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The American Supply Association's (ASA) Women in Industry division recently announced that First Supply Chief Administrative Officer and COO, Kitchen and Bath Stores Katie Poehling Seymour is the recipient of the 2020 Alice A. Martin Woman of the Year Award.
Poehling Seymour will be honored during the second day of ASA's NETWORK2020 Virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 8. She was to receive the award at the Women in Industry ELEVATE2020 event in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this year that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poehling Seymour is one of the co-founders of ASA's Women in Industry division along with NIBCO Vice President of Sales Ashley Martin. The award is named after Martin's mother, Alice, who passed away in 2017. Ashley Martin was the inaugural award recipient last year during ELEVATE2019 in Savannah, Georgia. The annual award recognizes women in the PHCP-PVF industry who have a record of significant accomplishment within the industry and embody the character of the late Alice Martin, who had been with NIBCO since 1984 in a variety of key roles.
"I am honored to be recognized by the organization as woman of the year," Poehling Seymour said. "This is only the second year of the award, and to follow in the footsteps of Ashley Martin is incredible. Ashley and Alice are both leaders. I am thrilled to be in their company! The Martin family members are outstanding representatives of our industry. Alice was a brilliant woman who led her company and her family to be pillars, not only among ASA, but among their community. It's a role every woman in any industry strives to fill. Our industry is lucky to have had Alice as a role model and lucky to have the opportunity to recognize women who are emulating her example.
"I'd also like to thank everyone at First Supply who has helped me on this journey. Leadership in any organization isn't possible without a great team to rely on for support."
As one of the founding members of Women in Industry. Poehling Seymour has watched the group continue to grow and flourish.
"I was fortunate to be among the founding members of the group, as my friend Ashley Martin and I took on the leadership of the group initially," she said. "The goal of Women in Industry has been to attract, retain and promote women in our industry. When the group was started, we recognized that many women had the shared experience of being the only woman in the room at meetings or at the table in discussions. It could be really powerful if all of the 'only women' came together to share those experiences. We also saw that more and more teams in our companies had great female members, so finding ways to promote and retain, not only leaders in our organizations, but all women in our organizations would provide better future opportunities to everyone."
Poehling Seymour referenced a quote from women's leadership author Sheryl Sandberg in reference to the group's continued expansion. "This group has lived up to one of Sheryl's quotes, 'When you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat. Just get on!'"
"This group has been like a rocket growing and gaining influence and truly being meaningful in the industry," she added. "It's so important that the organization isn't just for young women or women in leadership positions. Women of all ages in all roles in our members' businesses participate today, which makes such a powerful experience to attend any of our events. You may have breakfast with a young woman in sales just getting started in her career let alone the industry. You may have lunch with a woman who never thought something like this would be possible in our industry and has stories to tell, and you may have dinner with peers at the same place in their careers as you are, and you end the day commiserating. Since we started the group, I've become a mom, too. Now that I have a daughter, I'm even more proud of having been part of the beginning of this group as I'll be able to share that with her someday. I can only imagine how proud Alice was of Ashley. Her legacy is a great inspiration to us all."