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In our May Women In PHCP spotlight, we invite you to meet Cindy Sheridan, CAE, CEO of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC)!
Editor's Note: This is a special extended interview from our 2023 Women In PHCP print feature.
PHCPPros: What is your role in the PHCP industry?
Sheridan: As CEO of PHCC, I work to ensure that our PHCC members are recognized as the best choice in their respective geographic areas for professionalism, reliable products, and knowledgeable service. Through my 22 years of involvement in PHCC – first as vice president of membership and chapter relations, more recently as COO of PHCC’s Educational Foundation, and now as PHCC’s CEO – I am uniquely positioned to help PHCC fulfill our strategic goals of public awareness, workforce development, valuable member resources, and organizational impact.
In addition, I am keenly aware that the people of PHCC – from the staff at our national headquarters, to our volunteer leaders, to our approximately 3,500 members – are incredibly passionate about our mission to advance the p-h-c industry and educate its workers; they see it as their responsibility to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of society and protection of the environment. With that, I’m equally passionate about providing these loyal individuals with a safe, stable workplace environment based on transparency, trust, and respect so that – together – we can successfully continue our mission.
PHCPPros: Why did you enter a career in the industry?
Sheridan: I’ve always had a passion for association management. Prior to PHCC, I was in leadership positions for the Bank Marketing Association and the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives. When I transferred those skills to PHCC in 2000, I quickly realized the essential role that p-h-c professionals play in protecting the health and safety of society. It didn’t take long for their passion to become my passion, and that’s why I’m so committed 22 years later to workforce development in this industry. To protect the future, we need to close the crucial skills gap in this profession and promote the value that p-h-c careers offer.
PHCPPros: What are some of your career highlights?
Sheridan: There are several initiatives that I am particularly proud to have worked on during my career at PHCC:
PHCPPros: What are your experiences with women mentors or mentees?
Sheridan: The nature of PHCC is that we’ve established an incredible community of professionals at all levels that mentor each other. We have women contractor members who own their own companies, women who are executive directors of PHCC state chapters, women who are the directors of some of our PHCC Corporate Partners … the list of women in high-level leadership roles goes on. Not only are they an inspiration to young people entering our industry, but they are an inspiration to me, and I learn from them every day.
I strive to be a mentor to both my peers in the association management profession as well as the staff here at PHCC.
PHCPPros: How can the industry better recruit and retain women?
Sheridan: I think one of the best ways to attract women to the industry is to show women in the industry. Women can be great role models. They need to be visible and to share their stories about the great lives they have because of this industry. PHCC has several videos about women in the industry that can help raise awareness of the career opportunities for women in the p-h-c trades.
PHCPPros: What does it mean to receive this honor?
Sheridan: I was an outsider when I joined PHCC in 2000. I soon fell in love with the industry from the chapter executives and contractor members I worked with to PHCC’s family orientation and mission to protect health and safety. At that time, the industry was considerably more male dominated. After all these years, it is wonderful to see the increasing numbers of women leaders in all aspects of the industry. I am humbled to be part of this group of women who are making such a huge difference in the industry I love.
PHCPPros: Is there anything from your personal life you'd like to highlight?
Sheridan: I am a lifelong learner, and my husband and I love to travel and take advantage of living in the D.C. area, exploring all the educational and cultural opportunities it has to offer.
I am also family-oriented and enjoy spending time with my sister and her family, including two nieces who are young professionals in New York City. I am proud to watch them grow in their careers. There are so many more opportunities now for women to break that glass ceiling in all different industries. I am proud that I am part of a generation that helped pave the way for this changed environment for young women.
Do you know someone you would like to nominate for our Women In PHCP newsletter series? Email PHCPPros Digital Strategy Manager Nicole Meyer at email@example.com!
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