“Lusnail Haberberger created LUZCO Technologies with the idea of work-life balance a normalized and crucial part of the culture. She grew a two-person company into a 60-person boutique engineering firm in five years.”
Roadblocks inspired Lusnail Haberberger to create a firm of her own, rather than endure more of them. She saw her mother, a petroleum engineer, leave the field because of mistreatment. She herself was reprimanded after taking maternity leave twice in two years.
So, LUZCO Technologies was born, with the idea of work-life balance a normalized and crucial part of the culture. She grew a two-person company into a 60-person boutique engineering firm in five years. Last year, company-wide revenue hit $8 million.
LUZCO Technologies contributed more than $90,000 to local nonprofits, youth programs, and mentoring organizations, and serves as an ambassador for immigrant-focused job shadowing program St. Louis Mosaic Project. Haberberger is on the board of Casa de Salud, which provides physical and mental healthcare to new immigrants and refugees. She also serves in a mayor-appointed role on the St. Louis Workforce Development Agency on Training and Employment.
What was your top professional achievement this year? LUZCO reached its 5-year anniversary this year and is stronger than ever. This has been my top professional achievement, knowing that the majority of startups fail within the first five years. Despite having faced the pandemic crisis, the talent acquisition war and the inflation predicaments, the company I created has transformed from a startup into a solid firm. We have provided more than 70 jobs locally, and we have contributed to the communities we serve through charitable contributions and volunteering.
Best advice you have received from a mentor. I have been blessed to have received the best applicable advice from many of my mentors at the time I needed them the most, but the one advice I refer back to most often is to believe in myself. This advice reminds me that “it is ok to not be ok” – to have fear and a sense of not belonging – as long as you stay focused on what you can achieve and work to transform your doubts into tools for self-empowerment.
I am relieved to see that we as a society are changing, and it further motivates me to be the change I want to see. Because I constantly reference that mentor’s advice, I am able to show the world that a spunky, petite woman with an accent, who periodically suffers from imposter syndrome, can be an influential engineer and CEO. I am able to inspire children, women and minorities to pursue careers in STEM or to take a leap of faith and start their own businesses. And because of this advice, I am able to be an example to other CEOs – to encourage them to look past the financial bottom line and recognize the impact their businesses have on their communities and their own staff.
How has your work/life balance changed in this pandemic era? And with those changes, how have you continued to remain a top performer in your field? One of the reasons I started LUZCO was because I wanted to prove that we can be excellent parents, spouses, daughters and sons, while being excellent professionals at work. Pre-pandemic corporate America was not as understanding of work/life balance as it is today. Because LUZCO has valued work/life balance from the beginning, my work/life balance did not change during the pandemic. The pandemic just reinforced what I believed.
What are your top goals for the upcoming year? My goal and LUZCO’s goal for the upcoming year is business diversification. LUZCO was founded on trust from local partners. We have grown based on our enduring commitment to quality and excellence. This year, we are taking the strong portfolio we have built to hopefully expand and create a more sustainable company.