Saturday, February 24th, 2018

S Shopper Stories


PREMIER ROOFING AND SIDING

Owner Pam Standish thrives in a once male-dominated industry

by Rob Lauer


General Manager Ann Strader and Owner Pam Standish have found success in the male-dominated construction industry.

General Manager Ann Strader and Owner Pam Standish have found success in the male-dominated construction industry.

Pam Standish has an infectious laugh. With a smile that radiates down-to-earth warmth, this owner of Premier Roofing and Siding seems every inch a born-business woman. But she is quick to point out that this is not the case. “I never intended on being the sole owner of a business,” she says .

In 1989, Pam and her late husband, Jeff Standish, cofounded Premier Roofing and Siding. Originally, they ran the company out of their home, before moving operations to a small leased office with warehouse space.

“Like anyone going into business for themselves, we were a little nervous about starting a company,” Pam recalls. “But I had a lot of faith in Jeff; I trusted him. He was a good salesman, and he had previously worked for other companies in the industry. In fact, the company he had worked for in upstate New York had transferred him to Hampton Roads to open their office here. So, Jeff went into this with plenty of experience.”

During Premier’s early days, Pam worked part time. “I had few office skills back then, so I took classes at Tidewater Community College—basic bookkeeping classes to familiarize myself with office work,” she recalls. “I did the payroll, looked up tax deductions on charts (we didn’t use computers then), paid the bills, and filed paperwork for financing. If I had any questions about anything, I had some accountant friends I could call. With Jeff involved in the production end of things, I was exp
osed to that side of the business, too. Over the years, I learned and I grew with the company.”
Despite the demands of their business, Jeff was a devoted family man, making time for his and Pam’s two daughters.

“Jeff started coaching girls’ softball when our daughter was seven years old,” Pam says, “and he continued coaching for over 25 years. He founded, and served as the president of Legacy Elite softball association. So, basically, Jeff ran two businesses. He took a lot of kids under his wing, and they adored him. Some of them looked up to him as a father figure.”

Then in 2015, tragedy struck suddenly. Jeff died in a white-water rafting accident.

“I was devastated,” Pam confesses. She sought solace in her family. “My daughter in northern Virginia had a baby. It was a relief to spend some time there, helping my daughter with the baby. In the process, we were able to console one another.”

During that season of grief, Premier’s dedicated staff continued working to keep the company running smoothly.

“I have amazing employees who worked hard to hold the business together,” Pam says. “I can’t say enough good things about them.”


Pam Standish, owner of Premier Roofing and Siding, seems every inch a born-business woman.

Pam Standish, owner of Premier Roofing and Siding, seems every inch a born-business woman.


It has been said that grief has its own time clock—one that is different for every individual. Pam continued grieving the loss of Jeff, and then, suddenly, she experienced a breakthrough. She recalls: “I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m a business owner. I need to act like one.’”


In 2015, tragedy struck suddenly.
Jeff died in a white-water rafting accident.
...
Pam continued grieving the loss of Jeff.
And then, suddenly, she experienced a breakthrough.
She recalls: “I woke up one morning
and thought, ‘I’m a business owner.
I need to act like one.’”



She threw herself into the business, admitting, “It felt good to get back into the swing of things at work. Because of all I learned from being around Jeff, I was able to work with my general manager and make some needed changes.”

Pam is quick to praise Ann Strader, Premier’s general manager, for helping her successfully transition into the role of the company’s sole owner.

“Ann keeps it all together,” Pam gushes. “She’s amazing! She handles the production end, and I handle the financial end, but in reality, we both work hand-in-hand.”

Having two women running a business in the male-dominated construction industry has its challenges.

“Of course, I’m now seeing more women in this industry, but back in the day, that was not the case,” Pam observes. “Recently, Ann and I concluded that some people who do their own installation, think they know more than we do just because we’re female. But their eyes are opened when they realize that we really do know our stuff. Knowledge is what matters, not gender.”

Just as important to a business’s success as knowledge is a sound philosophy.

“The phrase that best sums up our philosophy is ‘Promises made, promises kept,’” Pam says. “Throughout our relationship with our clients, communication is important. First, our sales reps go out to meet with the homeowner, to learn what they have in mind for their house. They make sure homeowners are aware of all the options available to them—whether the service is roof repair, roof replacement, vinyl siding, or replacement windows. All of our vinyl and window installers are in-house staff—which sets us apart from many other companies in this business. Most of our installers have been with us for over ten years; one of them has been with us for 25 years. So, we have experienced crews who know how things should be done. We also offer great warranties on materials and installs. In short, we aim to please.”

While fully embracing her role as the sole owner of Premier, Pam still maintains a balance in her personal life, making plenty of time for her family. “My oldest daughter is expecting a baby,” she says, beaming. “I love being a grandma!”

Focusing on business has also helped heal Pam’s grief over losing Jeff.

“Besides being proud of the company that we built together, I’m now able to share funny stories about Jeff with friends and family,” she says. “I can watch old family videos, share memories of our life together, and not be overcome with sadness. To be able to relive the good times, and to laugh about them again, feels wonderful!”




Premier Roofing and Siding Contractors, Inc.

1215 Bainbridge Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23324

757-543-8958
http://www.premierroofingandsiding.com