#YKKAPProud: Employee Perspectives with Michelle Pearson

YKK AP Employee Perspectives: A Q&A with Architectural Sales Representative, Michelle Pearson

Michelle Pearson is an architectural sales representative in Baltimore. Pearson began her career at YKK AP as a receptionist through a temp agency and is now one of the company’s most admired sales representatives. In 2019, she became the first-ever female recipient of the company’s coveted President’s Award, which is awarded annually to a top-performing sales representative. In 2023, she took home that same award for a second time.

Michelle, tell us about how you began your career with YKK AP.

I began my career with YKK AP more than 20 years ago. In July 2002, I was hired through a temp agency as a receptionist for YKK AP’s Baltimore branch.

20 years is quite an accomplishment! How has your career evolved during that time?

My career with YKK AP has taken a winding path. After serving as a receptionist for six months, I went on to work in customer service for three years. I then transitioned into the estimating department. My sales career first began in the Inside Sales department, where I worked for two years, before transitioning into an Architectural Sales Representative in 2010.

What a wonderful opportunity to experience all aspects of a sales branch.

Yes, it’s been a great experience. I have had tremendous opportunities for advancement within the sales branch itself, and within the company as a whole.

How has YKK AP been unique in its support of your career?

In addition to providing many opportunities to learn the business, the company created the inside sales position with the intention to help me transition into an outside sales position.

Is there a specific area of the industry you have seen change the most throughout the course of your career?

Everything has evolved over the years. From communication processes to code requirements, and how those codes affect product requirements.

Is there a moment you have felt especially proud of your work?

When I became the first female to win the National Presidents Award for top sales in 2019. That was one of the most remarkable moments of my career.

Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self? 

Don’t take things personally. It’s just business.

Is there one piece of advice you would give someone new to joining the company?

Knowledge is power. Be proactive, and strive to learn the products, the market, and the people.

Also, opportunities are endless, but your effort and dedication are crucial.

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