As a woman business owner, Angela DePaoli is a model in learning, practice and commitment. She started Bargas Environmental Consulting, LLC as a one-person office 10 years ago. Today, she leads more than 80 team members with six offices throughout California and offices on the east coast in New York and Georgia. She credits the support and camaraderie found in NAWBO for helping her navigate business ownership and realize her full potential to succeed.
As an environmental consulting firm, Bargas Environmental Consulting works with land owners to navigate regulatory processes, including evaluating environmental impacts, assisting in permitting processes and coordinating mitigation efforts. Her firm works closely with local, state and federal government entities, as well as with major energy and utilities organizations.
As a federal- and state-certified woman-minority owned small business, Angela notes that seeking out certification was key in opening opportunities with larger entities. “I wasn’t aware of certifications when I started. Once others asked me if I was certified, I started looking into them. As I started down that certification path, it really helped our business grow,” she says.
While tapping into resources for optimal business growth has been a learning curve, NAWBO has been a huge source of support. “If it wasn’t for NAWBO, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says. A member of the Sacramento chapter since 2013, Angela quickly joined her local NAWBO board and discovered a wealth of knowledge. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fellow board members. I didn’t even know what was possible in business ownership. They really helped me increase those opportunities in my own head and made me realize through learning, practice and commitment that you can do a lot with your business.
Looking ahead, Angela is committed to continued learning as a leader and business owner. She hopes to diversify her business services and expand geographically. Angela also hopes to further develop her executive team and provide opportunities for her team members to learn and grow as leaders within Bargas Environmental Consulting.
How do you practice self-care as a woman business owner?
“You have to practice what you preach,” Angela says. “When I first started, I thought I had to work 80-hour work weeks to make it work. Through leadership development, I learned how to delegate well and keep opening up and expanding my opportunities. It’s also keeping in mind what relationships are important to you. We need to be mindful. Working harder doesn’t mean working smarter. If you can accomplish the same thing in fewer hours, it leaves more doors open to expand and think.”