• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Victoria Mergola

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    Out of the many unique and special Hudson County women we’ve featured on the blog, we can officially say we have an HG of the Week first. Victoria Mergola is the president of GEM Roofing and Waterproofing Corp., following in her late grandmother’s steps, who was the founder of the company. If that doesn’t scream boss babe, we just don’t know what does. Read on to learn more about Victoria and her Union City-based company — and prepare to get srsly inspired. 

    victoria mergola gem roofing

    About GEM, According to Victoria:

    We are very happy to successfully continue the WBE (Women Owned Business) Certification in the state of New Jersey. We are actively pursuing to be re-certified in the state of New York.

    On Her Inspirations

    My biggest source of inspiration does come from my grandmother, Jennie Mergola. She is the one who started this business in 1973 and continued to run it until the day she passed. She lived with me my whole life and her leaving one of the most precious things in my possession means a lot to me. So all my passion and inspiration to be better and do better comes from the drive of her. She was a leader and a boss lady who no one ever messed with.

    Goals + Passions

    My goal from the beginning was to only enhance the company from its already high standpoint. Being twenty-two years old, I am one of the youngest in the company. Because of that, I am integrating 21st-century technology into our everyday operations. Since August, all our foreman’s on the jobs have iPads and a new way to send everything into our office. This allows us to be faster, more organized, and it is easier on everyone with less paper. This industry is a very hard one to be in, so everyone in it seems to be stressed out. I am extremely passionate about trying to make everyone’s lives easier. I take on as much as I can handle to help out everyone else in my company. And it has shown that the new technology has very effectively helped out everyone.

    A Typical Day in the Life

    I don’t really think I have a “typical” day because owning a roofing company makes every day different. Some days I’ll come into the office by 8:30 am and get into my office and immediately start updating our company’s files on our Dropbox from the day before. Then throughout the day I always have paperwork to sign and finish, along with overseeing my estimators and answer any questions they may have. Another day, I can be out of the office all day at meetings or job sites which is always a little more exciting. I definitely love being able to be out of the office and walk around and see what is going on in the field. My project managers are there every day but it’s always nice to see if your self.

    On The Highs + Lows

    The highs of my job are being able to see how much our company is able to complete and being the quality of our work has stayed the same or even gotten better since 1973. The lows are of course the stress of every day. When you have these many people working underneath you, it’s a lot to handle.

    READ: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Leigh Scheps {Inside Edition Reporter}

    Highlight of Her Career {So Far}

    Because I inherited this company only recently, the lifespan of this career has been short. For me, I would say that inheriting this company has been a huge highlight in my life.

    My grandma, Jennie, was my absolute best friend. I saw her every single day of my life. Her leaving me the company she built was something I will be eternally grateful for. I am honored to continue her legacy and successfully continue in that direction.

    victoria mergola gem roofing hoboken girl

    What a Day Off is Like

    On my days off, I mostly spend them catching up on things that I missed during the week. But I do love to go get active and take workout classes! My sister lives in Jersey City so I’ll go catch up with her and hang out in the downtown area.

    Advice to Someone Pursuing the Same Career Path

    My advice to someone trying to pursue this type of work would be to stay on top of things. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Find people who you can trust and lean on them, and if you can’t be at every place at once, then you need those people to help you. Always be excited about new opportunities, say yes to a lot but also know when to say no.

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?

    My favorite restaurant in Hoboken is Grand Vin on Grand Street. I absolutely love their brunch, my favorite brunch item is the truffle omelet!

    What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken? JC?

    My favorite boutique in Hoboken is called “Town House” on Washington Street. They always have the best selection of clothes!

    What do you love most about Hoboken?

    The thing I love the most about Hoboken is the ability to walk around and always find great food and nice people.

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    Hudson County has a lot to do all year long, but my favorite time of year is during the spring and summer. So my favorite thing to do is to just be outside by the water and walk along the Hudson River.

    How long have you worked in Hudson County?

    I have never lived in Hudson County but I have been working at Gem Roofing since I was 15, so it has now been 7 years.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Jersey City?

    My favorite outdoor place to spend time in Jersey city is right by the Grove Street PATH. My sister lives right there so we love to go and hang out in the area, especially because they block off the traffic from the main street so there is tons of room to walk around, shop, and eat.

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Tara Makhmali {CEO, Author, + Mama}

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    My favorite place by far is Jane Do. My sister started being a trainer there and I fell in love with the classes and owners immediately. They support all women being their best and that’s what I love most about it.

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    A great place to go out with friends in Hoboken is Pier 13. They are open all summer season and always have the best food and drink! They bring in a bunch of food trucks so you can always get that Instagram worthy food!

    What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City?

    Hoboken and Jersey City are filled with everything you could possibly need, except parking — haha! No truly, my father grew up in the area and has seen immense improvement amongst all of Hudson County. The restaurants are great, coffee shops, boutiques, grocery stores — everything is within your reach around here. I am not too sure what else we could possibly need!

    Thanks for chatting with us, Victoria! Stay tuned for our next Hoboken Girl of the Week <3

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    Written by:

    Briana is a born-and-raised Hoboken Girl who embraces both the new and old aspects of the Mile Square. She’s a freelance writer, works in social media, and more importantly (but not really) — a cat lover and total foodie. When she’s not working, she can be found convincing herself to buy something at Sephora or Target, eating mussels with her fiancé at Leo’s, or planning her next Disney vacation.