“Whoever says a girl cannot back out a trailer, drive a boat, wire a light switch, or use a welding machine has not met me,” says Stephanie Palmer Cummins, 28. Her diverse skill set has an unusual origin. Her father lost his eyesight when she was in fourth grade, and she promised herself this: “to never let him have a moment that he couldn’t do something because he couldn’t see it,” she says. “He could tell me how to do it, and I would go from there.” After graduating from college with a major in construction management and land development, Cummins started building homes with her father. But she liked the deal-making side more. So she obtained her broker’s license as a prelude to opening an office with two colleagues in 2010. Two years later, the company finished in the top 15 in her market.