Builders Exchange of Michigan: How did you earn your first dollar?
Dian Selleck Wilson: One of my first projects was The Spirit of Ford in Dearborn. I think that was the first project I earned money.
BX: What drew you to the construction industry?
DSW: I originally thought about becoming an architect, but when I got out of school I started working for an architectural firm in the office and on job sites. From there, I went to work for a major insulation manufacturer, who happened to have a contracting division. I was hooked!
BX: What does a typical day look like on the job for you?
DSW: I spend every Monday in the office setting my week. I look to see what new projects have come out. I make follow up calls, send samples, quote projects, and many other tasks.
BX: What makes Selleck Architectural Sales special?
DSW: I think the personal touch. I try to make everyone else’s job easier. I am a local source for many distributors. Even if I don’t represent the product, I will help them find contacts or information.
“It’s the personal touch. I try to make everyone else’s job easier.”
BX: What’s an exciting project that you’ve recently completed?
DSW: Little Ceasar’s headquarters in Detroit. I provided the GRG columns and a unique GRG ceiling. It’s very cool.
BX: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
DSW: I worked for a gentleman at Owens Corning who used to say “loose lips sink ships”. That is the best advice I have ever received.
BX: What were your goals when you began your position at Selleck Architectural Sales? How have you achieved them?
DSW: I started Selleck Architectural Sales over 25 years ago. My goal was to secure good product lines and build a successful company. I have achieved this goal. I still have many of the same products I started with and I have added some great products in the past few years.
BX: What advice would you give to other women who would like to go into the same career field you’ve chosen?
DSW: This isn’t an easy job. You have to be dedicated and get involved in your industry. Most importantly, don’t think that flirting is the way to get orders or to gain customer loyalty. It’s disrespectful to yourself and the women who have paved the way for others in this industry.
BX: What can other members of the construction community do to encourage women to participate in the construction industry?
DSW: Give women opportunity to prove that know what they are doing. If you know a good rep, and someone is looking for an independent agent, give them the good rep’s name and show them support.
“Give women the opportunity to prove they know what they are doing.”
BX: What challenges have you overcome and what experiences have you had to get to where you are today?
DSW: When I first started my company, there were very few female independent rep agencies. There still are not many independent agencies with female owners. It was a struggle to get some contractors to give me orders and to receive product lines from manufacturer’s. Women are capable of selling construction supplies too! Because of that, I have and continue to work harder to prove myself and strive to be the best!
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