Welcome to the times of D.C. (during Covid). The NWIR Mentoring Committee would like to remind everyone that nothing has changed with regards to having a mentor/mentee relationship during these times. B.C. (before Covid) mentoring in many cases were held over the phone or through video calls, and I am sure that A.C (after Covid) this will still be the predominate method. For those that indicated they would like to be a mentor you should have received an email to see if there have been any connections made through NWIR. For those that replied that they have not and would love help finding a mentee we are hoping the names provided gave you a chance to reach out. If you are a mentee, don’t be shy when it comes to reaching out to someone you see marked as a mentor. These women have expressed interest in wanting to provide that guidance.

One such success story is with Co-Chair Renae Bales (VP of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing) and Madeline Cabrera (CEO & Co-Founder of Emmaty, Inc.). We provided both a few quick questions to hear more about what has made this connection work.

1. Madeline, how did you go about finding a mentor from NWIR?

After joining NWIR, I went to its website and click on the “Mentor/Mentee” button. Mentoring is such a great tool to get exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking; also, learn from experienced individuals, especially in the roofing industry, which is a male-dominated field.

I was amazed to see the number of women willing to help other women! One of them was Renae whose profile called my attention, and I immediately contacted her via email. To my surprise, she replied to me and agreed to be my mentor!

2. Renae – when you received the request from Madeline you had mentioned you yourself went through self-doubt. How did you turn that around?

Once she told me what she was looking for help when I realized I had some answers or suggestions to help her and a list of “what-not-to-dos” that I had learned the hard way and wished I had known.

3. How often are you meeting, and how?

We are meeting every two or three weeks. We have a call that lasts approximately one hour.

4. What has been the biggest “a-ha” moment for both of you?

Madeline – My a-ha moment occurred after our first meeting when I sent Renae some key points via email about our conversation and I received a wonderful response. Renae took the time to go over each point, added comments, clarified & corrected some ideas, sent me supporting documentation, and suggested days and times for our next meeting.

I realized that there are amazing people that genuinely love to help others, even if they haven’t met before, and I should never be afraid to look for help or advice.

Renae – I felt like we connected on our very first call and it was invigorating. For me it was the fact that we both had so much valuable information to share with each other. Madeline has been doing so much research for their company and has had a lot of valuable new information to share with me on products and ideas.

5. Madeline since you reached out to Renae, do you have any words of wisdom for those looking for a mentor, but on the fence on reaching out?

My advice is to start using this great mentoring resource that NWIR offers to all its members. It is a nice tool that allows people to read the profiles of available mentors and reach out directly to them via email. The spirit of cooperation has flourished now more than ever during these unprecedented times and reaching out and finding a mentor is important, to obtain personal support and to facilitate success.