For Kimberly Gattuso, being a woman in the predominantly male construction industry is rewarding because of the satisfaction she gets from running a successful and respected company yet challenging trying daily to prove her capabilities. The owner and managing partner of Dry Guys Basement Systems, a basement waterproofing company in Woodstown, New Jersey, is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification in applied microbial remediation and as a water damage restoration technician. Ms. Gattuso holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the School of Entrepreneurship in Seymour, Connecticut, and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration.
Ms. Gattuso has the credentials, but her expertise is also in her blood. Dry Guys Basement Systems is a family business. At age 18, she was the warehouse president’s assistant and then worked her way up through the ranks until she became the owner. With most of her relatives being military veterans, Ms. Gattuso inherited a strong work ethic, a sense of duty, and the family mantra, “Just chase greatness.”
Ms. Gattuso’s responsibilities include but are not limited to leading company managers, ensuring that department key performance indicators are on target, networking, some accounting, training, coaching, maintaining a team culture, and keeping vehicle fleets updated. Prior to her current role, she worked as a special projects manager, sales manager, and marketing director at the company.
Dry Guys Basement Systems has 37-and-counting employees who are like family. Ms. Gattuso says employees feel special and have a sense of ownership. Using paid time off for family time is encouraged, and employee milestones such as having a baby, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations are acknowledged and celebrated. Ms. Gattuso provides the tools employees need to perform their jobs efficiently and encourages individuals to show their greatness and bring it to the team to set each other up for success. She also trains staff on how to “sell peace of mind” by educating and advising homeowners to purchase what they truly need, not just to make a sale.
Ms. Gattuso, previously named Small Business Leader of the Year by the Salem County Chamber of Commerce, attributes her success to her team and being self-motivated. She sets high team expectations and aims for “wow” customer service to be the standard in contracting. Dry Guys Basement Systems has expanded into Pennsylvania, a new territory she hopes to dominate, and within the next decade, she wants it to grow into a $5 million enterprise. Confident based on longevity and consistently excellent customer reviews, Ms. Gattuso wants the company to become a household name and saturate the overall industry market. This determination has earned her more awards, including Business of the Year from NJBiz.com, Best of Salem County from the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey State Assembly presented by the Salem County Chamber of Commerce, among other accolades.
Continuous professional development, staying current with all industry certifications, and sharing her expertise outside of the company are the additional keys to Ms. Gattuso’s business acumen. She has made presentations to or been active with the Salem County Chamber of Commerce, which often celebrates local women in business. Additionally, her continued training includes a social media marketing conference with SkillPath; an advanced training certificate sales camp with Basement Systems, Inc.; Who’s Who, Mighty Citizen; BizWiz 2.0 for JES Foundation Repair; certification as a Foundation Supportworks sales and marketing specialist and sales and management training at Supportworks, Inc.; and equipment operator training from OSHA.
As a member of the business education committee of the Salem County Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Gattuso has facilitated multiple college presentations for business owners to help them improve. Other industry-related and community-based projects and events she has participated in during the past decade include collaborating with April Follies, hosting social media workshops as part of the Second Friday Series, supporting the Taste of South Jersey fundraisers benefitting the Family Promise of Salem County, volunteering with the local Center for Family Services, and joining the nearby Don M. Crawl Space and Basement Project.
Ms. Gattuso has present or professional memberships with Business Network International, the New Jersey International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Army Navy Unit No. 53 National Park in New Jersey, Toastmasters, and the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Counting her civic responsibilities as equally important, she has served on boards for, volunteered, or financially supported local chapters of organizations that have remained close to her heart for decades, including Habitat for Humanity of Salem County, the Salem County chapter of Boy Scouts of America via the Ladies Auxiliary National Park in New Jersey, and Army Navy Unit No. 51 for whom Ms. Gattuso served as senior vice president.