and a woman in the male-dominated field of construction is not the easiest.
“I feel like it’s made me way stronger and just a better person, a better leader,” Fox said of having to prove herself. “I’ve had to lead in a different manner — I’m very team-oriented. We work together to move the goal forward rather than being the dictator and telling people what to do. I worked my leadership around being a young female in a male-dominated industry with mostly older men. Earning their respect has been hard to do, but I feel like I’ve accomplished that.”
Fox, 36, undoubtedly knows what she’s doing. She grew up around the family-run Fox Construction, which will celebrate its 40th year in January 2020. After earning a construction management degree at Colorado State University, she returned to Steamboat Springs to work in the business. Fox became the owner and president of the company when she bought it from her parents in 2016.
She said being around the business from a young age made her appreciate the field.
“You physically can see what you did in the day. There’s a lot of rewarding feelings with that,” Fox said. “Look at that, I built this whole room, or we stood all these walls and all of a sudden you have a building overnight.”
Fox Construction primarily builds custom residential homes and takes on the occasional commercial project, building businesses such as Cook Subaru & Chevrolet and a handful of local restaurants. Her company has helped build Steamboat into a better community, all while incorporating Fox’s passion for sustainability.
Fox has implemented small changes to make her company greener. She has also been chairman and co-founder of the “Talking Green” series, was the secretary and founding board member of Yampa Valley Sustainability Council New Green Team and was a member of the Green Building Program Technical Advisory Committee.
Name: Sarah Fox
Profession: President of Fox Construction
Education: Construction management degree, Colorado State University
“We have this beautiful place that we live in, and if we don’t protect it and take some sort of initiative, it’s not going to remain this way,” Fox said. “We do enough damage to the Earth as humans, so I think it’s our responsibility to care for the environment moving forward and for future generations.”
While the construction business is her top priority, Fox and her husband, Jeremy Behling, also own three other auto businesses, which Behling primarily runs.
The pair have two children, JJ, 7, and Mackenzie, 4. Fox said running a business and raising kids is a challenge.
“I just do whatever it takes to maximize my time on each side,” Fox said. “I work a lot to be honest, but I also try to maximize time with my kids when I’m with them. I try to put the phone and computer away so every night we can have dinner together and put them to bed and have two or three hours of just them time with me.”
Fox is also on the Steamboat Springs Chamber Board of Directors and serves on the advisory council for Holy Name Catholic Church.
“She’s a busy lady, and she’s committed to giving her time and her talent and donating where she can and making Steamboat a better place for not only us but the next generation,” Behling said.
In the rest of her rare free time, Fox plays on a hockey team called Chicks with Sticks and captains a coed Fox Construction team in the city’s B league. She didn’t play in high school and first tried the sport after her company built the ice rink. Through playing hockey, Fox has met even more community members.
“There’s so many people who play that I maybe never would meet if it weren’t through hockey,” she said. “It’s a diverse group of people.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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