You What?

Shelly Mueller, Co-Owner/Chief Operating Officer, Dirig Sheet Metal
Jul 5, 2021
Jeffrey Crane
You What?

Do you have a nickname? My full name is Catherine Michelle. So, I suppose Shelly it is.

Describe yourself in three words. Sincere, motivated and tired

In what city did you grow up? New Haven, Indiana – Go Bulldogs!

What book was the greatest impact on you? Can’t think of one in particular.  I always try to take something from everything I read.

What was the first movie you ever saw in a theater? The first one I remember sitting through was the original Star Wars.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher.

What famous person would you most like to meet? George Clooney

What is your favorite part of your job? I absolutely love the people I work with. Not only my co-workers, who I appreciate for everything they do to help make Dirig Sheet Metal what it is today, but also our customers are wonderful. The collaboration that goes into every job whether it is a large contract job, a walk in customer wanting to work with our specialty team to design an art piece or a customer needing to make a part  to fit a special machine is amazing. The energy is exciting and to see projects from start to finish and everything in between makes me proud of what we do. There are very few places in Fort Wayne that we go to or drive by that Dirig Sheet Metal hasn’t had some part in.

What do you actually do at your job? As the chief operating officer, my main responsibility is the day-to-day operations. I listen to the needs and wants of every person and department. I coordinate new policies and procedures as needed; set goals; job contracts, work with banking, safety, accountants, legal, marketing, research and development, etc.

What do you love most about Fort Wayne? Fort Wayne is growing by leaps and bounds. The atmosphere combines history and progression. I appreciate the small town feel in a growing big city with an abundance of opportunities for business and social growth. It is exciting to drive anywhere through Fort Wayne and see the positive changes.

What was your first job? Babysitting….a LOT of babysitting

What is your greatest accomplishment? Of course my three kids, all of whom are amazing adults; Succeeding against naysayers is always a pleasure; Becoming a women-owned business in what is considered a “man’s world.”

Who is your hero? My mom. She has pushed me, even when I didn’t want to be pushed and made me appreciate where I am by paving the way for me and other women like me. Both of my parents have given me the gift of appreciation for hard work.

What is your dream job? As much as I love my job, and I really do, I think chief shopping officer would be pretty cool. 

What is your biggest pet peeve? Having a young person call me honey, darling or sweetie.

Do you have a motto you live by? Two wrongs do not make a right. 

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to cast as you? Sandra Bullock. 

What would you chose as your last meal? My mom’s steak stew or smothered pork chops.

Who would you want to invite to your dream dinner party (living, dead, famous, real or fictional)? Family, friends and Gene Kelley, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, James Darren.

What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island? (other than food and water). Radio or some way to listen to music, ice cold Diet Coke, a phone to call someone if I want to be picked up

If you had time machine, where and to what time period would you travel? The 1950s

Who would you like to see perform in concert? Stevie Nicks, Pink, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel and so many more…. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Right now, it would be Nashville to see my youngest son.  If not Nashville, Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland are definitely dream destinations. As long as my family is with me, I would go anywhere.

What does your workout regimen consist of? I am still in the planning stages of a good regimen. (insert eye roll) 

What profession would you never try? I would probably try almost anything, unless it consisted of slippery, slimy things or extreme heights.

If you could solve one major problem, what would it be? Education. The need for better education is imperative for the future of humankind. The more you know, the more you can do to help save the world, cure cancer, run a business and just be a better person.

Where will you go on your next vacation? Nashville, Tennessee, to see my son graduate grad school.

What is one thing you can’t live without? My family

If you could give your 15 year-old self advice, what would it be? Be more confident

What is the best piece of advise you have been given? Learn the long way, then figure out the short cuts.

What is your biggest fear? Public speaking

What is the best gift you were ever given? A book from our two youngest granddaughters “What I love about Mimi.” It made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Name one person who has inspired you in your life? Both of my parents. From where they came from and what they have accomplished, professionally and personally.

If you hosted a talk show who would be your first guest? George Clooney

What is one important skill you think everyone should have? Communication. It is a lost art.

What skill would you like to master? I would love to learn a foreign language and sign language.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you win a medal in? Gold medalist in shopping! I’ve been training most of my life.

What fad do you wish would come back or go away forever? Go away forever…..boys/men oversized baggy pants down way too low with their boxers hanging out.

What age do you wish you could permanently be and why? Age doesn’t bother me, it’s all the aches and pains that go along with getting older. So any age that it doesn’t hurt to move.

Who was your first celebrity crush? Shawn Cassidy

What was the last gift you gave someone? My husband’s birthday present.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? My daughter made a “healthy” chicken dinner for me and her brothers. It was Bran coated chicken… We had pizza.

What would you do with your 15 minutes of fame? Hopefully something profound and heroic. Most likely, I would trip on national television and become a ridiculous meme.

What is the most productive time of day for you? Anytime after 9 a.m. I am not a morning person in any way shape or form. 

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say? More people need to work together instead of against each other. 

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing? If I didn’t have to work, I would travel, volunteer and spend as much time as I could with my family (especially the granddaughters!).

When was the last time you tried something new? Answering all of these questions is a change of pace for me.

If you had to teach someone something new what would you teach? How to use the round-a-bouts and trails street crossings (DO NOT STOP).

What gets you excited and driven to achieve? Someone telling me I can’t or it can’t be done!  Watch me!

What do you collect? Santas. I have a LOT……

What is your earliest memory? Taking naps with my Great Grandma Honora when I was 3 and learning nursery rhymes with her.

When were you happiest? The birth of my kids & granddaughters; the day I got married (the 2nd time); anytime the family is together and everyone is laughing and telling funny stories.

What trait or habit in yourself do you deplore? I cry when I’m happy, sad, angry, hurt, tired, frustrated, Hallmark commercials, love stories, when someone else is crying…. it’s NOT a good trait.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? What are they? My husband and I both like golf season. He plays golf, and I have the quiet, clean house to myself. We are both happy.

What is something that never fails to make you laugh? My husband 


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