By Libby Martucci For HBJ
EVERETT — Most people wouldn’t expect to start at the bottom of a company and in just over a decade become that company’s president.
Melissa Benton did exactly that.
She was hired at Quantum Windows &Doors 11 years ago in the human resources department. She was appointed president in May.
“As the economy was on the downturn, I slowly started to take on more roles because the company was getting smaller and I needed more work. I acquired different departments, slowly moving out of HR, and more into sales, engineering and client services,” Benton said.
She leads the privately held company that expects to make $10 million in sales this year. The company employs 55 and has a factory building doors and windows for high-end custom homes all over the country.
Locally, the business does home remodels and helps people find that entry door, sliding door or windows that completes their home.
“Melissa brings in-depth industry knowledge and critical insights about operations, our customers as well as a vision for growth,” said Ed Stroman, chairman of the Quantum board of directors, in an email. “The board looked at a number of internal and external candidates, and Melissa stood out as the smart choice.
“Melissa has the drive, agility and leadership needed to lead Quantum in the dynamic environment the windows and doors industry is operating in today.”
Quantum Home &Windows was founded in 1982 by Everett homebuilders. The company, located at 2720 34th St., Everett, now has showrooms in Washington, California, British Columbia and Connecticut. The company is considering adding a showroom in Hawaii as well.
“We deal in a lot of homes where the windows and the doors are actually the main feature of the home,” Benton said. “So we get really involved with designers and homeowners. They are very invested in the process.”
Benton, a Snohomish native, for the past five years has held the position of director of client services, which encompassed administration, engineering, and operations.
She said she’s ready for taking on her new role.
“It was perfect timing, with kids growing up, being in a position where I can focus more on my career, and having the background I did with the company,” said Benton, who lives with her family near Lake Goodwin.
She wants the company to continue on the successful path that it’s been on: Producing quality, high-end openings while providing a seamless process for client from start to finish.
“The goal is not to change up the company because we have a great experienced dedicated staff here with several employees celebrating 30 years (with the company) this year,” she said. “They are very knowledgeable in what they do and they continue to bring their knowledge to the market.”
Last year, the company introduced their new product line, the Quantum Aluminum Clad, an entire product line from windows to doors with aluminum clad exterior an wood interior.
“We’ve been able to take those new products out to new markets and territories, expanding our sales staff.” Benton said. “We’ve always had a national influence, and our goal is to increase that in the next couple of years.”
With the economy on the upswing, Quantum Doors &Windows expects to see a 20 percent growth this year. And the company wants to at least double its sales within five years.
“I’m just really excited and thrilled to be able to work with this group of people that I’ve worked with side by side for the last 10 to 11 years and now have this opportunity to lead them,” Benton said. “Honestly, as the market goes, the possibilities are endless.”