40 Under 40: Brianna Goodwin
CEO of Contexture, Inc.
Goodwin has overseen Contexture’s transformation into the nation’s largest distributor of commercial window shades through acquisitions and the opening of new offices, with a footprint that now stretches into 20 states. She also spearheaded the rebranding of the Canton-based company long known as Ver-Tex Construction. Goodwin started at the company founded by her father in 2005, taking over as president in 2017. She became the majority owner in 2021, soon after becoming a mother just months into the pandemic. Under Goodwin’s leadership, Contexture has placed a premium on products that make buildings more energy-efficient and cut carbon emissions.
Who has most influenced your career?
Although I’ve had several incredible coaches and mentors over the years, my father, Matthew, has been the most influential. He modeled what work ethic and genuine care for our team members and customers should look like, which have been the cornerstone to my leadership. He has also made personal sacrifices to support my dreams of running and growing the business, giving me the freedom and autonomy to do so despite our differing priorities and strategies.
If you could have coffee with any businessperson, who would it be?
Either Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, for doing business differently and truly building a business around a mission and core values that make a difference to our planet. Or Bill Belichick, the head coach of the Patriots, for his concept of a team and steadfast commitment to hold every single team member accountable for their contribution and to “do their job” in support of what is best for the team as a whole.
What’s your typical work attire?
I work from home most days so it’s usually pretty casual. I may spruce it up a notch to upscale casual when going into the office but I don’t put much weight into business attire on a day-to-day basis.
What most inspires you?
Giving back to my team members and creating policies that truly make a difference in their and their families’ lives.
What app can’t you live without?
Where is your favorite Boston-area place to be?
I’m a homebody so other than being home with my family and fur-babies, the next best place would be at Gillette Stadium watching a Pats game.
What was your first job?
I was a bus girl at The Venetian restaurant in Weymouth.
What was your luckiest career break?
Being born to a father who owned a business. We didn’t have a succession plan for me to take over the business, nor did I ever intend to work in the business. But when I realized my knack for business and leading, I would say that I was pretty darn lucky to have a family business where I could apply that passion.
What was your biggest career setback?
Transitioning the company to remote work, navigating the other business challenges that came with the pandemic, while also becoming a first-time mom in May of 2020 was by far the most challenging time for me as a business leader. In the moment it felt like I wouldn’t make it out alive but it ended up becoming a pivotal point in our business and growth trajectory as well as my personal life.