MICHELE KROLCZYK, vice president/owner, Mint Roofing
Michele Krolczyk, vice president and owner of Mint Roofing, said hiring and promoting women in a male-dominated industry continues to help drive growth for the Long Lake-based commercial roofing maintenance company.
Seven of Mint Roofing's 17 full-time, year-round employees are women, Krolczyk said, while roofing companies have difficulty filling positions and women account for less than 9 percent of construction jobs.
Mint Roofing recently promoted longtime employee Kate Broman to the role of chief operating officer.
Another female employee, Heidi Mussehl, coordinates the company's TopSite preventive maintenance program, Krolczyk said. The company shifted a few years ago from installing new roofs to focusing on prevention and maintenance services for long-term customers. The program added 206 new buildings in 2016 and reached its goal of increasing TopSite revenue by 15 percent for the year. The goal for 2017 is to increase program revenue by 10 percent.
Krolczyk, who had worked in banking, and husband, Kevin, who had been in software, bought the company from her parents in 1995. Her uncle had founded it as Dalbec Roofing in 1950.
Krolczyk credits her mother — who had a sign on her desk saying, "Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what's going on?" — with inspiring her to help create a level playing field for women in the company.
Q: How has the TopSite program contributed to Mint's growth?
A: As we grow it there's an existing portfolio of rooftops that we continue to manage as we add new roofs to it. So it's this growing book of revenue and a growing book of business that is really overseen by women in the company. Heidi does a great job with it.
Q: How does your culture help attract and retain both women and men as employees?
A: We took a step back to look at what has made us successful and what we think is going to lead us into the future. So we have passion, integrity, flexibility and fun as our core values. We talk about them, we reward by them. We try to make sure we integrate them through everything and live by example as well.
Q: What are the advantages to having women in key roles?
A: The clientele we serve has changed over the years. When you look at property managers and facility managers, there are a lot more women in the industry, more female brokers. I try to be careful about drawing specific gender conclusions but I think sometimes it's easier for women to work with a woman.