Roofing Contractor Young Gun Stephanie Marcelle
She Chose Roofing, or Did Roofing Choose Her?
A trained massage therapist, Stephanie Marcelle had an entirely different career path planned when she caught the roofing bug. Even as a part-timer for roughly a decade, she made a big difference in the roofing company her father and a business partner started in 2003 — V&R Sheet Metal. Ultimately, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity of working side-by-side with her father and joined the roofing industry full-time — and isn’t looking back.
RC: What type of work does your company do?
SM: V&R Sheet Metal does about 95 percent commercial roofing and 5 percent residential; with 65 percent of all projects being reroofing jobs. The company also does about 30 percent of all work in maintenance, and 5 percent is new construction.
RC: How and why did you get your start in the roofing industry?
SM: The business was growing and needed some help in the office. I was in massage therapy school at the time and was able to work part-time and continue my education. The business continued to grow and my dad asked if I would come to work full-time. I felt lucky to have the opportunity to work with my dad. Life was getting busier and the time we spent together was becoming less frequent.
RC: What’s your role with the company and how do you fit into its success?
SM: I joined the company handling all administrative tasks including bonding, insurance, contracts and finances and assisting in project management.
RC: What would you say are the most significant achievements or milestones in your career thus far?
SM: Being part of our tremendous growth and success has been a great achievement. Building our systems and processes has been a huge challenge through our growth and I’m very proud that I’ve been at the core of the development and implementation.
RC: Do you believe your age gives you an advantage in the roofing business, or has it ever been a hindrance on the jobsite or off?
SM: I think there are both advantages and disadvantages my age plays a part in. I believe my age makes it a little more difficult at times working in an industry where knowledge and experience are crucial. It takes a lot of work to be viewed as an equal and I’m lucky to have the team that I have to learn from and work with. I’m excited to learn more to grow personally and professionally. I think it makes it easier relative to accepting technology and not accepting the ‘we have always done it that way’ mentality.
RC: What are some specific challenges in your market, and how do you believe your age helped you overcome them?
SM: I think the greatest asset my age brings is adaptability and open mindedness. I’m able to learn as the industry changes and adapt with it. With the advancements in technology, I feel it makes learning and improving the way we’ve always done them easier. I’m also able to help the older generation of people I work with improve and learn new systems and open their eyes with to see the benefits of these advancements.
RC: Is there a generational difference within your own company? If so, what are the biggest benefits/challenges?
SM: The benefits of having a varied generational group is having the experience they bring. We learn a great deal from each other and I think this helps make our organization more well-rounded and able to deal with challenges from a point of experience and youth.
RC: What area of roofing are you the most passionate about?
SM: It took me a little while to find my passion in the roofing industry. I came to see the bigger picture of what we are doing as a company. It’s more than just a roof we are providing to our customers and a job for our employees. We’re building a company that people can trust, that people can rely on and we’re helping to protect so many of the most valuable things to our customers. Whether it’s their home or their business we’re roofing, or helping them to maintain, we’re doing our part in keeping things moving forward. We’re part of something bigger and greater to the economy and the people supporting it. So when you ask me what area of the business I’m most passionate about, it’s standing beside a great team of people and building a business on integrity and that I feel good, no, great about being a part of.