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To prevent flooding on a river walk being built along the Trinity River in Fort Worth, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tapped the Penna Group (No. 13) to excavate 1 million cubic yards of soil for several retention ponds, including the one shown here. Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga founded the $15.5 million general contractor, which is based in Fort Worth, in 2006. He says his 12 years as an appellate and trial lawyer taught him the importance of managing risk in such vast projects. That's a good thing, because heavy rains stalled work on the first pond for six weeks. Penna also halted digging briefly when it unearthed some bones. "They turned out to be just buffalo bones," says Evangelista-Ysasaga, who was honored by a local archaeological society for his vigilance.