Search past winners/finalists

Rockwood Custom Homes - Female Entrepreneur of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Company: Rockwood Custom Homes, Calgary, AB, Canada
Company Description: Rockwood Custom Homes is an exclusive, boutique custom home construction and renovation company that works with discerning clients to deliver exceptional results. An award-winning company, Rockwood offers a full suite of construction, architectural and interior design services for custom homes and multi-home exclusive developments. Rockwood is widely recognized as Calgary's top luxury builder.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada

Nomination Title: Allison Grafton, President and Partner

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Allison Grafton, president of Rockwood Custom Homes, has built a sucessful business in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Not an easy undertaking, Allison uses her ingenuity,charisma and instincts to do things differently in the Calgary luxury real estate market. Under her leadership, Rockwood has grown from a fledgling custom home builder in 2009 to one of Calgary’s premier luxury builders.

Focused on building exclusive high-end developments, in Spring 2017, Rockwood broke ground on the Residences of King Edward (RKE), a collection of 19 stunning single-family, inner-city flats situated amidst Calgary’s only master-planned arts community.

The RKE is Rockwood’s fourth exclusive development in Calgary. Together with the Villas at Aspen Heights (another Rockwood exclusive development currently in its last phase of construction) the two projects represent $70 million of revenue for Rockwood. The completion of the Villas themselves represent a huge milestone for Rockwood, it is the culmination of four-plus years of effort.

The execution of RKE and the Villas shows the company’s resilience and financial forethought in a difficult economic environment. While many builders are paring down, Allison is following her gut and continuing to focus on unique projects that provide attractive opportunities for growth. This last year, Rockwood focused on its strengths of efficiency, execution and progressive construction and design; as a result, 2016 fiscal saw the company reach over $37M in gross revenue, growing its net income 23% over previous year. From just over $4M total sales in fiscal 2010, Rockwood has experienced exponential, organic growth since inception with an average of 52% growth per year.

Moreover, Rockwood continues to focus on unique growth opportunities. In 2016/2017, Rockwood continued its exapnsion into the central BC market, building and renovating luxury lake homes for an affluent client base. Further, Rockwood is also vertically integrating, breaking out its interior design services and offering them as an independent service offering, competing with design firms for this segment. Rockwood’s interior design team has been shored up and is winning awards locally (Western Living Designer of the Year Awards) and internationally (design et al).

On a personal level, Allison continues to be recognized for her exceptional entrepreneurial achievements. Allison is a four-time WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women winner and in November 2016 was inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame. Also in 2016, Allison took home her third top-5 ranking on PROFIT/Chatelaine Magazine’s W100 Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.

In the summer/fall of 2016, Allison’s took part in STARS Air Ambulance CEO Rescue in the Rockies, helping to raise $400K for STARS. She also took to the runway to support the Heart and Stroke’s Heart Truth Campaign, raising awareness for this important initiative. For the third year running, Allison was a judge for Ernst & Young’s esteemed Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (Prairies Region) and was also a speaker at two of Ernst and Young’s national events. (Full list of Awards at http: //

Since July 2016, Allison and Rockwood have received extensive editorial coverage in media (http: //, being featured in the Calgary Sun, Luxury Living, Alberta Venture, and in May2017, a Rockwood home graced the cover of Western Living.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):

Allison Grafton is the dynamic president and co-owner of Rockwood Custom Homes. In 2009, this tenacious go-getter turned a passion into a business, combining her financial background with her keen design eye and passion for customer service to lead this sophisticated, award-winning, residential construction company.

Allison has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia. She is a mentor and distinguished speaker, sharing her thought leadership on topics such as entrepreneurship, gender relations in the workplace, leadership and more. Allison is the recipient of numerous entrepreneurship awards, including three top-five Profit 100 rankings and the RBC Women-of-Influence Momentum Award. In 2016, Allison was inducted into WXN’s Hall of Fame.

She is a staunch supporter of charities with a focus on health and well-being.