SW: Please explain a little bit about yourself. How long have you worked at BB Industries?
PM: I have been working with BB Industries for 20 years this February. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS degree and have been in the purchasing field for over 36 years. I am happily married for 35 years, and have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a golden retriever. I love the lake and mountains, and I am an active member of my church family.
SW: How has your job position at BB Industries evolved through the years? What does your current job entail?
PM: When I started at BB Industries, I was a supervisor of the purchasing department, responsible for maintaining correct inventory levels. My position and duties have grown with our company. In addition to managing the department, my duties include expediting and purchasing everything for our corporate office, three warehouses and numerous vans.
SW: What do you enjoy most about working at BB Industries?
PM: I love working for a company that has allowed me to be myself. I am a strong, often outspoken, woman who stands for what I believe in. BB Industries is not just a place to work, it is a family. We push each other to work harder than we thought possible, and to be accountable as well. We love and encourage each other. We truly do care about our BB Industries family, our vendors and customers.
SW: What are some of your most memorable experiences to date of working at BB Industries and the stone industry, in general?
PM: I still remember my first interview with Doug Slocum, our founder. He was knowledgeable, bold, straight forward and honest. I knew then this was my company. When vendors tried to tell him what to do, he just laughed. His confidence was a great teacher for me.
The trade shows are always memorable where you meet the customers and see all your vendors in person, as well as Women In Stone members. Hosting the Natural Stone Institute Study Tour in Knoxville will always be one of my favorite memories.
SW: I understand you are involved with Women In Stone (WIS). Please tell us what led you to first get involved?
PM: WIS has seminars at the stone shows, and I wanted to attend. It was such an honor to be in a group with such intelligent hard-working women.
SW: What has your experience been as a member of WIS?
PM: WIS has been a great experience. They offer thorough industry education, as well as support groups. WIS also sponsors community projects that help others, such as encouraging cards and clothing for women in shelters to be used for interviews.
SW: For someone considering joining WIS, what would you say would be some beneficial reasons why they should?
PM: There are several reasons to join WIS. We all need to continue learning, and the seminars and study tours are amazing. The mentorship program helps people connect with someone else to discuss, learn and support.
SW: You have been with your current job for an impressive two decades. What would you say are some reasons why you have stayed with BB Industries for so long?
PM: When you believe in something, you work hard to support it. The people that work at BB Industries are ethical hard-working people that would do anything for anyone. Our employees, vendors and customers know this.
SW: What advice would you offer to young women beginning their career in the industry?
PM: You can do this! Study hard, work hard and do not run over people as you start your climb. Let your “yes” be a “yes,” and your “no” be a “no.” Surround yourself with positive people that will encourage you. And when it gets tough and you want to quit – get your butt up and try harder.