Proving that there’s no job, machine licence or goal too big, Kelly Smith has made a lasting impact at Hickory as she climbs from strength to strength in her career.
As a female in construction, Kelly feels her most important role is being a positive role model, mentoring other women in the industry. “Many colleagues with daughters have approached me to chat with them about my journey. There have been young women who I’ve encouraged to enter a skilled trade apprenticeship or mentored through their crane licence.”
Kelly educates others on pathways that aren’t often addressed in traditional schools, allowing them to understand that the industry is multi-faceted and has endless opportunities.
When discovering that her passion lay in the trade industry, Kelly completed an apprenticeship in Civil Construction. From there the rest is history, especially when George Argyrou noticed her hard work and determination, hiring her at Hickory. Fast forward seven years and Kelly currently works as a Hickory+ operator, delivering outstanding service and quality maintenance solutions to apartment and building owners.
The highlight of Kelly’s career has been the journey, starting off as a labourer, Warehouse & Transport Director, Bobby Connelly prompted her to obtain a Forklift licence, then shortly after a Crane Operator licence. “It’s been great to work for a company that continuously gives me the opportunities to grow, Hickory are really invested in you as a person and your career.” Currently working with Hickory+ Manager, Mark Taranto, Kelly notes how fortunate she is to work around people with rich experience and knowledge in the industry.
Kelly’s biggest mentor and inspiration is her brother Mick, who previously worked for Hickory. One of the first lessons he taught her that she continuously applies to her work is ‘If it’s not right, it’s wrong.’ Putting that quote into action has worked in Kelly’s favour, “I’m excited to be stepping into another part of my career as we expand the Hickory services division. I can combine my passion for delivering quality skilled trades with customer relations.”
When asked where she’ll be in five years, Kelly wants to continue surrounding herself with the wealth of knowledge and expertise Hickory offers. She hopes to keep mentoring and inspiring young women to join the industry.
A piece of advice from Kelly “Never stop learning, ask questions, give something new a go outside of your comfort zone and look beyond traditional roles and ideas. Have the attitude, work ethic, confidence and believe that you can achieve and deserve great things.”