Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Chelsea Bolter’s career to date.
“I never in a million years thought that I would end up in the construction industry,” she says. “I thought I was going to be an opera singer.”
She studied vocal performance at Florida State University, and for a time was a performing artist in New York City. But now that she is senior director of operations at Regions Facility Services, references to “pipes” are less likely to be comments about her voice and more often a need for materials at a job site.
Regions (no affiliation with the Alabama-based bank) provides construction-related services to restaurant and hospitality clients with multiple locations. As Bolter puts it, “If you’ve been to a chain restaurant, there’s a good chance we built everything in there.” In her role, Bolter manages four functional areas: construction (including build-outs and renovations), facilities (things like retiling or pulling a gas line), rollouts (jobs being managed across multiple locations, perhaps all of them) and what Regions calls “One Call” (emergency services).
So how does one get from arias to Arby’s? While in New York, Bolter babysat for a family of entrepreneurs. The husband’s financial services company needed someone to build out an HR function, and Bolter — studying for an MBA at Montclair State in New Jersey at the same time — was offered the task. Then her own father, who had just bought into Regions, said his new company could use some help as well.
Bolter started in account management, giving her a chance to understand the business at the client level. That’s also the point at which she connected with industry veteran Joe Bell, who knows construction well and does the job with a smile. “He’s always happy and excited about life,” Bolter explains. From here, Bolter’s focus is on execution, with an eye toward long-term planning to keep the business growing.
Another career switch seems unlikely at this point, but when pressed Bolter will admit to being interested in bringing a National Women’s Soccer League franchise to Tampa Bay. “If there’s energy behind that I’d love to be involved,” she says.