Meet Jessica Radtke

Chicago Backflow’s Vice President 

March is Women’s History Month! This month, we wanted to spotlight a very hard-working and deserving woman following a big promotion – Chicago Backflow’s Vice President, Jessica Radtke! Follow along as we ask Jess questions that detail her incredibly impressive career in backflow! 

What motivated you to pursue a career in the backflow industry? 

 Honestly, I was a young single mother. I wanted to prove to all the people who doubted me and show my daughter that with some hard work, determination, and a great work ethic… you will move up and make a career out of this job. When I started here, I was the Receptionist and now I am the Vice President.  

How many years have you been with CBI?

19 years and counting! 

 Describe your leadership style.  

My leadership style depends on each situation. I truly try to go with the “coaching” style. I want my team to learn as we go. I will point out what the issue is and guide them to find a solution. My team is amazing, and I am so proud of the growth we all have had.  

What advice would you relay to young women entering this profession? 

 Any woman entering a profession should remember to keep their head high, know your worth, be positive, listen to people, and take the advice! 

What are you most looking forward to as you enter your new role of Vice President? 

To look back on the changes CBI has made in 19 years is truly outstanding. I hope we can continue with making changes, create new goals, and continue to grow!

Jessica and her daughter, Angelina.

Jessica and her husband, Ray.

How do you help a new employee understand the culture of Chicago Backflow?  

Whenever we have a new employee, I always like to tell them we are a family. Just like siblings, we may have disagreements and not always see eye to eye, but at the end of the day we back each other 100%.  I want them to know I have an open-door policy. If you have any concerns, my door is always open to discuss whatever you may need. Whether it is professional or personal, I will listen and offer my honest opinion!

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have received in your career?

I would say the best advice I have received is to learn how to prioritize and be organized. This has helped me not only in my career but also in my personal life.

Office Squad!

Office Squad!

Can you share any short-term or long-term goals? 

My long-term goals will always be to find new ways to grow the business and increase revenue. As for short-term goals, we have already been achieving them with the advancement of our computer program updates. From where we were 5 years ago to today, it is outstanding. I would like to continue adding new advancements that help not only the customer service side of things, but also the field users!

What was an obstacle you had to overcome and how did you accomplish it? 

Recently, an obstacle I had to overcome was the retirement of a coworker. I took on some of her workload and job duties. I had to re-evaluate, prioritize my time, and delegate some job duties to others. By doing so, after a few weeks everything worked out and I was able to accomplish all!

How has the backflow industry evolved since you first began?

When I first started, I remember answering the phones and getting calls from customers that had absolutely NO idea what a backflow was. I believe over the years more people have been educated on the importance of testing your backflow devices. Also, many towns utilizing online platforms, such as BSI Online, for their test results have really helped with keeping residents and businesses in compliance. 20 years ago, half of these people probably had no clue they even had a backflow preventer!

What do you wish other women in this industry knew?  

I want other women in my industry to know, no matter what obstacles stand in your way, you can and will succeed!

As a strong woman leader, what qualities do you seek when adding someone to your team?  

When hiring, I would like to see if you will fit with our group. I want to make sure you demonstrate patience, tact, and empathy to our customers always.

Hear more from Jessica as she highlights, CBI’s Customer Service team! Thank you for your dedication to Chicago Backflow, Jess!