Featured as one of Paul Davis’ “20 Women of 2020”, Shelly Koelper is the Owner/GM of Paul Davis of Northeast Indiana.
When did you start working for Paul Davis?
I was hired Sept 2013 to be the first CFO for this office. The office had been growing and expanding and Dan Leffers, the owner, needed someone in this new role so he could focus on other areas of the company. Over the years my role grew to include first the management of the mitigation department and later to also include managing the marketing department. At some point, my title changed from CFO to GM as finance became a smaller percentage of what I spent my hours on, and other business activities started to demand more of my time. A couple of years ago as Dan’s desire to retire began to become a reality, he offered me the opportunity to become his business partner.
What were you doing before that?
Before coming to Paul Davis, I had been a manager for Kohls for several years. Kohl’s is a great company and I have not one negative thing to say about them. However, after a few years, I began to question if retail was a good fit for my future plans for me and my family.
How did you get the job—or what interested you in going for it?
When I applied at Paul Davis, I was looking for a position that would allow me to help others and would also be a challenge. I was drawn to the position because the customers had a real need for Paul Davis’ services. I also saw the opportunity to grow as a person. Paul Davis has been a blessing for me as I daily watch our team make a difference in so many lives.
Give us 2-3 paragraphs of your duties and what a day of doing each one of those would look like.
For me, every day looks incredibly different and brings about a new challenge. I would say to sum up what I do in a day would not involve listing specific tasks, instead, it would be listing action items. When I walk in the door each day, I feel invigorated by the smiling faces that greet me at the office. I respond with a heartfelt “good morning” and “I am so blessed to be working with all of you every day”. The employees who spend many hours working to better Paul Davis and to serve our customers are a gift to me. My passion is to continuously improve the systems and processes to adapt to our ever-changing restoration world. I work to strengthen, challenge, and encourage the employees to elevate themselves to be the best they can be. Training and coaching an employee to feel their success gives them the encouragement needed to achieve even more. There is nothing greater than watching that smile of amazement and satisfaction on an employee’s face when they realize what they have accomplished.
Larry and I have been married for 31 years. My greatest pleasure in life has been watching my three children use their God-given talents to find their own passions in life and to see their genuine kindness towards others.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself in so many places. I see myself as a part of an amazing caring Paul Davis team who daily delivers Best in Class service to all its customers. I plan to spend more time in a coaching and advising role and less in a operations role. I see myself spending more time in the community supporting my personal passion for advancing the integration of the mentally and physically handicapped population into public life where they can find their passion and feel proud of all they achieve. Paul Davis Fort Wayne is proud to employ several from this population and to celebrate all their successes as they productively serve our customers.