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Saying Yes Has Made All the Difference

SRS Saying Yes
March 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

By Cynthia Lang, SRS.

How Michael Fisher ended up running at $18 million distribution branch at age 23. 

I sat down with Michael Fisher just before he played in the Arizona Roofing Industry Foundation Golf Tournament at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore Golf Club today. It’s a workday and this is part of the job. But there is a lot more to it. Let’s take a look at his journey.

Luck is not what brought Michael to SRS Distribution. Nor is it luck why he’s won President’s Club numerous times, been promoted to bigger positions and branches, and just recently won “Branch of the Year” in his category. Well, there was that one storm in the DFW area that helped, but let me tell you what brought Michael to SRS and how his work style propelled him.

SRS recruits out of universities in each region of the US. We have a well-known University Program, recruiting students with Business Management/Administration, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Finance, and the one major that most closely matches our opportunities, Industrial Distribution (ID). Only a few schools offer this major and Texas A&M University is one of the largest programs in the country. I never heard of it before I began the Talent Acquisition function at SRS, but I know of it now. In Michael’s senior year at A&M, he took the advice of the ID Advisor, Evan Vestal, and applied to SRS’ Management Trainee program. Lucky for us, he didn’t take a job where he interned the summer before because he wasn’t interested in a large company with politics nor a company that offered a set schedule for promotions.

We like to tell candidates as much as we can about the work we do and include both the fun times and hard work entailed in the life of a Branch Manager. Did I mention already where I was interviewing Michael today? Back in 2014, Michael arrived early to meet up with a group of us at the well-known Dixie Chicken, aka “The Chicken.” He had the chance to spend an hour with Justin Harrod, also an Aggie Alum and currently an SRS District Manager. Justin’s authentic recap of his experience at SRS sealed the deal for Michael. There were subsequent interviews with a Recruiter, Branch Managers, a District Manager and the Vice President, which all led Michael to select SRS over all of his other options. He tells me it’s because of the culture and the fast-paced growth of the company.

Michael started his career at SRS as a Management Trainee for Southern Shingles in Coppell, TX (DFW area) and in just six months was promoted to Assistant Branch Manager (ABM) at a branch close by. He says this promotion changed his life. Though our training is a self-paced program, It is fast! So I asked how he did it. Michael said he sat next to the ABM, Stephanie Altpeter (now a BM) to watch and listen. He emphasized listen, because he doesn’t think people do that enough in their training. He worked the same hours as his ABM or BM and worked at least one hour at home each night looking at orders or working on projects given to him or asked for by his DM or AVP. It was as simple as asking, “How can I help you?”

Well, what happened next is even more impressive. Six months later, Michael became the BM of that branch and took it from struggling to Top 20 President’s Club. His next BM role was back where he was a Management Trainee and that location (Coppell) hit Top 20 President’s Club that year. I did mention luck earlier and by that I mean there was an increased need for roofing materials, so I’m going to use Oprah’s definition of luck and say that “Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.”

Coming from a family who owned a small business, Michael knew he wanted to run a company and at 23 years old, Michael was running an $18MM branch. He says it’s all because his leadership team took a risk on him, but I had to tell him, it wasn’t a big risk at all. Michael showed what he was made of and how hard he was willing to work to make his dream come true. He continues to take the advice of Greg Jessup (his DM for his first four years), “inspect what you expect,” “lead by example,” and “accountability." He also attributes his success by honing his communications skills, moving (literally packing up and moving), and working a lot!

So with this success came options. After reviewing them, he told his leadership team he would move to East Texas and run our two newly acquired branches. He spent much of his time being mobile, spending time with customers and selling. He knows he couldn’t do it without a solid ABM at each branch running the operation. It’s great Michael saw early in his career the need for talented and dedicated employees in order for the whole team to be successful. His success continued as his branch was recently named Top Branch of the Year in the small branch category for 2019.

So where is Michael now? As of two weeks ago, back in his home state of Arizona, running the Tempe location of Roof Line Supply. His advice for people considering an Internship or Management Trainee opportunity at SRS is to say YES! Know that it will be hard work, stressful, relaxing, fun and risky. Risky, because the Talent Acquisition team and the leaders of the company see something in you that you might not yet see in yourself, so say YES and go for it.

SRS is a great place to grow your career! Find out more.



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