After a former employer told her he didn’t have the funds to pay her, New Mexico native Denise Vigil began freelancing and soon gained enough clients to develop a business.
Founded in 1986, Vigil Enterprises, Inc., evolved from a staff augmentation company to a full-service architectural and engineering design firm providing services to federal agencies and national research centers, including Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Vigil Enterprises, a minority, woman-owned Certified U.S. SBA 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business, has in-house project management, architectural, civil and structural/civil engineering, interior design, BIM specialists, LEED® professionals, cost estimating, and construction support services with a focus on DOE and DoD customers.
The firm has managed and designed numerous projects for LANL, and has served as the prime A-E contractor on very complex design projects to support the growing needs of the facility. Vigil Enterprises has also designed the infrastructure upgrades required for the Trinity computer, a project allowing LANL to better assess the health of the weapons in the U.S. for nuclear deterrent.
Ms. Vigil has built her business with family support. In 2004 Tom Roberts (now her husband) joined the firm and currently serves as vice president. Ms. Vigil’s mom has been her bookkeeper since the early years, and since his retirement, her dad assists with payroll.
Being a woman in the field of architectural-engineering who is neither an architect nor an engineer has been both rewarding and challenging. Ms. Vigil has proven to her clients that first and foremost her primary business is service. Ms. Vigil, who has received the SBA Small Business Contractor of the Year for Region VI and the SBA Administrator’s Award of Excellence twice, believes that she must meet the needs of the client as a key to success.
After learning about PTAP through the SBA when entering into the 8(a) program, Vigil Enterprises has grown substantially. Through PTAP’s ideas and suggestions, the firm expanded into the Albuquerque area in 2014. Ms. Vigil hopes to continue gaining increasing opportunities for work in the Albuquerque area and southern part of the state.
“Whenever advice or training is needed for contract procurement, PTAP is there,” she says. “Vigil Enterprises knows they have a reliable partner that truly cares about their company and has the resources to help make our dreams a reality.”