Builders Exchange of Michigan: How did you earn your first dollar?
Brenda Vander Ploeg: At a young age, my father would take me to his office on Saturday mornings for miscellaneous chores. I still remember him taking the cash out of his wallet to pay me and thinking, I earned that money, now do I save or spend it?

BX: What drew you to the construction industry?
BVP: I enjoyed seeing the transformation of projects from start to finish. The latest design trends amaze me how old colors and styles are made new again.

BX: What does a typical day look like on the job for you?
BVP: My days are far from typical as the owner of a family-run business. I may be in negotiations with one of my manufacturers in the morning and working tat the sales desk in the afternoon.

BX: What makes Direct Supply special?
BVP: We are a family-owned and operated company that is enthusiastic about exceeding customer’s expectations. We believe that who we are and how we treat our customers, vendors and employees sets us apart.

“We believe that who we are and how we treat our customers, vendors and employees sets us apart.”

 


BX: What’s an exciting project that you’ve recently completed?
BVP: We have recently remodeled our offices and showroom to better represent the products that we sell.

BX: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
BVP: Always do the right thing!

BX: If you could master one new skill right now, what would it be?
BVP: I would want to become better with electronic communications. I know that video presentations and conferencing will continue to be a growing part of this business. While my staff is becoming very proficient with technology, I have a lot to learn.

BX: What were your goals when you began your position at Direct Supply? How have you achieved them?
BVP: To become the best at wholesale distribution. We work towards it every day by putting our customers’ needs first.

BX: What advice would you give to other women who would like to go into the same career field you’ve chosen?
BVP: Love what you do and have fun! Believe in yourself, learn something new, and be true to yourself. You can overcome any obstacles if you have the passion, drive, and desire to succeed.

BX: What can other members of the construction community do to encourage women to participate in the construction industry?
BVP: Everyone has a skill set and value. Work as a team and love people for who God has created them to be. Always accept, encourage, and support one another.

“Always accept, encourage, and support one another.”

 


BX: What challenges have you overcome and what experiences have you had to get to where you are today?
BVP: Building the level of confidence and stability with our customers, vendors, and employees. We are always evolving, especially in these challenging times.

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