Better By Design, LLC is a small general contractor based in Northeast Missouri with a wealth of experience executing heavy civil contracts for the federal government and other state and local agencies. The company was incorporated in 2009 and has grown from a subcontractor doing landscaping for others, to a general contractor building roads and levees, placing riprap, and remediating some of the Midwest’s most contaminated sites.

In 2015, Better By Design, LLC was accepted into the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program. The designation will extend through October 2025. Other federal designations include HUBZone and Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). The State of Missouri recognizes Better By Design, LLC as a Woman Owned Enterprise.



Lois Rodriguez – President

Lois is the owner and general manager of Better By Design, LLC. The daughter of a school teacher and cattle rancher, she started her career as a a child advocate for the Linn County, Missouri prosecuting attorney.  In 2008, she changed careers and created Better By Design, LLC with her mother. Today, Lois’ two sons and husband all work with her in the business, making it a true family business.

Lois is a hands-on owner and manager.  She actively bids on new work, visits job sites almost daily, and is the company’s main point of contact for all its contracts.  In addition to ownership responsibilities, her day-to-day routine includes preparing submittals, negotiating with subcontractors, and planning for future projects and expansion of the company.

Matt Thomas – Vice President

With a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri, Matt Thomas joined Better By Design, LLC in 2015 and has helped guide the company into federal contracting. In addition to bidding on new projects, he is responsible for supervising all field superintendents, quality control personnel, and site safety officers.

Matt has been instrumental in the company’s success with contracting with the federal government. He writes workplans, prepares submittals, visits the jobsites, plans the work, buys equipment, and communicates with owners, vendors, and subcontractors.



  • 8(a) Certified through October 25, 2025
  • HUBZone Certified
  • Economically Disadvantaged Woman
  • Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)
  • Woman Owned Small Business
  • DBE Certified with MoDOT
  • WBE Certified with Missouri Office of Administration


  • 237990 Other Heavy & Civil Engineering Construction
  • 562910 Remediation Services
  • 237000 Heavy & Civil Engineering Construction
  • 237990 Dredging & Land Drainage
  • 561730 Landscaping
  • 541330 Engineering Services
  • 237310 Highway, Street, & Drainage
  • 238910 Site Preparation Contractors
  • 221310 Water Supply & Irrigation Systems
  • 238110 Poured Concrete Foundations