Pricing and Sourcing Manager; Border States Electric
Richelle Bishoff was born and raised in Fargo, N.D., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of North Dakota.
She moved to Chicago after college and picked up a few years of work experience there before deciding go back home.
“A cousin of mine worked for Border States for many years,” Richelle explained. “So when I moved back to Fargo and was looking for a job, I was really drawn in just because of the good things she had said about Border States and it being an employee-owned company. Initially, there wasn’t much consideration for the industry, but I have truly come to love it.”
Once she started at Border States, Richelle soon found out how complex and widespread the industry was.
“Until I got into the business a little bit and understood the supply chain more, that’s when my passion for the industry came out,” she explained. “I had a lot to learn. That was my first impression, which was exciting for me. I mean, knowing there was going to be the challenge and constant learning.”
Richelle worked her way up at Border States to where her current title is pricing and sourcing manager.
“Pricing and sourcing are really two different pillars within our organization. Our pricing team is responsible for managing the costs within our system,” she explained. “Do we have competitive and accurate pricing loaded to support our field? We are here to support our branches and those that are out there making sales. It is a mix of data analysis and making sure your costs are competitive. The sourcing pillar is really responsible for ensuring that we have competitive pricing, are reducing risk, and are working with our suppliers to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Richelle has attended recent Women in Leadership conferences presented by NAED and recommends them highly.
“They’re great. I think it’s just being open-minded, learning from your peers and seeing what your competitors are doing,” she said. “It’s listening to others and going in knowing that you don’t know everything—whether it’s from a leadership standpoint or a business standpoint.”
From her own experience at Border States as well as from attending such conferences, Richelle has been seeing more women entering the industry, she explained.
“I do, especially at Border States. I have definitely noticed an influx of women coming into the industry,” she said. “Once you get into a great company and you can see the opportunity for growth, for innovation—I think that’s appealing to almost everyone.”
Richelle likes to volunteer in her spare time including at her area YWCA.
“At the YWCA, I lead a class monthly where I talk about building effective resumes and skills and just different things to bring into the job interview process,” she said.
She and her husband, Tom, have a two-year-old daughter, Vivian.
“Being together is kind of our hobby, finding things to do together when it’s nice outside,” Richelle explained. “We spend time outdoors and now we’re gearing up for the holidays; just enjoy being together.”
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. I would say to be open-minded to new opportunities and not be afraid to try different things. You might not know how to do something today. But find those people around you that can help elevate you and get you there. I would also say don’t be afraid to have your voice be heard. Get out there and try something new and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Q. Why do you consider community involvement to be such an important part of a company’s mission?
A. It can make you really grateful for the opportunities and the challenges that you face. You get a different perspective. The challenges I am faced with are fun things to work through whereas others are faced with much worse. And I think it’s also a great part of our culture in not making everything about yourself. It’s really about giving back and rounding yourself out, getting that perspective.Tagged with 2018, 30 under 35, Border States