The American Supply Association (ASA)'s Alice A. Martin Woman of the Year Award was presented to Suzanne Chreene, senior director, national trade sales, Delta Faucet Co., at the recent ASA Women in Industry ELEVATE2022 spring conference in Louisville.
The Alice A. Martin Woman of the Year 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. Examples of this include: embracing education and encouraging inventive ideas; promoting women within our industry; inspiring others through work and example; and being a bold leader that others emulate.
Alice Martin had been with NIBCO since 1984, serving in a variety of roles. She was the president and co-founder of the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation, a charitable foundation headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, which donates to major projects for children. Throughout the years, Martin was honored many times for her leadership and philanthropy. As a champion for women's rights, she founded the Women's Leadership Group at NIBCO and was also active in ASA’s Women in Industry division dating back to its inception.
Chreene, current vice chairwoman of the ASA Women in Industry Advisory Group, has served the industry for more than 35 years, including for the last 20 years at Delta Faucet where she has held various positions within the company’s sales organization. Chreene also serves on the national board for HomeAid America and has served multiple years in a leadership role with ASA’s Women in Industry division.
“I am so honored to win this award that is attached to the amazing woman Alice Martin was,” Chreene said. “I met Alice briefly at the first Women in Industry event (in Chicago) and was so impressed by her presence, her experience, her innovation, her approachability and her sense of investment in the women at NIBCO and others in the industry. I wish I had the opportunity to know her better. She was advocating for women long before diversity, equity and inclusion was at the forefront of many successful organizations.”
Chreene said winning the award goes beyond the individual recognition. “For those who know me well, being recognized with an award is somewhat uncomfortable for me,” she explained. “I much prefer to be supporting and influencing other women in their careers vs. being out in front getting recognition.
Winning this award means so much to me that those women and men that I have supported, encouraged and mentored along the way believe that I helped them enough on their journey that they took the time to nominate and write some heartfelt messages about the impact I have been able to make in their careers. That is what makes this award so special to me. I feel like I am walking that path that Alice Martin set out for us all advocating for women in our industry.”
Brenda Cashdollar of rep firm Synergy Sales NW and Emily McDonald of rep firm Southwest Sales in nominating Chreene for the honor said she is “a champion for women, always encouraging them to ‘go for it’ in their careers and ignore gender barriers.”
“Her mentorship, leadership and teaching the importance of women in industry has created multiple groups of women that meet regularly to build each other up, network and grow in their careers,” Cashdollar and McDonald said in their nomination comments. “She has created an understanding of the importance of growth and encouragement of diversity in the workplace and the importance of having women at every proverbial table.”
Current ASA Women in Industry Advisory Group Chairwoman Kala McDonald (The Collins Companies) and Past Chairwoman Rebecca Falish (InSinkErator) said Chreene’s contributions to ASA’s Women in Industry Division have been critically important.
“Suzanne is extremely thoughtful and judicious about everything Women in Industry puts our name on,” they said. “She believes that our division has a responsibility to bring and encourage the future leaders and she makes sure that we never fall short of that mission. She is always encouraging and willing to contribute her time and effort.”
ASA’s Women in Industry division will celebrate its ninth anniversary at ELEVATE2023 April 11-13 in Charleston, South Carolina.