Written by: 
Natasha Drake

Nestled in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, the wooden floors of Construction Cost Management's upstairs office creak under your step, swollen with the city's past and laden with the company's legacy.

Katy K. Abraham
Katy K. Abraham ('98)

"This area is sort of where the city started, it was the hub for everything. Bonnie and Clyde actually stayed here," says Fort Worth native Katy K. Abraham ('98). "We've been in this building for 45 years."

CCM was conceptualized by Abraham's father, Keith Kothmann, who founded the business in 1979. Under his leadership, the company's reputation was cemented as a consulting agency, providing cost-estimating services on large-scale construction projects for a variety of firms.

While Abraham had been around CCM her entire life, she never imagined herself becoming an integral part of the company. But in late 2012, she made the decision to purchase CCM from her father and carry on the family business as the new owner and president.

"When my dad asked me, 'Would you be interested in buying the company?', I thought, 'No, I don't know anything about that.' I was in sales and marketing for another company that I really, really loved," Abraham says. "Then my husband and I thought about it for a little while. We thought, 'What if I was able to put my own spin on it and grow it?' And so, I said, 'Yes.'"

Abraham, who originally attended UNT as a dance major, is no stranger to pivoting her plans. After an injury left her unable to finish her intended degree, she turned the situation around and took the opportunity to get a bachelor's in general studies, focusing on business, sociology and dance.

Not one to see any experience as a failure, Abraham believes everything happens for a reason and adapted to her new reality. However, after graduating from UNT, she didn't know what the next step in her career would be.

"I think not having a solid plan of how you're going to move on in life can be a lot of pressure. I was really hard on myself for not having a specific 'yellow brick road' plan," she says.

Abraham worked as a secretary after graduation -- a position that led her to becoming a buyer for Bombay, a large retail chain, which allowed her to travel the world. Then she was recruited to work in the oil industry selling oil-field equipment. She eventually became a companion animal specialist in sales and marketing for another company before buying CCM.

Abraham's breadth of experiences shaped her understanding of business and, in the end, the uncertainty of where her journey would go allowed her to make the choices that led to where she is today.

Now, more than a decade after taking over CCM, Abraham has advanced the firm into unprecedented expansion, capitalizing on opportunities to reach more than 500% growth in revenue.

Fort Worth Inc. magazine named CCM as one of the city's Best Companies to Work For in 2020 as well as one of Fort Worth's Fastest Growing Companies in 2020 and 2021. Abraham herself was presented the 2022 Great Women of Texas Award by Fort Worth Business Press and the 2023 Entrepreneur of Excellence Award by Fort Worth Inc.

"When I was little, if you asked me what I wanted to do, my mother would tell you I would have said a boss -- not anything specific, no certain industry, just a boss," Abraham says. "I guess deep down I always was an entrepreneur."