We decided to take a page out of the DHI Doors & Hardware Magazine ‘DHI Face’ Series and occasionally highlight Hager team members to share on this blog. This gives both customers and co-workers an opportunity to see and read about a team member they may associate with.
First up is Debra Powers-Wafford. Debra has been with Hager since 2013 as a Architectural Specification Consultant in the Texas & Oklahoma territory.
In Debra’s own words:
Childhood Ambition: I wanted to be an Oceanographer. I loved Jacques Cousteau and his adventures of the Great Barrier Reef.
First Job: My first job was as a vet assistant with the Humane Society. I helped with kennel care for abused animals who had been abandoned so the vet could keep his costs down.
What led you to the hardware industry? When I became a high school teacher, I needed a summer income and worked at Burgess Sales & Supply in Charlotte, North Carolina. I gave up teaching and started full time there in 2004.
Proudest Professional Moment: For me, it was when I was able to take Bob Wilkins (Hager Co. Director of Product Development & Marketing) around to visit architects in my area (last November during the Texas Society of Architects show) and hear them speak about how well we had served them. I was a bit taken back by the compliments but at the same time, I was doing the “Dab” because I am a servant at heart. I do want to build relationships and be integral with my clients. I want them to know I care about their projects and image to their clients. My dad was a general contractor (GC) and he always taught me 3 keys to life. Don’t waste a person’s time, money or neglect to know who is in front of you.
Biggest Challenge: I embrace challenge and do not feel any really big challenges. I feel like the shoe is often on the other foot. It seems to be a challenge for men in the industry to accept that I know my stuff and am here to get the job done.
Mentor/Hero: This took the longest to answer. I have been blessed by great mentoring my entire life. I would say someone who taught me the value of relationships with people was Dr. Huey Mills. The President of the National Christian School Association (NCSA). I had the privilege of working for him and grew so much as a person. He was fair, fun and engaging. You always walked away with something from his influence that made you want to be a better person.
Best Advice Ever Received: Choice is the wildcard in life, play it well.
Best Advice You Never Received: You are a woman you can’t do this industry as well as a man.
Advice You Would Give Someone Entering This Industry: People first, projects second. People don’t care about how much you know until they trust how much you care.
A couple of fun facts about Debra. Her favorite books/movie is anything by C.S. Lewis. She loves taking apart the hidden content of Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion Witch and Wardrobe. She suggests the next time you watch the movie to look at the book titles in Mr. Tumnus library. “Do you know what the cold darkness of Narnia represents and the lamp post?” Debra asks. And then goes on to say: “It is like nerd candy for me.”
Next time Debra stops by your office to help with specifications or to present an educational session from one of our many continuing education programs she would love some blackberry ice tea – it’s her guilty pleasure. Debra can be reached at [email protected] or her office number (803) 389-3080. She is also on Twitter @Debra_Powers and LinkedIn
Debra will also be part of the Hager Team exhibiting at CONSTRUCT in Austin this year at booth #516 and the Texas Society of Architects Show in San Antonio. We hope you’ll stop by and say hello!