Roofing Queens

Roofing Queens

Roofing Queens

by Steve Gamel

Jayme Potter, Marleta Wilson, and Jen Gilcrease have huddled around in a cramped office to discuss ideas for a photo shoot later in the day. One approach is to have the photo taken while they are doing what they do best at RPM Construction – standing on top of a roof. But there’s just one problem.

“Jen is too pretty to get on a roof,” Jayme says of her do-it-all, glammed-up business manager. “Her hair might go flat, and her makeup might melt. She’s always put together perfectly.”

“She might skin herself,” Marleta added amid the playful jabs.

“But I can design the heck out of someone’s house from my desk,” Jen said with a laugh.

Jen has never been on a roof and prefers to keep it that way. But Jayme, who started her female-owned RPM Construction in 2014, and Marleta work hard to prove that women can hold their own as roofing and construction experts. They can do inspections in the hot Texas sun, measure siding, tarp a roof, and recite building codes. They can also go a few rounds with stubborn insurance companies – and win – and spot a poorly installed roof.

According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women make up only nine percent of the industry. RPM is primed to be a trailblazer in changing those numbers, so don’t be so quick to judge when a 5-foot-3-inch, 110-pound woman shows up in boots with her hair tied back and an extension ladder in tow to check for hail damage.

“There are the people who don’t think we know what we are doing, those who want to see us try, and the pro-women people who say, ‘Heck yeah! Get on my roof!’” Jayme said. “Most take us seriously once we get up there and show them.”

Marleta agreed.

“Whenever I go hop on a roof, some customers are shocked. But we get a lot of compliments because we know what we are doing,” Marleta said. “We get on roofs that most guys won’t touch. You earn their respect and trust.”

Industry pros have been sold on RPM for years. It is the only female-owned Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor and is one of only 20 contractors out of more than 5,000 total in North Texas with that special designation. Their process is by the book and built on Christian values, and services include commercial, residential, and specialty roofing to flooring, garage doors, fencing, new siding, and everything in between.

RPM is a one-stop shop, and its customer list ranges from homeowners to commercial clients and city and government contracts. They recently completed work on Lake Dallas City Hall and a charity project for the Lake Cities Fire Station.

Jayme and Marleta specialize in claims that you really have to fight for. And while she isn’t getting on a roof anytime soon, Jen is back at the office working with customers, helping with color selections, completing invoices, scheduling work, and keeping the entire crew in check.

“Jayme is dynamic, energetic, and loyal,” said Todd Sandri, an area sales manager for Owens Corning. “There’s nothing she has told me she would do that she hasn’t done. She’s been through every level of contractor program with us. That says it all right there. The big thing is they sell roofing systems, not roofs that are pieced together with different parts.”

Clearly, RPM is quickly changing the face of the industry. For a long time, it was Jayme running the show with a little help from her husband, Donnie, who owns JTM Builders, Inc. Donnie runs his company full-time, leaving RPM in the capable hands of his wife. Adding Marleta and Jen in the last year to her knowledgable team has more than proved that woman should be taken seriously in the construction world.

“When she first started the business, there were several major storms that carried her,” Jen said. “I think it speaks volumes in terms of how we’ve been able to grow without having major storms. People look us up on the Better Business Bureau, reviews online, and get referred by friends and neighbors. We also have repeat business. I think it empowers other women to go outside the traditional box because this is a male-dominated industry.”

Jayme agreed, saying the sky is the limit for women-owned businesses. That includes RPM – even if Jen won’t get on a roof.

“It’s quite the trifecta,” Jayme said. “Jen is the nucleus. Without her, nothing gets done. [In the field], there will be a roof that another company won’t touch, but there’s Marleta up there tarping it while the adjusters are standing there wondering, ‘Is this girl for real?’”

Jayme Potter ceo of rpm construction

Jayme Potter (CEO)
“There are the people who don’t think we know what we are doing, those who want
to see us try, and the pro-women people who say, ‘Heck yeah! Get on my roof!…Most take us seriously once we get up there and show them.”

 

 

jen gilcrease of rpm construction

Jen Gilcrease
“…I can design the heck out of someone’s house from my desk…”

 

 

 

marleta wilson of rpm construction

Marleta Wilson
“We get on roofs that most guys won’t touch. You earn their respect and trust.”

 

 

 

469.238.9381 | www.RPMConstruction.org


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