The search for her ‘true calling’ led to a career in roofing.
In 2013, Mandy McIntyre was working as an office manager for a landscaping and snow removal company and she was miserable with her job. She couldn’t stand working there anymore so she decided to look for a new job and take the first offer. It just so happened that the first offer came from 1st Choice Roofing Company in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I was offered the position as a scheduler and I jumped on it, never intending to stay,” Mandy explained. “It was a lateral move in pay and my plan was to just stay there long enough to find my true calling.”
Fast forward six years later and it turns out that roofing just happened to be Mandy’s true calling. “It turns out I had a passion for roofing that I never knew existed,” she laughed. “I went from answering phones and scheduling estimates to managing all of production for shingle roof replacements, commercial replacements and service.”
The company flourished and grew under her leadership and they had to divide Mandy’s position into three departments within the company. The created a low slope and steep slope department, hiring a manager to run those areas. Mandy took on the role of service and specialty manager, which she loves. “My department is unique in that I manage everything from small service repairs to large historical projects with copper, shake, slate, metal or tile. Basically, anything that isn’t a shingle or flat roof replacement is my domain.”
Mandy said that her department is involved with the Cleveland Restoration Society and gets to work on some pretty spectacular historical projects. “It’s beautiful to witness the transformation,” she said. “Being able to restore something back to its glory with historical accuracy is so rewarding.”
When 1st Choice was asked to help with tile repairs on a former monastery of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese that is now a rehabilitation center called the Hitchcock Center for Women, Mandy met the staff and women and wanted to help. As a certified yoga and meditation instructor, she decided to volunteer to teach yoga to the women staying there. “I enjoy helping people find solace after a stressful day,” she said.
She also enjoys following moon phases and astrology and says, “I always have my tarot cards, oils and crystals in my work bag. Even naysayers will periodically ask me if it’s a full moon to help explain a crazy day or situation.”
Construction isn’t new to Mandy as she grew up with a father who was a general contractor. She often visited job sites as a child and even helped in the office. “I guess it’s in my blood to be around construction. I think when I got into roofing it ignited a spark that was dormant for many years,” Mandy said.
In the six years that she has been at 1st Choice Roofing Company, they have grown from four people in a one-room office, five field employees and one sub crew to owning a two-story building with 12 office staff, 22 field employees and three to six sub crews a day.
Mandy was attending an International Roofing Expo when she talked with Heidi Ellsworth, founding chair of National Women in Roofing (NWIR). The organization was just forming and Mandy recalls thinking “well that’s pretty damn cool!”
She became a member and said that the main impact NWIR has had on her career is empowerment. “Being around like-minded women in the industry is electrifying for me. It sparks a drive to do better for myself, but also help other women do better for themselves as well. I want to inspire other women stepping into the industry just as much as I’m inspired by those ahead of me. But I think the goal is actually greater: to empower and inspire women period. That’s why I love NWIR,” explained Mandy. She also said that becoming active in her local Cleveland chapter was a game changer for her. “Meeting women locally and getting to know everyone personally made a huge impact,” she said.
Mandy has gotten involved on the national level with NWIR as well. She taught Yoga classes at the first two National Women in Roofing Days and is contributing content toward the 2020 NWIR day on February 2nd in Dallas, Texas.
Working in roofing has brought Mandy joy, and it also brought her a dog. She found her dog, Ghost, in the parking lot at 1st Choice. He now lives with her and her rescue cat, Phoenix. She and Ghost love nature and are lucky enough to live adjacent to a park system where they hike together.
By Karen L. Edwards