She almost lost her home in California’s wildfires. Instead she built a $200M business

Homebound CEO Nikki Pechet and her team of 52 engineers, contractors and designers are currently rebuilding 150 homes in California. In the company’s first year of operation, it had estimated revenue of $10 million. / Timothy Archibald / Forbes

By Samantha Sharf | Forbes

From his front porch in the hills of Santa Rosa, California, Richard Hicks can see majestic pines, rolling green slopes—and a bunch of unfinished houses. The 72-year-old retiree lost his home to the 2017 Tubbs Fire and moved into a new one built in its place in November. Some of his neighbors who suffered the same fate began rebuilding before him, but he was the first to return. One is still waiting for construction to start. Another lives in a shed put up by Habitat for Humanity.

“I wasn’t going to rebuild,” recalls Hicks, a lifelong Californian who’s owned the property since 1980. “At my age I should be traveling and fishing rather than going through the time commitment and stress and hundreds of decisions you have to make. But I kind of backed into it.”

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