rachel sanchez building service contractor business owner in blue top

In honor of Women's History Month, building services contractors (BSCs) across the country have been stepping up to recognize the remarkable female leaders within the ranks. That list wouldn't be complete without Rachel Sanchez, the CEO and managing partner at Plano, Texas-based Prestige Maintenance USA.  

The second-generation owner is also a member of Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), is involved in ISSA Hygieia Network, and serves as a board member of Women's Business Council Southwest. Also on the long list of her areas of involvement is her service as 2019 NextGen Committee Chair of ISSA. 

Sanchez has been recognized with many awards, including "40 Under 40" from the Dallas Business Journal in 2016; "Women-Owned Business Enterprise of the Year" and "Women Working Together" from Women's Business Council Southwest, both in 2019; and most recently, the "Top 50 Women Leaders in the Dallas Area" by Women We Admire in March of 2022.  

To gain some insight on pandemic-related challenges BSCs are still experiencing, recruiting hurdles, benefits of networking and the experience of being a second-generation owner, Contracting Profits sat down with Sanchez for a candid conversation. Here’s what she had to say: 

You are a young woman and a second-generation owner. What are some of the biggest hurdles you've had to overcome as a growing building service contractor (BSC)? 

One of my greatest challenges has been that Prestige is the only business I know. I went straight from growing up in the business and holding various roles in the company, to then leading the organization. Having built my career within the family business, I don’t have the experience of working somewhere else and then bringing that knowledge back to Prestige.  

I know every leader experiences trial and error, but mine has all been within my own family business — and sometimes that’s a tough pill to swallow. I think that is why it’s so important for me to be involved with both industry and business organizations that provide educational opportunities, a strong network of professionals and proven methods to grow and thrive in business today.  

Strong networking skills are important in this industry, whether in person or via social channels. What best practices do you have for BSCs struggling with networking?  

Networking is incredibly important for anyone in business. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a question, a business need has popped up, or just needed to talk through something and I’m able to reach out to someone I know through networking. It feels good to know that you aren’t alone!  

I would encourage BSC’s to just dive in, even though it may feel intimidating at first — and to keep showing up. You are not going to create a network if you just show up every now and again. It really does take intention, time and follow up.  

One way to truly accelerate the development of a strong network is to get involved by volunteering on a committee. This gives you an opportunity to get to know individuals in a smaller setting and build deeper relationships.   

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