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RC Podcast EP12 Mike is Retiring
[00:00:00] David H: Hey, what’s up guys. Welcome to another episode of Roof Connections podcast, a show dedicated to topics and aspects based around facility maintenance. My name is David Huval, for the past nine years, I’ve worked in the commercial roofing industry on the marketing side, for companies like RoofConnect, the largest national service provider in America.
[00:00:25] Today, I’m joined by Mike Stivers, the outgoing Director of National Accounts at RoofConnect. Thanks for joining me, Mike.
[00:00:33] Mike S.: My pleasure, David.
[00:00:34] Thank you for having me.
[00:00:35] David H: Good deal. How are you doing today?
[00:00:38] Mike S.: Man I’m doing great. I’m just glad to be breathing my friend.
[00:00:42] David H: Well, that’s a good attitude to have, at least, especially for somebody who’s about to retire.
[00:00:47] Mike S.: There you go. There you go.
[00:00:49] David H: Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you a little bit about today Mike. Before we jump into your career RoofConnect I know that this is actually your second career, RoofConnect was your second career.
[00:00:59] Can you briefly tell us about young Mike Stivers and how your early career in trucking developed and helped shape your leadership style?
[00:01:08] Mike S.: Sure. I was a young guy fresh out of college, and I had all the answers and started to work in the trucking industry. I started actually working on a freight dock while I was in college and stayed in the business in the industry.
[00:01:23] And I was going to do it for a short time and 40 years later I found myself still there, but I grew up in a teamster environment. So that alone taught me that there are thousands of different personalities out there and gave me the opportunity to learn those personalities, how to communicate with those people.
[00:01:42] Listening skills were vital in the, in the teamster world and that’s sort of what laid the groundwork for my career.
[00:01:51] David H: I had a job once in college, working on a dock also in trucking, offloading and stuff on and off the truck. So it was a great job. It worked great with school cause it was really early hours, so it works great.
[00:02:01] Did you really like the industry? Is that why you stayed, you said 43 years, you were in trucking?
[00:02:06] Mike S.: Actually I did like it. I as I said, I started out on the freight dock drove a truck in city delivery for about eight or ten years. I worked my way into management and all the way up to a regional manager in the industry.
[00:02:20] And it’s, it’s just one of those things. It’s a very hard industry, but it’s it’s all I knew. So it was just something I sort of grew up in. And I really enjoyed the people mainly, but I enjoyed the industry.
[00:02:34] David H: I can imagine some of the things you learn there, especially in trucking, probably corresponded or overlaped with things in construction.
[00:02:40] So after your career there, with no experience actually in roofing that I know of, what made you decide to come work at RoofConnect?
[00:02:49] Mike S.: Well David Workman, our CEO, David, and I have known each other for many years. And I was sort of intrigued with what David had started with RoofConnect and have watched him over the years.
[00:03:01] And he and I had talked about business and the best way to do things and suggestions and things like that. And then one day he actually called me and said, man, I’m thinking about doing something a little crazy. What about you coming to work for RoofConnect in sales? I told him, i don’t have anything. I don’t know anything about roofing David.
[00:03:21] He goes, no, but you know people and that’s where it started. I interviewed with David and interviewed with a couple of the board members, he interviewed with Wade Crosswhite and almost 10 years later, it’s it’s been an awesome, awesome journey.
[00:03:38] David H: Yeah, I could only imagine. What were the early days like there at RoofConnect because that was really when they started rolling? Tell us about those early days.
[00:03:48] Mike S.: Yeah, the early days we were a lot smaller. I mean, we had two to three people in customer service. I don’t even know how many we have now. I know we had to build a complete building to house the customer service department. Wade and David and I especially Wade, and I had a lot of conversations and we knew what we didn’t know if that makes sense.
[00:04:12] We knew that we needed to invest more in our people. We knew we didn’t have a good training program. So we invested in sales training for our sales team, customer service training for customers service department, and we even have training for the management team and that started up three or four years ago… four years ago, I guess now, and it’s ongoing today.
