The queen of co-op-etition – Renda The Roofer

“I have a new tattoo and it’s a pause button,” says Renda Baird, owner of local contracting firm Renda the Roofer and RTR Teams. She laughingly explains the philosophy behind the tattoo: “Lord/Buddha put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.”

Talking (and I imagine working with) Renda Baird is not unlike being the victim of a fire hose: it is relentless. The fire hose is an especially apt metaphor considering that Baird was one of the first female firefighters in her small town. In addition to breaking down the employment barrier for women at this station, Baird also worked to make the fire department a more comfortable place for the women who followed her, making the settlements pronoun inclusive and creating more user-friendly bathroom spaces.

Photo courtesy of Renda Baird

Baird retired from firefighting, but often refers to that work and her upbringing as a farm girl as formative for how she approaches life and work today. Being willing to fight for a place in a male-dominated field has proven useful in the world of outsourcing. “A woman-owned roofing business [is an anomaly]says Baird, “People don’t think women can own roofing businesses.”

Since her career as a firefighter, Baird has been proving people like this wrong for fifteen years, but she prefers recognition for her accomplishments to her identity. Representation is important to Baird, but mostly because representation is an inspiration to people who might not realize what doors are open to them otherwise. Shortly after describing herself as an “equal opportunity dater,” Baird pointed out that she “didn’t want to be the best gay [or female] roofer – [she just wants] to be the best roofer.

Photo courtesy of Renda Baird

With the bias against women (and the LGBTQ community) in construction comes an additional bias against manual labor in general. “Everyone thinks it’s easy, but it’s really just old-fashioned hard work…It’s not rocket science – it’s just a blue-collar guy doing it.” Procurement is hard work. Not everyone can do it, even in the best of times.

Fortunately, Baird has built and continues to build a strong community of small businesses that she knows she can rely on. She explains: “I try to empower our teams. We are only as good as our weakest link.

COVID-19 has been difficult for the company. On the plus side, more people have been working on home improvement projects, but there are supply chain issues and Baird has had to adapt his communication style. “COVID has cut so many levels of communication,” she explains, “Right now [the people who are succeeding are] the people who best use technology.

Photo courtesy of Renda Baird

However, Baird isn’t one to let change get in the way. “I went through a few issues this year that pushed my partnerships to new levels,” she says. “I helped [many] people start their own business…I ultimately help people start their own business and learn how to work together to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” says Baird.

Helping people start businesses (often in areas like roofing, water management and gutter services) is a win-win situation for Baird, who is then able to partner with these new businesses on projects that come their way. She describes it as “co-op-etition.”

She explains: “I see it as team sports. My best friends are people I have competed with or against in sports. Baird fosters a sense of competition and collaboration in his work environments, knowing that friendly competition builds the strongest relationships. “You have to get the best team possible,” smiled Baird.

As a licensed general contractor, Renda the roofer is an excellent resource for all kinds of contracting needs. Baird specializes in outdoor storm restoration and helps people plan their construction projects in advance to maximize a structure’s ability to withstand potential emergencies.

Photo courtesy of Renda Baird

When you hire Renda the Roofer, you get a team of professionals who are dedicated to a high quality product and a positive customer experience. “I’m obsessed with process and making things better with clear agreements.” Baird works hard to set expectations, build relationships, and leave you with home improvements you’ll love for years to come.

Or, as she puts it, “I’m the queen of fuss and flow!”