Submitted by Melissa Walker
1. When you were starting out did you have a mentor, and if it was, was it someone you sought out or they found you?
I had no mentor when I started in the roofing industry as I was the first female representative my company had ever hired. That is why I feel so strongly about the importance of mentorship in business.
2. How did you get into the roofing industry? Where you in something different prior?
I previously had my own advertising and marketing company and was hired to launch the company’s new ownership and product line. After learning about the products and company mission, the CEO suggested that I sell the products. Roofing was just one of the industries they served, but it was the largest and the customers were great to work with, so it became my preferred industry focus.
3. What would be one of the biggest challenges you have overcome?
Going to job sites and the men having a mindset that women did not know anything about roofing or heat welding. I learned quickly that you can’t be shy or intimidated to survive and thrive in this industry, and that respect is earned through hard work and perseverance. I was called “Barbie” when I arrived at my first training session and by the end of the day we were high-fiving, they wanted to buy my products and me to join them on installation day.
4. If you were to give your younger self a quote to hold tight, what would it be?
Learn all that you can about your craft, become the expert. If you don’t know an answer to someone’s question be honest and smart enough to tell them you will get back to them with the answer…then do it.
5. Are you open to taking on a mentee?