Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Kathleen Maxwell says you can call her a “unicorn” in today’s melting pot of Nashville residents who have moved from various places to call Music City home. Bearing the Maxwell family name, Kathleen’s journey to working for the family business was not one she was planning. After graduating from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a major in English (Creative Writing concentration) and a minor in Marketing, Kathleen originally had plans to enter the event planning industry. However, after considering the field and being offered several unpaid internships, she realized she needed money, and she needed it quickly.
She explains, “Many friends kept telling me I should work for Maxwell Roofing, and why not, right? So, after a conversation with my dad about what that would look like, I joined the Maxwell Roofing team as a marketing associate.” At the time, Kathleen had no intentions of making a career at Maxwell Roofing but rather using it as a stepping stone. Fast forward to nine years later, she has no other plans but to stay put and grow within her role. “I realized how severely underserved the roofing industry is, and I believe that our company is built on a great foundation and that we can consistently position ourselves as a value leader in the service and sales markets of the roofing industry,” affirms Kathleen.
Since 2013, Kathleen worked in various roles of the company, from a marketing associate to the Vice President of Sales. Now that her father, John Maxwell, decided to take a step back from his role as President and CEO, Kathleen is excited to take on the role of CEO and continue her family’s legacy.
In her current role as CEO, an average day on the job for Kathleen can look very different day to day. She explains, “Our company is focused on strategic growth and pointing our team toward success. No day is the same, but that’s what makes it exciting.”
While she still heads the sales team, Kathleen’s focus has shifted to an even more strategic vision. “I am looking at the business as a whole and how to grow organically, whereas in the past, I was focused on the department I was managing. As a company, we are focused on how to hire, train and retain the best people. I love coaching, motivating, and supporting our employees, and I enjoy learning from them as well.”
As the first female CEO of Maxwell Roofing, Kathleen is thrilled to take on the role and also feels that it holds an incredible amount of weight. “At my age, I understand that I need to be a sponge. There is so much for me to learn, and I am lucky to have my dad, amongst other colleagues, to advise and mentor me. Being in a male-dominant industry can be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but I love the opportunity to learn and grow as an executive. It is exciting to look forward 10, 20 years and imagine what Maxwell Roofing will be,” Kathleen adds.
Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Stands Out:
When asked what she loves about the company as a whole, Kathleen says, “Well, I’m slightly biased, considering my grandfather started the company, but I’d say first that, contrary to my initial naive belief, our roofing company requires the same passion, drive, and goals as any other business, and what we do truly matters.” Kathleen also loves that the individuals who make up the company believe this and stand behind it.
Something else that stands about Maxwell Roofing to Kathleen is that her team is eager to learn and is open to change and growth. “My team is focused on crushing their goals—both business and personal—and I’m truly grateful for the positive attitudes they bear daily,” she adds.
With a competitive, hungry, and smart team culture, Kathleen praises her team’s diverse skills in relationship management and roofing expertise, which she has observed to be continually growing with time. “Our goal is to make your roof last longer. By forming partnerships with our customers, we learn about their facilities, roofing needs, and future plans. If we truly understand our client’s needs, it positions us to better assist them in proactively managing their assets, rather than any last-minute major repairs,” says Kathleen.
Outside of work, you might find Kathleen riding her Peloton, hiking, cooking, exploring some of Nashville’s latest eateries, and hanging out on patios. She loves spending quality time with her husband, Clayton, and their Golden Pyrenees Mix, Otto.
The youngest of four siblings, Kathleen serves at Maxwell Roofing alongside her brother, David, who joined the Maxwell team about nine months prior and is the oldest sibling. Her father, John, lives in West Nashville, and the family enjoys having Sunday dinners to gather and catch up on life outside of work. Kathleen is also the proud aunt of four adorable nephews and two nieces, with an additional niece and nephew on the way in May 2022, who she says keep her on her toes.