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MELISSA GESKA

PRESIDENT, US CEILING CORP

Years in current role: 21

What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?

In 2019, US Ceiling launched its skilled trades training, leadership and workforce development program, USC Academy. Over the past year, we’ve graduated several cohorts and have seen many of our employees elevate their career by learning new disciplines and developing or enhancing their leadership and soft skills. Individuals that began their construction careers as general site coordinators have now stepped into field leadership positions. We also saw an increase in women in skilled trade positions in our company. To see these trailblazers — brave enough to enter spaces where few women go — is inspiring and being able to provide a platform to watch this level of personal and professional development is humbling and has become my professional “why.”

What are your expectations for the rest of this year?

The rest of this year will provide significant growth opportunities for me both personally and professionally. I am stepping into new roles and opportunities [I’ve not previously explored] in property development and I’m excited to increase the pipeline of opportunity for my team and my community.

What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your industry?

I would tell them to surround themselves with people who have achieved at a high level or who have done whatever it is they aspire to do. Humble themselves, ask for help and learn all they can, so they can continue raising their own bar.

What is one personal goal you have for the next year?

In the next year, I would like to learn Spanish, which is the primary language for many of my team members and subcontractors. I would love to honor them in conversation by being able to speak with them in their native language.

What are your favorite things about Rochester?

I love the generosity and sense of community I experience in Rochester, and I love our city’s resilient and thriving entrepreneurial spirit. I also love the diversity in seasons we experience here in Upstate New York.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Real Estate & Construction list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.

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