Terri Palmer Burton

Apr 7, 2021 | Women in Construction

Builders Exchange of Michigan: How did you earn your first dollar?
Terri Palmer Burton: I earned my first dollar as a horseback riding instructor. I’ve had a lifelong love of horses. I spent five years in hospitality before joining Palmer Moving Services and founded Palmer Logistics Services in 2008.

BX: What drew you to the construction industry?
TPB: Supporting renovation and new construction projects signals urban growth and are invigorating and fulfilling for our team. Commercial relocation and facility support has been a primary service of Palmer for more than 50 years. We are a large regional commercial relocation company offering disassembly, moving, transportation, warehousing, delivery, and installation services. As a board member of Office Moving Alliance, a standards-based office relocation organization, we offer global solutions and support.

BX: What does a typical day look like on the job for you?
TPB:  Supporting our team, our customers, and looking for new opportunities fills my day. A major focus is being sure we have the right crews assigned to each job, continuous training, and program development. As we move through the pandemic and support returning to the office, the office is forever changed, and we want to be sure we are expanding our support services.

BX: What’s an exciting project that you’ve completed recently?
TPB: We were thrilled to support the Lafayette Park Detroit renovation that is just wrapping up. We received, delivered, and installed all finished products required by the developer for the conversion. 

BX: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
TPB: Remembering you are responsible for your effort and not always the outcome, your best effort will overcome challenges.

BX: What makes Palmer Logistics Services special?
TPB: Our team and unique network strength. I am proud to be 4th generation developing and managing sensitive product transportation, warehousing, delivery, and installation solutions. My great grandfather founded Palmer Moving Services in 1910 with two horses and a wagon. Our customer-centric culture is engrained in all employees and our team is the reason for our success. As a stockholding agent of Atlas World Group, we offer more than 500 warehouse locations in North America inclusive of the industry’s finest furniture and sensitive product handlers.

BX: What were your goals when you began your position at Palmer Logistics Services? How have you achieved them?
TPB: My goal was to strengthen and diversify our customer base from traditional household and office moving services to include sensitive equipment distribution, space planning, warehousing, furniture sales, and installation services.

BX: What challenges have you overcome and what experiences have you had to get to where you are today?
TPB: Transportation and warehousing services is a very male-dominated industry. Growing in confidence and strength to compete was challenging. Overcoming difficulties and roadblocks associated with bad programs and contracts has made our organization stronger and helped refine our vision for the future of where Palmer’s services best fit within industries.

BX: What advice would you give to other women who would like to go into the same career field you’ve chosen?
TPB: Understand your market, have a clear vision, and work hard.

BX: What can other members of the construction community do to encourage women to participate in the construction industry?
TPB: Be open to diversifying their current supplier base and look for strong networks and service history.

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