Michelle Boykin of Rackley Roofing, saw what she wanted and went for it, growing a service division from one truck to 16.
By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
I’m fortunate to be a part of the National Women in Roofing (NWIR) communications committee and I recently had the chance to spend some time getting to know Michelle Boykin of Rackley Roofing. Her story of finding a mentor with good values, knowing what she wanted for her career and being persistent about it is worth sharing with the RCS community.
Michelle’s current role with Rackley Roofing is the Vice President of Service for the company’s locations throughout the state of Tennessee. She has come a long way since starting out as a receptionist and office manager at Holland Roofing in their Tennessee office.
It was there that she met Curtis Sutton. He was managing the Holland Roofing branch and Michelle says she loved his values, what he stood for and the way he ran the business. When he left in 2010 to purchase an interest in and become president of Rackley Roofing, Michelle said, “I knew he was a successful person that I wanted to follow.”
And follow him she did, but it took some persistence from Michelle. “I knew I wanted to work for him, so I bugged the heck out of him saying you need me there,” explained Michelle. It worked. He hired her to work in the service division and she has since grown it from a single truck to 16, now serving as Vice President.
How she got into roofing.
She got into the roofing industry by chance, as many of us do. She was working in property management and her husband was a real estate agent. When the real estate market tanked, she began looking for jobs in the paper for her husband but spotted the Holland Roofing office manager/receptionist position. Not being happy with her current job, she decided she had nothing to lose and applied for the job. She’s glad she did because it was the start of her successful career in the industry.
Rackley Roofing President Curtis Sutton believes strongly in supporting women in the industry and putting people in roles that are non-traditional. In fact, Rackley Roofing is a Founding Sponsor for NWIR. The company also places an emphasis on recruiting women and millennials to come into the business.
What’s the best piece of advice she ever received?
Michelle said the best piece of advice she has gotten is to just go for it. She says she is an introvert by nature and Curtis has pushed her to go outside of her comfort zone and see what success comes from it. She followed that advice and in addition to being a member of NWIR, she is a part of Women in Commercial Real Estate, where she serves as VP of communications and she has joined BOMA. The company also recently became the official roofing contractor of the Tennessee Titans so she has plenty of opportunities to network while tailgating and entertaining clients in their suite. Her success from being involved and building relationships is obvious when you look at how she has grown the service division at Rackley Roofing.
Her advice to women getting into this industry?
“I would say find another woman that you can lean on and learn from,” she said. “I think it’s also important that we, as women, empower one another. Sometimes we not only undermine ourselves, but we undermine each other, and we need to be supportive instead.”
On managing work/life balance:
When asked how she manages to balance work and home life she answered with a laugh, “Sometimes I don’t know that I balance work and life.” Michelle has been married for 13 years and has two sons, 10 and 3 years old. She says her husband is very supportive of her and they work together as a team to balance work and family. She said they have a great support team that helps out when needed. Her biggest challenge is trying to find down time to relax.
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