Gerald Alley, a Pine Bluff native and now CEO of Con-Real LP, one of the largest construction companies in the U.S., encouraged entrepreneurs at the Little Rock Regional Minority Business Awards Luncheon.

Gerald Alley, a Pine Bluff native and now CEO of Con-Real LP, one of the largest construction companies in the U.S., encouraged entrepreneurs at the Little Rock Regional Minority Business Awards Luncheon.

During the luncheon at Philander Smith College Sept. 24, Alley said his parents operated a gasoline service station on what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff campus when he grew up in Pine Bluff.

“The business path is not straight,” Alley said. “Bend when it bends. Be willing to change and learn from others.”

The first black graduate of the University of Arkansas College of Business, he owns the largest construction company with minority ownership in the southwestern United States now headquartered in Dallas.

He said his parents owned an old service station in Pine Bluff, now the Troy and Gladys Alley information center on the UAPB campus.