You may have seen her guest blogs right here on the site. She is a huge proponent of getting young people interested in the trades. Why? Because Allie Perez is one of those young, skilled tradespeople, and she is a rising star! Allie has been working as the Director of Operations for Mr. Plumber / Mr. AC for the past two years. Born and mostly raised in San Antonio, she graduated from New York University with a double major in Drama and English with a minor in mathematics. What do you do with a fine arts degree? She went into business. She started working in sales and worked her way up to management positions. Before she came to work for Mr. Plumber/Mr. AC, she worked for herself as an independent business consultant for small businesses. When she came to work for MP/MAC, she didn’t know a thing about the trades. She has always been interested in math, science and working with her hands, so it was a natural fit. As she’s been learning, she’s been using her own home plumbing system to practice and experiment. Here is Allie Perez in her own words…
MH: What/who were some of the biggest influencers to get you interested in the trades?
Perez: Charles Sagray, the Owner and Operator of MP/MAC. He’s always been helpful and supportive of my interest in pursuing the trades. I also work closely with him on operations of the business.
MH: Who would you consider a mentor growing up?Perez: My grandmother, Inez Alcala Bosquez, raised me and taught me the importance of education and hard work. She created within me, at a young age, a structure for living that helped me create positive work and life habits. She also LOVED to talk to people; she taught me that skill.
MH: In your opinion, how can the industry do a better job getting younger people involved in the trade?
Perez: We need to sell the trades to young people. We need to focus on the little known benefits of working in the trade. We need to take a look at how college’s are marketing to young people. Changes need to occur on the local, state and national level.
Allie shoots her how-to videos.
MH: I noticed that you talk to young kids about the trades. Tell me what precipitated that and what that means to you?
Perez: My mother-in-law, an administrator at a local elementary school, invited me to speak at her school’s career day. I loved it. We took apart the sink, talked about water and their bright young futures. Since, I have gone to over a dozen local elementary and middle schools to spread awareness of the trades as an option for their futures.
MH: What do you enjoy about your job?
Perez: Working with the best team a leader could hope to work for, makes life so enjoyable. We have a small team, but we all work towards the same goals everyday. We share in loses in successes and know each other’s strengths.
MH: Let’s keep it real: what don’t you like about the job, in general?
Perez: Customer complaints. People have been burned by bad Plumbers and HVAC techs. Sometimes, it’s hard to prove to them that we are the good guys (…in blue).
MH: Take me through a typical day for you.
Perez: A typical day in the life of Allie Perez: starts with a morning chat with my husband, a breakfast of fruit, and off the work. Work day: work with dispatch to “plan” the day, run reports, updates sales numbers, contact vendors, meetings with local plumbing organizations, customer service resolutions, marketing planning and tracking, run a call (if I’m lucky!) After work: run, rehearsal, dinner, bed.
MH: Do you have a favorite tool that you rely on?
Perez: My brain. My most expensive and attractive tool.
MH: What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do while away from the job?
Perez: I’ve never stopped acting. I act, produce and direct local theater. My husband and I are animal lovers and love serving the community. In addition to adopting four dogs, a chinchilla, and a hamster, we volunteer at the Humane Society of San Antonio and at the Food Bank.
MH: What type of music do you like?
Perez: Musical theater junky. I get down to: classic rock, rock, jazz, (some country, I am Texan!), pop! (I love to dance!), standards and oldies.
MH: If you weren’t in this trade, you would be doing what?
Perez: I’m so happy in the trades that it’s hard to imagine. I suppose I would have continued to pursue my business consulting and services path.
MH: The last time you said, “Today is a great day,” you were doing what?
Perez: I’m lucky to have a good deal of “great days.” On those days, I’m putting in a productive day at work (meetings, achieving goals, building relationships), working on a play (acting/directing or both), eating good food, and spending quality time with the ones and pets I love.