The April 2020 Woman In PHCP Spotlight is on Jennifer D’Ambra. D’Ambra is the vice president of Operations for GEM Plumbing. GEM Plumbing was named our PHC News 2019 Contractor of The Year.
The 70-year-old company recently underwent a rebrand led by D’Ambra and her colleague Jennifer Preservati, manager of marketing and business development at GEM Plumbing. The company is working to grow and attract the next generation of techs.
In this spotlight we share a little bit more about D’Ambra and her path in the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping (PHCP) industry.
PHCPPros: How did you get into the industry?
D’Ambra: I have known about the trades through my family’s business since I was a young child. Over the years, I have held many different roles throughout the organization. I began working at GEM as a teenager; after completing my schooling. I joined in a more operational capacity becoming involved with many aspects of the company.
PHCPPros: Do you have women in the industry who have mentored you?
D’Ambra: Unfortunately, there is a limited number of women in this industry in leadership positions. I was fortunate to be able to gain experience and knowledge of financial operations within the organization from my aunt, who was the controller. The operational knowledge I gained throughout the years has come from research and experience. Looking back on my experience, it would have had a profound impact on my career to have had more female influence in the workplace.
PHCPPros: Do you mentor other women in the industry?
D’Ambra: Yes, this is something that is very important to me and is an important part of being a successful leader. I believe that there are so many opportunities for women in the trades, and without a mentor available to them it may be hard to see all of them. I want to see other women grow and thrive in this industry. But, more importantly, I want them to have the confidence to know that they can succeed. Most of the employees at GEM know my story and how I learned by working in many different departments. I never gave up and always wanted to learn more to help the business grow. I think that seeing other women in leadership positions gives them hope and will drive them to work harder.
PHCPPros: Is there anything I didn’t ask related to women in PHCP that you want to add?
D’Ambra: Never give up on the dream of being in the trades. While it can seem intimidating at first, there are so many opportunities for learning and growth for a woman in the trades that will allow her to grow in ways she may not be able to in other careers.