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Eliyah Ryals: Finding the Perfect Fit

It’s not common for people to find their perfect career fit straight out of college. It’s even less common to find it in the town you grew up in. But that’s exactly what happened when Eliyah Ryals was told about vacancies at Panel Built and made the decision to apply.

Eliyah Ryals at Panel Built

It’s been eight years since Eliyah started working for the Blairsville, GA, modular building manufacturer, but it hasn’t always been a straight line to his current role as sales manager.

Excelling as an Installer

When Eliyah first applied for a job at Panel Built, the vacancies were available on the factory floor. Specifically, Eliyah was hired to oversee the installation process.

However, as a company that values hands-on experience, Eliyah was first assigned to work alongside the installers, building and installing a variety of mezzanine offices, guardhouses, prefabricated offices and more.

However, while the role was meant to be a temporary one, Eliyah performed so well that it became permanent. For the next four years, Eliyah worked on the installation team, travelling from coast to coast, delivering and installing modular structures for some of the largest companies in the United States.

A Move Into Engineering

After gaining invaluable, hands-on experience building and assembling the range of modular buildings and structures Panel Built created for several years, an opportunity to work in the engineering department came up.

True to form, Eliyah embraced the new challenge, and for the next couple of years, he used his detailed product knowledge to help Panel Built develop custom solutions for their clients.

Born for Sales

While Eliyah Ryals might have accepted every opportunity that came his way at Panel Built, his goal was always to work in sales.

Raised by parents who both work in the sales field, Eliyah always knew that’s what he wanted to do. But he was willing to do what was necessary to prove himself on the way there.

Often, his approach has been a little different from what most of us would do.

Like when he requested a meeting with Dave Arnold, the general manager of Panel Built, only to tell him about his dream to work in sales. Or when he dove right in and made every other role along the way his own, even when it wasn’t in sales.

Many of us would not spend more than a year or two in a role that wasn’t our ideal. Eliyah has stayed focused on his for over eight years, and now that he’s reached the position of sales manager, he’s not changing his approach. He’s always maintained his focus on his goals, and so far, it’s a winning strategy.

Eliyah Ryals at Panel Built

A Growing Force In Modular Structures

When Eliyah Ryals started his career at Panel Built, the company employed less than 100 people. Today, the Panel Built team is at 350, and there’s no sign of anything slowing down.

Eliyah and his sales team often field over 60 leads per day, and they routinely handle projects well over $1 million in value.

Looking back on the time he spent getting his hands dirty as an installer, Eliyah acknowledges the value of that kind of hands-on training. It allows him to answer every question his customers might pose, but it also allows him to provide another level of technical mentorship to his own sales team.

“While I wouldn’t have chosen this path to where I am today, now that I’m here, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

What's Next?

You could say that the fast pace of our modern world is a big part of the rapid growth Panel Built has seen so far. Instead of taking weeks or months to create the structures their clients need to operate at optimal levels, Panel Built can deliver them in weeks or even days.

“We’ve had clients ask us to complete and install over a weekend,” says Ryals, “and we find a way to make it happen.”

Eliyah Ryals of Panel Built

In fact, the company prides itself on tackling jobs that many others would consider impossible, and Eliyah Ryals and his can-do attitude backed by flexibility, adaptability, and the willingness to make decisions when they need to be made are a big part of that.

“I’m fully committed to helping Panel Built grow. Whether that means developing new products or opening new manufacturing facilities, or anything else we need to do."

When you consider how far the company and Ryals have come over the past few years, there’s very little doubt that they’ll both meet those goals.

About the Author: Tamara Aspeling is a published author and freelance writer who specializes in construction and writes for print and web. She’s also a trained estimator and project manager with over 20 years of industry experience. You can reach her at or

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