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Three questions with CH Coakley division leader Wendy Lapp

Feb 24, 2022, 4:49pm CST

“Don’t be afraid of it,” is how Wendy Lapp approached the responsibility of leading CH Coakley’s operations division.

In that job, Lapp schedules Coakley’s crews for office moving jobs, sending through work orders from the sales department where she previously worked and set a record for transactions the previous year. She assigns about 45 people on the moving crews, works with 20 more on the billing and sales teams and has a hand in company hiring and firing.

Since taking the job last year, she has since recruited Samantha Ziemke and Kayla Waring to fill out the operations team, making it a rare example of a women-led operations center in the male-dominated moving industry. Lapp talked about her approach to that experience this month.

Why did you pursue the operations job after finding success in sales?

“It more was a personal thing for me. Because of my record (sales) numbers, I have such high expectations for myself. It was learning to provide more of a home-life, healthy living for my situation.”

How are you helping others in the company advance their careers?

“I don’t look at it as a mentorship role; I look at it as career building. When I’m doing my reviews and bringing in new hires, we talk about where they want to go. I initiated a 90-day review program. Now the person has seen a little bit more of the company, so are you looking to be a driver, an installer, do you want to be part of the warehouse? Where do you see yourself in the next year? Where can I plant you on projects to help build where you are going?”

What’s your advice to other women seeking executive roles in male-dominated fields?

“I’m a person who works hard. I am driven. Those two things have proven my career, where I’ve been and where I’m going. I don’t want to run people over. I want to be able to work side-by-side.”

Sean Ryan
Milwaukee Business Journal

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