By Roy L Hales
Wendi Zubillaga frequently works 16 hour days when she’s on the road. Meals are business meetings. She might meet with one of her division presidents for breakfast at 7:30, have lunch with a customer and dinner with her sales staff and/or customers. Zubillaga does not have set hours or working days and is known to sleep with her phone at her side. If she’s not in New Orleans at the roofing show, she’s walking the job site with home builders convincing them to install solar as a standard feature and answering every question they could dream up. A colleague said, “All you have to do is see Wendi in action at trade shows and everything that comes with trade shows to see why she is so successful. ” That’s why PetersenDean promoted Wendi Zubillaga to Builder Group President.
A Female Role Model
She has become one of a small, but growing, number of female role models in a largely male dominated industry. A spokesperson for PetersenDean said the number of female presidents within the industry “could be as low as three percent.”
Zubillaga added, “The construction industry can be a very intimidating environment for a woman. It takes a lot of confidence and patience to ‘prove yourself’ and be taken seriously. I encourage young woman to enter this exciting industry. It is filled with great people and as corny as it may sound, building the American dream is very rewarding.”
Many Of The Activities
Her promotion is not related to gender, Zubillaga has already been carrying out many of the activities connected with her new position. She has been working with division presidents, providing them with all of the tools they required to have a functioning division, equipment, personnel, materials, and more.
The difference is that while they previously reported to CEO Jim Petersen, now they will go to Zubillaga. She is empowered to make decisions without “running it up the flagpole.” Zubillaga has full profit and loss responsibility for the Builder Group Division.
“She has a proven track record of success that spans a wide variety of clients, allowing her to work with all styles, technologies, budgets and approaches. She works with builders big and small across the nation and so she knows the ins and outs of new residential construction,” said Jim Petersen, founder of PetersenDean, in the press release announcing Zubillaga’s appointment.
She has been working in the building sector for over 30 years. When she was very young, Zubillaga started up a fencing company with her brother. She became a sales representative with PetersenDean. She helped grow the company from $3 million dollar in revenues to the $350 million it will be reporting in its upcoming fiscal year.
PetersenDean is now the largest, full-service, privately-held roofing and solar company in the United States, with 22 offices in five states. They plan to open new facilities in Texas; North Carolina; Georgia; Colorado and Washington.
Her Northern California Accounts
Zubillaga still manages her Northern California accounts such as KB Home, DR Horton, Taylor Morrison, Tri Pointe Homes, Summerhill, and Toll.
A spokesperson for PetersenDean said, “She still negotiates all of the business in the largest territory for PD. Most recently she was able to negotiate a solar program with DR Horton, they are now installing solar as a standard feature on most of their single-family homes. One of the few females holding the president’s title in the male-dominated home building industry, Zubillaga is also very active in the industry and community with groups such as the Building Industry Association and HomeAid. Her expansive network and industry background includes a focus on residential roofing and sustainability.”