It’s been an exciting new year already. Great networking opportunities, energy, and news to start the year off right.
Let’s start with the news.
Last year, I introduced you all to Sue Jacobs, the only woman in a fifth-generation of Master Plumbers who owns her own plumbing business. Jacobs had set her goals to address the labor shortage in our industry and thought what better way than to promote the trade to young girls. She developed Plumbing 101 workshops, which she aimed to introduce to the Girl Scouts.
Jacobs succeeded in her goals and recently taught Plumbing 101 to 35 Girl Scouts (grades 6-12) at Camp Cedar Hill in Waltham, Massachusetts. She said it ran a little longer than the scheduled two hours because there was so much to talk about and demonstrate. “As an activity at end, I had them cut their own ½-inch PVC and gave them caps, elbows and tee’s, and they made their own Marshmallow Shooters,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs recently patented and trademarked the “Ms. Fix It” logo and had 1,000 patches/badges made for the workshops. She has one more workshop scheduled with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts in May and she’s really looking forward to that too!
At the beginning of this year, Jacobs’ business, S. Jacobs Plumbing, was selected as the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year for 2017. This award is presented to the NVCC member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in general management, employee relations, business growth, product innovation, and community and social responsibility. The selection committee was impressed by Jacobs’ decades of service in the region as a multi-generational family-owned business; her support of the Norwood community in a variety of ways; and her support of women business and women in trades.
Congratulations Sue, we’re so very proud of you and your efforts!
More news this month, the Women in Energy launched its new website. The website supports the group’s mission to connect and empower women working in the energy industry by providing career resources, creating networking and mentoring opportunities, promoting educational courses, and developing strategies to minimize obstacles women may face in the industry.
Check out the website and learn about upcoming expos, educational courses, and networking opportunities through the events calendar. You can also register for upcoming events. The next Women in Energy Conference will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Eastern Energy Expo at Foxwoods Resort Casino from May 20–23, 2018.
Membership is open to any individual (woman or man) and/or business involved in the energy industry. Sponsorships are also available. Visit wewomeninenergy.com to sign up today.
As of Feb. 1, the group has 23 individual members, and 18 corporate members with 66 employees.
PHCPpros is a proud corporate member of Women in Energy and we look forward to getting involved in any way we can!
In addition to all the great news, there were quite a few networking events in January. In particular, we had the opportunity to attend a few of the women-centered events at the AHR Expo, and the over-arching theme for all was diversity and inclusion.
Women of ASHRAE
Women of ASHRAE hosted a breakfast where guest speaker Erin McConahey, PE, LEED AP at Arup, discussed Building Energy, Building Power: Diversity Represents the Real World.
McConahey said to a packed room at 7 a.m., “One of the things I brought to my firm was the importance of inclusion as a concept, and that it’s very different than diversity.” She quoted Verna Myers, in her words, a diversity and inclusion expert, and said, “‘Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.’”
She continued, “It’s the difference between representation and engagement. It’s the difference between existence and participation.” McConahey encouraged the women in the room to participate in their firms and to take on more active roles. It was well received.
Coolest Women in HVAC
On Tuesday evening, Johnson Controls (JCI) hosted a special reception for the Coolest Women in HVAC. More than 120 attendees, which included JCI leaders from across functions and businesses, college and grad students, and non-industry and industry professionals, came together to network.
“We will continue to work to connect women in the industry, while driving our reach and building diversity,” said Anita Welhouse, chair of Coolest Women in HVAC, and director, Global Channel Sales Excellence Programs, Building Technologies & Solutions at JCI. “We believe this event had an impact that will strengthen and benefit the women involved.”
Women in HVACR
Immediately after the Coolest Women in HVAC, more than 100 members, supporters and sponsors attended the Women in HVACR Meet & Greet at Margaretville on Navy Pier in Chicago. The WHVACR Meet & Greet is one of the largest social events hosted by the organization annually during the AHR Expo. Board member, Colleen Keyworth of Online Access said, “This event is really where we get the best opportunity to visit with a lot of our members and appreciate our partners and sponsors. It ends up being a great networking event for all involved.” Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled with other guests.
Women in HVACR exists to improve the lives of its members by providing professional avenues to connect with other women growing their careers in the HVACR industry. WHVACR prides itself on being one of the only organizations in the industry that reaches the technician all the way to the manufacturer in order to provide unique networking and idea sharing opportunities for all involved.
This record-breaking year for the AHR Expo was a huge success, and many walked away with new information, products and support that will allow them to advance in their careers and businesses.
As always, my continued goal is to talk to leading women in the industry each month and share their stories, thoughts and insights. That will continue into the next year, so, if you know a woman, or are a woman who should be featured, let me know.