August 31, 2021
By Alyssa Kerslake
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, was selected as one of tED Magazine’s prestigious “30 under 35” winners.
“I was so surprised and totally honored. It meant a lot to me that my boss, and my company, thought highly of me to nominate me – and then to be compared and chosen from the other surely incredible nominees was pretty cool, too,” said Richards of earning the distinction. “I was running out of time, I’ll be 35 at the end of this year, but I feel like I’m just getting started in this industry.”
Richards works in a unique dual position as a full-time sales representative in the United States and the regional sales manager for all nine provinces in Canada. Richards is also responsible for onboarding new hires in addition to her sales responsibilities. She created a rigorous training plan for the company on her own and continues to mentor new team members.
“Kerith is the embodiment of the young, bright, and talented people in the industry today,” shared Bruce Keslers, Director of Sales. “She has the ability and skill to move this industry into the next decade. Her tenacity, dedication, and initiative have landed her a top spot among our sales reps, and now, the entire industry.”
Her advice to young women pursuing a career in the skilled trades was this: “Involve yourself in every learning opportunity you can and find a way to make it happen. Instead of feeling like you’re not ready to do something, tell yourself you want to do it and learn something every day.”
Kerith Richards mentions Sheryl Sandberg as a source of inspiration to her: “I love her book ‘Lean In’.There is a quote in her book I have always kept at my desk, “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” Kerith added that her mom had been a massive inspiration to her as well, “She has no clue what I do for a living, but has always believed I could do it.”
Richards noted that her favorite thing about the industry is being a part of big, meaningful projects. “I love knowing that we are helping communities, even if we are just a tiny part of it. Large infrastructure projects like roads, airports, hospitals, and education are my favorite.”
When asked what impact would Kerith like to have on the industry, she said: “I want everyone I contact to know I care, I want to help, and I won’t quit. I genuinely love helping our customers find solutions or help them get a big win! This industry can be fast-paced and rattle your cages, but it’s important to have fun! I love when our sales team can celebrate significant victories when they land a big project. That’s what makes it fun!”
Regarding rising trends in the electrical industry that excites Richards, she recognizes how the pandemic has broadened Service Wire Company’s reach by relying on technology to sell. “We are able to use our time more properly, virtually call on more distributors and contractors, and maintain those relationships we had previously built. I think if we were to welcome younger talent, paired with a technology-based business structure, the opportunities are endless.”
Alyssa Kerslake is an Associate Editor with Kerrwil Electrical Group