Kelly Jo Kalton

Outside Sales Representative, Gannon Roofing Supply
Kelly Jo Kalton

When it comes to blazing new trails, Kelly Jo Kalton is surely familiar. Growing up in a construction family on an Iowa farm gave her the opportunity to step outside of typical gender roles and taught her a lot about a hard days work. From a young age she learned that it was ok for women to get their hands dirty, too. She learned how to drive a semi by age 12 while hauling grain in from the fields. At age 14, she learned how to operate heavy equipment and was helping install field tile for the family farm among other projects like welding fence and repairing farm machinery. She was an active member of 4H and FFA and could usually be found on the back of one of her horses exploring the Iowa countryside in her free time. In high school she enrolled in every trades class she could, including small engines, welding, carpentry, and agriculture classes. Kelly Jo competed in High School Rodeo, and received a scholarship to rodeo at the Collegiate level. That led her to Western North Dakota where she attended Dickinson State University, during the recent Bakken oil boom. After graduating with her Bachelors degree, she went to work as a Roustabout in the booming oilfield. She was the first female to be hired by that company as a Roustabout, and the first female to run heavy equipment on location for the company. When it was time to leave the field 2 years later, she took over Management of an oilfield fittings supply store with an all male staff, and was the first female to be hired by that company for that location, as well. The next chapter of first's comes with her current position of Outside Sales at Gannon Roofing Suppy in Des Moines. She is the first female to be hired in that role for the company, and also the only female in that role among the competition. She is passionate about helping young women get involved in the trades and hopes to see many more young women pursuing careers that may not be considered as typical for young women in the future. She has always believed that there are no jobs meant just for men, or just for women. She currently resides near De Soto, Iowa, with her wonderful 6 year old son, two dogs, and three horses and will continue to be an advocate for young women pursuing careers in the trades.

The above information was provided by the speaker.

Breakout Session: Fearless Females Panel
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