After climbing the ranks, developing the culture and building on the success of the ServiceMaster Building Maintenance franchise that she and her husband built, Stacy McCall took over the position of president and CEO in 2009. She has since rebranded the business ServiceMaster by Stratos and relocated to downtown Memphis, a strategic move that she calls “an opportunity to connect with the Memphis community” and “a point of pride for its employees.”
Stacy has always had the spirit to learn the ins and outs of every pursuit. What’s more, she takes her knowledge and uses it to benefit the organizations and people who surround her. A true leader, Stacy describes her philosophy of service as “giving of oneself for the benefit of others” and believes that “serving is not the task at hand, but the reward itself.” Stacy has been named Super Woman in Business (2013) by the Memphis Business Journal, she has led her team to win Small Business of the Year (2015), and she strives to give back in her community as opportunities arise. Today, we’re thrilled to feature her as our FACE of Memphis.
What is the biggest accomplishment you have had in your job?
Our company, ServiceMaster by Stratos, winning the Memphis Business Journal’s Small Business Award for the 61+ employee category in 2015 has been the biggest accomplishment for me. As a leader, I can encourage and share praise within our organization, but for my team to receive external recognition for their continued commitment to our work is one of my proudest moments.
Who has most inspired you in your life and why?
My mother, hands down. I was blessed to be able to learn from her grace and strength for 50 years. She showed me what it meant to invest in people by giving of her time and talents.
How do you motivate others?
One thing I have learned from years in business is that motivating others isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. The first step for me is to start learning the individual by listening and watching their interactions and conversations with others, analyzing what appears to be important to them, what makes them smile and where they excel. Emotionally, do they absorb, process and then communicate, or do they live out loud and push? Once I know some of those traits, it is my responsibility to create the opportunity, supply the tools and then set aside the time to provide feedback for the individual. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to help create a vision and then map the path forward so they see where their dreams fit into that vision.
If you were to create a piece of art, what would the subject be?
I would love to pick up a paintbrush when I start slowing down. I would capture the picture of winter trees silhouetted on the swollen river banks in Tate County just before dusk in black and white.
How do you work to make Memphis a better place?
I hope that my investment in the organizations in Memphis and people that come and go within our company help make Memphis a better place. Moving our family and business downtown, I think, reflects that. We intentionally chose to live connected to visitors, homeless, civil servants, business owners and other downtown residents. You can’t help but have a positive or negative impact on those you encounter daily on the street. Whether it is the wanderer who heard that we have coupons for the Memphis Union Mission, the police officer who needs a wave or a smile or the visitor to whom you give a restaurant recommendation, each interaction we have in our community makes a difference. I have seen so many positive changes in Memphis in the last six years since being downtown, and I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.
What word best describes you?
Tell us about your family.
I have been blessed to be married to Chris McCall for 29 years and have three wonderful children, Ashley (24), Benjamin (21) and Caleb (13). We are proud Downtowners and Memphians.
What is the #1 most-played song on your iPod?
Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” I guess I am showing my age now.
Describe your perfect day.
Waking up knowing there are no pressing work responsibilities, having a cup of coffee with my husband, and then having the children ask me to participate in an activity of their choosing for the day or just engaging in conversation with them about whatever they have on their mind. I would then wrap up the end of the day walking the dog with my husband watching the sun set over the Mississippi River.
What’s your best piece of advice for others?
Never stop learning. A major part of that pursuit is to understand that you can never ask enough questions. When I was a senior in high school, I had a teacher pull me out of a classroom one day and tell me I had to stop asking questions in class because it was upsetting my classmates. When I asked why, he told me they just wanted to know how to get the right answer not why it worked that way. Had I internalized those instructions and allowed that mindset to prevail in my life, I am sure that I wouldn’t be where I am today. So never be afraid to ask questions. You will always benefit, and you never know who else will be thankful you did.
What are three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends?
First, scuba diving. I feel I am drying up if I can’t sneak away and plunge into the ocean’s silent world. Second, pen and paper. I am much too forgetful not to make lists. Last, but not least, sunshine. Not the suntan-type of sunshine, but the lift your spirits, warmth on your face, glistening off of water droplets after a rain shower sunshine.
Thank you, Stacy, for sharing a bit about yourself with our readers. And thanks to Emily Robbins for today’s beautiful photography.