Local Women: Karen Schroeder

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“Building Homes and Communities” Occupation: Co-Owner of Mayberry Homes Residence: East Lansing Family: Husband, Bob Schroeder; Bob’s kids: Joe, Nicole and Jeff; her kids: Kori, Jodie and Ryan Hobbies: Cooking, entertaining, spending time with family and traveling throughout the US. Karen Schroeder, Co-owner of Mayberry Homes with her husband, Bob, makes work a family affair. Mayberry Homes is a family-oriented team passionately committed to creating innovative homes and communities; they build neighborhoods in the Greater Lansing area, Midland and Traverse City. For more information, check out: www.mayberryhomes.com.   Q: Have you always seen yourself being involved in the home building industry? A: Construction is in my bones and soul. My parents were involved in building, construction and management. This industry has struggled during the last few years and I feel like we have lost a generation of construction trade programs. I want to make sure this industry and especially this company is able to carry over for many years — it’s not just a job for me. Whether current employees are related or not — four staff members are relatives — we are family here and I want their future to be secure. Q: What’s it like running a business with your spouse? A: It takes a certain kind of relationship for a husband and wife to run a business together. You are around each other 24/7, but luckily, he is my best friend and we both come from a background in the housing industry. He has always been involved with the building side, and for me, I’ve always been in sales. If it wasn’t for Bob, I honestly don’t see myself being able to run a building company on my own. I respect him immensely and we work very well together. Q: What’s your outlook on the future of the home building industry? A: When things got bad, it took everything we had to keep our doors open, and through hard work we were able to celebrate our 10th anniversary this last summer. We have been very fortunate to keep our doors open throughout this rough patch and our sales are beginning to grow again. I think on a national scale, the overall climate is beginning to improve as well. I’m very optimistic for the future, cautious, but very optimistic.
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