Ona Hennessey: Building a Livelihood
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
BRENTWOOD — Like many working mothers, Ona Hennessey once struggled to maintain a balance between career and family. Eventually, she decided the best solution was to build her own livelihood. “I worked for several years at Sierra Lumber and Fence, where, as manager of the retail department, I handled things like sales and ordering materials,” she recounts. “Being a working mom, I always wished I had a little more flexibility with my job, and by the time I was pregnant with my fifth child, I had put a lot of thought into my professional future. With all the experience I’d acquired working for Sierra, I figured I could go into business for myself, at which point I’d be able to make my own schedule and have the flexibility I needed. So, I got my license while I was on maternity leave, and in 2007, I started my own fence construction business.”
Today, as owner of Hennessey’s Construction and Fence, Ona says her favorite part of her job is helping her customers and community. “I love taking care of people. No matter the size of the job, customer service and satisfaction are always my first priorities. I also like giving back to my community through the business by sponsoring local events and school sports teams.”
A resident of Brentwood, Ona spends her time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “A few of my favorite activities are going to San Francisco Giants games, taking my boat out to the delta and hanging out with friends.” Naturally, as a mother of five, Ona also spends a lot of time with her kids. “My life really revolves around my family. Two of my kids are grown up and three are still at home. Whether we’re on a family vacation or hanging out at home, we just enjoy being together.”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Ona says it’s all about serving people. “No job is too big or too small—whatever the customer needs, we’re here to handle it. One day we might be bidding on a huge commercial fencing project; the next, we might be repairing a couple of boards on a fence. Regardless of the situation, we’re all about taking care of people and making a positive impact on our community.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Ona says she’d relocate south of the border. “I would buy a bed and breakfast in Mexico and spend my days sitting on the beach and sailing in my boat. That’s my plan at the moment.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Shirasoni in Brentwood.
Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: I don’t know about a favorite book, but my favorite writer is Nicholas Sparks, author of “The Notebook.”
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect souvenir magnets from places I’ve been.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked at Häagen-Dazs when I was 15.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: Definitely Christmas. All my kids come home and we do a lot of baking and cooking, so it’s a really special time.