Name: Michelle C. “Shelley” Hudson, CCPR
Company, Location, and Years of Service:Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Needham, Massachusetts, 8 years
Current Position: Architectural Development
Summary of Previous Industry Experience: A total of 20 years working as an independent representative, representing a variety of manufacturers in both Division 8 and Division 10. A 4-year stint with another large corporation managing the New England Territory for Division 8 products.
Total Years in the Industry: Almost 33 years (whew!)
How did you get your start in the door and hardware industry?
A friend of my mother’s saw an ad, cut it out and told me it sounded like “me”…..not sure what that meant, but I applied for the job. The job was office manager for an independent representative in the Door and Hardware Industry. I learned the lines while managing the office and eventually was assigned accounts to call on.
Who have been mentors to you during your career?
There are a number of talented people whose brains I have picked, but the one who really shared his wisdom with me was Phil Root, my first boss. Known as a “good hardware man”, he spent time teaching me, not only about the world of hardware, but also the finer points of being a good representative. I owe him much.
What changes have you seen in the industry over the years?
The pace of the workload. This is a detailed business and the speed at which everything must happen is not always conducive to insuring the details are properly dealt with.
What’s the best part of your current job?
Working with the architectural community providing solutions to their problems, and being a source of information.
What career would you pursue if you weren’t working in the hardware industry?
Not quite sure what I want to do when I grow up, but I love sales & marketing and travel, so something that would combine those things.
What’s your favorite hardware-related product?
Door closers…to me they are really important as they control the closing of the door to meet requirements for security, fire compliance and accessibility. The LCN brand continues to impress me with their many solutions to unique applications. All door closers might look similar, but they definitely are not the same!
What would your colleagues/customers be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a secret “Francophile”, loving French food, wine and their ways. We bought a home there and spend several weeks a year enjoying this beautiful country.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
On a personal note, raising both my sons to be successful and self-sufficient men. On a professional level, receiving the Edmund Smith award from the Construction Specifications Institute, which is given to a manufacturer’s rep for “exceptional service to the specifiers and architects of the Boston chapter.” I was truly honored.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Skiing is one of my favorite pastimes, but traveling, traveling, and more traveling. When not in “go mode”, I’m a homebody…content to putter around the house, go walking, or cook something special.
What words of wisdom would you give to people entering the industry?
This industry is ever-changing , complicated and technical.
#1 You can’t know everything, so if you don’t know, don’t bluff. There are lots of experts, so use them and find the answer.
#2 Continue to educate yourself. If you don’t, you will fall behind in this fast-paced environment.
#3 Get involved in your industry. You will get as much or more than you give.
#4 Return your phone calls.