Young Gun Michelle Boykin: Embracing Diversity and Change are Catalysts for Roofing Success
Michelle Boykin took a pay cut and a risk to join Rackley Roofing in 2010, and has since become its COO.
RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
M.B.: I started out in the roofing industry as an office admin in 2008. I actually took a pay decrease as a receptionist to join Rackley Roofing in 2010. I believed in the vision that (President) Curtis Sutton had and I knew that eventually, it would mean better pay and more success in the future, which is exactly what happened.
From 2010 through 2011, my role became more of a service coordinator. In 2012, I became service manager of Rackley Roofing. I then moved to vice president of service in 2017. In 2019, as we acquired more companies, I became COO for all of Rackley Roofing companies and subsidiaries.
RC: Are you involved in any trade associations, youth contractor councils, professional organizations?
M.B.: We are members of the Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC). They are really what pushed our membership for the National Women in Roofing (NWIR) Tennessee Council at first. I was able to partner with TARC and they have allowed us meeting space and have supported our group in so many ways.
I’m a member of Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3). I’ve been able to speak to several different organizations and groups about things we are doing and ways contractors can utilize technology.
I’m also a member of NWIR. I think becoming a member of NWIR has really been the catalyst for most of my personal success, and has been a huge contributor to Rackley’s success as well.
RC: What types of new technology have you recently adopted?
M.B.: We recently adopted a Virtual Reality Fall Protection Training Program. If you’ve attended an RT3 panel discussion recently, you’ve heard me speak about it. We’ve also recently adopted the use of WT2 Plus in-ear translator devices. These devices are a game-changer for our industry, as it breaks the communication barrier many of us have dealt with for years.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
M.B.: I see my age as an advantage. I’m technically a millennial, although I don’t self-identify as one due to the negative connotation we seem to get. I laugh at the Iliza Shlesinger comedy special where she coins the term “Elder Millennial.” This is me! But in all seriousness, the roofing industry needs a diverse work force. It takes us all: old, young, male, female, experienced, inexperienced to get the job done. How boring would it be if we were all the same?