Women’s History Month - Kelly Roberts
The UTA College of Business celebrates Women’s History Month by recognizing the success and accomplishments of our alumni. Kelly Roberts earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from UTA. Now, she is the CEO of Ricochet Fuel Distributors Inc. Presented below are her contributions, accolades, professional goals, and achievements.
What was your favorite memory of the College of Business?
Professor Calibro – a great marketing professor. Creative, and entertaining and he connected well with his students.
How did the College of Business help prepare you for your career?
Introducing me to the many facets of business and seeing how they all connect.
Since graduating, what have been some of your accomplishments?
I started a company in the fuel distribution business from scratch. 35 years later we are a strong, thriving company still growing and serving our customers well.
What has been a challenge in your career?
Thinking, I knew what I was doing from the beginning. I had a huge learning curve and fortunately, I was able to work through it all.
Do you take part in any new initiatives, community service, or projects that make you proud?
We are a strong contributor to a few charities that are close to our hearts. We also do a company volunteer day for 6 Stones working on a community project – a local charity. Employees get involved and we have a good time doing it.
Is there a particular person in your life that inspired you to be who you are? Who are they and how did they inspire you, personally or professionally?
My mother and father had a great work ethic. They taught me to go after what I wanted and not let others say “nay” to me. Few people in my business community thought I would be successful with my start-up. I am happy to say they were wrong!
Also, when I worked at Texaco as a Marketing Representative, I was assigned to the only female retailer, Barbara McBee, we had in the state. I observed her determination in an environment that was not supportive of women in the industry at the time. I learned a tremendous amount about perseverance and how to keep moving forward when some people just want to be roadblocks. We used to call them “speed bumps”. They can slow you down but not stop you.
Kelly when first started Richochet Fuel in 1989
What goals are you working towards?
We are a growing company. My big goal is to complete our succession plan. I am not going to the house yet, but I want to make sure we have a super strong team in place to take over. My daughter, Cass, has recently been promoted to President and is doing a great job of leading the company in growth. Side note – Cass is also a graduate of the UTA master's program. UTA has been great for our family.
What advice would you give to female professionals getting started in their careers?
Do not ever think that being a female in the business world is a negative. Many times, you stand out more than your competitors and your prospects will remember you over the competition. Be confident, do a great job, provide superior service, and the rest will fall in place.
Three fun facts about you:
- The CEO of one of our largest customers is also a UTA graduate.
- Love the challenge of golf.
- The answer “can’t” is a big motivator