Exeleon Magazine

Interview with Melanie Powers: President and CEO of Goodberlet Home Services

Melanie Powers of Goodberlet Home Services Interview with Exeleon Magazine

Meet Melanie Powers, a trailblazer in the home services space and the dynamic President and CEO of Goodberlet Home Services. With a background that bridges interior design and technical sales, Melanie’s journey from Columbia College to the helm of a leading home services company is as inspiring as it is unique.

In this exclusive interview, Melanie Powers shares the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field, her strategic vision that fueled Goodberlet Home Services’ exponential growth, and her commitment to fostering a culture of excellence and innovation.

Can you share your journey from studying Interior Design at Columbia College to becoming the President and CEO of Goodberlet Home Services?

The careers offered to people starting out in design, at that time, were low paid with no benefits. I needed to be able to support myself and I wanted benefits like health insurance. So, I set off on a different course and went into sales and ended up in software and hardware sales. I enjoyed the technical side of the products I was working with, but still wanted to do something in the building trades, so I took a position as an HVAC project manager.

As a female leader in a predominantly male industry, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The first challenge I faced was getting a path into the building trades. As young women being presented with career options, these types of trade jobs are only offered to men. Luckily, I interviewed someone in HVAC that saw my technical sales skills as an asset.

Once I began the position as a HVAC project manager, I faced male customers that would refuse to deal with a woman, or other men working in the industry that would ask me why they would send the secretary to a boiler installation class, or they would assume that my dad or husband owned the company, because they couldn’t imagine a world where a woman could earn the position on her own merit. I just kept pushing forward, working and taking as many classes as I could to improve my knowledge.

Under your leadership, Goodberlet Home Services experienced a 600% growth in revenue. What strategies did you implement to achieve this growth?

When I assumed the position as president at Goodberlet Home Services, I saw a gap in the services we were providing. Many of our HVAC customers also had plumbing and electrical needs. We began filling in and providing those services. We also expanded our territory to cover all of Chicagoland and just recently into Indianapolis.

How do you see the role of women evolving in the home services industry?

I see the role of women expanding in HVAC with groups like www.womeninhvacr.org.There is still a long way to go as only 1.5% of HVAC jobs are held by women according to the U.S Bureau of Labor.

In what ways do you foster a culture of excellence and innovation at Goodberlet Home Services?

Our company culture is family oriented. We want our people to provide exceptional service to our clients, but to do that, they need to feel that they have work/life balance. We offer flexible schedules so that our employees can take time out for their families when needed. We want them to be able to coach their child’s baseball team or attend a school play. Working in home services can be a demanding career, as you are always responding to emergencies, and we want to make sure our employees have time to also take care of themselves when needed.

What are your long-term goals for Goodberlet Home Services, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Our long-term goals are to continue to grow our market share in greater Chicagoland and Indianapolis. We offer a solid solution to home mechanical needs. Our staff consists of knowledgeable professionals with decades of experience in plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and electrical services. We intend to facilitate that growth by continuing on our path of excellent customer service, staying at the forefront of new technologies and providing our employees with the tools to succeed.

The interview is part of Exeleon’s Women History Month Celebration. Read the Digital Version of the issue by clicking here.

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