Haregu Nemariam is the owner of Nemariam Engineers.
Her company specializes in transportation design and traffic control analysis.
Haregu Nemariam was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea.
Her father was a prolific entrepreneur who owned a cinema, hotel, barbershop, bar and bus line. With only a formal education until the age of 8, her father encouraged his 6 daughters and one son to get an education and start their own businesses.
“My siblings and I were fortunate to be raised by strong, progressive parents. They were equal partners in keeping the family businesses running and encouraging us to pursue our education. We continue to be inspired by their intentions every day,” stated Nemariam.
A consistent struggle for Haregu’s family while she was growing up was the decades-long Eritrean war for independence against Ethiopia. There were periods of time where Haregu and her siblings even had to be home schooled because of the disruptions and violence around them. At one point, all of her family’s property was seized by the Ethiopian government to be used for wartime resources.
Haregu came to the U.S. to escape the war in 1981. She arrived at the San Francisco International Airport and remembers being impressed with the city’s transportation systems and it’s capability to handle such a large amount of vehicles. She became inspired to study Civil Engineering and got her degree from University of California Berkeley.
Nemariam’s first job was with the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation Traffic Signal Research Group. In 1997, she became an Oregonian, coordinating development at the Roseburg ODOT office. Later, she moved to Portland working for CH2MHill as a Project Engineer.
In 2010, in spite of the economic recession, Haregu decided to open her own traffic engineering business. “It was a tough decision, but I knew it was the right time to live my family’s dream,” she stated. In 2011, after attending a Contractor’s & AEPT meeting, she became an OAME member. “I loved OAME’s diversity and the range of people I met right from the beginning. The stories of success I now hear from other business owners makes for a very supportive community. I feel blessed to be an OAME member,” said Nemariam.
Haregu’s business currently has 2 full-time engineers and 4 on-call part time employees, which helps the company scale up production when larger work orders come in.
To learn more about Nemariam Engineers, call 503.746.4386 or check out their website http://nemariam-engineers.com/
-written by Matt Rutter
This article originally appeared in OAME’s June 2016 Monthly Newsletter. If you would like to be added to our Mailing List, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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