Healdsburg Lumber CEO wins North Bay Women in Business award

Technical background: After college, I worked at Exchange Bank for a few years. When the retail store opened at Hudson Street Design in 2008, I decided to give it a try.

From then on, I was promoted to general manager and general manager of HSD. In March 2020, I was promoted to president of Healdsburg Lumber Company, Inc.

Education: Growing up in Healdsburg where I did elementary schooling, I also graduated from Healdsburg High School. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in justice from Chico State University, but soon returned to Sonoma County after graduation.

Staff: Manages three areas – Healdsburg Lumber Company, Hudson Street Design, and Gualala Building Supply – with a total of 90 employees. More than 25% of our employees have been with us for ten years or more, and I know many of them since I was a child.

Our working family is just like that: family. We are all close and supportive of anything, which makes working very fun.
Tell us about yourself and your company: Healdsburg Lumber has been around since 1875, but was purchased by my grandfather in the mid-1970’s. In 1985 my father was in charge of the business and was primarily responsible for expanding into a full-service company.

Growing up in a company, it really feels like home. There was never any pressure to take over the family business, but after officially joining the staff in 2008, I became interested in the company and saw it succeed.

I am excited to lead the team as we break into our new building that will allow us to become a single building materials company.
Is there a major achievement in the past year or would you like to share?

At the beginning of the epidemic, we (like everyone else) did not know what to expect, or what kind of loss we might experience. My first goal was to protect my employees: from COVID, of course, but also from job losses.

With cost-cutting measures, we were able to pass without injury. And we all have had to be very flexible, which has helped to improve the flow of our work.

Which achievement are you most proud of?

After working in various departments for over 12 years, I was promoted to president in March 2020.

I am proud not only for the hard work you put into getting that position, but also for (and most importantly) me

I am proud to be the third generation of the Ziedrich family to lead this company.

My parents had three daughters, and when my sister and I were young, the idea of ??the girls taking over the lumber company seemed unrealistic.

Happily, our society is making a concerted effort to change the stereotypes associated with gender roles. Now I am a mother of two young girls, and I encourage them every day to dream big – that they can do whatever they set out to do.
What is your biggest challenge today?

Separate production of building materials during the epidemic despite an increase in construction projects has led to the cost of timber to record height.

While our emails are consistent, our customers are still plagued by price increases.

We also see lead times much longer than most other products, especially windows and doors. This can lead to a frustrating situation for all involved. Things change every day, so we do our best to prepare and educate our customers so that everyone can plan accordingly.

Words that describe you best: I care about and consider others, and I tend to be very kind.

I’m also a very dedicated person and I really try to put my heart into what I do, be it at work, volunteering at my kids ’school, or just good exercise.

Personally, what changes could you have made in your life and in your home and at work?
My husband and I are fortunate to have our children’s grandparents and close friends close to the epidemic – we could have been lost without them.

However, remembering who goes where and on what day, turning various schedules, and passing that information on to the right person, all while working full-time has been an incredible challenge.

What about the women you work with, or know outside of the workplace? What changes do they need to make?

Several friends have had to cut back on work hours or quit their jobs altogether to stay home with their children through higher grades, which has had a profound effect on them financially and emotionally.
We have done our best for HLC to provide flexibility for all our employees to help them deal with any of the responsibilities they face.

We want our employees to be able to take care of their health because it will reduce stress and help them focus while on the job. I think for the most part, our team is always calm during the epidemic because they know we are there to help them.
Lastly on COVID, a change in the practice or use of your work that you have done as a result of a lasting epidemic, could it be at work or in your view of home life?

Like many people, I have been spending a lot of quality time with my husband and daughters since the start of SIP.

After-school activities and weekends that once controlled and controlled our family time have been replaced by a slower, more relaxed lifestyle. I know that peace will not last forever, so moving forward will be the key to planning that time.

In our company, we have
had to strengthen our technology game to work during the epidemic. Pre-Covid, some of my employees had a tech-phobia. I’m proud of how they came up with and embraced new ways of doing things.
Being able to have meetings in Zoom has been very easy and saves a lot of time. We have several locations, so being able to jump to a computer instead of driving to a different location saves a lot of time and planning challenges.

As a successful female champion, what are some of the major challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?

Starting a career in a male-dominated industry was intimidating, to say the least, not to mention that I was also much younger than most of my colleagues.

I was fortunate to be raised in an environment where women ‘s contributions were highly valued, but I knew that this was not always the case.
I know that my parents are incredibly proud to see me take over our family company, and that I have a real love for it. And although the company will change over time, I am determined to keep HLC DNA and the traditions established by my father and grandfather.

My husband, Chris, tells me that I am a caring and considerate wife and mother, and that I work hard to help provide for my family – financially and emotionally.

 

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