With my previous bank, I would spend an entire day trying to resolve problems. With PNC, I simply text my PNC banker when I have an issue, and she takes care of it.
Mikki Paradis didn’t expect an easy path when she established PDI Drywall in Raleigh in 2005, shortly before graduating from North Carolina State University. She realized that the male-dominated construction industry might not be ready for a 23-year-old female entrepreneur. She also knew that it was within her power to leverage this situation to work in her favor.
“Sometimes people would meet with me about projects just to see if I was for real,” she shares. “What they didn’t know was that I had worked my way through college with a drywall contractor who taught me all about the construction industry. If shock value was what it took to get in the door, then so be it.”
Women have to be more strategic than men in industries like hers, says Mikki. “In 2006, when I landed my first major tract housing project, I paid attention to everything my subcontractors were doing so that I became well-educated about every level of the services we provide. I started hanging and finishing drywall right along with them,” she explains. “People were looking for me not to know. I knew I had to be better than that.”
Building Networks and Relationships
Mikki doesn’t do much of the hands-on work herself anymore, as she focuses on strategic growth and leadership. She has led her business well beyond the million-dollar mark, crediting much of her success to her participation in an educational forum through The Woman’s Advantage®, an organization committed to helping women grow multimillion-dollar businesses.
Mikki has also established her own networking and business development group, Chicks in Construction. She explains, “About 20 of us get together once a month to discuss business opportunities and the unique issues we face as women in our industry. We’re committed to helping one another grow our businesses.”
PNC is also committed to helping Mikki grow her business. Holding her own mantra dear — “The only things we build better than walls are relationships” — she appreciates PNC’s dedication to nurturing long-standing relationships.
“PNC understands how important it is to support businesses of all sizes. They provide an unbelievable number of tools and teach you how to use them,” says Mikki. “With my previous bank, I would spend an entire day trying to resolve problems. With PNC, I simply text my PNC banker when I have an issue, and she takes care of it. She also shares ideas for improving my finances and my access to cash. Knowing that PNC is there for me any time I need something gives me true peace of mind.”
Company: PDI Drywall Inc.
Location: Raleigh, NC
Developing a strong relationship with your bank is one of the most important things you can do for your business.
Women Who Achieve
Real Women. Real Stories. »