Behind the Desk: Pamela Wronski
Address: 745 Old Route 22 Duncansville, PA 16635
Telephone number: 695-0583
Position: Registered architect
Years with company: More than 12 years
Family: Husband, Matthew Filan; children: Josie, Ian and Addalyn; parents and sister, who also work at Black’s Home Sales
What products or services does your company provide?
Black’s Home Sales Inc. has been providing homes to our communities for over 70 years. We offer everything from very simple manufactured homes to complex multi-family modular homes. Most years, we typically sell an equal amount of manufactured and modular homes. The other service that we offer (that other builders may not) is general contracting services. This means that we will help plan your full construction project and manage any sub-contractors who will be working on your home.
Who are your customers?
We have a wide range of customers due to the wide range of products that we offer. From the grandparents who are looking to hand that big farmhouse over to their children and live on a single story to the young couple looking for their first home, we definitely cover all walks of our customers’ lives.
What is your business day like?
The best part of working for this company is that no two days are the same, because no two building projects are the same. In general, I do perform some of the same tasks for every project; completing building permit applications, sizing beams for foundations, completing drawings for any additional carpentry work, etc. I also hold a management role, which means that I monitor and correct pricing, job costs, commissions, etc. One the best parts of some of my days is when we get a particular complex build and I get to enter the sales process to work with our manufacturers to lay out exactly what our customer wants or needs. This is when I can really reach back to my architecture roots.
What is the best business advice you have received?
It’s probably overstated, but only because it’s such critical advice: “Surround yourself and your business with the best people.” I know my own weaknesses (being dyslexic and unorganized), so I lean heavily on the Black’s Home Sales’ team to compensate for those weaknesses. We have a great team and are lucky enough to be a large enough company to have experts in many aspects of the building, from our construction specialists to our accounting and support staff. This advice can (and should) also be applied to the products that we offer. We sell a wide range of homes, made by many factories, which gives us the best chance to fulfill our customer needs.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned on the job?
This is a tricky question because there are so many specific things that I have and continue to learn on this job. I think that the most important thing (or rather skill that I’ve been able to develop) on the job is importance of remaining flexible. Construction is a living, breathing endeavor. The second that you think everything is set in stone, it will change. There will be a literal stone in the middle of your excavation or the weather will turn on you. Delays and scheduling and complications are everyday occurrences in the construction industry. So learning to be nimble and adjusting to the circumstances is critical. When frustration gets to me, I remind myself of the saying about how it is better to be like a reed in a storm as opposed to a tree that cannot bend with the wind.
What does the future hold?
Staying on the theme of my last response, I like to remain flexible when I envision the future of Black’s Home Sales. I’ve plotted out what it might look like if we also manufactured some of our own houses or perhaps stick built them. I’ve priced out the costs to transform part of our design centers into a green room for the virtual viewing of customers’ homes before ordering them. (I’m still waiting on the technology to catch up for this plan.) Granted, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely shape some of these plans, so I will continue to be flexible and see where exactly the future takes us.
What have you read lately that has influenced your business life?
I have recently read “Originals” by Adam Grant. This book gives hope to those who are procrastinators and risk-averse individuals. The average individual can also be an “Original” since this doesn’t require innate talent. The book gives examples of business that were not the first to think of an idea, but are the first to apply new ideas in their field. It also points to what all business owners know — that hard work, implementation and follow through are the keys to success.
If you want your business to be featured in the Mirror’s Behind the Desk series, call Walt Frank at 946-7467.