Addie Merrick-Phang, CR, grew up in the remodeling industry. Her father, David Merrick, MCR, UDCP, started his company, Merrick Design and Build, Inc. in 1989 and provided his daughter with the opportunity to learn about the industry first-hand through his business. This experience helped develop her love for remodeling, which she would eventually make her career.
Addie officially joined the business eight years ago in August of 2011, and she is now Vice President of Merrick Design and Build, Inc. The company has grown to handling an average of 200 repair projects, roughly 20 of which are full-service design and build projects averaging $75,000 each, with some reaching the $600,000 mark.
Preparing to Lead
David Merrick instilled a sense of industry pride in his daughter and emphasized the importance of developing herself professionally by becoming involved in their industry association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and pursuing the prestigious certifications NARI offers to remodeling professionals.
David himself holds the most prestigious certification NARI offers, Master Certified Remodeler (MCR), as well as the Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) designation. Merrick-Phang says, “My dad has always valued NARI certification and felt it was important I too become involved with the programs. He wanted me to get additional education to prepare me to run the business and the Certified Remodeler (CR) designation was a natural step to take.”
Merrick-Phang set out to build her image in the remodeling industry and prove herself as a knowledgeable remodeling professional by pursuing NARI’s Certified Remodeler designation. “Being a young professional and a woman in the industry, I feel there is a greater pressure to prove myself. The CR designation offers me that boost in credibility.”
Addie also feels her CR designation gives her more authority in directing the company’s employees and confirms her expertise as a board member at her local NARI chapter. “Most of the time I am managing people who have more years under their belt than me, or I’m sitting on my local NARI chapter board with men who have been in the industry longer than I, so it was very important to me that I validate my position and expertise by achieving one of our industry’s most respected certifications.”
Fostering Professional Development
In fact, Addie and David feel so strongly about the value of NARI certifications that they have tied promotions and pay increases for their employees to certification.
“We encourage our professionals to pursue NARI Certification and we cover the full cost of their certification and study group tuition. And we reward them with pay increases upon achieving this significant milestone in their careers.”
Next Step – NARI Accreditation
But Merrick-Phang isn’t stopping at just one NARI certification. She recently applied for NARI’s Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) certification and is in the process of studying for the exam.
Even more impressively, Merrick Design and Build, Inc. is taking an even bigger step to validate the professionalism of the entire company by pursuing companywide recognition through NARI’s Accredited Remodeling Company program. “This is a logical next step for our business. Our leadership and much of our staff is certified, now it’s time we apply the same benefits we have reaped from our individual certifications to the entire company through NARI Accreditation.” Merrick-Phang expects that pursuing NARI Accreditation will not only result in operational improvements but in an elevated image and visibility to their prospective customers which will aid in growing the business.
Ultimately, for Addie, “there’s a bit of an element of vanity to my CR certification. I’m proud to hold one of our industry’s most prestigious and sought after certifications.