[00:04:35] David H: It’s been a great initiative. That’s run about the time I started, when that initiative kicked off. And I can tell a difference from when we started there to now. How comfortable people are on our sales team, making calls, getting in front of people, you know, it’s been a great program.
[00:04:50] Mike S.: Absolutely! It was an investment that the company had to make, but it was a very worthwhile investment. We’re still reaping those benefits.
[00:04:58] David H: You mentioned Wade a moment ago, he’s the new president of RoofConnect, and I asked him about y’all starting out and when you came on and the one thing that he kept mentioning to me was that this is not only his opinion, but the leadership team, a lot of people at RoofConnect consider you to be the heart of RoofConnect, that you’re always there lifting people up when things are bad and that you always stay positive.
[00:05:21] So, what do you have to say about the impact of positive thinking and leadership roles and how do you think it affects the rest of the organization?
[00:05:28] Mike S.: You know David, I learned a long time ago, I’ve always sort of been positive, I mean, back in my school days of Friday night football, I always went out on the field with a plan on winning that game.
[00:05:42] I just thought we would win. I brought that attitude throughout my life. And I’m one of those guys that I truly believe that you choose your attitude every morning and it makes me feel better to be positive and upbeat. And it’s, it makes the people around you feel better. So Wade is too kind, saying I’m the heart of the company. I think there’s a lot of hearts and a lot of brains there, but I love those people and I’m happy that I’ve been able to make some sort of an impact.
[00:06:11] David H: Oh, you definitely have. Is there one particular highlight from your time at RoofConnect that you can speak to?
[00:06:20] Mike S.: You know, it’s sort of funny in a way, because when Wade and I finally came to terms on the job, and obviously I was an older guy when I went to work there, Wade walked me out in the parking lot the day after we come to an agreement and he said, “I’m not going to ask you how long you want to work, but is there anything you can see that you want to do?”. And I said, you know, when I do ride off into the sunset, I’d like to look back at this RoofConnect building and see a second story on there and say that I’d had a part of that.
[00:06:51] Well, we’ve got a second story on the original RoofConnect building and our new building out the back that’s been constructed and we’re out of room there. So, I guess that that conversation with Wade and I in the parking lot has come to fruition at this point.
[00:07:06] David H: Oh, it definitely has. The team at RoofConnect is going to miss you, Mike. We are all wondering what are your plans for retirement and what new journey are you saying?
[00:07:15] Mike S.: You know, a Wade and I talk a lot. I’ve been working from home quite a bit recently, but we talk every day or two, or almost every day on calls and things. But one of the things I’ve already told him and he sort of laughed. I said, “I just want you to know that when I do retire, I’m not giving you my laptop, my cell phone or my key fob. So I’m going to keep an eye on you guys.” And he said, “That’s a deal, buddy.” So I’m always going to be around.
[00:07:41] I love the RoofConnect family, I truly do love all those people. I’ve watched them grow up. I’ve watched them get married. I’ve watched them bury family members and have children and they are my family. So. I’m going to be there, even though I’m retired, I will still be there as a support for those people and who knows what what’s around the next corner?
[00:08:04] David H: Alright Mike, glad to hear it. Thanks again for coming on with me today. We’re going to miss you but I’m sure great things are ahead.
[00:08:14] Mike S.: My pleasure, David, thanks for your time. And I appreciate you as well.
[00:08:17] David H: Thanks Mike! Well, that’s all the time we have today. I want to thank Mike again for joining me on today’s episode. If you liked this episode, be sure to click that thumbs up button. Like and share this video. You can find all of our episodes anywhere you get your podcasts, just search Roof Connections podcast. We also post the podcast to our YouTube channel, and you can look for them there again, just search Roof Connections podcast. Again, my name is David. We’ll see you next time guys. Thanks.